ELTHAM BATTLE OF THE BANDS @ Eltham Scout Hall, July 2016

The last time I ventured up to Eltham was about 10 years ago to see Closure in Moscow play. That was during the day and so obviously driving up there at night is a very different experience. After finishing work at 5pm, I quickly got changed and started driving towards the venue. Of course there was a build up of peak hour traffic on the roads so it took me over an hour to get to Eltham.

Despite drawing myself a map and using Google Maps on my phone, I still managed to miss the turnoff into Youth Road where the Scout Hall is. I’m pretty unfamiliar with the area so even driving down Main street, I still had to concentrate on the road ahead and somehow figure out my navigation. After pulling over, it didn’t take me long to find the venue.

DALLIANCE…Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to catch this 3 piece alternative rock band from Eltham as I didn’t make it to the venue until about 6.30pm. http://dallianceband.weebly.com/

LOST IN MOMENTS…Likewise I didn’t make it in time to catch the set from this Bundoora-based melodic hardcore band. http://lostinmomentsofficial.weebly.com/…

MASSACRE OF INNOCENCE…I haven’t seen this local metalcore band play in a couple of years now so it was really good to see them play again. Their performance was really intense with vocalist Niall Garrett motivating the crowd to mosh and throw down. There was plenty of headbanging and even an explosive wall of death toward the end of their set. They played several tracks from their Symptoms EP plus older track Why You Deserve This. Congratulations on being the runners up for the battle. https://massacreofinnocence.bandcamp.com/…

WATERCOLOUR…I really didn’t know what to expect from this 8 piece multi-instrument indie rock band from the North Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. They play guitar, keyboards, bass, violin, mandolin, trumpet, flute and drums. On paper all of this sounds like a chaotic mess but they managed to pull it off with really cohesive song structures.

Vocalist Ellie was really captivating as she reminded me of singers such as Leigh Nash and Sinead O’Connor. Musically, there were elements of jazz, funk and even Celtic folk pop. They opened with an original songs before blowing everyone away with their covers of Cake’s Going The Distance and Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven. Well done on being the winners of tonight’s Battle of the Bands. http://watercolourband.weebly.com/

FURIOUS GEORGE…I’ve heard a lot of positive buzz from this local melodic hardcore band and they definitely lived up to the hype. Vocalist Jake Mandaliti was wildly entertaining, making light hearted jokes in between songs and trying hard to encourage the crowd to get involved. The crowd engaged in another wall of death and a few jumped around during their set. I really dug Jake’s message about feeling accepted within the local music scene and not feeling judged by others. The band played several tracks including Effortless, A World of Empty Souls and their latest single No Hope. http://furiousgeorgeau.bandcamp.com/…

DEADFALL…Tonight was my first time checking out this Eltham-based alternative metal band. The melodic elements sounded very intergalactic and space-like with tight grungy guitar riffs and lots of energy on stage. Vocalist Terence Stevens was highly engaging with the crowd delivering stunning clean vocals throughout the set. They played a few tracks including  Hardline and State of Mind. https://www.youtube.com/user/DeadFa…

NOTICE OF EVICTION…I’ve been wanting to see this heavy alternative band for a while now but never got around to it until now. They’ve been absent from the local scene for just over a year and have now returned with a fresh new lineup. The songs felt really epic in proportion with vocalist Richard Stevens delivering passionate clean vocals with occasional screams. Musically, there were elements of prog-rock, metalcore, fusion and melodic-rock. https://www.facebook.com/noticeofev…

OCEAN GROVE…After supporting this experimental hardcore/nu-metal band for over 4 years now, I really love the fact that playing small local shows isn’t beneath them. They’ve remained level headed despite the success of their Black Label EP and the recent tours they have been apart of. It’s the reason why I respect them so much. They’re all about the fans and making sure that everyone has a good time.

The crowd really embraced the intense energy and positive vibes from start to finish. Many people were jumping around, grabbing the mic, moshing and participating in circle pits. This band never fails to impress me whether they’re playing to 50 people or 500 people. They always put on a good show. They played several tracks from their EP including Strange Talk, Backbone, You Know Something We Don’t?, I Told You To Smile and their latest single Lights On Kind Of Lover. https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/b…

A huge shoutout to Nillumbik FreeZA and Richard Stevens for putting on tonight’s show. To the judges Michael Harron (Harron’s Custom Guitars), Dale Tanner (Ocean Grove) and two others from RMIT University.  And to all my friends and band mates for hanging out with me tonight. I really miss all ages shows like these and wish that there were more happening closer to where I live.

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