The final of the hugely international GBOB search for the hottest new bands from countries across the planet took place at the Scala in London last night. (Above, Floors and Walls).
Across two days, bands from 26 countries battled it out to emerge as the leading new talent in the opinion of the judges, who included Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols bassist/songwriter), Jim Lowe (producer: Stereophonics, Charlatans etc) and Ben Adams (ex-member of A1 and now producer).
UK act Floors and Walls won the event, with their front man, Alex Adams delivering a spiky and energised Mike Patton-like performance that essentially blew the heads of those assembled for the performance.
(Above: Kali Mist).
Reflecting the international nature of the show, the audience was made up of musicians and music lovers from across the planet – Malaysia, China, Japan, they came from all around.
Bands got just eight minutes to play two songs to impress the audience and the judges. Australian teen rockers Powerage took second place, while everyone at the event was talking about delightful all-girl punk band Pinky Piglets from Japan, who took third place.
(Above, Pinky Piglets).
In our opinion, honorable mention should be made of Welsh purveyors of top class dub/ska, Kali Mist, who we consider will make a great choice for anyone booking out festival stages in 2009 – they’re remarkably good, at times reminding this reviewer of the power of Zion Train or Community Charge.
Honour should also go to Malaysia’s Lab Rat. That band were musically experimental, crossed a range of different genres, and aimed to win the $100,000 prize given to the top band in order to start a music school and inject live into Malaysia’s moribund local music scene. That’s a noble goal.
What was most remarkable across the two days of the event wasn’t just the high quality performances delivered by most every band taking part, and the huge visible commitment to the task, particularly from acts from further afield, but also the tangible excitement most band members seemed to have in meeting people like them from across the planet.
Talking to The Leads, band members summed it up that winning the competition, while it would be nice, seemed less important than taking part, as they’d been able to widen their musical experience through contact with other musicians from across the planet.
The atmosphere was jubilant and positive, and all the acts performing on then night were top class – making for an event far far better than the average battle of the bands night down a local boozer.