Something a bit different from my usual mix of nature, beaches and gentle landscape this time – a bit more rock’n’roll!
Recently I caught up with Phil Gordon, the brains behind the upcoming Battle of The Bands (known as TBOB), to be held at Thorncombe Sports & Social Club on 1st & 2nd July. Inspired by memories of a very successful Charity Auction he organised over 10 years ago, Phil decided it was time to build on his musical contacts and do something to bring in a different crowd, have a great weekend and raise money for a local cause.
Phil told me “As a keen musician myself, I have always wanted to do something special at this amazing venue we have on our doorstep here in Thorncombe and so I decided to focus on music and thought it might be a good idea to time it to coincide with our annual Beer and Cider festival! These things seem to go rather well with music so I proposed the idea to Thorncombe Club who were both excited and very supportive. The club is a community asset, short on funds and desperatly needs a new kitchen refurb, so all profits from TBOB will go to this close-to-home cause.”
When asked about his hopes for the event, Phil replied “TBOB is all about the music – yes, it’s a competition but first and foremost, this event is for the music, for the love of live music and to give up-and-coming local bands the chance to play in front of a special audience. Anyone who has ever been in a band knows and accepts that most of the time when play live you will do so in a pub or club and only a handful of people will really be actually listening and enjoying the efforts of the band. TBOB is a ticket only event (although the Beer and Cider Festival is FREE entry) so we can give the bands a room full of people all interested, all cheering on their favorite band and encouraging them all to rise to the occasion and play the best they can.”
There are already 10 bands lined up, going from experienced, established bands to a couple of younger, newer bands, and a range of styles and tastes are represented. (At time of writing, there may still be room for one or two more if you’re quick). There are links on the TBOB website where you can hear tracks from the bands who will be playing, and having listened to a few now, I’m very impressed by the quality and professionalism. The internet has opened up the music world to allow small, up and coming bands to reach whole new audiences, and who knows who will be the next big discovery.
The bands are not just playing for exposure and experience – there is a very real opportunity on offer, as the winners will get the chance to record in a local studio being produced by a music industry professional, record producer Phil Nicholas.
TBOB is part of a larger weekend at Thorncombe Club, with a Beer Festival on Friday & Saturday with 10 guest beers and 10 ciders. The first round of TBOB starts at 6.30 on Friday night. There is also a cricket festival on the Saturday, from 11am-4.30 (during which the bar will be open), followed by a Dog Show, Family Fun Session, live country music 5-6.30pm, then the TBOB finals on Saturday evening from 6.30pm.
With camping available and food & entertainment all weekend, you could make a real weekend of it, or dip in and out at any time. Tickets for TBOB are £5 in advance or £8 on the day, are valid for both days and are available on the website or on the door. The Beer Festival and other events are free, and all are welcome, so why not try something different; who knows, next time you see one of those bands they could be headlining the Pyramid Stage or filling Hyde Park!