By Anthony Crozzoli
The Pub Downunder was the home for the Battle of the Bands, which took place on Nov. 7 and crowned Artemis, a six-person local band, the winners of the battle.
Proceeds of the event were donated to NISA (Northern Initiative for Social Action), a charity that supports mental health awareness.
The night began with a duo called The Basics, consisting of vocalist and acoustic guitarist Jen Capra, and bassist and supporting vocalist Robbie Meek. The Basics had a smooth, folksy style, and played some originals that pleasantly pleased the crowd. However, it was their cover of the Neighbourhood’s “Sweater Weather” that had the crowd clapping and chanting.
The music of the night would escalate in intensity and in number of performers, going from the acoustic sounds of The Basics, to a classic rock-fusion trio called Blue Shift. The group consisted of Andrew Gagnon on drums, Chad Williamson on vocals and guitar and Ian Chappell on bass. Blue Shift kept things going with a quick recitation of a haiku like intro then in came the psychedelic sounds of the bass, drums and electric guitar.
Finally, the local hard-core group Artemis performed. This six-piece band counts Stephan Kuehne, Jesse Hodgeson, Josh Murphy, Mathieu Murray and Patrick Beaudry, with a heavy-hitting duo of guitars, a strong baseline, and powerful vocals both clean and distorted along with pounding drums, Artemis certainly brought a heavier sound to this competition.
The winnings of this competition included several prizes including time in the recording studio at Cosmic Dave’s and air time on Laurentian’s radio station CKLU. Judges for the event included Jen McKerral, Music Outreach Officer at MFM, Clayton Drake of The Almighty Rhombus and Peter Zwarich, Founder of River and Sky – camping and music festival.
Event organizer Pat Marcuccio has positive words for the event, nothing that “there was a stronger response, better turn out than expected, especially for the first of what I hope will be an annual event”.