Posted on January 29, 2018

The International School of London hosted the second edition of the “Battle of the Bands”, and it was a hard-fought battle indeed. Competitors ranged from very young bands to seasoned-looking, professional-sounding rockers. Lights and sound equipment turned the ISL Gymnasium into a genuine rock stage, giving the audience the treat of a festival feel.

The competition was expertly judged by Mike Donald, lead singer with local band “Hot Mess”, Frank Cuddumbey, international touring singer and pianist, and Vasileios Gkouzounas, resident guitar expert for 51 East / Yamaha / FNAC. They had a difficult time choosing between the top two bands, but in the end it was the old-school rock choices of GEMS’ “Steemgate” that clinched it in their favour. They put together a rocking programme and delivered high-quality performances across all instruments. It was a very tight victory over last year’s winners – “Puffle” from Doha College – who owned the stage with incredible showmanship. Particular commendations were given for the outstanding skills of “Puffle” drummer Jack Dillon.

Steemgate skims past Puffle 2 [].jpg

The event was sponsored by Fifty One East, who offered as first prize a generous QR4,000 to spend on instruments in their stores, together with an invitation to perform in Lagoona Mall. Second prize was an opportunity to perform, and a Fifty One East QR150 voucher for each band member. The two bands that drew in third place were also invited to perform at Lagoona Mall – they were “Avalon” from Doha British School and “Outspoken” from the International School of London. A ‘star of the show' award was given to one member of each of the eight contending groups, to recognise the stand-out musician in that band, either for their technical skills or performing energy.

Steemgate skims past Puffle 3 [].jpg

Full list of competing bands:

  • “Jamaha” from Sherborne Qatar
  • “Avalon” from Doha British School
  • “Indecision” from the American Community School
  • “Outspoken” from the International School of London Qatar
  • “Steemgate” from GEMS American Academy
  • “The Inhalers” – International School of London Qatar
  • “Puffle” from Doha College
  • “Shard” from Sherborne Qatar