ZIO MWALE, Lusaka
SAPPERS Band of Mufulira emerged winners of the second edition of the Battle of Bands competition held at Radisson Blu Hotel in Lusaka on Saturday.Burning Youth, who are the inaugural winners of the competition started by Radisson Blu in association with the Zambia Association of Musicians (ZAM) last year, did not participate this year although they performed at the event.
In truth, the performances were epic, and for a lay person, the margins were too narrow to choose. If anything, the lay person would easily have gone for the genre rather than the musical act.
But the panel of judges which had Maureen Lupo Lilanda, “Sir” Jones Kabanga and Jagari Chanda of Great Witch Band knew what they were looking for.
In the event, the judges decided that Sappers Band were better than the other seven. The other bands in the battle were Crescendoz, Stasis Prey, YnoT, Pink Blues, Uhuru Vibes, The Radical Band and Becky and The All Tunes.
The contest, co-hosted by Cleo Ice Queen and W-Star who is a familiar face and voice to those who attend the Jah Night, was attended by slightly over a 1,000 people.
The Crescendoz were the first on stage and a medley of Oh Baby by Jodie and were followed by Stasis Prey, a five-member band, who performed a mix of genres including rock, garage and alternative rock. The nerd looking group surprised the audience with its electric and energetic performance.
Y Not, a four-member band, performed On My Mind, a rock song, and were equally rocking and left the audience visibly impressed.
The Pink Blues came on stage after YnoT, and with the audience still excited, they easily connected. Each band was allocated 25 minutes for performances.
Uhuru Vibes, who like last year, again emerged as runners-up, followed next. The 11-member band jammed some serious reggae music.
The 13-member Sappers Band were the sixth band of the night and brought a different energy to the stage leaving the tired audience with little choice but to dance along. But it was not just the music that caught the eye, their stage outfits were also revealing. Their stage outfits of Zambian colours and Ngoni-warrior like gave them a traditional Zambian look which somewhat blended well with their rhumba tunes.
They brought to the stage Koffi Olomide’s songs and a self-composed song titled Pamodzi. By the time they were leaving the stage, the audience was almost agreed that they were the winners. But the contest was not over yet, there was still the Radical Band and Becky & The All Tunes to perform.
The Radical Band performed reggae songs while Becky and the All Tunes sung self-composed songs. Their performances were good enough to earn them the K20,000 second prize which went to Uhuru Vibes.
After Sappers were announced as the winners of the overall prize money, the audience demanded for more performances from the band.
ZIO MWALE, Lusaka