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乐队挑战赛,赛出你风采!(第一部分)

2007-03-02 09:45British Council

Let battle commence!

Music venues in towns and cities across the UK, as well as some universities and schools, are hosting regular 'Battle of the Bands' - or BoB competitions. The organisers are making the most of the tremendous zeal among young musicians for playing 'live' in front of an audience.

The idea emerged in the UK several years ago as a way of bringing new audiences into clubs, bars and other venues eager to stage live music events. Ged, a talent-spotter for a recording company, explains: 'As a counterbalance to booking well-known, often expensive acts, the promoters of smaller venues had the great idea of giving unknown bands the chance to win worthwhile prizes, creating sell-out evenings in the process.'

Playing to the gallery

When a venue decides to promote and organise a BoB, local bands provide a recorded sample of their music and pay a small fee to participate. A series of heats follows, in which each band plays a 'set' comprising several original songs in front of as many of their fans as they can persuade to come along.

In the heats, the band with the most votes from the audience goes through to the next round - so the more fans they attract, the better their chances of progressing in the competition. In the later stages, including the final, there is a panel of independent judges who decide the eventual winner of that particular BoB.

The prizes are just what new groups need to get a start in the music business. They often include time in a recording studio to produce that all-important demo disc, professional photography, a video of their performance or simply money to help the band buy equipment or promote itself.

Going global

Through the sheer power of the Internet and the huge potential rewards for a successful band, the BoB idea is now a worldwide phenomenon. There are local, national and even international competitions happening everywhere. The underlying idea, however, remains the same: to give new talent a stage on which to thrive.

Next month, we discover what the judges look for in a winning band......

Jim February 2007

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