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Caithness News Bulletins July 2004

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BATTLE OF THE BANDS                            All The Photographs On Caithness Photographic

Thurso High Schools' annual battle of the bands contest took place recently. A total of five bands took part in the competition with the prize of the Murkle Bay Studios Trophy and 150 up for grabs. The evening was opened with a set from All Stitch Up, which got the packed audience in the mood for the school bands.

First up were Paradox, introduced by Host for the evening Donna Swanson. Paradox were a four piece band, consisting of Matthew Todd on vocals, Joe Paterson on guitar, Nathan Gunn on bass and Jack MacPhee on drums. They opened with the UFO classic Doctor Doctor before moving on to a fantastic rendition of Stairway To Heaven, which was sung beautifully by Matthew accompanied by Joe on guitar. Leonard Skynards Sweet Home Alabama went down well with the audience also, as they set a great standard for the following bands to try to match.

Next up were Larry 6 and they kept the standard up with a great set which had the audience captivated. Michael Cragg, looking dapper in a suit and bow tie had the crowd wrapped around his finger as he sung and played rhythm, backed up by Chris Maycock on lead guitar, Gary Dunnett on bass and James paterson on drums. They had written a couple of their own songs only two days previously, and both went down a treat, particularly one involving Britney Spears and a bathtub! They also covered Metallica's Nothing Else Matters and ACDC's You Shook Me All Night Long.

Larry 6 were to be a hard act to follow, but the next band, going by the name of Stanley Bighands and Malicious and Evil Groundhog from Mars,changed the tempo with a much heavier set. Andy Roo and Colin Morrison shared the vocals with Andy playing bass and Colin playing lead guitar as well. Gary Mackay on guitar and Ben Anthoney on the drums made up the group, who covered hits from Queens of the Stoneage and the Foo Fighters amongst others.

Next up were Inertia, a five piece band comprising, Andrew Williamson on vocals, Ross Buchanan and Lee Maddaford on guitar, Daniel Brotherston on bass and Nick Gladstone on drums. They were a bit nervous to begin with having only played together as a group since Saturday, but they soon got into the swing of things. They covered Thin Lizzy's Emerald and Waiting for an Alibi, as well as Led Zeppelins Heartbreaker.

Last band onto the stage were Guilty Conscience, consisting of three girls and one boy. Kara Gray on vocals threatened to steal the show with a great set, consisting of Michelle Branch, and Faye Dobson songs as well as The Calling and Meredith Brooks hit 'Bitch', backed by Vikki Macleod on bass and vocals, Jacqui Gardner on bass and Michael Norburn on the drums.

While the judges retired to pick a winner, local band Duress entertained the audience with a few songs, before the decision was announced. Third was Stanley Bighands, second was Paradox, but the winners were the audiences favourites Larry 6. Their stage presence coupled with a lot of talent made them stand out from the crowd.