The International School of London (ISL) hosted the second edition of the Battle of the Bands, a hard-fought battle for competitors who 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 audience the treat of a festival feel.

Panel of judges

The competition was 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. The three judges had a difficult time choosing between the two top bands, but 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.

The event was sponsored by 51 One East, who offered a generous QAR4,000 to the first prize winner, 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 51 East QR150 voucher for each band member. Two bands that drew in third place were also invited to perform at Lagoona Mall – 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 the eight contending groups, to recognise the stand-out musician in that band, either for their technical skills or performing energy.

Full list of competing bands:

  • Jamaha (Sherborne Qatar)
  • Avalon (Doha British School)
  • Indecision (American Community School)
  • Outspoken (International School of London Qatar)
  • Steemgate (GEMS American Academy)
  • The Inhalers (International School of London Qatar)
  • Puffle (Doha College)
  • Shard (Sherborne Qatar)