This time 48 hours ago, we reckoned the first-ever Stepping Stones: Battle of The Bands live final was going to be a pretty darn good affair.
There were six acts, and they all seemed to dancing to the groove of their own peculiar drummer.
From five-piece indie wonders Feuds and Next To The Attic to cinematic solo artist Niall Woods, dynamic duo Lauren McBride & Sam Cox and Southern Comfort rockers The Chequered Sleeves, the sonic range was promising. The competition had been running for eight weeks, and if the number of musicians entering wasn’t exactly huge, the quality was undeniably high.
Late on Friday though, we got an email. Could 14-year-old guitar-loop-loving Emily Beattie join the party? Hey, of course.
And then another email. This time, an all-female, close-harmony-toting, peace-loving five-piece called Taken. Oh, and can 11-year-old one-man band James Fennell come along too?
Saturday, the final day before the door closes on competition entries, and 14-year-old Adam Leddy is keen to bring his own particular brand of heartache to the table.
In the end, it was pretty much the perfect mix on this magical Sunday evening at The Hot Spot. From Feuds’ chiming, chugging, rhyming guitars to The Chequered Sleeves pounding, pulsating, power rock, Greystones’ inaugural Stepping Stones hit all the right notes.
The only problem now is picking a winner. Luckily, the judges have all week to think about who gets their prize. The public vote will be open until Friday.
As always, big, big love to both the Greystones Municipal District Council and to Greystones 2020 for securing the €1,500 worth of prizes for this groovy competition. Unsurprisingly, there are plans already afoot to make this an annual event. Hurrah!
You can check out the artists and their Stepping Stones entries here – where you can also vote for your favourite in the comments section below – but, in the meantime, we caught up with each of today’s acts to see where all this incredible talent is coming from, and where it hopes to go next…