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El Ray @ Surfer Joe 2014
El Ray @ Surfer Joe 2014

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Battle of the Bands - Santa Barbara

The Battle of the Bands always seemed like a cool tradition back in the heyday of surf with a bunch of reverb heads grinding it out to see who was king of the spring.  I haven't seen many battles these days and those that I have rarely included an instrumental band.  Kelp attempted to remedy that situation by entering the Santa Barbara Independent's 2013 Battle of the Bands.  Amazingly we made the first cut from ~50 bands to semifinal list of 12.  After an online voting poll and some judging by local music industry types, a final 6 were chosen to play live in the final contest.  We were plenty surprised (and stoked) to make the finals with a group of more commercial indie and rock acts.  Each audience member got 1 vote and a panel of "industry" judges got 25 votes each.  Each band had just 20 minutes - we had to narrow things down to 5 songs, a bit of trad, a bit of fuzz, some happy melody, some driving reverby darkness.  When it was all said and done, we ended up second in the closest contest they've had in the 5 years of the contest - 75-78.  I admit we were a bit let down at not getting the winner-take-all prizes, which included some a spendy guitar and bass that we could have easily sold - the real prize was 12 free hours at arguably the best studio in SB.  Ah well, the new album will have to wait a bit longer.  In the end, we realized that, while we may not have come out on top, we had a blast and gained a bevy of new fans; nothing to be bummed about!


This story has 4 comments.


Missed it by that much.
Congrats on getting as far as you did.

bigtikidude | 20-Oct-2013 08:37:09 | Flag

Congratulations! You really ought to be very proud. I think it's great that you took surf to the masses and did so well. That's a real achievement.

Noel | 20-Oct-2013 19:26:15 | Flag


Noel | 20-Oct-2013 19:26:50 | Flag

That's a really good story! Well done! I wouldn't worry about the trinkets, getting surf music on the winners podium would be reward enough.

da-ron | 23-Oct-2013 06:59:01 | Flag

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