Local pop group Lavengro have just landed a coveted slot at this year’s sold out Electric Picnic festival.
Over recent weeks, the Derry five-piece have been making numerous trips to Dublin to fight it out with other up-and-coming groups at a Battle of the Bands with a difference at the iconic Whelans pub.
This week the local lads beat stiff competition to win the overall event and land themselves a gig at this year’s Electric Picnic. Lead singer Gareth Barrow told us how strong the competition was. “The competition was so tough. It's run by a group of promoters called the King Kong Club in Dublin and they hold a battle of the Bands heat every Tuesday night in Whelans with the winners of the heat progressing to the final where the finalists battle it out for prizes, such as festival slots at big music festivals.
“It's really a really fun and different type of battle of the Bands though. There is a clapometer there which measures the claps and cheers from the crowd. The band with who keeps the top bulb of the clapometer lit for the longest time, wins. We got there in the heat, and again at the final, beating six other finalists to get a slot at the Oxjam Tent at Electric Picnic!“
Bass player Emmet McDaid told us about how great the support for the band was on the night. “We had amazing support, and we can't thank them enough as they literally screamed from the top of their voices to help win us that prize. We hired a mini bus to take us down and back again the same night.
“Having the support of our friends and family was key in clapping us to victory, however we also gained a few fans in the crowd last night and they helped cheer for us too. Whoever you guys are, Thank You!”
Lavengro - All I Need (Official Video)
On the night the guys performed their own material which proved a real hit with the Whelan’s crowd. “We performed two of our own songs, I Wanna Want you and Where Are You Now.” said Drummer James Healy. “We will be releasing I Wanna Want You as a single very soon and it definitely got the crowd going last night, there were a lot of bopping heads. We ended the set with a cover of Jump by Van Halen.”
“And feedback from the crowd was great too” guitarist Dave Healy added. “It was nice to hear some praise from new people that never heard of us before, the music scene in Dublin is so huge. The King Kong Club promoters were very welcoming to us, especially since we travelled the whole way from Derry.
“The other acts also were brilliant and we got a good few well dones from them at the end, especially from the cool guys from Davina & The Messengers. They were awesome and a band to definitely keep your eye on.”
On the night it was down to how loud the crowd cheered and how long the bulb shown and in the end, Lavengro made it louder and brighter than everyone else. “We felt ecstatic. It was the greatest feeling we have felt as a band so far by a country mile” keys player Jack Kyle said when asked about how they felt when the result was read out. “Our voices were so raw and our feet were in agony with the cheering and stomping we did to light that top bulb. Just shows you how loud us Derry people can be!”
Dave added “It feels like this is the beginning of very promising times ahead in our lives. It feels like we have more confidence in ourselves to keep this party alive. It feels amazing.”
So, if you are planning to make your way south to the sold out Electric Picnic festival, make sure to drop by the Oxjam Tent and lend your support to the local group who have been gathering great momentum. Not bad for a group who only formed one year ago… not bad at all.