Dubtonic Kru, a local dub band, beat nine other groups to win the local leg of the Global Battle of the Bands (GBoB) on Saturday at Red Bones, the Blues Café in Kingston.

It means that the band will travel to Malaysia in February and compete in the global finals with a chance to win US$100,000.

 "It was joyful sound and it was music that you didn't have to be Jamaican to love," local franchise holder Seretse Small told the Sunday Observer.

The judges were looking for the band with the greatest potential for international success. Small said that one judge told him "you could tell that Dubtonic had played together for a long time unlike some of the other bands".

The judges included Ibo Cooper an Edna Manley College lecturer and former member of Third World, Ray Hitchins former head of the guitar department at the Edna College, Jon Baker head of Geejam Records and Mickey Bennett head of Grafton Studios and famed songwriter.

Dubtonic has toured the world with artistes including U-Roy, Richie Spice and Voicemail but are not only a backing band. Last month the band led its own extensive US tour which drummer Jubba described as successful. Other members include bassist Stone, guitarist Jallanzo, keyboardist Luke and vocalist kamau. The signature sound is heavy drum and bass above psychedelic guitars and keyboard dub-echoing into separate dimensions.

The final result ranked Dubtonic tops followed by Mojorock in second, third place went to Irie Connection; Stone Dub was fourth; the fifth spot was taken by Macka4 and sixth Blugrass in the Sky.

Overall Small was pleased with both the quality and quantity of performers.

"Everyone here was quite affected by the quality and quantity of the musicians," he stated describing as rich the community created by the musicians at the event.

It was the second staging of the event since 2005. It was delayed each year due to lack of funding. This year the event organiser in Malaysia offered to cover travel and accommodation expenses, Seretse explained. In 2008 Griot budgeted for a $15 million televised Battle of the Bands talent search but achieved two-thirds of the target and had to cancel plans.

The band Live Wyya won the first staging five years ago but didn't win the ultimate contest overseas. Notwithstanding they networked and played in countries including Japan. In fact, Live Wyya announced the release of their latest album Spread The Love, last month indicating continued growth. However, it was the band Rootz Underground (which placed third in 2005) that ultimately received the most exposure from the event in Jamaica and continue to tour extensively.

The Global Battle of the Bands is self described "world's biggest live talent competition for bands" started in 2004 with 16 countries participating which expanded to over 30 in 2010.


Source: The Jamaica Observer (Dated: Sunday, December 12, 2010)