Finally Nepal will be representing Global Battle of Bands (GBOB) challenge that is scheduled on 13th December in The Scala, London. Following a nationwide band competition five bands were elected to stand for the national challenge; and among five bands 'Equals' got victory to represent Nepal in the global competition.
GBOB is the world’s biggest live music championship that aims to search out and bring the best unmanufactured talent in the world to a wider audience. The challenge started in 2003 but it is the first participation of a band from Nepal. The GBOB Challenge has already gained a reputation for bringing new bands, previous winners have signed deals with Warner Brothers, Universal and EMI as well as production deals with leading producers including Jim Lowe (Stereophonics, Charlatans etc.) and Danny Saber (U2, David Bowie etc.) The winning band in the World Final will be awarded a band development package worth over $100,000 USD and a special gold "Best New Band in the World" statuette. Package includes 1 week in a top London recording studio with a producer and a 10 date United Kingdom tour. There are simply two rules for the bands, 'no cover versions' and 'no pre-recorded music'. The winner of the ‘GBOB/Jango Radio Award’ gets a cash prize and a further 5,000 plays on Jango.com, an internet radio website.
The approach for the competition was forwarded by Binit Shrestha, Director of House of Innovations, an event management company. He is also the festival country director of GBOB to Nepal. He says, 'I officially received the license for GBOB back in 2004 but due to the lack of good musicians, this could happen only this year.' He further adds, 'Even though the competition was made both for professional and aspiring musicians, no professional bands registered and this may be because they are unwilling to compete with upcoming bands and they have a huge ego. '
Qualifying challenge was organized on Oct 27 at Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory, Jhamsikhel from where five bands were qualified for the national finale. Five bands viz, Alt F4, Jindabad, Equals, Sutra and Kaal Bhairav performed their two originals each at Nepal Music School, Pingalasthan on Nov. 7. Judges panel included Iman Bikram Shah, Lochan Rizal, Journalist Subel Bhandari, Asesh Dangol (Nekhvam) and Kashish Das who finally awarded 'Equals' with a development package, a specially designed bronze "Best New Band" statuette with a declaration of an all-expenses-paid trip to the World Final.