Bands battle it out before celebrity judges in Harpenden

Judges Ed MacFarlane, Edd Gibson, Chantal Abel, Harry Judd and Danny Jones at Harpenden Battle of th

Judges Ed MacFarlane, Edd Gibson, Chantal Abel, Harry Judd and Danny Jones at Harpenden Battle of the Bands Picture: Cara Burton - Credit: Archant

A showstopping line-up of bands from various senior schools went head-to-head before a panel of celebrity judges at Harpenden’s first Battle of the Bands competition.

McBusted star Harry Judd was joined by bandmate Danny Jones and his celebrity presenter fiancée Georgia Horsley, Escala viola player Chantal Abel, and Friendly Fires members Ed MacFarlane and Edd Gibson for the fundraising event at Harpenden Public Halls.

The event was organised by Harpenden Lions Club in partnership with Izzy and Harry Judd to support the Eyes Alight Appeal, which was set up to support the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust.

An estimated £3,500 was raised for the charity, and will go towards new facilities at Kent House in Aylesbury, a specialist residential centre providing continuing rehabilitation and specialist care and support for people with acquired brain injury.

The youngest band, The Whales, from St George’s School, whose members are aged 12 and 13, won the prize for Best Cover Performance of The Boys are Back In Town and Holiday. They win tickets to see McBusted on their forthcoming UK tour.

Godfrey, with band members from both Roundwood Park School and Sir John Lawes School, won the award for Best Original Composition and Performance and the overall accolade of Band of Bands 2014.

They win airplay on BBC 3 Counties Radio, plus a day at the Elstree UTC professional recording studio and will be featured on BandApp.

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The other bands taking part were ATLAS and Threshold, both from Roundwood Park School, the Blue Tongued Skinks from Beaumont School in St Albans, and Red Horizon from St George’s.

Host Georgia invited band members to the front of the stage following their performances to receive feedback from the judges.

Izzy said afterwards: “We were absolutely blown away by the talent and generosity on Saturday evening. The event exceeded all our expectations and we would love to thank all the bands, the audience and everyone involved in making Harpenden Battle of the Bands such a huge success!

“A big thank you to all those who donated and supported Eyes Alight, the money raised will make a huge difference to so many lives.”

Andrew Gooden, president of Harpenden Lions Club, added: “We were absolutely delighted to work with Izzy and Harry Judd to raise nearly £3,500 for the Eyes Alight charity – a very worthy cause. Battle of the Bands was a terrific evening which gave all the bands a great opportunity to perform in front of a large audience as well as get feedback from the excellent judges. The buzz in the hall was fantastic. We are very much hoping to repeat the Battle next year.”

The Eyes Alight appeal was set up by Izzy and her family after her brother Rupert Johnston suffered serious brain injury in a near fatal car accident. Rupert, who is a resident at Kent House, attended Battle of the Bands with his carer. He celebrated his birthday on Saturday and was treated to a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday” from the audience before drawing the winning raffle prize numbers.