Two groups with former Waiheke Islanders are going places in the annual Battle of the Bands.
Ratsmagic which features Kriston Bastistich is through to the Auckland regional final on August 4. Kriston is the lead singer and guitarist for the four piece band which includes girlfriend Meghan Glue who plays violin and mandolin.
The pair met when Kriston was busking in Wellington where he managed to pick up some paid music work.
The band includes Olly Robinson and Michael Murray, who joined after Kriston advertised for a bass player and drummer.
Kriston says since leaving King's School last year he has been focusing on gigging and gaining a fan base. He is hoping to "someday do a tour supporting a band around New Zealand."
Another goal for the band is to put out an EP.
Kriston was on Waiheke on Friday night performing in the cabaret show at Casita Miro singing Mac the Knife under the name Bartful Korcula.
Also using interesting stage names is the other band in the Battle of the Bands. Elmo Strauss and Louie Bo Charles make up Vessel along with a new drummer known as Fons. Elmo and Louis have been playing together for almost five years and say they were thrilled to take part in the first round of the competition because it was at the King's Arms.
"It was awesome. I've gone to see a lot of gigs there over the years," Elmo says.
He says the band plays all-original "very energetic grungy rock".
"Despite being a three piece band we have lots of presence on stage. We really try and be as good as we can live."
Vessel is in the second of the region's semifinals of the R18 competition at the King's Arms tonight. They also play the Juice Bar in Parnell on August 10.
Battle of the Bands is New Zealand's largest R18 contest. The winner receives recording time at York St Studios, music equipment and gig bookings.
- Waiheke Marketplace
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