Bolton School Senior Girls

Girl and Boys in Harmony at Battle of the Bands

A mixed three-piece band, Off Piste, was this year’s winner of Bolton School’s Senior Schools’ Battle of the Bands competition. With Christie O’Connell on vocals, this was the first time a female has won the competition (in what is a Boys’ Division-organised event); also in the band were fellow 15 year olds and Year 10 pupils, George Rudd and Tom McNicholas.

With this year’s judge being Tim Thomas from Blueprint recording studio in Manchester, the bands were certainly performing to the right audience. In what is always a close call, the judge said he chose Off Piste for their originality, stage presence and the fact that they felt like a unit and performed as such, as well as being entertaining. 

A spokesperson for the band said: “We were surprised and delighted to win the Battle of the Bands competition.  We have only been going a year but have played a number of gigs in Manchester, including The Academy, The Roadhouse and the Dry Bar.  We are currently recording some tracks which we put out through our Facebook and Twitter accounts.  We aim to take it as far as possible and to go on to do bigger venues.”

The runners-up were Exit Stage Right. Absolution, last year’s winners, and The Gingembres also took part. All the bands were invited to visit Blueprint Studios.

Money raised on the day will be split between donations to the Fabrice Muamba Defibrillator Fundraising Appeal and the ‘Action for Children’ charity which has a Bolton Branch and supports disadvantaged children. 

Recent judges of the competition have included Old Boys Sir Tony Wadsworth, former Chairman and CEO of EMI, and broadcaster Mark Radcliffe, as well as DJ Andy Peebles.

You can read the Bolton News story covering this event here.

Tim Thomas of Blueprint with Off Piste

Tim Thomas (on the left) of Blueprint Studios is pictured with the winning band; George Rudd, Tom McNicholas and Christie O’ Connell

Runner-up was Exit Stage Right

Runner-up was Exit Stage Right