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Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Finale nears for Harp’s Battle of the Bands
Andre Groleau and Sean Oakes make up the band The Black Sheep. They played acoustic renditions of countless fan favourites during Battle of the Bands at The Irish Harp Pub on Monday. Julia Sacco
Josh Coulter and Mike Harshaw are Spared No Expense. They rocked the Irish Harp Pub with their skillful guitar and drum skills during Battle of the Bands on Monday. Julia Sacco

The end is near for Battle of the Bands at the Irish Harp Pub and the last battle before the finale featured rocking performances from the Black Sheep and Spared No Expense.

New Rising Sun qualified for the final with a win last week. Their unique renditions of familiar favourites – and their bongos – stole the show. 

This week’s performances started with Spared No Expense, the duo of Josh Coulter and Mike Harshaw, who spared no expense when it came to musical skill.

“It’s hard to put your finger on what we play. We’re used to playing by request and playing to the room, so this is a new room,” said Coulter.

“We’ve picked some Irish tunes. We don’t get to play them too often, so that’s kinda cool.”

Covering hits ranging from “Jane” by the Barenaked Ladies to “The Night That Paddy Murphy Died” by Great Big Sea, the Grimsby two-piece kept the audience at high energy for their entire set with impressive guitar solos and crazy drumming skills. 

The Black Sheep, a duo hailing from St. Catharines, featuring of Andre Groleau and Sean Oakes, followed up with an all acoustic set. They offered up nostalgic favourites including a medley of “Ring of Fire” and “Take Me Home, Country Roads” that wowed the audience.

“Our music is all over the map, top 40 from the ’60s up to last year. We have a blast,” said Groleau.

“We love the beverages, the atmosphere, all of it.”

Livestreams of performances are still up on the Irish Harp’s Facebook page and winners will be determined by a panel of judges, audience members, as well as online voting which will close at midnight Thursday. 

The finale will take place Feb. 6 at 7, where the winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize and a music contract with the pub with gigs beginning in March.  

To cast a vote for the final two acts, leave a comment on one of the videos posted to the Irish Harp’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/theirishharppub.

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