A LURGAN band have fought off competition from over 30 bands throughout Northern Ireland to become the first ever Band Wars champions.

Devastate, Duane Watson (24), Darren Robertson (26), Mark McAleese (26) and Gary Gray (26), made it to the final alongside Audio Illusion and Conjuring Fate last Sunday and scooped £2,000 worth of industry services including recording time and a publicity contract at Ma Nelson’s the city’s newest rock bar.
The competition, organised and run by Ma Nelsons’s owner Tina Calder, watched the young band grow from strength to strength following the advice of industry experts such as Stevie Shanks (Flash Harry drummer), Aidy Dunlop (Defects, Ricky Warwick and Nasa Assassin bassist), Ian Murdock (Doghouse and Defects frontman), Ian Wilson (Sweet Savage) and Eddie Currie (Worldsend) among others.
Gary revealed the rock band never expected to win the competition as they had originally entered for live performing experience.

He added: “The first round of band wars was our first gig and we just wanted to play in front of an audience and get ourselves out there – never dreaming that we would get through.
“Every week we looked forward to coming down and giving it our all and putting on our best show.

“The experience has made us gel and grow as a band and has given us confidence to perform better and put on a good performance.

“Never in a million years did we think we could win band wars – words couldn’t describe how it felt – some of the guys got a bit teary. It was the best feeling ever.”
See Devastate play Ma Nelsons on Saturday December 4 and locally at Fa’ Joe’s in Lurgan on Thursday December 16. For more information log onto
Below: Devastate after winning the Band The Band Wars at Ma Nelsons In Belfast with host Adele Nolan.