Band of the Year Silverback’s first interview as champions

Derbyshire Times Band of the Year 2015 at Real Time Music, Chesterfield. Pictured are winners, Silverback. L-r is Matt Taylor, Oli Deakin and Dom Gee-Burch.

Derbyshire Times Band of the Year 2015 at Real Time Music, Chesterfield. Pictured are winners, Silverback. L-r is Matt Taylor, Oli Deakin and Dom Gee-Burch.

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Newly-crowned Band of the Year have vowed to carry on winning competitions until they’re old and grey.

Rock band Silverback lifted the silverware and a stack of prizes last night (Wednesday) after beating off 36 rivals for the title.

Frontman Dom Gee-Burch said: “We don’t have a massive following and it is really nice when people appreciate us.”

Their triumph at Real Time Live was the second victory in Chesterfield for bass player and singer Dom, guitarist Matt Taylor and drummer Oli Deakin.

“In 2006 we won the Young Band of the Year at the Winding Wheel as Some Kinda Mushroom,” said Dom.

“We still play the occasional gig as Some Kinda Mushroom but changed our name to Silverback when we started playing lots of weddings as we thought it sounded more professional and less like hippies.”

Oli said: “My first gig was at the Young Band of the Year - I only had a week to learn the songs.”

He added: “We will go on to win the OAP Band of the Year and change our name to Silverhair!”

Unlike award-winning rockers, Silverback ruled out partying all night due to work commitments today. Matt of South Wingfield is a supply teacher and Oli, who lives in Long Eaton, is a tooling engineer.

A champagne toast was also out of the question last night. Dom, an actor who lives in Derby, said: “I’m not drinking this month so I still have a couple of weeks to go.” Oli added: “I’m going to fill the Band of the Year cup with Jagermeister!”

House Of Thieves claimed the runners-up spot among the finalists which included Fly On Byrd, Fly On and Black Thorn.

Maria Harris of Tallbird Records was one of four judges. She said: “The standard was exceptionally high. The bands played their hearts out and it was really difficult to choose the winner.”

Fellow judge Damon Downs, a singer/songerwriter, said: “Everyone put in good efforts. The musicianship and stagecraft were the selling points of the night.”

Also on the panel was Ben Widdowson, vocalist with last year’s champions Somewhat Unprepared. He premiered his new band Paper Bullets who played a storming set, closing with the appropriately named Dreams.

The Band of the Year competition was launched by the Derbyshire Times in 1987 at the Aquarius nightclub, moved to the Winding Wheel then transferred to Real Time Live a couple of years ago. Niki Stephenson of Real Time is now its principal organiser and compere.

Dom, of Silverback, added: “Real Time Live is a great place for the competition. It is our favourite place to play.”

Photo by Lizzi Lathrop