POPULAR city ska outfit Bombskare have been crowned Britain’s best part-time band.
The nine-piece self-proclaimed “sorcerers of skank” went head to head with five groups from across the country in a battle to win the accolade.
Competition host Rhod Gilbert joined three judges for the grand final – Ultravox frontman Midge Ure, former New Order and Joy Division bassist Peter Hook, and Soul II Soul producer Jazzie B.
The three music legends had previously been sent on a mission to find the UK’s best part-time band for BBC Four.
Midge Ure took on Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Peter Hook championed the north of England, while Jazzie B backed the country’s southern regions.
At the end of each road trip, five acts were selected for a regional battle of the bands, competing for one of the six places in the grand final shown on BBC Two over the weekend.
Bombskare frontman and guitarist Scott McCafferty, who drives a butcher’s van when not gigging, said: “The whole experience has just been wonderful, being amongst such great bands.
“The quality of the performances was just phenomenal and just to be part of all that was a massive privilege.
“We celebrated on the night by drinking our mini bar dry in the Manchester Hilton. Fortunately I had taken a couple of days of work. We are still totally shell-shocked at the result.”
The competition received more than 1200 applications from bands playing genres including rock, reggae, ska, skiffle, bhangra and blues. Competitors were motivated by a passion for music and a desire to escape the daily routine.
The show was part of the BBC’s Get Playing campaign, which is aimed at encouraging as many individuals as possible to make music together.
On Friday, Bombskare will be performing in Studio 24 on Calton Road alongside Cardiff-based band Johnny Cage & The Voodoogroove, who were also in the final.
Scott added: “We struck up a good friendship with these guys and we are trying to get as many of these good bands up to Edinburgh as we can.”
Midge Ure, who was responsible for putting Bombskare through to the final, said: “Although all the bands who made appearances on UK’s Best Part-Time Band are to be applauded for their drive, tenacity and music, the winners Bombskare were outstanding.”
He added: “When trying to define what makes a great band – songs, presence, musicianship – the general consensus was to base the decision on the impact they made emotionally and Scottish ska band Bombskare consistently gave 110 per cent Very proud of them and all the other bands out there who do this for the sheer love of it.”