What started as a family band created in 2005 is now a unique group of talented musicians with a distinct sound.
Since the recording of "Go Back", the band's early first single, Kobalt's sound has come a long way. With two EP's being released, not to mention their ever expanding catalogue of original material, the sound continues to shape itself.
Since their start, the band has gone through a few line up changes but remains consistent with Devon Gillingham on guitar and vocals, Dallas Gillingham on bass and vocals, Mike Fox on guitar, Andrew Littleford on trumpet, and Andrew Chudley on drums.
During the past few years, Kobalt has performed at such venues as: Scotiabank Stage, The Burton Cummings Theatre, The Pyramid Cabaret, The Franco Manitoban Cultural Centre, The Gas Station Theatre, The Park Theatre and Old Market Square Stage (as part of the annual Winnipeg Fringe Festival).
In 2008 and 2009, the band was the winner of the Manitoba Garage Band Rawks Competition, and as a result, played on Scotiabank Stage as part of Canada Day at the Forks.
In 2011, Kobalt was the winner of the City Of Selkirk's Battle of the Bands, giving them the opportunity to perform on Selkirk's beautiful waterfront stage on Canada Day. Later that summer, they recorded their debut EP "This Time", which they were then lucky enough to release to a full house at the Franco Manitoban Cultural Centre in the fall.
This past summer, the band once again performed at the cube in Old Market Square as part of the annual Winnipeg Fringe Festival.
Most recently, the band released their sophomore EP "Waiting" to a sold out crowd at the Park Theatre. The EP is currently available for download on CD Baby, iTunes and a few other music-sharing sites.
Devon Gillingham - Vocals, Guitar
Dallas Gillingham - Vocals, Bass
Mike Fox - Guitar
Andrew Littleford - Trumpet
Andrew Chudley - Drums
"Waiting"-EP (January 12, 2013, Independent)
Waiting was independently released on January 12, 2013 through a show at the Park Theatre in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Recorded in one ten hour day on September 16th, 2012 in Brandon, MB, the EP is currently streaming here on Sonicbids, and is available for digital download on CD Baby, iTunes and many other music sharing sites.
"This Time"-EP (August, 2012, Independent)
This Time was independently released in October of 2011. This release marks the first recordings of the bands jazz/rock fusion style.
All three songs featured on This Time have been featured on various internet radio streams, including indiecastle.net.
The EP is currently available for download on itunes.
"On Our Own"-EP, was independently released in 2008.
This featured the bands original pop/punk sound that has since been drastically changed. However, at the time of their release, the songs were featured on local rock station Power 97, as well as CBC radio, and one of the songs was also featured in an independent racing film.
Battle of the Bands
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The City of Selkirk is hosting its fourth annual Battle of the Bands June 14 at the waterfront in wh...The City of Selkirk is hosting its fourth annual Battle of the Bands June 14 at the waterfront in what promises to be an entertaining evening for all.
Event organizer Caroline Szukiewicz says they have already lined up six bands to compete for the coveted $1,000 first prize, but are hoping more come to register for a total of eight bands.
Judges will score the bands on a scale from one to 10 based on a strict criteria.
“Bands are going to be judged on their musicality, originality, stage presence, crowd response, and on their overall impression,” Szukiewicz said.
She also said they have decided to mix the event up a little this year, by adding a reality show component.
“The judging system is going to be (American) idol-style,” Szukiewicz said. “We’re hoping to have three judges that represent Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Simon Cowell.”
Szukiewicz explained the critique of the judges after a band’s performance will reflect the personalities of the idol judges. Amanda Dryback and Dennis Hammersteadt have signed on as judges, but a Randy Jackson-esque judge is yet to be confirmed.
Bands will be required to have a repertoire of four songs – two original and two cover.
The three with the highest scores from the judges’ point system will move on to the final round where they will battle it out for either the four-figure first prize, or walk away with either a second ($500) or third place ($250) respectively.
Szukiewicz said the evening offers something for everyone, and is an ideal outing for families as bands are required to eliminate profanity from their lyrics and keep it a PG show.
“We’re encouraging families to come out,” she said. “We’re going to have ice cream and hot dog vendors for snacks. We’re trying to keep it as family-oriented as possible.”
Battle of the Bands is not only an opportunity for local talent to strut their stuff, but the contest has also peaked interest of acts outside the community. Kobalt is one of the many bands that drive down from Winnipeg and have participated in the event every year.
Kobalt is also a wonderful addition to the “family-friendly” setup the City of Selkirk is trying to achieve. The group is comprised of 12-year-old Devon Gillingham on guitar, his 10-year-old sister Dallas on bass and dad Simon on drums. Their lyrics are comprised of positive messages, according to Simon.
“They (Kobalt) are a good band for families,” Simon said. “They sing about positive things that important, and topics that everyone can relate to.”
Devon is the creative genius behind the majority of Kobalt’s positive music, as he has written (with occasional help from his sister) eight original songs the bands preform.
The Gillingham kids credit mom and dad as their inspiration to start learning at a young age, and began taking piano and guitar lessons from mom at home, later progressing to a professional music teacher.
Although Kobalt has never taken home a prize from Selkirk’s Battle of the Bands, they are no strangers to being contest winners. They recently took top prize at the Department of Education Manitoba Garage Band Rawks Contest, beating out over 200 bands for the opportunity to play live at the Scotia Bank Stage at the Forks on Canada Day, a pretty amazing feat for such a young duo. Their recent success makes Devon hopeful they might wow the crowd enough in Selkirk to be crowned the winners.
“We’re hoping to make it to the finals. Maybe third time’s a charm,” Devon laughed.
Devon admits that his sister and he are often intimidated by the older 18-25 crowd they compete against in Selkirk, but those feelings are quickly squashed by the good vibes they receive from the audience.
“We’re so young that most people think they wouldn’t like us, but once we start playing we usually get the best reaction out of anyone,” Devon said. “We love preforming. It feels good to hear people cheering us on, it’s a big rush.”
The concert starts at 6 p.m. at the waterfront. Other bands interested in participating can phone Szukiewicz at 785-4992. Registration is $30.
Rock against Racism really Rocked!
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The Maples Collegiate Unity Group created the energetic event Rock against Racism and in its second ...The Maples Collegiate Unity Group created the energetic event Rock against Racism and in its second year, it didn't fail to please. The show offered a variety of speeches and performances.
Fresh IE was the opeing act, and he had the crowd energized and on its feet, moving to the infectious rhythms of his positive and inspirational lyrics.
But the real surprise was KOBALT. The ages of the band members ranged from nine to 40. However, you'd never be able to tell because of the maturity of the two youngest members!
We are currently able to fill almost two hours (at once or split into different sets) with a mix of originals, as well as covers.
The ratio between originals and covers is somewhere around 70/30.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.