Local boys ‘TAP’ in to win Buskfest title

The TAP lads are congratulated by BBC Radio Ulster's Ralph McLean before performing onstage on Saturday.
The TAP lads are congratulated by BBC Radio Ulster's Ralph McLean before performing onstage on Saturday.

Local band, TAP, were crowned winners of the ‘Best Performance’ award at Banbridge’s Buskfest at the weekend.

The TAP lads spent Saturday afternoon busking alongside almost 200 other bands and individuals in Banbridge town centre. The annual festival invites musicians from across the island - and Europe - to pitch up with their instruments for the day, and serenade the town while judges cast their votes to choose the top acts.

“It was pretty exciting,” shares Peter Close, one of the band’s five members.

“I had played Buskfest in 2014 with the band ¿Que-Pasa? so it was great to come back and play this year again.”

¿Que-Pasa? took home the Spirit of Buskfest award last year, and Peter has happily carried the same festival success to TAP’s 2015 session. Peter was joined on the streets of Banbridge by fellow bandmates, Tom Holland, Aaron Gardiner and Jordan Elliott - TAP’s keyboardist, Aaron Todd, was sadly absent due to work commitments.

“We all met while studying at the Southern Regional College in Armagh,” Peter explains. “Recently, we took part in the MusicSkills competition up in Belfast - with bands from across Northern Ireland - and won. As well as that, we played at the SRC formal, which was pretty big. There were a few small gigs in between that, but winning Buskfest was a great result!”

On the day, it was the band’s incredibly fresh take on jazz and funk that helped them scoop the title, and it was clear that the boys were enjoying every second of their performance. With electric guitars, drums and an array of other sounds on show, TAP oozed with originality and genuine swagger.

The boys - mostly aged 17 and 18 - picked up £250 in prize money and have plans aplenty for the future of their music:

“As a band, hopefully we’ll get doing a few original tunes soon. I’m not sure how we’ll spend the prize money - some of us will probably invest it in more instruments!”

With their melodious energy and natural talent for their trade, these TAP lads are just getting started.