GRAFTON/COFFS rock band Auribus have made it through to the Australian final of the world's biggest battle of the bands - Emergenza.
Auribus, which includes two Grafton members Anthony McLeod on guitar and Antony Ratzer on drums, evidently rocked the semi-final on Thursday night at the Factory Theatre in Marrickville and were placed second out of eight bands through crowd voting.
The final, to be held at the Metro Theatre in George St, Sydney on December 15, will see 12 bands competing for the top prize - an all expenses paid trip to Germany for the international Emergenza Festival in August 2013.
McLeod said yesterday the band was still "on a high" following a post-competition meeting with the Australian head of Emergenza, Massimo Scialo.
"He said we had a very original sound and our songwriting was excellent and that we had fun songs and our stage presence was really natural which was important going into the final," McLeod said.
"Then he said that we should really give Europe a shot because we have what it takes."
He said there were about 60 dedicated Auribus fans at Thursday night's show and, aside from them, the dancefloor was virtually empty at the start of the set.
"About two or three songs in the rest of the crowd came in and we had them all in dancing away - it was really good."
But the show was not without its hitches.
"It was about halfway through Stalemate, the second song on the six-song set list that Shek's keyboard stand gave way and the keyboard went crashing to the ground," McLeod said.
"She just had to stand back and do harmonies until they sorted it out about a song and a half later.
"We'll have a good stand for her next time."
Auribus won their place in the semi-final in March by winning their first heat against a largely Sydney-based field at The Metro.
The two Grafton musos, who moved to Sydney at the start of September to chase the dream, will be joined by their Coffs Harbour band members Shekinah Hope, vocalist on keyboards and Robbie Kae, vocalist on keytar, in a fortnight.
Despite the vote of confidence from Mr Scialo, McLeod said the band was not overconfident about the Aussie final.
"The bands on Thursday were definitely a grade above last time," he said.
In Auribus's favour, the final has two stages - the top six bands are decided upon by crowd voting and the overall winner is chosen from that six by a panel of judges.
"We are hoping to have some talent scouts in the crowd to help us whatever happens," McLeod said.
The band released the Eyes of Youth EP in October last year and have written plenty of material since then.