Battle of the Cover Bands for the Darke Hall Five

By Dale Johnson Posted: February 1, 2017 6:00 a.m.

Darke Hall Five (l-r) Dave Malloy, david Gregory, David Gerhard and Dave McLennan are rehearsing for the upcoming Battle of the Cover Bands.
Darke Hall Five (l-r) Dave Malloy, david Gregory, David Gerhard and Dave McLennan are rehearsing for the upcoming Battle of the Cover Bands. Photo: U of R Photography.

The Darke Hall Five has made it to the Final Four of JACK-FM’s Battle of the Cover Bands. The Darke Hall Five will be performing on championship night on Thursday, February 2, 2017, at Durty Nelly’s on Dewdney Ave. against three other bands: Private Drive, Diamond & the Rough, and the Lincoln Loggers.

“We feel so fortunate to make it to the final. There are some great bands in the city and it’s pretty cool to be in there with the other finalists. We also think that maybe we represent the University in a rather unconventional way and hope we can get as many people out to show their support and to have fun with us,” says David Malloy, the vice-president of research at the U of R – and bass guitarist in the Darke Hall Five.

Rounding out the four-person group are david Gregory, dean of nursing (lead vocalist); David Gerhard, computer science professor (drummer); and David McLennan, editor at U of R Press (lead guitarist).

“The caliber of the bands in the finals is remarkable. The judges are going to have a challenge discerning the winners. And so, to make it to the finals confirms that Darke Hall Five is indeed a contender to claim the status of Regina's best cover band!” says Gregory.

All four members of the Darke Hall Five had musical experience; through a chance meeting, they decided to jam – and now they perform several times a year for charitable causes.

Malloy says they decided to enter the contest when they heard about it on the radio. “We thought we'd give it a try and see how we compared to other bands in the city.”

And david Gregory confesses, “to be honest, entering the contest was a bit of a lark. We didn't think we'd be one of the finalists.”

When the Darke Hall Five beat out two other bands on January 12, the judges praised their song selection and energy. As well, they awarded lead singer david Gregory a perfect score for his outstanding vocal performance. That was the first time a singer in the contest received full marks.

That victory moved them into the final on Feb 2.

Malloy says they’ve been rehearsing for the big night.

“We've been working hard on our set list, our harmonies, and playing tempo. As well, maybe we're paying a bit more attention to how we interact with the audience than we usually do when we play other gigs. We might be taking this more seriously because it’s a competition.”

On championship night, the Darke Hall Five performs first, at 7:30 p.m. – and support from the U of R community is essential.   

“Getting fans out on Feb 2nd is critical. When we see people enjoying what we do by dancing or singing along it makes us play better and play more confidently. It also helps us with the judges and how they perceive us,” says Malloy.
“If we happen to win, we'd donate the $1,000 to a charity. It also might help us publicize that we are available to help with good causes. The fact that we can help people by doing what we do really takes the edge off hauling our gear, especially on cold winter nights. Kind of warms us up, actually,” says McLennan.