It was a break from rehearsals, over ice cream and tea in Springfield on Monday night. Between tastes of rocky road and mint chocolate chip, the Chris Day Band talked about ill-fated gigs and chain-sawing guitars on stage.

The winners of the WMMR-FM Street Beat Award for best new unsigned artist might have been practicing at the drummer's house in Yeadon - after all, they are scheduled to play at J. C. Dobbs in Philadelphia on Saturday night. But instead they were loose, doing Three Stooges jokes and making plans for an ice hockey game.

The award has confirmed what hundreds of local music fans have been saying about the band since it formed just over a year ago.

Street Beat, the Sunday night show on WMMR (93.3) featuring an hour of local music, sponsors an annual competition in which music fans can vote for area favorites. The Chris Day Band took home its award even though host Cyndy Drue has no tapes of the group to play on the show.

What the band lacks in airplay, it has more than made up for in live performances.

Singer-guitarist Day may look familiar. He was a member of Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers for a few years before leaving the group in 1990.

"I think I should thank Tommy Conwell for pushing me out of the nest," he said Monday, as he did Jan. 21, when the band won the Street Beat Award.