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SMOKEFREEROCKQUEST 2014 - Nelson final results

SMOKEFREEROCKQUEST 2014 - Nelson final results

A new lineup worked in OH BLOK’s favour as they were crowned this year’s Nelson winners of Smokefreerockquest. More than five hundred punters packed the Theatre Royal on Friday night to see the showcase of young local talent, adding to Nelson’s strong record of sold-out regional finals.

The band, hailing from Garin College and Nelson College, battled it out against ten other bands to come out on top with the coveted first prize. It was the second consecutive win for OH BLOK, who sported a new rhythm section this year. Synth player, Paddy Sanders said the atmosphere in the room was incredible.

“We absolutely loved the crowd, they were going crazy,” he says. “We’re so stoked with the result and the support. I think we’ve refined our sound a lot more this year and have a better idea of what to expect from here.”

The other members of OH BLOK are Sam Butler (bass guitar), Robbie Day (drums), Louie Persico (electric guitar) and Kieran O’Connor (vocals).

Second place in the band category went to Nelson College and Waimea College band Fire Without Permit. They are Bownye Blanchet (drums), Jacob King (rhythm guitar and vocals), Jordon Harvey (lead guitar), and Lewis Miccio (lead vocals).

Gabriella Atkinson from Garin College placed first in the solo/duo section, with Zi Shaw from Nelson College for Girls placed second and taking the People’s Choice Award, voted by text on the night.

Gabriella says she grew up with music all around her and has always wanted to be a musician.

“My dad Kevin was a full time musician on the road for 25 years and he's been a huge influence on me - I look up to him so much,” she says. “When I'm writing songs, I try to write lyrics I can relate to, so I can connect with the song and believe what I'm singing so It can relate to other people as well.”

The top two bands and soloists win musical gear from associate sponsors NZ Rockshops, and the opportunity to gain selection for the national final at Auckland’s Q Theatre on Saturday 27 September.

Founder and director Glenn Common said from here on the Nelson finalists would have to work hard to make the most of the opportunity Smokefreerockquest offered.

“They now send in video footage of their original music that will be judged in August as we lead up to the national final,” he said. “It’s a process that demands creativity and musical ability, as well as learning to work together as a group and developing the organisational skills they’ll need if they're going to make it on the Kiwi music scene.”

The full list of awards made on Friday night was:

Band 1st Place: OH BLOK from Garin College and Nelson College

Band 2nd Place: Fire Without Permit from Nelson College and Waimea College

Solo/Duo 1st Place: Gabriella Atkinson from Garin College

Solo/Duo 2nd Place: Zi Shaw from Nelson College for Girls

Third placed band, winning musical gear from associate sponsor NZ Rockshops and their suppliers: Celestia, from Garin College

APRA Lyric Award: Liam Poole, Nayland College

Lowdown Best Song: Toxic Vain from Waimea College

The Mainz Musicianship Award with the opportunity to be selected for the $4500 Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand Scholarship, announced at the national final: Lachlan Burne, Rictorscale, Motueka High School

Smokefree Award For Women’s Musicianship: Abbey Hahn, Celestia, Garin College

People’s Choice voted by text: Zi Shaw from Nelson College for Girls

Smokefreerockquest, powered by Rockshop, has national winners’ prize packages for bands and the solo/duos that include musical gear to a total value of $13,000 from NZ Rockshops and their suppliers, inclusion on the NZ On Air Kiwi Hit Disc, radio promotional support, and video play on youth music channel FOUR. There is also the MAINZ (Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand) Scholarship for outstanding musicianship, the APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Lyric Award, the Lowdown Best Song Award, the Smokefree Women’s Musicianship Award and the nation-wide People’s Choice voted by text, with the opportunity to open the SFRQ national final.

Finalist judging process: Two bands from each of the 24 regional finals send in their video footage for selection as one of the six bands to play off in the national final. Judging is done from a pool of 50-60 bands that also includes Rockshop Second Chance, an opening for established bands (playing regular gigs) who don’t feel they played their best on the night. The top two solo/duos from each region go through the same process, and three of them will go ahead to the national final.

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