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Smokefreerockquest 2017 – Wairarapa finals results

Smokefreerockquest 2017 – Wairarapa finals results Saturday 24 June

Alternative band ‘red wall’ from Wairarapa College took out the regional final of Smokefreerockquest in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the Carterton Events Centre on Saturday night.

Vocalist Julian Eldred of the Year 11 band said their win was down to being on the same vibe as one another.

“We had really tight harmonies and our dynamics were awesome,” he said. “It was really awesome being on stage tonight. We were all nervous, but once we started playing, it felt amazing. I really couldn’t believe we had won.”

The other members of ‘red wall’ are Isaac Davies (rhythm guitar) and Caitlyn O’Neale (lead guitar, backing vocals).

Offshore from Kuranui College place second; the band members are Jospeh Te Naihi (guitar), Maya Templer (guitar), William Taber (bass), Tanya Narayan (vocals), and Keziah Stonnell (vocals).

The winner of the solo duo section was indie ballad songstress Lauren Carr from Dannevirke High School. The Year 13 student says lots of rehearsing helped her to first place.

“These are the best songs I have ever written,” she said. “I love the feeling of performing so much and it was bittersweet knowing it’s my fourth and final Smokefreerockquest. The whole room went silent and it was a feeling you can’t beat.”

Second place in the solo-duo section went to Jordan Thurston from Rathkeale College.

These two bands and two solo duos win musical gear from associate sponsor NZ Rockshops and their suppliers, and now submit a15 minute video of their best material for selection as national finalists.

Founder and director Pete Rainey said from here on the Wairarapa finalists would have to be well organised and work hard to make the most of the opportunity Smokefreerockquest offered.

“They have to submit video footage of their original music that will be judged in August as we lead up to the national final,” he said. “This process not only demands musical ability and creativity, they also learn to work together as a group and to develop the organisation and promotional skills they’ll need if they're going to make it on the Kiwi music scene.”

The full list of awards made on Saturday was:

Band 1st: red wall from Wairarapa College

Band 2nd: Offshore from Kuranui College

Band 3rd: Absolutely Knott from Kuranui College

Solo/Duo 1st: Lauren Carr from Dannevirke High School

Solo/Duo 2nd: Jordan Thurston from Rathkeale College

APRA Lyric Award: The Joneses from Rathkeale College

Lowdown Best Song: Lauren Carr from Dannevirke High School for “Stormy Outside”

The Mainz Musicianship Award: Caitlyn O’Neale from red wall from Wairarapa College

Smokefree Vocals Award: Lauren Carr from Dannevirke High School

People’s Choice voted by text: FaultLine from Wairarapa College

The regional events for both Smokefreerockquest and Smokefree Pacifica Beats run from May 12 until July 7, with the top regional bands and solo/duos submitting video footage for selection to play off at the Smokefree Pacifica Beats national final on Friday September 1 at the Dorothy Winstone Centre in Auckland, followed by the Smokefreerockquest national final on Saturday September 2.

Smokefreerockquest, powered by Rockshop, has national winners’ prize packages for bands and solo/duo winners that includes $22,000 in Rockshop vouchers, a $16,000 NZ On Air recording, video and promo package’ a ‘Decent Exposure’ campaign on The Edge TV, a photo shoot and branding package from Imaginary Friends. 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, Smokefree Vocals Award, and the People’s Choice voted by text with the opportunity to open the Smokefreerockquest national final.

Musical successes from Smokefreerockquest over its 28-year history include Broods, Leroy Clampitt, Kimbra, Aaradhna, Opshop, Evermore, Ladyhawke, Kids of 88, Die!Die!Die!, Joel Little, Tiny Ruins, Marlon Williams, Brooke Fraser, Anika Moa, Kora, Thomston, Midnight Youth, Steriogram, Phoenix Foundation, Devilskin, The Black Seeds, Bic Runga, and The Naked and Famous; Smokefree Pacifica Beats standout successes include Nesian Mystik, the only New Zealand band to ever have ten singles all certified gold or platinum.


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