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Smokefreerockquest 2017 – West Coast Finals Results

Smokefreerockquest 2017 – West Coast finals results

7 July 2017 - Friday night proved a huge one for The King Snakes from Buller High School - at the West Coast final of Smokefreerockquest in Westport’s NBS Centre they took out first place, the People’s Choice Award voted by text, and the MAINZ Musicianship award for their guitarist and vocalist Remy Gallivan.

Remy says the four piece classic rock band has been together for a year, although some of them have played together before. The other members are Zack Armstrong (bass), Chase Wierkx (rhythm guitar) and Carlo Giacon (drums).

“We were hoping for a win, but there was a lot of good competition out there,” Remy said. I think we stood out with our energy on stage and hopefully with our song structure.”

Severe, also from Buller High School placed second and won the Lowdown best song award. The band members are Beth O'Connor (bass), Lochie Skilton (lead guitar), Karlia Holland (guitar and vocals), and Declan Ginley (drums).

Third placed band and winners of the Smokefree Pacifica Beats Award was SPEK, from Reefton Area School. The reggae four piece is made up of Kio D'Unieville (guitar), Andrew Paul Luna (bass), Koveli Tueni (vocals) and Edwin Tueni (drums). The boys have been together for a year and derive the name SPEK from the initials of Sound Production Education Kids.

Sisters Jemma (17) and Jade (15) Gibson from Murchison Area School won the West Coast solo-duo section with their alt-country sound, and took out the Smokefree Vocals Award. They have been playing together for ten years, with Jemma on guitar and Jade doing the songwriting. Jade says having made music together for so long nerves were not as issue for them.

“It might have been our confidence on stage that helped us to stand out, it made our performance a lot smoother,” she said. “We were still surprised to win, and very happy.”

Courtney Allison from Greymouth High School won second in the solo-duo section, along with the APRA Lyric Award.

The top two bands and two solo duos win musical gear from associate sponsor NZ Rockshops and their suppliers; and now submit 15 minutes of their best material for selection as national finalists. SPEK win $300 cash and the opportunity to send in video of their music for selection as Smokefree Pacifica Beats finalists.

Founder and director Pete Rainey said from here on the West Coast finalists would have to be well organised and work hard to make the most of the opportunity Smokefreerockquest and Pacifica Beats 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 Friday was:

Band 1st: The King Snakes, Buller High School

Band 2nd: Severe, Buller High School

Solo/Duo 1st and the Smokefree Vocals Award: Jemma & Jade Gibson, Murchison Area School

Solo/Duo 2nd: Courtney Allison, Greymouth High School

APRA Lyric Award: Courtney Allison, Greymouth High School for ‘I am Nothing’

Lowdown Best Song: Severe, Buller High School

The Mainz Musicianship Award: Remy Gallivan, guitar and vocals, King Snakes, Buller High School

People’s Choice voted by text: King Snakes, Buller High School

The regional events for both Smokefreerockquest and Smokefree Pacifica Beats ran 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.


Smokefreerockquest – 28 years of musical success: Smokefreerockquest is New Zealand’s only nationwide, live, original music, youth event. The series of over 30 events provides young musicians with the opportunity to perform live in a professional setting, in venues from Whangarei to Invercargill. Smokefreerockquest 2017, powered by Rockshop, aims to motivate young musicians to prove their abilities, to realise the opportunities available in music careers, and to encourage their peers to support 100 percent original New Zealand music. The original founders Glenn Common and Pete Rainey were honoured with the MNZM in 2013, and continue to lead the team that now runs this New Zealand institution. For more information visit

Smokefree Pacifica Beats: Smokefree Pacifica Beats recognises and reflects the unique cultural identity of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific. Participants must incorporate Maori/Polynesian language, instruments, dance or movement in their performance. The event motivates young musicians to prove their ability with cultural relevance, and to encourage their peers to support 100 percent original Aotearoa Kiwi music. For more information go to

Smokefree: Smokefree has been supporting young Kiwis to showcase their passions for music for over 28 years. Thousands of musicians have hit the stage and many have gone onto to do epic things on national and global levels. Being the naming right sponsor of Smokefreerockquest gives another platform to show the benefits of a smokefree lifestyle and how smoking really doesn’t have a place in young people’s band or their world. Smokefree recognises that today’s musicians and artists will play a huge role in shaping New Zealand’s future as we head towards the goal of a Smokefree 2025.

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