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Smokefreerockquest – East Coast results

Media Release: Smokefreerockquest and Tangata Beats – East Coast solo-duo winners and band heats results.

Live music, original songs, selfies and first time nerves – it was all part of the mix at the War Memorial Theatre on Saturday in this year’s Smokefreerockquest East Coast heats.

Over 700 bands and solo/duos are going through regional heats and finals in over 20 venues from Invercargill to Whangarei between May 5 and July 6.

Founder and Director Glenn Common says while Smokefreerockquest is a competition, the environment at the heats is very supportive and the emphasis is on participation.

“The competition is merely the framework on which we hang the opportunity to perform and for entrants to learn from each other. They pick up skills such as stage presence from watching their peers, in a way that can’t be replicated in the classroom.”

The top two East Coast solo/duos selected at the heats are: Keira from Gisborne Girls’ High School (first) and E-nut & T-butter from Gisborne Boys’ High School (second).

Year 9 student and ukulele player Keira Coogan (13) says she is a lot more confident performing now, with this being her third Smokefreerockquest, but she was still relieved when it was over and was happy it went well.

“I screamed and smiled when I found out that I had won -I honestly thought someone else was going to,” she said. “My song was inspired by a time at my Year 8 ball when my friend told me they could run a lap around the moon and that moment just stuck with me.”

The top two solo duos go into the judging pool for the national final, and will be joined by the top two bands selected at the East Coast finals in two weeks time (details below).

The SmokefreeTangata Beats Award went to Resolution from Tolaga Bay Area School who submit footage to be selected as a finalist for that event’s national final.

Lead guitarist Maana Toroa-Harding, of the Year 11 group, said she thinks their win was down to their style of music.

“We mixed it up with reggae and slow jams and I think that our reo connected with the audience. I was buzzing out when I found out we had won - it was an adrenaline rush,” she said. “It was such a good experience and everyone was supporting everyone. We felt really proud of ourselves because this is our first time doing Smokefree Tangata Beats.”

The other members of Resolution are Rickie-Lee Pewhairangi (vocals), Loma Hill (drums), Alicia Timmins (bass), Pawhara Milner (keyboard), and Billie-Ray Rangiwai (guitar).

These are the top 12 bands to play off at the at East Coast final at the War Memorial Theatre, start time 7pm, Monday May 28, tickets $20 adults and $10 kids from the door or from Ticket Direct.

The Search Gisborne Boys' High School, Lindisfarne College
Solluna Smooth Gisborne Girls' High School
Bad Stage (previously known as Summer Snow) Ilminster Intermediate
UpriZing Gisborne Boys' High School
Astrik Gisborne Girls' High School
Rabbits in Tuxedos Gisborne Intermediate, Mangapapa School, Lytton High School
The Patai Tolaga Bay Area School
Resolution Tolaga Bay Area School
Sit Down In Front Campion College, Gisborne Boys' High School
5th Division Gisborne Girls' High School
Times up Gisborne Girls' High School
Salem Gisborne Girls' High School

At the East Coast final there are awards for the top three bands, the MAINZ Musicianship Award, Smokefree Award For Women’s Musicianship, Lowdown Best Song, the APRA Lyrics Award, the Fatboy Style Award and the ZM People’s Choice voted by text.

The top regional bands and solo/duos submit footage for selection as finalists to play at the Smokefree Tangata Beats national final on Friday September 21 at the Dorothy Winstone Centre in Auckland, followed by the Smokefreerockquest national final on Saturday September 22.

The live events run from May 5 until July 6, and most regions will also be filmed for the hugely popular webisodes fronted this year by NZ’s ‘First Bloke’ Clarke Gayford.

Smokefreerockquest, powered by Rockshop, has national winners’ prize packages for bands and solo/duo winners that includes $22,000 in Rockshop vouchers, $16,000 NZ On Air recording, video and promo package, a photo shoot and branding package from Imaginary Friends. There is also the Musicianship Award, the APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Lyric Award, Best Song Award, Smokefree Vocals Award, Fatboy Style Award, and the ZM People’s Choice.

Musical successes from Smokefreerockquest over its 30-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, Chelsea Jade, Nadia Reid, Aldous Harding, Steriogram, Phoenix Foundation, Devilskin, The Black Seeds, Bic Runga, and The Naked and Famous. Smokefree Tangata Beats standout successes include Alien Weaponry, Strangely Arousing Nesian Mystik, the only New Zealand band to ever have ten singles all certified gold or platinum.


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