Smokefreerockquest 2018 Taranaki final results
Hungry Violets from New Plymouth Girls’ High School, Francis Douglas Memorial College and Spotswood College took out first place at this year’s Taranaki Smokefreerockquest regional final at the TSB Showplace on Saturday night.
Guitarist Sian Fenwick, of the Year 13 alternative/indie band, said the band’s sound derived from 80s bands that their dads listen to; and she said it was ‘the biggest buzz’ being on stage.
“It feels like we are showing a piece of art, so it’s a really vulnerable experience. When it really settled in that we got to play our music in front of such a big crowd of people it all became such a massive rush,” she said. “The win was so satisfying and so much more exciting knowing that there are more steps in the competition. It makes everything we’ve been doing worthwhile. We have so much camaraderie and friendship as a band, and I think that really came across on stage.”
The other members of Hungry Violets are Jess Hockey (vocals, bass), Dylan Bines (drums), and Yoon Seo Shin (keys). Sian Fenwick won the MAINZ Musicianship Award.
Second place in the band category went to Don’t Be A Menace from New Plymouth Boys’ High School.
The solo-duo winner for Taranaki was Laura Griffiths from Sacred Heart Girls’ College. The singer-songwriter said that her second win at Smokefreerockquest was exciting and as her last Smokefreerockquest she wanted to ‘really give it my all’.
“It was quite nerve-wracking interacting with the audience because I played early on in the night and I really wanted to get the crowd having some fun,” she said. “I enjoyed my time on stage and was so surprised with the win - I was ecstatic and over the moon! I genuinely thought it was going to go to someone else…there was so much cool new talent.”
Second place went to Naya Dial from New Plymouth Girls’ High School.
These four acts win musical gear from associate sponsors NZ Rockshops, and have the opportunity to gain selection for the national final in September.
The Tangata Beats Award went to Ellie Rose from New Plymouth Girls’ High School, who now goes into the selection process for the national finals of that event, which celebrates Maori and Pacifica themes in a contemporary music setting. Ellie Rose also won the ZM People’s Choice Award.
Smokefreerockquest Founder and director Glenn Common says there are more bands than ever before reaching the high standard required from national finalists.
“This means that real dedication is required to achieve the ‘stand out quality’ that the judges will be looking for,” he said. “They have to capture 15 minutes of their original material on video for selection as national finalists. It’s a process that demands creativity and musical ability, being able to work together as a group and having good organisational skills. What separates them out is perseverance – industry success seldom happens overnight.”
The top regional bands and solo/duos submit footage for selection as finalists to play off at the Smokefreerockquest national final on Saturday September 22 at the Dorothy Winstone Centre in Auckland, preceded by the Smokefree Tangata Beats national final on Friday September 21.
The full list of awards for Taranaki is:
Band 1: Hungry Violets, New Plymouth Girls’ High School, Francis Douglas Memorial College, Spotswood College
Band 2: Don’t Be A Menace, New Plymouth Boys’ High School
Band 3: The Slates, New Plymouth Girls’ High School
Solo/Duo 1: Laura Griffiths, Sacred Heart Girls’ College
Solo/Duo 2: Naya Dial, New Plymouth Girls’ High School
Smokefree Tangata Beats Award: Ellie Rose, New Plymouth Girls’ High School
ZM People’s Choice: Ellie Rose, New Plymouth Girls’ High School
Smokefree Best Vocals: The Six, Stratford High School
MAINZ Musicianship: Sian Fenwick (Hungry Violets), Spotswood College
Best Song: Mamas Boyz, Hawera High School
Fatboy Style Award: The Zak, Stratford High School
APRA Lyric Writers’ Award: Hannah-Leigh, New Plymouth Girls’ High School
The live events run from May 5 until July 6, and most regions will also be filmed for the hugely popular SFRQ webisodes (sfrq.nz/video/), 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.