Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Smokefree Rockquest 2017 – Auckland heats preview

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Ethan Trembath from last years Smokefreerockquest winning band Alien Weaponry from Northland. Photo supplied

Every band needs a name and Knickers in a Twist and Rain Dance Maggie are just a couple of inventive titles from from Auckland high school bands entered in this year’s Smokefreerockquest, with heats coming up on Friday and Saturday at the Dorothy Winstone Centre at Auckland Girls’ Grammar.

The Auckland bands are among over two thousand young people who will compete during May and June in 20 regions from Invercargill to Whangarei in New Zealand’s only nationwide, live, all original, youth music competition. Founder and director Glenn Common said the heats provide a supportive atmosphere for bands and solo/duos to perform a song they have written themslves to an audience of their peers, friends and families.

“To perform live on stage is a great boost in confidence – it requires a lot of skils, not just musical ability,” he said. “For a significant number it will be their first live gig, while some may have been working towards this moment for a number of years. Smokefreerockquest is all about the opportunity to perform live rather than just about winning.”

SFRQ founder & director Pete Rainey says Smokefree has been supporting young Kiwis to showcase their passions for music for 27 years:“We’re proud to be part of a change that means smoking really doesn’t have a place in young people’s bands or their world today,” he said. “It’s great to stage an event that recognises that today’s musicians and artists will play a huge role in shaping New Zealand’s future with the goal of Smokefree 2025.”

The Auckland heats are all at the Dorothy Winstone Centre at Auckland Girls’ Grammar, start times for each below. Tickets are $10 at the door, kids under 5 free.

  • North Shore bands competing in Friday’s heats, starting at 4pm are:
    Obsession               Rangitoto College, Kristin School
    3-4 Glory               Kaipara College
    Abandoned Army                Rangitoto College
    Accidentally On Purpose       Kristin School, Long Bay College
    Ace                     Rangitoto College
    Bitches in the sand           Whangaparaoa College
    Chasing the sun               Rangitoto College
    Dark Handsome Lies            Pinehurst School
    Denon                   Kaipara College
    Distortion              Rangitoto College , Westlake Boys’ HS, Murrays Bay Int
    Exposure point                Rangitoto College
    Fire and Ice                  Kaipara College, Helensville School
    Imagine That                  Kaipara College
    o-Boy!                        Kaipara College
    Reloading               Kaipara College
    Some form of Mustard          Kaipara College
    Special Ed.             Westlake Boys’ High School
    Stoop Kidz              Kaipara College
    Strattera                     Hobsonville Point Secondary School
    The unknown element           Rangitoto College
    Tie Fighters                  Kaipara College
    Ultrasound              Rangitoto College, Long Bay College
    Unknown                 Kaipara College
    Unnamed                 Kaipara College
    Stroodz                      Kaipara College
    White noise             Rangitoto College
    1023mb                        Kaipara College
    Ashen                   Rosmini College, Rangitoto Coll, Westlake Boys’ HS
    Husk                    Glenfield Coll, Rototuna Junior HS
    Fire Hoes               Westlake Boys’ High School


  • The Auckland Central bands competing in the heats are on Saturday at 10.30am are:
    Bad Apples        Western Springs College, Rosmini College
    Skwid             Green Bay HS, Epsom Girls Grammar, St Kentigern Coll, Diocesan School For Girls
    President         Diocesan School For Girls
    Renegades         Diocesan School For Girls
    Ivy               Diocesan School For Girls
    Silvera                 Lynfield Coll Green Bay HS, Pakuranga Coll,     Katikati Coll, Auckland Grammar
    Randy’s Treehouse Green Bay High School
    Daddy’s Dong Quest      Mt Albert Grammar School,     Auckland Grammar
    Schism                  Lynfield College
    Centuries         Avondale College
    Daffodils               Western Springs College  Kristin School
    Oath to Azrael          Massey High School
    Lights out        Marist College
    Knickers in a twist     Selwyn Coll, Sancta Maria Coll, Sacred Heart Coll
    Finders keepers         ACG Sunderland
    Red in the wine         Lynfield College
    Woody hollow            Dilworth School
    Pause Clope       Green Bay High School
    S.P.A.M                 Massey High School
    Strange Familiarity     Avondale Coll,   Home Schooled,   Kingsway School
    Elegant Truth           Green Bay High School


  • The Manukau bands competing on Saturday, May 13 are:
    3pm Session
    ATAXIA                  Kings College
    The Borderline          Ormiston Senior College
    Half Time         Sancta Maria Coll , Macleans Coll
    Doubt It                Otahuhu College
    Gains             Kings College
    Shameless ambitions     Waiuku College, TKKM o Waiuku
    Fleet             St Kentigern College
    Majesty                 Alfriston College
    The Different 3         Pukekohe High School
    RedRocks          Waiuku College
    Dm7               Ormiston Senior College
    Ethereal                Waiuku College
    The full range          Ormiston Senior College
    Revival 801       Wesley College
    Little Leviathan        Pukekohe High School
    Profuse                 St Kentigern College
    2120              Pukekohe High School
    Pluvia                  Waiuku College
    Identity Crisis         Ormiston Senior College
    Four Words        Waiuku College
    Flaxxies                St Kentigern College
    Sayon             Waiuku College
    Anti-Social       Pukekohe Hill School

6pm Session
Deez Coconuts           Manurewa High School
In A Sense        James Cook High School
G3JEM             Alfriston College
Young Nation            Sancta Maria College
Hit Or Miss       Pukekohe High School
The Innovation          Pukekohe High School
High Voltage            Sancta Maria College
Haze              St Kentigern College
Spudnic                 Kings College
Misguided Youth         Pukekohe High School
Majesty 8         Alfriston College
The blue drums          Botany Downs Secondary College
Drive             Pukekohe High School
Blessed                 Manurewa High School
Mind Over Matter        Rosehill College
Minimal silence         Howick College
TEEBEESEE         St Kentigern College
Adrenaline        Manurewa High School
Apparitions       Pukekohe High School, Rome, Manurewa High School
Effectively       Mangere College
Until War         St Kentigern College
3ree              Alfriston College
Sound Lounge Lizards    Sancta Maria College
Jesse and the Jawlines  Alfriston College

The top twelve bands from each heat will be selected to play off at the regional finals. The North Shore final is on Friday June 9, the Auckland final is on Saturday June 10 and the Manukau final is  on Friday June 16. Auckland solo-duos will compete on Saturday June 11, and Smokefree Pacifica Beats contenders will have heats on Saturday June 17 and finals on Saturday June 24. All events are at the Dorothy Winstone Centre at AGGS, start times for all finals are 7pm, and tickets are $20 adults and $10 students from NZTix.co.nz

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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