Scratch one rockquest for New Vinyl

Last updated 13:05 23/09/2012
New Vinyl
CHRIS HILLOCK/Fairfax NZ

NEW VINYL: Smokefreerockquest winners, Allister Meffan, left, Ed Palmer, and Alex Farrell-Davey.

New Vinyl
CHRIS HILLOCK/Fairfax NZ Zoom
NEW VINYL: Smokefreerockquest winners, Allister Meffan, left, Ed Palmer, and Alex Farrell-Davey.

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Nelson band New Vinyl has won the the Smokefreerockquest national final.

It is the second year in a row a Nelson band has taken out the major high school music award. Last year Garin College band, The Peasants, won.

On Saturday night in Hamilton, New Vinyl, a quirky three-piece with a folk jazz sound and an unusual combination of instruments won first place, $10,000 worth of instruments from NZ Rockshops and their suppliers, a NZ On Air new recording and music video grant worth over $10,000, a place on the NZ On Air Kiwi Hit Disc, radio promotional support for a single, and video play on youth music channel FOUR.

The Nelson College year 12 and 13 members of New Vinyl are Ed Palmer (double bass), Alex Farrell-Davey (guitar and vocals) and Allister Meffan (accordion and trumpet).

Spokesman Alex Farrell-Davey says he has entered Smokefreerockquest before but it was the originality of the three-piece combination that brought success - plus 'practice, practice, practice'.

"When we heard the other finalists we didn't think we'd win  - they were so talented, but we are really stoked," he said.

"Smokefreerockquest gave us a goal to work towards and built my strength as a song writer."

Smokefreerockquest founder and director Pete Rainey said it was almost 'an embarrassment of riches' to have a Nelson band win again, after last years winner was The Peasants from Nelson's Garin College.

"We can be really proud that Nelson kids are getting great support from their teachers and from this event," he said. "Glenn (Common, co-founder and director) and I can just enjoy Nelson's success - although the event is organized from Nelson, we are completely outside the judging process."

The judges from the New Zealand music industry Jaden Parkes (Sony Music), Jeff Newton (NZ on Air), Lisa Blatchford (Ivy Lies), Matt Barthow (FOUR) and Matt Warman (Midnight Youth) said it was a very tough decision.

"New Vinyl gave a mature performance with solid vocals and melodies that were really well written and performed," said Jell Newton from NZ on Air.

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