Student bands show flair - and hair
It was not just the music that impressed the judges during a weekend of Smokefreerockquest heats in Christchurch, as Jae Hulbert of Hagley Community College proved yesterday.
His band, called Parasitic Swarm, is among the 24 bands, solo and duo artists who will rock on to the regional finals at the end of the month. The Canterbury heats were held in the University of Canterbury's Jack Mann auditorium.
Competition founder and director Glenn Common said the standard of the bands that performed reflected an increasing sophistication.
"Over the 25 years we have been running Smokefreerockquest, there has been a massive sociological shift for young people," he said.
"The access they have to music, both the amount and range, is amazing. For us, this has resulted in an eclectic range of genres at any one time."
Hagley Community College did particularly well with five finalists selected, and three bands from Shirley Boys' High School also getting through.
The regional finals will be held at the auditorium on June 29 and 30, where the top two bands and top two duo or solo artists will be selected to compete in the national final in Auckland on September 28.