Teens set to rock the house

Gearing up Smokefree Rockquest

NATASHA THYNE
Last updated 09:21 06/06/2014
timaru smokefree rockquest the never less kate esler aidan clark
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/Fairfax NZ
MAKING CHOICES: Kate Esler and Aidan Clark, aka The Never Less, work on the perfect set list to capture the audience at the Smokefree Rockquest tonight.

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The Theatre Royal will be rocking tonight with the Timaru regional finals of the 2014 Smokefree Rockquest. Attitude caught up with two of the bands preparing to take to the stage tonight.

The best of South Canterbury's young bands are warming up their vocals, tuning their instruments and putting the final touches to their performances.

Ten bands made up of young people from high schools across South Canterbury, as well as four others from Waitaki, Ashburton and Mount Hutt, will be battling it out at tonight's Smokefree Rockquest at the Theatre Royal.

Returning to the competition after coming second in last year's finals in Timaru is Act of Chaos, a heavy metal band from Roncalli College and Mountainview High School.

Act of Chaos has taken part in the competition for the past three years and band leader Ryan Li said they are looking forward to competing again.

The band as they are now, with members Ryan, Dane Oats, Brendan Ballantyne, Johnny Mann and Catherine Ward, have been together for eight months.

Although being busy with school work and upcoming exams has meant less time to practise, Ryan said they were prepared to sing their two original songs.

Choosing the right song is an important step in capturing the audience, according to duo The Never Less.

The acoustic duo of Kate Esler and Aidan Clark had six original songs they were choosing between.

"When you see someone in the crowd singing along, that's the best feeling," Kate said.

Kate said they were thinking about starting with an upbeat song and finishing with a slower one.

Aidan said they tried to write lyrics that would appeal and relate to people. Aidan had participated in Rockquest before and was a part of the winning band last year, before becoming half of The Never Less.

This is the first time Kate had taken part but she said she had alway wanted to since year eight. The finals start at 7pm tonight at the Theatre Royal.

First and second place for the solo/duos will be announced, along with awards for the top three bands, the MAINZ Musicianship Award, Smokefree Award For Women's Musicianship, Lowdown Best Song, the APRA Lyrics Award and the People's Choice voted by text.

Musical successes from Smokefreerockquest over its 26-year history include Broods, Aaradhna, Ladyhawke and Elemeno P.

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- The Timaru Herald

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