An indie-rock band of year 10 students from St Peter’s School Cambridge won the Waikato Smokefreerockquest regional final at the Clarence Street Theatre on Friday night.
Lead guitarist Liam McKenzie says the band has been playing together for 18 months, and are good mates on and off stage.
“I think that’s what helps us get the music really tight,” he says, “last night we musically put on a great stage act and really got the crowd into it.”
Liam says Red Nite Sky’s songs are about making the most out of life. The other band members are Solomon Crook (rhythm guitar), Pierce Higginson (bass) and Eli Gadsby (drums).
Second place went to singer songwriter Eden Hapuku from Fairfield College.
These top two placegetters win musical gear from associate sponsor NZ Rockshops and go on to compete for one of eight spots in this year’s Smokefreerockquest national final at Claudelands in Hamilton on 22 September.
Rockquest Promotions Founders and Directors Glenn Common and Pete Rainey said from here on the Waikato finalists would have to work hard and draw on their creativity to make the most of the opportunity Smokefreerockquest offered.
“In August judges will be selecting the eight finalists from DVDs of their own original music,” Common said. “There are a range of skills they’ll need to pull this together – creativity and musical ability are important, but they also learn to work together as a group and have to be well organised to produce the video footage that could be their next step towards Kiwi music success.”
The eight national finalists will be selected from a pool made up of first and second place-getters fromeach of the 24 regional finals, and bands from Rockshop Second Chance, an opportunity for established bands who feel they didn’t play at their best on the night.
Smokefreerockquest powered by Rockshop, has a prize package that includes musical gear to the value of $10,000 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, a radio promotional support for a single, and video play on youth music channel FOUR.
There is also the MAINZ Scholarship for outstanding musicianship, the APRA Lyric Award, the Lowdown Best Song Award, the Smokefree Women’s Musicianship Award and the Skinny People’s Choice, voted by text, with the opportunity to open at the SFRQ National final.
Other regional awards made on Friday night.
Third place winning musical gear from associate sponsor NZ Rockshops and their suppliers: All of A Kind, Putaruru College
APRA Lyric Award: Rueben O’Sullivan from Morrinsville College
Lowdown Best Song: Splitting the Horizon, Cambridge High School
The Mainz Musicianship Award with the opportunity to be selected for the $4500 Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand Scholarship, announced at the national final: Kayne McVeigh, the lead guitarist from We Need A Name, Paeroa College
Smokefree Award For Women’s Musicianship: Ruby Walsh, the lead singer from Getting Up Backwards, Hauraki Plains College
Skinny People’s Choice voted by text: Bermuda Square, Waikato Diocesan School For Girls and St Paul’s Collegiate
- © Fairfax NZ News