The quest goes on: All of a Kind into third final

20:28, Jun 08 2014
waikato smokefree rockquest
ARE YOU EXPERIENCED? All of a Kind frontman Connor White with Antonio Clair and James Te Whare will head to his third Smokefree Rockquest regional final in four attempts.
waikato smokefree rockquest
FIRST TIME: The Drunken Sailors lead vocals Brianna O’Donoghue and the band made it through at the first try.
PETER DRURY/Fairfax NZ
CYMBAL OF CONCENTRATION: The Drunken Sailors drummer Fizzi Whale from St Paul’s Collegiate keeps the beat.
waikato smokefree rockquest
STAGE PRESENCE: Solo artist Toni Dewar from Cambridge High School takes to the stage.
waikato smokefree rockquest
ON SONG: James Te Whare from All of a Kind impressed and is bound for the regional finals.
waikato smokefree rockquest
FUTURE ROCK GODDESS? Soloist Sammy Kewish, right, from Hauraki Plains College plays acoustic guitar.

Bass lines thumped and guitars screamed as the regional finalists in the Waikato heats of the Smokefree Rockquest were found.

Two acts from St Peter's School in Cambridge qualified in the solo/duo category and 10 bands from around the region made it through.

Seasoned performers, All of a Kind, have qualified three out of the four times they have entered and lead vocalist Connor White, 17, from Putaruru College said it was awesome to make it through again.

The Drunken Sailors drummer Fizzi Whale
CYMBAL OF CONCENTRATION: The Drunken Sailors drummer Fizzi Whale from St Paul’s Collegiate keeps the beat.

"It's just like another step in our journey," he said. "We made the national final last year and we're starting again so it is pretty cool to see other bands coming through and see our mates again from last year."

All five band members were current or former Putaruru College students and the competition required them to perform original tracks.

White described their sound as alternative pop-rock with a full sound and said it was a great place to meet people and a stepping-stone into the industry.

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"It forces people to write their own music and play by themselves and write songs.

"It's such a well-known competition and everybody knows about it."

First-time nerves were not enough to hold back St Paul's Collegiate band The Drunken Sailors who also scored a place in the regional final.

The band formed at the beginning of the year and fired up the Clarence Street Theatre crowd and singer Brianna O'Donoghue, 16, they were really excited.

"It was so much fun, we all loved it and it was a really welcoming atmosphere."

Smokefree Rockquest has been going for 26 years and successes include Kimbra, Evermore, The Black Seeds and Nesian Mystik.

Waikato Times