Wellington Scoop

Onslow College band wins regional final of rockquest

Press Release – Smokefreerockquest
Indie rock band Retrospect from Onslow College took out the Wellington regional final of Smokefreerockquest in front of a crowd of 350 at Wellington Opera House on Friday night.

Guitarist Ian Moore puts the band’s win down to a lot of practice.

“We were quite tight and had great vocals, we were really energetic on stage and we had heaps of fun…we just wanted to go out there and have a good time,” he said. “It was our last Smokefreerockquest so we really wanted to make the most of it. There were so many great bands and the competition was high.”

The other members of Retrospect are Felix Mendonca (guitar), Evan Oijordsbakken (bass), George Whiteley (drums), Anna Van Gorp (vocals), and Raquel Abolins-Reid (vocals). Retrospect also won the 2016 Smokefreerockquest People’s Choice Award.

Rock band Ampathy from Hutt Valley High School, Upper Hutt College and St. Oran’s College placed second; the band members are Simon Buxton (drums), Grace Ashworth-Lawson (vocals, keys), Logan Wood (guitar), and Connor Grant (bass).

These two bands win musical gear from associate sponsor NZ Rockshops and their suppliers. They now submit 15 minutes of their best material for selection as national finalists; along with Rahel Mueller from Wellington High School and Baylin and Tatum (Baylin Hall and Tatum Phillips) from Heretaunga College who placed first and second in the Wellington solo-duo section announced at the regional heats last month.

Founder and director Pete Rainey said from here on the Wellington finalists would have to be well organised and work hard to make the most of the opportunity Smokefreerockquest offered.

“They have to submit video footage of their original music that will be judged in August as we lead up to the national final,” he said. “This process not only demands musical ability and creativity, they also learn to work together as a group and to develop the organisation and promotional skills they’ll need if they’re going to make it on the Kiwi music scene.”

The full list of awards was:

Band 1st: Retrospect from Onslow College

Band 2nd: Ampathy from Hutt Valley High School, Upper Hutt College and St. Oran’s College

Band 3rd: K.O.A from Aotea College

Smokefree Pacifica Beats 1st (announced at heats): K.O.A from Aotea College

Smokefree Pacifica Beats 2nd (announced at heats): Humble 8 from Porirua College

Smokefree Pacifica Beats 3rd (announced at heats): Lazy Boiiz from Aotea College

Solo/Duo 1st (announced at heats): Rahel Mueller from Wellington High School

Solo/Duo 2nd (announced at heats): Baylin and Tatum from Heretaunga College

APRA Lyric Award: Jodeci Matthews-Pulman from Mana College for the song ‘Walls’

Lowdown Best Song: Fusion from Aotea College

The Mainz Musicianship Award: Sefa Terekia from K.O.A from Aotea College

Smokefree Vocals Award: Julia Rowe from House of Sound, Paraparaumu College

People’s Choice voted by text: Master Plan from Newlands College

The regional events for both Smokefreerockquest and Smokefree Pacifica Beats run from May 12 until July 7, with the top regional bands and solo/duos submitting video footage for selection to play off at the Smokefree Pacifica Beats national final on Friday September 1 at the Dorothy Winstone Centre in Auckland, followed by the Smokefreerockquest national final on Saturday September 2.

Smokefreerockquest, powered by Rockshop, has national winners’ prize packages for bands and solo/duo winners that includes $22,000 in Rockshop vouchers, a $16,000 NZ On Air recording, video and promo package’ a ‘Decent Exposure’ campaign on The Edge TV, a photo shoot and branding package from Imaginary Friends. There is also the MAINZ (Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand) Scholarship for Outstanding Musicianship, the APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Lyric Award, the Lowdown Best Song Award, Smokefree Vocals Award, and the People’s Choice voted by text with the opportunity to open the Smokefreerockquest national final.

Musical successes from Smokefreerockquest over its 28-year history include Broods, Leroy Clampitt, Kimbra, Aaradhna, Opshop, Evermore, Ladyhawke, Kids of 88, Die!Die!Die!, Joel Little, Tiny Ruins, Marlon Williams, Brooke Fraser, Anika Moa, Kora, Thomston, Midnight Youth, Steriogram, Phoenix Foundation, Devilskin, The Black Seeds, Bic Runga, and The Naked and Famous; Smokefree Pacifica Beats standout successes include Nesian Mystik, the only New Zealand band to ever have ten singles all certified gold or platinum.

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