It was a big weekend for teen music in Auckland with close to150 bands competing in Smokefreerockquest over three days at the Logan Campbell Centre.
On Friday night the honours went to Servn8 from One Tree Hill College with all girl band The Fix from St Kentigern College taking second place.
Saturday night’s winners were Red Lamp Orchestra (formerly called Eden) from Western Springs College, with Shana from Sancta Maria College in second place.
And on Sunday night singer songwriter Massad won, with Le Roi from Elim Christian College coming second. Last year at the national final Massad won the Lowdown Best Song Award, and has just released that song ‘Tear My Heart Out’ as his debut single. He’s also had three recent grants from NZ On Air.
The judges were also very impressed with some of the very young and talented entrants such as Mary Sands from Sommerville Intermediate who won the APRA Lyric Writers Award on Saturday night; and Jim Aimer from Auckland Grammar who won it on Sunday.
Winner and second placegetter from each night go on to compete for one of six national finalist spots in this year’s Smokefreerockquest, and win musical gear from NZ Rockshops. (Scroll down for more awards and the top eight bands for each night.)
Rockquest Promotions Founders and Directors Glenn Common and Pete Rainey said from here on the Auckland finalists would have to work hard and draw on their creativity to make the most of the opportunity Smokefreerockquest offered.
“The bands to play off at the national final in September are chosen from DVDs of their own music,” Common said. “This means they’ll need to work together as a group and develop the skills that will turn their talent into success.”
The six national finalists will be selected from a pool made up of first and second place-getters from each of the 27 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. Last year’s record of 800 entrants has already been exceeded, with more entries to come as Christchurch bands have been given an extended deadline.
In term three, Smokefreerockquest and the NZ Music Commission, with funding from the Ministry of Education, will partner the regional winner with a mentor band - a band that is some years ahead and has first hand knowledge of the industry.
The national final will be held this year in the new 5000-seat Claudelands Arena in Hamilton on 17 September. The prize package is designed as a big helping hand into the music industry. It includes a NZ On Air new recording and music video grant worth $10,000, a place on the NZ On Air Kiwi Hit Disc, musical gear to the value of $10,000 from NZ Rockshops, recording time at York St Studio, 1000 single CDs produced by Forge Media, and radio and TV play of single. There is also the MAINZ Scholarship for outstanding musicianship, the APRA Lyric Award, the Lowdown Best Song Award and the Smokefree Women’s Musicianship Award.
In this year’s Auckland Smokefreerockquest all entrants got the real life experience of rock stardom - performing on the big stage in the Logan Campbell Centre. The 24 bands who made it through to the three
top eight at 8pm finals were:
Friday top eight:
The Fix, St Kentigern College
Servn8, One Tree Hill College
Glory Nerve, Rosehill College
Cathee , St Cuthbert's College
Eyes & Nines, St Kentigern College
Sonitus, Waiuku College
Undercover Rock, Kowhai Intermediate, Auckland Girls Grammar St Peter’s College, Western Springs College and Parnell College.
Nick Raven, Rosehill College
Saturday top eight:
Red Lamp Orchestra (formerly called Eden), Western Springs College
Shana, Sancta Maria College
Young Mood Club, Glendowie College
Audio Pilots, Kings College
Tinkerbell Riot, Epsom Girls' Grammar School
Mary Sands, Sommerville Intermediate
Written in Ink, Epsom Girls' Grammar School
Sleepwalker, Sacred Heart College (Auckland)
Sunday top eight:
The Pickets, Western Springs College, Mt Albert Grammar School
Le roi, Elim Christian College
ZiFire, Hillcrest High School
The Black Jacks, Sacred Heart College, St Kentigern Coll
Valient , Avondale College
Massad, Sacred Heart College
Descend, Auckland Grammar
Morning Glory, St Peters College and Marist Collage
Other awards made over the weekend
Smokefree People’s Choice:
Eyes and Nines, St Kentigern College (Fri);
Sleepwalker, Sacred Heart College (Sat);
Morning Glory, St Peters College and Marist College (Sun).
Smokefree Award for Woman’s Musicianship:
Amy Klitscher, drummer from The Fix, St Kentigern College (Fri);
Eden Roberts, lead singer from Red Lamp Orchestra, Western Springs College (Sat);
Jessie Booth, guitarist from Valient, Avondale College (Sun).
The Mainz Musicianship Award with the opportunity to be selected for the $4500 Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand Scholarship:
Amy Klitscher, drummer from The Fix (Fri);
Troy Darrow, drummer from Audio Pilots, Kings College (Sat);
Sam Montgomery, guitarist from Descend (Sun).
The Lowdown Best Song Award:
Cathee, St Cuthbert's College (Fri);
Shana, Sancta Maria College (Sat);
Valient, Avondale College (Sun).
The APRA Lyric Writer’s Award:
Nick Raven, Rosehill College (Fri);
Mary Sands, Sommerville Intermediate (Sat);
Jim Aimer, Auckand Grammar (Sun).
Glory Nerve, Rosehill College (Fri);
Young Mood Club, Glendowie College (Sat);
ZiFire, Hillcrest High School (Sun).
North Shore bands will play off over two days at the Bruce Mason Centre on July 9 & 10.
To find out more about Smokefreerockquest 2011, visit the official website sfrq.co.nz.