Rock­ers through to next round

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By ALAS­TAIR LYNN

High school rock band Apollo has al­ready seen its fair share of drama.

The Mount Al­bert Gram­mar School stu­dents have been play­ing to­gether for a lit­tle more than a month and have made it to the Smoke­free Rock­quest Auck­land Cen­tral re­gional fi­nals.

Gui­tarist-vo­cal­ist Biku Ad­hikari ad­mits they cut things a bit close.

They were to be the first act on stage at the heats and the band was warm­ing up – with one mem­ber miss­ing.

‘‘I broke a string on my gui­tar,’’ Biku says. ‘‘About five min­utes be­fore, I rushed to the Rock Shop in Hen­der­son and man­aged to get it fixed.’’

Biku some­how man­aged to get to the Dorothy Win­stone Cen­tre in New­ton in time. The band turned that manic en­ergy into a per­for­mance which helped them through to the next leg of com­pe­ti­tion.

‘‘We were so re­laxed com­ing off the stage,’’ drum­mer Con­nor Stock­man says. ‘‘ We didn’t feel ner­vous at all.’’

All four are sea­soned per­form­ers in their own right but say they had never found the right peo­ple to make mu­sic with.

‘‘I’ve been in Rock­quest since year 9,’’ Biku says. ‘‘Now we’re in year 13 and it’s our last chance to do it. I just sat the guys down in the stu­dio and asked them to com­mit.’’

A wide va­ri­ety of mu­si­cal in­flu­ences and tastes is some­thing that pushes the band to de­velop their own unique style of ‘‘uni­ver­sal rock’’.

‘‘We’ll have dif­fer­ent as­pects of rock in cer­tain parts of our songs,’’ bassist James Luff says.

‘‘We have a pretty con­trast­ing sound.’’

The re­gional fi­nals on June 12 will see Apollo share the stage with a dozen other bands, all fight­ing for a shot at the na­tional ti­tle.

With that goal firmly in their sights, the boys have knuck­led down to per­fect their sec­ond song.

There is still a lot of hard work ahead but all agree it is well worth the ef­fort.

‘‘It’s the per­for­mance that I en­joy the most,’’ Biku says.

‘‘Just see­ing peo­ple get re­ally into it makes it all worth the time put in.’’

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