Canterbury schools of rock battle it out
‘‘It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll’’ – and students of the school of rock gave it their best shot.
Musical children rocked out around the city last week for Rockshop Bandquest, the nationwide music competition for primary and intermediate school pupils.
Pupils sang, strummed and strutted their stuff, performing a short set of covers or original songs at three concert evenings around the city.
The competition, now in its seventh year, is a younger version of the secondary school level Smokefree Rockquest competition.
The first time on stage in front of an audience for many, nearly 40 bands from Canterbury schools put their best foot forward.
Templeton Primary School’s 4 Way Fury came away with first place and a $400 Rockshop voucher for their set of the Foo Fighters’ Everlong and Goldfinger’s 99 Red Balloons at St Margaret’s College on Tuesday.
Lead singer and bassist Blake English, 10, also won the male vocalist award. The year six student was ‘‘pretty stoked’’ with the double win.
Having already performed at Bandquest last year and at the Rolleston Fireworks evening, Blake said he enjoyed performing.
‘‘I had butterflies in my stomach then I started getting a little bit more confident,’’ he said.
After learning ukulele, then onto guitar, English only started taking bass guitar lessons around six months ago.
‘‘This year they really stepped it up a level,’’ said Blake’s proud mum, Marie.
With their eyes on the $3000 national winner prize, Blake’s band 4 Way Fury and Canterbury’s two other placegetters, Christchurch South Intermediate’s Manaja and Chisnallwood Intermediate School’s Class Disruption, will now video their per- formance and send it in for the national competition.
Bandquest founder and director Glenn Common said the competition fostered young talent in a sometimes scary, but supportive, environment.
‘‘We can see how this encouragement helps students to progress musically, with all the benefits that brings in high school, both socially and academi- cally.’’
Rockshop spokesman Hamish Jackson said the prizes could make a real difference to a school music department.
‘‘Gear in school music departments could just about always be better and we make sure the credit vouchers go a long way,’’ he said.
The winning band will be announced on September 20.
Templeton Primary School’s 4 Way Fury won first place at the Rockshop Bandquest competition on Tuesday evening.