Smoke­free magic

The amps went up to 11 on July 2 when the re­gion’s an­nual battle of col­lege bands, the Smoke­free­rock­quest, took hold at the Welling­ton Town Hall. Mu­sic-mad Aotea Col­lege stu­dent and bud­ding scribe HAZEL CHILDS was in the thick of it.

Kapi-Mana News - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT -

‘‘When I say smoke, you say free! Smoke . . . Free! Smoke . . . Free!’’

Smoke­free­rock­quest – Welling­ton Re­gional Fi­nals 2011. This was it. Ear­lier in the day more than 50 bands bat­tled it out to be here right now – seven cho­sen bands and one peo­ple’s choice band.

First up was Frank from Kapiti Col­lege. They started off with a smooth jazzy beat for their first song, called Hear Me, which later won the Best Song Award. Their sec­ond song Stay Cool got the crowd singing along.

Next up was Soviet from Hutt In­ter­na­tional Boys’ School. The lead gui­tarist pulled off an awe- some solo. Drum­mer Kit Jenk­ins took away the MAINZ Mu­si­cian­ship Award.

Now, from Welling­ton High, it was Alexis Cartwright’s turn and the amaz­ing power and range in her voice def­i­nitely im­pressed. She won the Smoke­free Women’s Mu­si­cian­ship Award.

Ur­banRootz from Nae­nae Col­lege kicked off with a reg­gae vibe. They had per­fect har­monies and moved well to the beat.

Four vo­cal­ists, all har­mon­is­ing and tak­ing so­los, made all­girl band Rhyth­mys­tikz dis­tinct.

Ash Graham from Welling­ton High, al­ready a crowd favourite, then had the spot­light. With mean­ing­ful lyrics, Ash’s song­writ­ing is very ma­ture for his age.

The Vel­vet Regime, from Nae­nae Col­lege and Hutt Val­ley High School [pro­duced] the type of mu­sic that no-one could help but mosh to.

It was soon time for The On­set. It was ob­vi­ous why this band won the Peo­ple’s Choice Award – the crowd went com­pletely in­sane.

Com­ing in first place for the night was The Vel­vet Regime, sec­ond was Frank and third was Ash Graham.

The Vel­vet Regime and Frank will now com­pete for a place in the na­tional fi­nals to be held in Hamil­ton on Septem­ber 17.

Photo: TABITHA WOODS.

Style points: As well as the noise, Tawa Col­lege band Prox­im­ity Ef­fect brought back the knit­ted-tie. Other lo­cal bands who per­formed in the heats, but didn’t make the re­gional fi­nals were Garage Six IX (Tawa Col­lege, Aotea Col­lege), Pre­cieder and Sky­ward Hori­zons (both Tawa Col­lege).

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