Power the pa­rade

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD MAYS

Fruit Juice Pa­rade, has at­tracted quite a fol­low­ing. The two-piece band from Palmer­ston North Girls’ High sees year-12 pupils Shan­nen Petersen on guitar and Tharushi Bowatte on drums.

Af­ter win­ning the re­gional fi­nals of the Smoke­free Rock­quest, and for the sec­ond year, tak­ing out the lo­cal com­pe­ti­tion’s Peo­ple’s Choice award, the pair are the only group in the lower North Is­land still el­i­gi­ble to make the na­tional fi­nals in Auck­land early next month.

The band - they qual­ify as one be­cause of Bowatte’s drums - made the top 30 of the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion, but need to cap­i­talise on their lo­cal pop­u­lar­ity if they are to snaf­fle the last re­main­ing na­tional Peo­ple’s Choice fi­nals spot.

‘‘It’s peo­ple’s sup­port that gets us places,’’ Shan­nen, 17, said.

‘‘We are ask­ing peo­ple to sup­port us to reach the Smoke­free Rock­quest fi­nals by vot­ing for us. Just text fruit juice pa­rade to 5678 – it will be 20c well spent.’’ The vot­ing closes on Sun­day. Fruit Juice Pa­rade were well­known for their per­for­mances at The Stom­ach, Snails and Swampfest.

They played house con­certs, in April per­formed at Welling­ton’s Sad by Sad South fes­ti­val, and were reg­u­larly fea­tured on Massey Univer­sity’s Ra­dio Con­trol.

The band’s next live per­for­mance will be at The Stom­ach on Thurs­day, Au­gust 24.

‘‘It’s not just about us. Our friends and fam­ily and the wider com­mu­nity seem in­ter­ested, and it’s re­ally easy when there’s that sup­port,’’ Bowatte, 16, said.

Both have learned pi­ano from an early age. Bowatte had played trum­pet, while Petersen con­tin­ued to play tuba for the school’s con­cert band, as well as be­ing the school mu­sic depart­ment’s au­dio leader

Bowatte de­scribed their orig- inal mu­sic as in­die pop-rock, though Petersen said they don’t stick to the con­ven­tions.

‘‘We write and play what we want,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s a pa­rade - a bunch of peo­ple hav­ing fun,’’ Bowatte said.

Ear­lier this year the pair re­leased their first sin­gle Whal­ing on Pa­paiti Records, avail­able at fruitjui­cepa­rade.band­camp.com and on You Tube. They would like to record an al­bum and to tour.

But first, the Rock­quest fi­nals. Win­ning the text cam­paign Bowatte said would be ‘‘a very Fruit Juice Pa­rade way of get­ting there’’.

PHOTO: MUR­RAY WIL­SON / STUFF .

Tharushi Bowatte and Shan­nen Petersen make mu­sic as Fruit Juice Pa­rade.

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