Band leads clean sweep for WHS
"The audience gave us lots of energy to play our best."
It was a big night out for Whanganui High School (WHS) at the regional final of the Smokefreerockquest with the school sweeping all but two placings and awards.
There was no stage fright for The Remnant, who won the band category at the Opera House in their first live performance. They led a clean sweep for WHS.
Guitarist and vocali s t Wiremu Rogan said the win came as a shock to him and band members Tokara¯rangi Poa, Cypress Kani-Hurinui, Josh Waitai and Chester Nevil.
“It was our first time playing live, and we were really outside of our comfort zones playing in front of a big crowd like that.
“We had practised lots, we were really committed and we all played as a team — our vocals and harmonies were really good.
“The audience was really supporting us and gave us lots of energy to play our best.”
Rangitikei College duo Corby and Tia (Tia Wright and Te Kopiona Ratana) won the solo/ duo section with Whanganui High School’s Maia ( Maia Falkner) in second place.
Runner-up in the band category was Whanganui High School’s prog r ock band Pantheon (Dan Goodwin, Kahu Mill er, Daniel Hubers and Sebastian Alcayaga) with White Guys and Caleb completing an all-WHS podium.
Smokefreerockquest founder and director Glenn Common, who was in Whanganui for the regional final, said more bands than ever were reaching the standard required from national finalists.
“This means that real dedication is required to achieve the standout quality that the judges will be looking for,” he said.
“They have to capture 15 minutes of their original material on video for selection as national finalists.
“It’s a process that demands creativity and musical ability, being able to work together as a group and having good organisational skills. What separates them out is perseverance — industry success seldom happens overnight.”
The four acts win musical gear from NZ Rockshop and the opportunity to gain selection for the national final in September.
The top regional bands and solo/duos submit footage for selection as finalists to play off at t he Smokefreerockquest national final on Saturday, September 22, in Auckland.
The Remnant won this year’s regional Smokefreerockquest final at the Opera House on Saturday night.