Northland metal band Alien Weaponry proved the best of the 700 high school bands competing in this year’s Smokefreerockquest – brothers Lewis and Henry de Jong with bassist Ethan Trembath winning the annual comp’s national final in Auckland on Saturday night. But that’s not all… the trio, who hail from Bream Bay College and Otamatea High School, also won the sister event Smokefree Pacifica Beats national final on Friday night – making them the first such double winners.
The result was one better than last year when Alien Weaponry missed out on events’ big prizes to Joe’s Van and Reciprocate.
Second-placed Rockquest band for 2016 was Daffodils, an indie surf-pop four-piece from Auckland’s Western Springs College and Kristin School, with free-wheeling blues/funk act Ah Jeez, from Bethlehem College and Tauranga Boys College, grabbing third.
In the Rockquest Solo/Duo section it was Avondale College’s effervescent songwriter / guitarist Iris G who took first place ahead of the impressively versatile Sonatane Kaufusi of Manurewa High School and inspirational blind pianist/songwriter Cam Dawson from Garin College. Retrospect from Onslow College in Wellington won the People’s Choice award.
The Pacifica Beats competition also has a Solo/Duo section that this year was emphatically won by cousins Huia & Zaia. Izaia Tilialo does Correspondence School and Huia Shortland is from Te Kapehu Whetu Teina. The Whangarei pair also won awards for Best Song and Best Vocals.