Young musicians from across the Aoraki region will descend on the Mountainview High School auditorium this weekend for the annual Timaru Smokefreerockquest final. There are 13 soloists or duos registered for the event and 15 bands, coming from high schools as far afield as Oamaru, Ashburton and Mount Hutt, as well as Geraldine, Waimate, Temuka and Timaru. Greta Yeoman, of The Courier, has profiled various musicians from across the district, in part two of the newspaper’s pre-Smokefreerockquest series.
It will be a five-part debut for one Mountainview High School band in Smokefreerockquest this weekend.
When Mountainview band Fusion performs in the live music competition on Saturday, all of its members will be taking to the Smokefreerockquest stage for the first time.
Drummer Isa Creba (15) is joined by brother Matthew (14) on saxophone and bass, singer-keyboard player Chloe Harper, Arwen Kleinsmith on bass and guitar and Caleb Turland (all 15) on keyboard and vocals.
“We’re all friends . . . [so we] joined together,” Isa said.
Chloe and Caleb write most of the songs and then the other members add in their parts on their respective instruments.
The multi-instrumentalist act was “more pop” in terms of its sound than some of the acts in Smokefreerockquest, Caleb said.
As for the band name Fusion, Isa said it was his father’s suggestion.
“We’re all from different backgrounds and lifestyles [but we] fused together for one band.”
A seven-piece funk band split across two schools will perform at the Smokefreerockquest this Saturday.
Eclectic Vibes is made up of five Timaru Boys’ High School pupils and two pupils from Timaru Girls’ High School.
The band includes keys, saxophone and trumpet among the standard band instruments, drummer Daniel Nicolson says.
“So not like a normal rock band.”
Alongside Daniel is Joe Choy on alto saxophone, bassist Dominic Coleman, guitarist Isaac Fernandes (18) and Mitchell Bowmar (14) on trumpet.
Timaru Girls’ pupil Jemma Riddle (16) is the band’s lead singer while her schoolmate Muriel Frank (16) also takes on vocals and keys in the Eclectic Vibes.
Several members had entered last year’s Smokefreerockquest event as part of different bands – including Dominic and Daniel who were part of Dial 111 – but others would be making their debut on Saturday.
The band had formed earlier this year with aim of entering another competition, Pacifica Beats, with another schoolmate included, but this had not happened.
Instead, the band had just focused on “rockquest”, Daniel said.
He said most of their songs were written by guitar player Isaac Fernandes and his girlfriend, keyboardist and singer Muriel Frank.
“[Well] Isaac comes up with the ideas and Muriel fixes them.”
However, they “kinda all take part” in adding their own parts, Daniel said.
Music teacher Lee Parcell said the addition of the two Timaru Girls’ pupils provided a “nice balance” to the band.
“[It is] a nice balance [with them] balancing out the boys’ style.”
She said the group had been “practising diligently” in the lead-up to Saturday’s event.
“[They] have been really focused . . . the girls have come down in the rain and hail.”
Harry Delaney is going solo this Smokefreerockquest.
The Timaru Boys’ High School pupil was lead vocalist four-piece band Strike4 last year, alongside guitarist Bryn Johnston, bassist Shaun Reith and drummer Ben Roberts, but has decided to go solo this year after the band broke up after Smokefreerockquest last year.
“I thought I’d do it again this year as a solo.”
He said pop was the “general idea” when it came to the genre he would be performing and he was influenced a bit by Ed Sheeran.
Despite going solo for the first time, he hoped the performance would go well.
“[I am] a wee bit nervous . . . [but] I’ll be all right.”
A four-piece surf-rock band comprising pupils from two schools will take to the stage in the Smokefreerockquest Timaru final on Saturday.
Jack’s Point – named after where three of the four band members surf – is a combination of Timaru Boys’ High School and Roncalli College pupils.
Roncalli pupil Nick Goodwin (16) is on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, while schoolmate Billy Cook (17) takes up lead guitar duties.
Jack McLennan (15), of Timaru Boys’, is on bass and fellow TBHS pupil Ben Roberts is on drums.
Ben was the sole band member present when The Courier visited.
It would be a return to the Smokefreerockquest stage for all four members, he said.
“[We have] all played before as separate bands.”
He was in Strike4 last year, while Jack played bass in Dial 111, and Billy and Nick were part of Roncalli trio NOKIT with now-solo performer Neve O’Connor.
Ben said he had played in a jazz band with Nick for several years and they decided to team up for this year’s competition.
He described Jack’s Point as “reggae-infused indie rock”.
The band’s lyrics were written by Nick and the other members then added their respective parts, Ben said.
Their songs Angels in the Sand and Falling Into The Sea did have an ocean theme as the other three band members were all keen surfers.
Jack’s Point, located south of Redruth in Timaru, is a popular surfing spot.