Heat is on for Rockquest finals

Rockquest 2019 &mdash;  <i>videographer: Kahuwahoo</i>

A number of Nayland students recently made it through the heats of the annual Nelson regional Smokefree Rockquest.

They’re now moving through to the regional finals, to be held at the Theatre Royal on 24th May.  Some of these, like the Lazy Boys, are Nayland bands, while others feature Nayland students playing alongside students from other local schools.

One such band is J-FEKT which features two year 9 Nayland students, Kahu Sanson-Burnett and Jude Atkins, alongside three of their former Nelson Intermediate friends. The group has been playing together for over two years now but came back together recently under their new name, made up of the first letters of each of the members’ names.

Kahu describes the band’s sound as “kind of like rock-pop but more on the rocky side.” He says the band writes their songs together. “I come up with the first couple of chords (…), the rest of the band learns them and the we get the drum player to come up with a beat, and then our vocalist comes up with the lyrics.”

Kahu says winning the People’s Choice Award would be great, even if they didn’t win the overall event, because it would mean they could still go to the national finals in Auckland later in the year.

Nayland band The Lazy Boys also made it through to one of the twelve spots in the finals.  The band is made up of Ben Dowdle, Will Roddick, Ruby Burr, Reece Milton, Toby Sussex and Tino Monopoli.

Most of the Lazy Boys had a pretty full-on gig on the day of the heats. They performed in the matinee of Oliver, either in the cast or in the orchestra, dashed off to get on stage for their Rockquest performance, and then had to hightail back to the theatre for the show’s closing performance on Saturday night.

“On the day everything just kind of fell into place. The organisers for Rockquest were awesome about it, they said ‘just let us know when you can come in and we’ll set you up (…) Everyone worked their best to work around us which I think was really nice, so we could have the best of both worlds,” Ben said.

He says that coming off the back of winning regionals last year with previous band The Recliners, it would be “disappointing” to not get a placing.  He says that with the Lazy Boys’ wide range of talent and styles, their sound is very eclectic. “How we write our songs is that each of us has an idea for a song and then we branch off from that and add little bits, so it’s kind of like every song is a different genre with other genres attached to it.”

Bassist Toby Sussex says the band hadn’t had much time to practise in the weeks leading up to the heats. He says the new song the band is working on to perform at the finals is going well. “We just want to write some music that people will remember,” he said.

Those wanting to vote for the People’s Choice Award can text the name of the band in one word to 959.  Voting is open now and texts cost 20 cents each.

By Sera King – Media and Publicity