Nayland bands through to Rockquest regional finals


Five out of the six bands that competed in the regional heats last weekend have made it through to the finals. Student journalist Ysabella Abel caught up with some of the band members this week to find out more.

On Saturday 8 May, six Nayland College bands took part in the Nelson regional Smokefree Rockquest heats. An exciting day for all who participated in the competition. Five of the six Nayland College bands got into the regional finals which are to be held on 11 June at the Theatre Royal. They are all extremely excited to be in the finals. To find more out about these bands we asked them the following questions:

Who are the members of your band and how long have you been a band?

  • ‘Phat Daisy’ consists of seven members; two from Nelson College, two from Nelson College for Girls and three Year 11 students from Nayland College: Ysabella Abel, Pippa Sussex and Lovinia Pluck. “We came together as a band about two months ago.” says Pippa Sussex, their acoustic guitarist.
  • ‘SoundLounge’ is a four-person band made up of Year 13 student Ruby Burr, Year 12 students Henry Burgess and Daniel Bailey and Year 9 student Molly Sussex. Ruby, Chris, and Henry came together as a band at the start of the school year and then recently invited Molly to join as their bassist.
  • ‘The Batteries’ is a band of Year 12 students: Keegan Lewis, Kloey Shaw, Eli Shepard and Ed Roddick. They have been a band for three years with Kloey joining last year as a guitarist. This is their second time entering Smokefree Rockquest.
  • ‘Nelson Crime Family,‘ like ‘Phat Daisy’ and ‘SoundLounge,’ came together as a band this year. They are made up of five Year 13 students: Will Roddick, Tully James-Young, Tyler Russ, Lennox Crowe, and Ethan Frewin.
  • ‘Muted,’ who won last year’s Smokefree Rockquest in Nelson, have been a band for two years. Its members are two Year 11 students, Tyler Curtis and Peter Gray, along with Year 12 student Jayden Day-Anthonise.

What kind of music do you like to write?

  • ‘Phat Daisy’ like to write a mix of songs. “Normally it is just whatever we feel in the moment, it can be different every time.” says Pippa. Their latest song, which is called ‘The Aftermath,’ is what they performed on Saturday.
  • Chris who plays the electric guitar in ‘SoundLounge’ said, “We like to write a mix of funk rock fusion.” 
  • ‘Muted’ also said they like to write in a similar style to Rock Funk.
  • Will from ‘Nelson Crime Family’ had a similar response. “We don’t have a set style but often write Rock Funk, our inspiration is old rock, so we try to replicate that with some added funk.”
  • ‘The Batteries’ like most said, “We like to write anything that’s vibey, mostly Alt Rock, really whatever we enjoy making.”

What did it take to get from the forming of the band to performance ready?

For most bands practice is particularly important when getting ready for any performance. 

  • Pippa from ‘Phat Daisy’ said, “It took lots of practice to get to a performance ready stage for Rockquest. Having a band where its members go to different schools means it is harder to get together to practice, however we all worked on writing our songs and bringing our own ideas to each practice ready to make some good music.”
  • Chris from ‘SoundLounge’ stated how they needed to have lots of practices where they would go over the songs and improve them. “We also went over our stage presence and how we wanted to interact on stage,” said Henry (drummer).
  • ‘The Batteries’ said, “At the beginning we did not really do anything, we would just do covers. Then just after the time Kloey joined we began writing our own songs, then we had our first gig which was at the start of this year.”
  • Will from ‘Nelson Crime Family’ had this to say, “It took us lots of practice especially over the Easter holidays about five hours a day to go from one cover to seven original songs.”

Are you excited to be in the finals?

All our Nayland college bands said they were extremely excited to be in the Nelson finals.  

  • ‘Phat Daisy’ is “looking forward to performing more of their songs.” 
  • ‘SoundLounge’ is excited to perform for the first time as a band at RockQuest. 
  • ‘Nelson Crime Family’ had a goal of “getting to the finals,” so they are all excited and ready to have some fun. 
  • ‘The Batteries’ are very happy to get through and have the chance to perform. 
  • ‘Muted’ know “it is a great opportunity to be in the finals and full of learning experiences.” They are also ready to redeem their title from last year.

With cash prizes up for grabs, as well as vouchers from the Rockshop, all the bands performing at the Nelson Smokefree Rockquest finals will be playing their best music so make sure to come on 11 June to support our Nayland College bands and hear some great music. 

Door sales will be available or you can book your tickets through the Theatre Royal website.  

By Student Journalist Ysabella Abel