Sit down, stand out

'Competition was stiff and a lot of bands could have won'

'Competition was stiff and a lot of bands could have won'

SMOKEFREEROCKQUEST EAST COAST WINNERS: Campion College/Gisborne Boys’ High punk band Sit Down In Front won the band category of the SFRQ East Coast finals on Thursday at the War Memorial Theatre. Picture by Liam Clayton
Campion College’s Dagda were among the 12 finalists. Picture by Liam Clayton
Members of Gisborne Girls’ High band Astrik, who won the People’s Choice.
Gisborne Girls’ High band Mahuika were second overall.
Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Hawaiki Hou band Kowhai were third overall and won the best vocalists award.

RISING punk band Sit Down In Front admitted they were surprised to be named top band at the Smokefreerockquest East Coast regional final at the War Memorial Theatre on Thursday night.

“We didn’t expect to win,” said 13-year bass guitarist Roman Benson, despite it being a consecutive SFRQ victory for the Campion College/Gisborne Boys four-piece.

“We felt like the competition was stiff and that a lot of the bands could have won.

“Cory’s (lead singer Cory Newman) voice is really unique and he stands out in his wheelchair.

“We put a lot of effort into our practice and into what we wear and I feel that’s why we stood out.

“And it was great playing in front of people our own age.”

Sit Down In Front’s win is another step in their progress.

They recently appeared on the NZ on Air New Tracks compilation with their song Rain recorded at Roundhead Studios with producer Greg Haver, who has worked with the likes of Manic Street Preachers and Kimbra.

Second place in Thursday’s final went to Mahuika from Gisborne Girls’ High School while Astrik, also of Girls’ High, won the People’s Choice category.

Sit Down In Front, Mahuika, Astrik and the solo-duo first and second placegetters winners — Beka (Rebekah Campbell) and Keira (Keira Batten Coogan) — now have the opportunity to submit a video of their original material for selection as one of the top 10 for the national final in Auckland on September 14.

Overall winners receive an NZ on Air recording, video and promo package, a photo shoot, branding package and thousands of dollars in Rockshop vouchers.

There are also other awards for musicianship, lyrics, best song, vocals and electronic performance.

Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Hawaiki Hou act Kokowai were third overall at the East Coast final and were also judged best vocalists.

Girls’ High’s Skyline won the Electronic Performance award at the East Coast heats while Mahuika band member Pounamu Wharehinga won the best musicianship and the APRA lyric writer awards.

RISING punk band Sit Down In Front admitted they were surprised to be named top band at the Smokefreerockquest East Coast regional final at the War Memorial Theatre on Thursday night.

“We didn’t expect to win,” said 13-year bass guitarist Roman Benson, despite it being a consecutive SFRQ victory for the Campion College/Gisborne Boys four-piece.

“We felt like the competition was stiff and that a lot of the bands could have won.

“Cory’s (lead singer Cory Newman) voice is really unique and he stands out in his wheelchair.

“We put a lot of effort into our practice and into what we wear and I feel that’s why we stood out.

“And it was great playing in front of people our own age.”

Sit Down In Front’s win is another step in their progress.

They recently appeared on the NZ on Air New Tracks compilation with their song Rain recorded at Roundhead Studios with producer Greg Haver, who has worked with the likes of Manic Street Preachers and Kimbra.

Second place in Thursday’s final went to Mahuika from Gisborne Girls’ High School while Astrik, also of Girls’ High, won the People’s Choice category.

Sit Down In Front, Mahuika, Astrik and the solo-duo first and second placegetters winners — Beka (Rebekah Campbell) and Keira (Keira Batten Coogan) — now have the opportunity to submit a video of their original material for selection as one of the top 10 for the national final in Auckland on September 14.

Overall winners receive an NZ on Air recording, video and promo package, a photo shoot, branding package and thousands of dollars in Rockshop vouchers.

There are also other awards for musicianship, lyrics, best song, vocals and electronic performance.

Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Hawaiki Hou act Kokowai were third overall at the East Coast final and were also judged best vocalists.

Girls’ High’s Skyline won the Electronic Performance award at the East Coast heats while Mahuika band member Pounamu Wharehinga won the best musicianship and the APRA lyric writer awards.

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