Rockers eying national final

Cambridge-Hamilton band Casper won three awards for their Rockquest regional final performance. Photo – Carl Gordon / Planet Pix Photography.

Cambridge musician George Roberts hopes his band Casper will be able to one-up their 2018 performance in the nationwide 2019 Smokefree Rockquest competition.

The high school band won three awards at the Rockquest regional final in Hamilton on June 28, winning People’s Choice, Best Song and second overall.

“We were pretty happy with the result,” George said. “We could have done better, we didn’t think we played as well as we could have, but we still got a good result so that was cool.

“The crowd was really good too, it was great to see people who had come out to support us.”

The band won the 2018 regional final, making it through to the video submission round which selects ten bands for the national final. They didn’t make the national final last year, but hope to make the cut this year with plans to record a four-song set in the studio.

“Rockquest is really cool because give bands something to work towards,” George said. “And it’s just fun being in a band.”

Casper already have a single out on Spotify and iTunes, called Sorry Boston, and if all goes to plan they’ll produce an album for the summer.

Their song Hope you’re still keen, written by lead singer and guitarist George Woolston, earned them the best song award on Friday night.

The band – made up of St Peter’s, Hamilton Boy’s and Hillcrest High school students – also includes Jett Scott on the drums and Arjun Duggal on guitar. George, a St Peter’s student, is the band’s bassist and back up vocalist.

If they make it through to the national final on September 21 and win overall, they’ll land an $8,000 recording and music video grant from NZ on Air, $10,000 in musical equipment from the Rockshop and a branding package from Imaginary Friends.

St Peter’s band The Breethas performed at the Rockquest regional final for the first time. Photo – Carl Gordon / Planet Pix Photography.

St Peter’s band The Breethas, made up of Baxter Crafts (drums), Brodie Leef (guitar), Brandon Lowther (guitar), Tianwei Cao (bass) and Connor Kelly-Gage (vocals) performed at the regional final but did not make it through to the next round.

Cambridge High School band Betend Rocket, which includes Ben Cooper (guitar), Josh Bam (vocals and rhythm guitar) Connor Quickfall (drums) and Keenan Tuwhangai (bass) also made it through from the regional heats to the regional final but did not perform on the night due to a member being away. Instead they were able to make an electronic submission and made it through to the video round.

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