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Rockin’ it at Rangi!

This month, our young contributing writer for Channel is Rangitoto College Year 12 student Anna Henvest. Anna brings readers up to speed on what’s happening on the local music scene…

Smokefree Rockquest has been the talk of the musical town lately, and with the North Shore Regional Final having been held recently, many people have been left wanting a better insight into what is regarded by musos as a legendary event.

Performing at the Bruce Mason Centre in front of 500 people, representatives of Rangitoto College have done an excellent job this year, with Ludo coming first and The Great Moon Hoax coming second. After being together for just a year, the winners, Ludo, were a three piece band in SFRQ last year but decided to “kick it up a notch” for this year’s competition and added two more members to create what they describe as a fuller sound.
Members of Ludo include Cody Wilcox (guitar and lead vocals), Joshua Strand (rhythmic guitar), Pierre Beasley (acoustic guitar), Wil Goodinson (bass), and Luke Lattimore (drums). Ludo endeavour to create a new sound and believe that they have a unique band, performing what is commonly classified as alternative rock.
Front man, Cody Wilcox, believes that it is their uniqueness that set them apart from the other acts in the competition. The band draws inspiration from acts such as Coldplay, Foo Fighters, John Mayer and Jeff Buckley.
The Rockquest is a very important move for these young acts, and they describe it as being so crucial for their exposure as well as it being a great experience. It was because of the Smokefree Rockquest that Ludo were given the chance to play on X Factor alongside finalist, Cassie Henderson.
Cody said: “This was a fantastic experience for us. We all really enjoyed working with the crew and the rest of the contestants. Everyone was wonderful and we would definitely do it again.”
Ludo were the overall winners of the regional final, as well as the winners of the Lowdown Best Song Award. They were up against 12 other bands from around the region, six of which attend Rangitoto College. One of these bands included The Great Moon Hoax. Formerly known as Get Off The Grass, the band made it through to the national finals in 2011 and have been going strong ever since. The band is made up of Julius Hattingh (electric guitar and vocals), Alex Estrin (drums), Flynn Roser (lead electric guitar and vocals) and Matt Neale (bass and vocals). When asked how they describe their sound, their reply was “alternative and magical”. Their alternative and magical sound has been associated with The Beatles and The Beach Boys, with the band themselves drawing inspiration from vocal-based music, as well as classical songs.
The Great Moon Hoax have just released a self-titled EP with eight original tracks. They have also made eight music videos through various mediums, such as stop motion and claymation, with the help of Rangitoto College. 
Julius Hattingh said: “We’re very grateful for the support that we get from Rangi. We have great support from both the music department as well as the media department who lend us gear to make our music videos.”
On the EP they also reveal the truth behind what “the great moon hoax” is, as well as giving listeners an alternative musical experience. Listeners can find their music on YouTube and Facebook just by searching “The Great Moon Hoax”.
These two bands will now go on to compete for a spot in the national finals where they must create a 15 minute video showcasing their musical talent. Should they succeed at the national final, prizes up for grabs include musical gear to the value of $13,000 from NZ Rockshops and their suppliers, radio promotional support, video play on popular music channel FOUR as well as inclusion on the NZ On Air Kiwi Hit Disc.
The legendary competition has been running for 24 years and was originally created by a Christchurch Radio Station and run as a local event. It was then taken over by two school teachers the following year in 1990. Rockquest is a huge move for these bands as it could lead to musical stardom, as if has for others from the Rockquest hall of fame such as Kimbra, Bic Runga, Brooke Fraser, Midnight Youth, The Naked and Famous and Opshop.

by Anna Henvest

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