Pop pair take third spot in teen rock quest

Kamo High School duo Luke and Amberly have taken third place in the Smokefreerockquest, with their special brand of pop also earning them the award for best song.

The acoustic duo, Luke Rielly and Amberly Shepherd, won $3000 worth of musical gear from NZ Rockshops and their suppliers after coming third in the national final at Hamilton's Founders Theatre.

The pair won the Northland regional final of Rockquest in June ahead of 33 other acts from the region's high schools.

As well as taking third place on Saturday, Luke and Amberly also won the Lowdown Best Song Award.

Almost 700 acts entered the competition nationally this year and Rockquest founder and director Pete Rainey said the contest provided a pathway to success for young musicians.

Previous competitors included Kimbra, Midnight Youth and Ladyhawke, Opshop, the Datsuns, Brooke Fraser, Anika Moa and Bic Runga.

The judges for the final- were Jaden Parkes (Sony Music), Jeff Newton (NZ on Air), Lisa Blatchford (Ivy Lies), Matt Barthow (Four) and Matt Warman (Midnight Youth), and all said it was a tough decision to find the winners.

The competition was won by Nelson College band New Vinyl.

With their victory, the quirky three-piece with a folk jazz sound and an unusual combination of instruments, collected $10,000 worth of instruments from NZ Rockshops and their suppliers, a NZ On Air new recording and music video grant worth more than $10,000, a place on the NZ On Air Kiwi Hit Disc, radio promotional support for a single, and video play on youth music channel Four.

Second place went to Auckland pianist and singer Indi, who is 18-year-old Indira Force from ACG Senior College. Indi won $5000 from NZ Rockshops and their suppliers.

- Northern Advocate

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