Band needs your vote

From left, Sam Wilcox-Brown, James McGurk, Neo Lee and Michael Johnston of Barracuda Swim School.

A local band of teens, Barracuda Swim School, could still get into the national Smokefree Rockquest final, if they receive the most votes from the public. Voting for the People’s Choice, by text, is on now.

The band, which featured in Hibiscus Matters’ July 4 issue, was in the running for the final after winning the North Shore regionals. However, they didn’t make the cut of just six bands, which were chosen after submitting a video.

Their only option now is to be selected as People’s Choice.

Three of the band’s four members – James McGurk (bass), Sam Wilcox-Brown (lead vocals, guitar) and Michael Johnston (lead guitar) – are Whangaparaoa College students. Drummer Neo Lee (Sam’s cousin) comes from Titirangi.

They play all original material and have a strong local following.

The Smokefree Rockquest finals will be held at the Dorothy Winstone Centre in Auckland on Saturday, September 22.

Prize packages for bands and solo/duo winners include $22,000 in Rockshop vouchers, $16,000 NZ On Air recording, video and promo package and a photo shoot.

There is also the Musicianship Award, the APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Lyric Award, Best Song Award, Smokefree Vocals Award, Fatboy Style Award, and the ZM People’s Choice.

Several acts have gone on to musical success after competing in the event, including Broods, Kimbra, Opshop, Evermore, Ladyhawke, Brooke Fraser, Anika Moa, The Black Seeds, Bic Runga, and The Naked and Famous.

To get Barracuda Swim School into the finals as People’s Choice, text Barracudaswimschool to 407. Texts cost 20 cents per vote – one vote per mobile, per act. Voting is open now and closes on Wednesday August 21 at 11pm.


Barracuda Swim School members found out on August 23 that they narrowly lost out on winning a People's Choice entry to the Smokefree Rockquest national finals.  The organisers of the event have asked the band to close the nationals, as special guest band.


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