A group of local teenagers who hope to take their music from Whangaparaoa to the world are one step away from the NZ Smokefree Rockquest grand final after their band, Barracuda Swim School, won the North Shore Regionals last month.
Three members – James McGurk (bass), Sam Wilcox-Brown (lead vocals, guitar) and Michael Johnston (lead guitar) – are students of Whangaparaoa College, and drummer Neo Lee (Sam’s cousin) comes from Titirangi.
Although Neo joined just prior to the Smokefree Rockquest, the other three have been writing and playing songs together for around a year.
Playing all original material in a style they describe as “alternative rock” has gained them a strong following, with a crowd of supporters turning out to see them win the regionals – as well as impressing the judges.
Recently they made a video of five songs, with the full support of Whangaparaoa College and technical assistance from friends. Six bands are chosen to play at the national finals, based on that all-important video.
Sam says that music is the dream for all the band members.
After the Rockquest, they hope to release some of their music and play some local gigs.