Rockquest winner looks to Lorde

Two bands and two solo artists from Dunedin will have their shot at the big time after taking out the top spots at the Smokefree Rockquest's Otago final.

Twelve bands and solo acts took the stage for Saturday night's regional final, which was held at Sammy's Entertainment Venue and drew a crowd estimated at more than 300 people, Smokefree Rockquest director Glenn Common said.

The winners included Isabelle Mullan (17), from Kaikorai Valley College in Dunedin, who took first place in the solo/duo section.

She said her recent songwriting inspiration came from New Zealand's new music star, Lorde.

''I love her songwriting and how honest she is, and that inspired me to write something honest and meaningful,'' she said.

Haze Harrington (17), from Taieri College, took second place in the solo/duo category, while top spot in the band category went to Otago Boys' High School alternative rock four-piece Chandeliers.

The band featured lead singer/guitarist Nick Alexander (17), bass player Callum Fisher (17), drummer Callum Hartstonge (17) and lead guitarist Kalin Geisreiter (18).

They were followed in second place by King's High School five-piece indie-pop group The Darbies, featuring bass player/lead vocalist Tane Brooks (17), guitarist/lead vocalist Jake Cropley (16), lead guitarist Damin McCabe (17), David Darby (17) and Rapture Latu (16).

All four bands won musical equipment and a shot at qualification for the national final at Auckland's Q Theatre on September 27.

The winners, place-getters and acts that qualify for ''second chance'' places, from each of the 24 regional competitions, would all vie for eight spots in the national final, Mr Common said.

The selection process required bands to send in video footage of their original music to be judged in August, ahead of the final, he said.

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