Rock on!

Methven Primary School rock band, Herding Cats, from left, Owen Hende, Henry Guild, Huey Mee, Noah Gill and Max Coleman won a rockstar styles award for their interactive performance in a Rockshop Bandquest Christchurch regional competition.

Young rockers from Methven Primary School have taken out some top tier awards in one of three Rockshop Bandquest Christchurch regional competitions.

The Ultimate Noodlers band, made up of Isaac Phimister (vocals, guitar), Max McKay (lead guitar), Kaylum Davis (bass) and Clarry Hooker (drums), took second place in their online regional competition, and base player Kaylum Davis won the rock-solid bassist award.

The Ultimate Noodlers band, made up of Isaac Phimister (vocals, guitar), Max McKay (lead guitar), Kaylum Davis (bass) and Clarry Hooker (drums) got second place in the online regional competition.

Fellow school rock band, Herding Cats, made up of Henry Guild (vocals), Max Coleman (guitar), Owen Hende (guitar), Noah Gill (bass) and Huey Mee (drums), won the rockstar styles award for their interactive performance.

Music teacher Wayne Pannett, of Wayne’s School of Rock, was full of praise for the young musicians.

“All the boys are keen talented musicians with a lot of energy and are a pleasure to tutor,” he said.

The regional final was won by Branches of Steel, from Breens Intermediate. The Pentagons, of Heaton Normal Intermediate placed third.

The competition, which involved submitting a live performance piece online – unedited and uninterrupted for up to six minutes – was judged on the quality of the performance, not the video production.

Both bands did performances which involved two songs each: The Ultimate Noodlers performed cover pieces, In the Summertime (by Aussie rock band Thirsty Merc) and The Hardest Button to Button (White Stripes).

Herding Cats performed Song Two (Blur) and About a Girl (Nirvana).

“They did well, they were awesome,” Mr Pannett said.

Mr Pannett has taught The Ultimate Noodlers individually and as a band for the past couple of years. The four boys are aged around 10.

And the five musicians in Herding Cats – aged around nine – for about 18 months.

“They are all very, very keen musicians, enthusiastic,” he said.

“They run to practice (twice a week) they just can’t wait.”

Mr Pannett has five bands under his wing in both primary and secondary school age groups, which bode well for future competitions online and, the preferred way, live in front of an audience.

Bandquest organiser Glenn Common said the online video platform worked well, as it did for Smokefree Rockquest regionally in 2020, and as it had for regionally isolated Rockshop Bandquest acts since 2012.

“Ideally, much of this event is about giving students experience performing to audiences on professional stages, but where that hasn’t been possible, video submission has been a workable alternative,” he said.

“Although it is disappointing for us to have to move away from live events, as it will be for the young musicians involved, we are glad that they have had the chance to grow their musicianship, performance, teamwork and communication skills already in their preparation for the event,” he said.

“Keeping students, teachers, the audiences and our crew safe is of paramount importance.”

The judges for the Christchurch regional were Nelson based performer, Dayna Sanerivi, and Wellington based producer, Jesse Austin-Stewart.

The regional winners will now have their online videos judged by a new panel of judges in the national final.