They went, they rocked and they won.
The Bagels band, with students from St Paul’s Collegiate School, won the 2023 Regional Finals of Rock Quest – and yes, it’s a big deal.
New Zealand Smokefreerockquest is Aotearoa’s biggest live original music event for young musicians. The judges and team from Rock Quest spoke of the intense competition in Waikato. They said, "The Waikato final at Clarence Street Theatre on Saturday night completely blew us away, I can't think of a regional final that has been so closely contested.”
The Bagels competed against ten other bands at the Clarence Street Theatre on Saturday evening and performed original songs, Explode and Leave It. Both songs are to be released on all platforms before the end of the year.
To gain entry to the regional finals, the band had to enter the competition at the start of the year with a video submission that earned a spot in the regional heats. In the heats, they performed one song and placed in the top 12 bands alongside fellow school friends and band Orange and Lime.
By winning the Regional Finals, the band will go to Nationals held on 16 September where they will have eight minutes to perform two songs alongside nine other finalists from all over the country.
The New Zealand-funk-reggae band (with a hint of indie) started making music together in 2020 and since then they have recorded more than eight original songs and are featured on Spotify.
The Bagels: Jackson Mackwood, Jackson Norris, and Asher Downing
Photo credit: Jonathan Alberry