Pictured: Rehearsing at Kick Start studios in Fairy Meadow, Dlinkwnt are, back row from left, Louis Pozzacchio, Jake Parker, Stuart McNair, Jack Contencin, Des Cannings, Nicholas Johnson, and front row from left, Er-Chih Li, Aimee Bloomfield and Paul Pozzacchio. Credit: Andy Zakeli
Wollongong music will again shine on a national stage, with a local group named the best university band in NSW.
Jazz/hip-hop crossover act Dlinkwnt won the state final of the National Campus Band Competition on Thursday night.
After winning the University of Wollongong final, the regional final and now the NSW final, the band will take their place in the national final next month in Canberra.
“I’m still letting it sink in,” said frontman Nicholas Johnson, sounding a little tired after a big night of celebration.
Playing first out of four state finalists, sometimes a daunting prospect, worked to their advantage, Johnson said.
“We got to set the tone for the night, but it’s always nerve-racking to play first because it’s the start of the night and you have to work harder.
“All the bands were awesome, but even at the end we still felt really confident.”
After switching one of their “go-to songs” out of their set list after feedback from a previous judge, Dlinkwnt were named winners in a judge’s call decided by one point.
“I kind of squealed a little bit when they said we won,” Johnson said.
“We had a big team hug, then we did our customary McDonald’s run. That’s how we celebrate.”
The win continues a recent strong run of form for UOW bands in the National Campus Band event. Sydney Girls Choir were named runners-up in the 2010 national final. Paper Moon in 2009, Rocking Horse and The Baby Dolls in 2011, and Beaten Bodies in 2012 also won through to the NSW finals. Dlinkwnt will join state winners in the final at the University of Canberra on October 11.
“We have to do our homework now, find out who we’re up against,” Johnson laughed.
“We’re feeling pretty great. It’s kind of surreal to be in the top bands in the country.”