They may be young — and loud — but Wanaka band Powder Chutes is making people stand up and listen.
The teenaged four-piece — guitarist Clarke West (17), vocalist Henry McConnell (17), bass player Otis Murphy (15) and drummer Archie Orbell (17) — formed three years ago.
United by a love of music and the usual banter that comes when teenage boys gather, the band has gigged regularly around Wanaka but is starting to find itself on the same bill as some major players in the industry, including the Feelers, King Kapisi, and ‘‘technically’’ opening for New Zealand band Stellar*.
Most recently the band played its biggest show to date — performing in front of 15,000 people as the opening act at the Gibbston Valley Summer Tour ahead of music heavyweights The Angels, Stone Temple Pilots, Pat Benatar and ZZ Top.
Henry said it was their biggest crowd ‘‘times 100s’’.
‘‘It was pretty unbelievable.’’
‘‘It was awesome fun. It was one of the top moments of my life, to be honest, just having all those thousands of people there,’’ Clarke said.
Seeing the scope of stage and sound equipment — there were four different drum kits on the stage — and being in the backstage area was a big was a great experience for the band.
‘‘You know you have made it when you get your own portaloo,’’ Archie joked.
After Gibbston Valley the band was straight into preparing for its next performance at Burning Horse Festival in Southland last weekend.
The band is also preparing to release a new song later this year and is looking forward to the day they are known for their own music, Otis said.
‘‘It will be nice getting to the stage where people know your originals [songs].
‘‘It’s a mean feeling when you get people in the crowd singing along.’’