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The Privates, Gonzo Republic Start The Party

February 7, 2008 – 18:13 by John

With keen enthusiasm, a decent-sized crowd woke up from the standstill of a Joburg December to February. Nobody knows what happened to January, but the Bohemian blasted out “Lets Start The Party!”, a four-band lineup which…well, read on.

The Privates International Band

“Everybody loves a bit of reggae,” said the random guy next to me. The crowd seemed to agree, as Steady Rock grooved out a low-key, head-bopping, toe-tapping “roots rock reggae” performance. The band decided that the venue complemented a more acoustic set, and so played sans drummer, but the spectacular keyboards stood out, and the frontman offered up insight into his soul searching. There certainly was a lot of Jah praising going on. February sees the formal release of Steady Rock’s album One World Citizen, and I’m off to the bar now.


Gonzo Republic: Cool name
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Done with “hiding out in the suburbs,” Paul E. Flynn and the Seeds of Doubt have unleashed themselves onto the general public, and I reckon the SA music scene may benefit. Led into a mellow, acoustic rock battle, they were well received by the crowd as their debut gig hit the Boh. Like a favourite pair of jeans, the variable rock songs are instantly likeable and comfortable, but could have been better without all the complaints about the monitors and feedback. Paul’s got one of them distinctive voices, and I’ll have a beer please. Out of a can.

The fun and energetic Privates International Band have amassed a following over the last few months, and nobody standing near me was disappointed by the performance. Maybe that really pissed guy by the bar, but not the sweaty indie flamenco cabaret rockers’ fans molesting me in the crowd. Like a butterfly in a hurricane, there’s something attractive in all the craziness, and where’s my drink.

A thing that impressed me was that after the gig, they go around and sell their CD, for a fair price. This, of course, means that people actually buy it. So instead of moaning about the music industry and how nobody buys CD’s anymore, they are getting out there, interacting with the fans and working the room.


After hauling rectum all the way from Durban (and on their way to Cape Town soon), Gonzo Republic pretty much stole the show. From their look and sound, they could have been the latest group of indie darlings from the UK for all the crowd knew. Their live performance is edgier than their recorded songs.

When they rather abruptly finished their set, they simply walked off the stage without saying anything, leaving the crowd wondering what the hell was going on. Until a smart one in the crowd yelled out “Hey, they finished… we’ll have to shout for them to do an encore.” So we did, and they did, and all were satisfied.

Then, on the way home, I was arrested.

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