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l A Candid View Of The STEREOTYPES l

Friday, December 19th, 2008

When did you start playing, what sort of music do you perform and who works with you?

The STEREOTYPES have been playing together as a 7 piece hip-hop inspired band from mid 2007. With 7 members as different in musical styles as they are in culture something truly unique was fused. They draw inspiration from each other and their country and combine that with soul, afro, reggae, rock and jazz to bring something truly electric to their audience. Fusing together their individual styles into a feel-good vibe of laid back grooves and get up and dance party music with a positive message. Inspiration comes from the jazz, funk, Hip Hop scene in Cape Town and abroad, good lyrics and nice rhythm”.

The STEREOTYPES work with anybody who loves music. There is always common ground as long as you “Do It For The Luv”. Despite our uncommon sound we have shared the stage with The Carpet Mafia, Bed On Bricks, Flat Stanley, Stealing Love Jones, Jason Barry Band, Quiet Time & Mr Cat & The Jackal.

What is the best show you have played?

The best show? Difficult one!!! We always play @ our best when we just let go & feel the crowd. We also have a backstage humming & harmonizing session, which is kinda like a pep talk. Ah yes then there is the Jagermeisters.

Continue reading l A Candid View Of The STEREOTYPES l

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Interview | Abavuki | Afro-Fusion Band

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Morning Abavuki! Ninjani?

Siyaphila, enkosi

Abavuki is a mash-up of different sounds, by the looks of it. What do you call your music?

We normally refer to it as African Jazz, but given your food reference, let’s make it Afro-fusion!

Where’d you all learn to play the trombone?

We have 4 brass players in the group. Thulani and Mwamadoda who play the trombone, were both taught at school, the Symphony orchestra did an outreach programme. Thando and Ndima were taught to play the trumpet by Simpiwe Matole from Amampondo

Continue reading Interview | Abavuki | Afro-Fusion Band

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3-4 April 2009 | Cape Town International Jazz Festival

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

The Cape Town International Jazz Festival has proved many skeptics wrong. When the organisers launched the event in 2000, many felt that the event, like other previous attempts to have an annual international jazz festival on the African continent, would fizzle out.  In April 03-04, the festival which attracted 33 500 people this year, turns ten.

Cape Town International Jazz Fest 2008

Continue reading 3-4 April 2009 | Cape Town International Jazz Festival

Posted in Upcoming Events | 5 Comments »

A Little More On Melanie Scholtz

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Melanie Scholtz started singing at an early age. Coming from a musical family, she was exposed to different kinds of music as she grew up, and at age 17 she enrolled at the Opera School at the University of Cape Town, where she graduated cum laude in 2000. While studying opera and classical singing, Melanie continued to listen to and sing jazz as well, and is today an incredibly versatile singer. Whether it is jazz, pop, classical, r&b or electronica, Melanie sounds equally stylistically correct.

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The Restless Natives | Live At Asoka | Quick Hits

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Hey guys!

Don’t forget to catch us, The Restless Natives, live at Asoka (Kloof Str, just below Saigon) this,and every, Tuesday night from 9-11pm!

It’s great venue with great drinks,great food,great people, and (most importantly) GREAT MUSIC!

AND IT’S TOTALLY FREE!!!!! So please spread the word and stop by!

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    Cape Town Jazz Fest: More Vids

    Monday, March 31st, 2008

    Just thought we’d treat y’all to a couple more exclusive Overtone vids from the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, which ignited the Mother City this weekend. Take a look below, and also hit our YouTube Channel for more exciting South African and international acts.

  • Catch the full report from the weekend!

  • Zola: “If it weren’t for these security guards, ladies…”
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    The Cape Town Jazz Fest: a general walk-through of the vibe. Very cool.
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    The Bays: Live improvised dance act that doesn’t rehearse or release albums.
    More Vids | Submit Vids

    Jimmy Dludlu in the Kippies Hall.
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    The Jazz Fest is an annual feast of local and international talent. Once you’ve witnessed the sheer volume of the entertainment on offer, you’ll actually begin to see the capacity for live music culture in South Africa through those rose-tinted glasses you’ve been hearing about from us. In other words, you may be shy to part with your R300, but lemme tell you, we’re just gonna keep harping on about it until you go check it out for yourself. Then, with your ears, you’ll see. Even if, like me, you’re a musical idiot.

  • Catch the full report from the weekend!

  • Posted in Event Reviews | No Comments »

    CT Intl Jazz Festival: The Idiot Guide

    Monday, March 31st, 2008

    If you’re looking for an authoratitive review of the 2008 Cape Town International Jazz Festival, I’d rather you packed your supercool bags and checked somewhere else. I’d be making a mistake by giving the impression that I knew the difference between Vicky Sampson and a Go!TV presenter, but that aint gonna stop me. Nosireebob. The organisers were kind enough to provide me with a heaven-sent pass that allowed me free beer, steak kebabs and Internet access under the guise of actually doing some investigative journalistic work, and by microwave-bloated marshmallows, I’m gonna give them some kinda report in return. It’s the least I could do, but just so you know, I’d put in at least another half an hour if the gravy was a tad more rich. Here we go.

    Cape Town International Jazz Festival 08
    Zola: “If It Weren’t For These Security Guards, Ladies…”. .

    Ok, I do make it sound a little less exciting than it was. It was HUGE. And FUN! And contagiously, jealousy-inspiringly ENERGETIC! A sardine sea of faces flooded the foyer after Oliver Mtukudzi played his last note, and the place was like Grand Central Station on September 11th. And the acts that crowded the place were no less plentiful. In the two evenings on offer, I’d only managed to check out a fraction of the 40 acts on offer; Mike Mainieri and Steps Ahead, Javon Jackson Superband (feat hotshot grandpappy Miles Davis drummer Jimmy Cobb), SA blues stalwart Jimmy Dludlu, UK improv dance act The Bays, a couple of talented geriatrics called The Manhattans, Sergio Mendes, Lee Ritenour (both blanks) and Zola.

    What do you think of Jimmy Dludlu?
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    Ok — where to start? Let’s do it backwards. Zola7. The new hero of my life. Sorry, girlfriend, I now love mainly him, and the fact that I bragged my way into the photographer’s pit to catch him up close. Wowser, what a show. Being white and therefore completely ignorant (and, unlike some, not pretending to know what ‘Mdlwembe‘ means), I was under the impression that Zola’s entire act was based on a post-apartheid demographic-trapping of a rising black middle class through singing in both English and Xhosa and releasing a polyphonic tsunami of ringtones. For the most part, I was right, but this marketing attack dilutes not the power and spectacle of the man’s crafted live show. In a stitched cotton T and suede loafers, Zola got an almost-gospel happiness going, and word on the street is that he’s a pretty good thing for SA music all in all. Helping kids and the like. More of that, please people.

    All that’s to be said about both Lee Ritenour and Sergio Mendes is that they’re probably big names in some circles, but not the one above the letters ‘o, v, e, r, t, o, n, e’ at the top of this page. I find there’s a lot of hype about certain jazz musicians, and I’d rather listen to the music than the moniker. Great music, but kinda like listening to a CD instead of a live show.

    As old-school showmen from an era of departed chivalry, The Manhattans are often credited for popularising dance music, and influencing future acts such as the Jackson Five and Madonna. Grabbing the prime spot on Friday night, four bright, white suits made the stage of the central Kippies Hall, and with syrup-smooth R&B vocal harmonies transfixed more than one woman over 40. And no, it’s not the ‘Klippies Hall’.

    I had the foot-happy pleasure of catching Jimmy Dludlu twice; once at the free community concert on Wednesday in Greenmarket Square (if you’re one of those who constantly bitches about SA not being ‘international’ enough, get to this concert next year – party in the street, yo.) The other was on the Saturday night, at around beer-thirty. He’s a pretty good act from my humble point of view, but attracts criticism from others I know for being ‘boring’ and ‘cliched’. Needless to say, technical ability aplenty doesn’t always equate with stage presence. But tell that to the 3000 people who couldn’t sit still.

    And then, there were The Bays. Ah. Separate article is the least that they deserve: check it out here.

    The Jazz Fest is an annual feast of local and international talent. Once you’ve witnessed the sheer volume of the entertainment on offer, you’ll actually begin to see the capacity for live music culture in South Africa through those rose-tinted glasses you’ve been hearing about from us. In other words, you may be shy to part with your R300, but lemme tell you, we’re just gonna keep harping on about it until you go check it out for yourself. Then, with your ears, you’ll see. Even if, like me, you’re a musical idiot.

    “Technical ability aplenty doesn’t always equate with stage presence. But tell that to the 3000 people who couldn’t sit still.”

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    Goldfish: Perceptions Of Pacha

    Thursday, March 13th, 2008

    Goldfish are one of those rare groups that seems to tick all the boxes. Talented, creative musicians with an innovative product, a media-friendly smile, and good looks to boot. Second album Perceptions of Pacha is not just a nod to producer figures in the Miami (centred around top club Pacha Ibiza), but a lounge- and dance-friendly jazzy house album for the young ‘in’ crowd with their folks’ cash and Sunday evenings to spend.

    Goldfish - Perceptions of Pacha
    Are Goldfish ever gonna slow down?!

    Unlike many hard copy music records these days, the physical album is worth it. If not for the sake of showing it off to your FCUK friends, then simply for the trademark ‘sun-rays’ design job and live 25-minute video from the duo’s Sunday night sessions at Ignite. Dance. Now.

    At eleven tracks, two radio edits and a live video, Perceptions kicks off with Sold My Soul, a relatively mellow West African-sampled blend, followed by vocal, halfbeat radio single This Is How It Goes (feat. Monique Hellenberg). Get ready to hear more of this one.

    Here’s something you probably didn’t know: Dave Poole has a splendid voice, even though you seldom hear it live, other than to gush thanks to the crowds. Just For Tonight features the saxophonist’s Damon Albarn-inspired lyric, “I don’t wanna see you till the morning light” oscillating with a computer-synthesized “just for tonight”. Sweet play of sounds.

    Zakhile Moleshe
    Monique Hellenberg
    Max Vidima
    Hlulani Hlangwani
    Lee Thompson

    The tone of the album straddles mellow but uptempo Cafe del Mar-styled melodies with sharp, acid house synth washes that you might hear from a Fischerspooner track. There aren’t many known local artists to compare to, but let’s just say the pumping Gauteng house scene may buy these guys a drink.

    Look, as mentioned, the group’s got their ducks in a row. Goldfish was spawned from more orthodox jazz beginnings in Breakfast Included, alongside some of Cape Town’s leading musicians. However, the amount of exposure Dom Peters and David Poole are now receiving – thanks to simple techniques like enhanced CDs and hair gel is both testament to their business savvy and rocksolid foundations, primarily, as musicians.

    So yeah, grab a copy before they jet off to light up MTV and the like. We wouldn’t say it if we didn’t mean it. You’ll have some company around before you know it.

  • Goldfish: Perceptions Of Pacha Launches
  • Goldfish And Cocktails, While Stocks Last!
  • Goldfish: Teaching A Nation To Fish
  • Goldfish Home
  • Resident Advisor
  • The History of Jazztronica

  • Posted in Album Reviews | No Comments »

    Goldfish: Perceptions Of Pacha Launches

    Monday, March 10th, 2008

    Middle age is a fantastic time. You begin celebrating simple pleasures like a picnic basket that folds up, with EVERYTHING in it! Sharp knives! Wine glasses! Checkered cloths! They’re all here! Luckily for the more buttoned-down soccer moms amongst us, we have acts like Goldfish to keep the spirits of youth alive. Kirstenbosch was thrilled to welcome the act back on a perfect Cape Summer evening yesterday evening, even if you enjoy the benefits of portable, heat-sealed coffee mugs from Italy.

    Goldfish at Kirstenbosch

    A wide-open sky and the smell of grass. (Buffalo grass). Loads and loads of people – 6000, by some measures – and a very pink theme. Don’t ask why, because we still haven’t really figured out why every second person was wearing pink, painted in pink or carrying pink blankets. Someone muttered, “well, it IS Cape Town…”

    Goldfish: the second album is here. Material from Perceptions of Pacha (a venue in Ibiza, the Mediterranean party island) dominated the hour-and-a bit set, but Goldfish also treated us to guest appearances by upcoming freestyle and Plan Be jazz vocalist Sakhile Moleshe, angelic pop diva-cum-piano teacher Monique Hellenberg and some of the original players behind debut album Caught in the Loop. And, of course, the addictive sax riff from Egyptology. The vocal-heavy new stuff teeters somewhere in the playlist, waiting to be picked up by the stations and blasted to the top ranks of instrumental dance, both club and living-room friendly. Some seriously stoked teeny-boppers in the front row.

    A debut appearance by Dom on electric bass made the instrument seem easier to play than something from Toys R Us. Classically trained: 1. Garage band self-taught: 0. With all the mixer-humping, we seem to forget that these guys have their roots in classic jazz, and probably know more standards than Standard Bank.

    Once again, it’s important to be balanced in these reviews. He who praises everyone praises no-one. But searching to get the critical ‘cons’ of a Goldfish concert out of the way is pretty fruitless. Ok, Kirstenbosch could provide bins, and sitting behind one of the rope-marked pedestrian walkways of the Gardens’ main lawn area is a mistake, but if the weather’s clear, you’d have to be a radical pessimist to miss a minute of enjoyment at last night’s event. Seriously. If you’re over thirty, just remember: nobody cares if you’re dancing or not. So get down to the front.

    The duo are the closest thing celebrity-dry South African music culture has to offer the globe in terms of recognisable, press-heavy popular icons. No. The duo are full-blown popular icons, and whether you’re a sideline fan, appreciative musician or a crazed groupie, you’ll find a way to give the Fish props. Kudos for the outdoor vibes, and keep it alive. And get a copy of Perceptions of Pacha – it’s got your number. Check out the event video here.

  • Goldfish And Cocktails, While Stocks Last!
  • Goldfish: Teaching A Nation To Fish
  • Goldfish On Overtone
  • Goldfish Home
  • Paul van Dyk Home
  • Somebody Get Them A Wiki!
  • “We still haven’t really figured out why every second person was wearing pink…”

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    Interview: Babu

    Monday, February 25th, 2008

    Fourpiece vocal-free jazz fusion outfit Babu paint us a picture of music as a gentle art, one that is earned through years of sincere practise and style. And as amazing as the Cape Town group’s subtle, Indian-styled melodies and arrhythmic beats go, they don’t take themselves too seriously. Take a couple of pages from this book…

    Babu interview

    Babu is…
    Kesivan Naidoo – Drums
    Reza Khota – Guitar
    Ronan Skillen – Tablas, percussion
    Shane Cooper – Electric Bass

    S: “Indian classical music meets traditional Western jazz ideosyncrasies” [laughs - these are the exact words in their press release]

    Re: Two years. But it’s only been the last year that we’ve done it seriously.

    K: We were all involved in other projects. We all knew the band wasn’t gonna stop after the first gig. When you nuture something, you’re patient and you wait till the time’s right.

    S: From traditional American jazz to contemporary electronic and broken beat stuff. I could sit here for 20 minutes and list a whole bunch of bands. From this band, I might draw ideas from something that’s completely unrelated to this genre of music.

    K: I have a billion examples. Or maybe a million. For this band, Shakti, The Zawinul Syndicate. Original world music masters, and then people like John Coltraine, Miles Davis, drummers Tony Williams, Brian Blade and Alvin Jones. Beyond that, Nelson Mandela and Steve Biko remind me that I’m allowed to do these things. That’s a big influence for me.

    Re: And The Weather Report [an influential 70s jazz fusion group].

    K: I would love to play all the great concert halls: La Scala, Royal Albert Hall, Carniegie Hall, the Lincoln Centre. A sit-down venue

    Ro: There’s a local venue I’d dig to play, the Oude Libertas Theatre.

    Re: That place has got really good acoustics. There’s nothing that can compare to a gig where you have incredible sound. It turns you on, it turns the audience on, you just get…

    K: …get off [laughs]

    Re: We don’t only make music, we sacrifice a helluva lot.

    S: We sacrifice little lambs… [laughs]

    K: The fundamental thing is to have fun. If you’re not having fun, the audience can’t have fun. We have so much fun together it becomes incestuous, and that translates into the audience…

    Ro: You mean infectious? [laughs all round]

    K: Keep it in the house…! [laughs] Ok, ok. I meant…I meant both, acually. [laughs all round]

    Re: Why? Because we can play this kinda music.

  • The Restless Natives At Headset
  • Interview: Unit.r

    More news…

  • Posted in Artist Interviews | 1 Comment »

    2008 Cape Town International Jazz Festival

    Monday, February 18th, 2008

    If one looks at the 21-artists announced today, there is no doubt that the 2008 Cape Town International Jazz Festival will go down as the ‘Festival of the Guitars’. Six of the groups on the additional line-up unveiled in Johannesburg ’s Latinova design district for this year’s Africa’s Grandest Gathering, are guitar outfits or are led by guitarists. Leading the pack is award-winning US guitarist Lee Ritenour.

    Continue reading 2008 Cape Town International Jazz Festival

    Posted in Industry News | No Comments »

    Goldfish And Cocktails, While Stocks Last!

    Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

    It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Camps Bay and as I watched the sun setting I knew that there was something equally impressive about to go down at Ignite later on in the evening: Submerged Sundays with Cape Town’s favourite live dance-music act, Goldfish.

    Goldfish at Ignite

    The prospect of writing a review of a live performance was quite exciting and a task that put me on the other side of the microphone for the first time in a while. So, while Overtone took stabs at Up The Creek and Origin Festival, some of us remained behind to pick up the slack at one of the hippest clubs on the strip.

    Goldfish: just in case you’re not familiar with ‘em.
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    While Dom Peters (keys, double bass, groovebox antics) was setting up the group’s complex audio/visual frontline, bartenders stood at attention. One of them delivered an ice-cold Amstel to me at a surprisingly reasonable price, and the black leather-coated bouncers smiled forcefully at random intervals. An all-round sense of expectation.

    Even if you haven’t followed the life and times Goldfish too closely thus far (and missed what Dom had to say on Overtone last time), you will undoubtedly have heard of them, their music, high-profile gigs (locally and internationally) or even attended a show or two. As for myself, I saw them first a couple of years ago at a Red Bull event in an airport hanger with Verismo. More recently, I enjoyed their Rezonance Prism 2007/2008 show. I was impressed with their perfectly choreographed fire-dancing sideshow – and then distracted by my mates and their acquaintances, who broke into their limo and stole their booze while they were on stage. Sorry guys. Not that it’s any consolation, but my umbrella went missing that night.

    The clock ticked 10pm and Dom got jiggy on the keys. The crowd had already packed the dance floor quite nicely and the little “no-man’s land” that always exists between the front-row and the stage (ask me why?) wasn’t going to last much longer either. David Poole‘s steady finger hit the button and Goldfish launched supersonically into a bouncy jazz-house track that got the guys sticking their hands in the air, and the girls waving their single-vodka-and-limes around like they just don’t care! Yeah yeah…

    The set was varied: a good couple of previews of their new album, classics off the old one, as well as interesting remixes crossing somewhere between the two. The video screens on either sides of the stage fed off two cameras positioned just above the band members’ heads and spectacularly give those less fortunate people who found themselves wedged far behind the hip-grinding front row, a great view of all the action – with some awesome VJ video-effects added!

    The crowd spontaneously erupted to the famous sax riff of Egyptology and despite the next day being a working day, the mood was light and bubbly as Goldfish took them to another level at the Submerged Sundays at Ignite in Camps Bay, Cape Town. It’s quite clear why Goldfish just does it for us: brilliant musicianship meets live electronica in a head-on, passionate frolic. Hey, even Snow Patrol’s going electro…

    [Guest Post By Mark Schellhas] | More…

    When Who What Where ZAR
    9 Feb, 10pm Goldfish Electronic jazz Grahamstown Festival n/a
    10 Feb, 8pm Goldfish Electronic jazz Ignite, CPT 30
    15 Feb, 8pm Goldfish Electronic jazz Old Biscuit Mill, CPT n/a
    More gigs…

  • Goldfish: Teaching A Nation To Fish
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    More news…
  • “Sorry guys. Not that it’s any consolation, but my umbrella went missing that night.”

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    Hot Water On The Boil With New Album

    Monday, January 28th, 2008

    Wanna know what South African music is? Afro-rock collective Hot Water had its fans (and their kids, dogs and mothers) trekking an hour to participate in a vibrant, on-your-feet show on a cooking Cape day at The Farmhouse, one of the only country establishments around that’s actually willing to disturb the peace…

    Hot Water

    Is it just us, or is it Freshlyground Generation Two? In the last few weeks alone, we’ve come across all these mad bands mashing up traditional black ethnic harmony-lines and djembe solos with buttoned-down mellow acoustic vibes and unabashed three-chord pop-rock. Tucan Tucan, with their Argentinean keyboardist, Kaapse lead singer and hotchpotch crew of…everything. Mike McCullagh’s crew of classical pop-punting clowns, Khoisan opera singers, The Rudimentals, Alan Funk and now this: Amanzi Amazshushu (Hot Water) showing off a new petri dish of diversity with their second album, One. Let’s call it Year 14 Rock.

    Hot Water at the Farmhouse
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    African flavour just got MSG’d. The lively, 7-10 piece (informal) collective has indeed come home. Heavy on the positive vibes ["hey bra, like, the album's called, like, 'One', hey"], Hot Water kicked off the show with a super-gradual jam session. One by one, the bassist, drummer, “Themba on the djembe”, keyboardist, backing vocalist and percussionists joined the stage, some of them only coming on an hour from the first chords. Beautiful technique, perfectly suited to the relaxed, family-fun, outdoor, laid-back, ‘no-drugs-but-booze’ atmosphere of the Cape Farmhouse. (Sidenote: since when did farms become live music venues? What a sweet trip, chilling on a hay bale in the sun instead of a plastic chair in the dark moaning about life and cigarettes. Indie rock beware…)

    The bushfires around sleepy seaside Cape Town village Scarborough shelled about eight houses over the weekend, and sometime into the marathon two and a half hour set, bandleader Donovan Copley got us all to put our heads down in a thirty seconds’ silence. “I think thirty seconds of silence can’t be a bad thing.” Then we got back into a song about bushfires.

    The Farmhouse Charm. The Charmhouse.

    Since we last saw em, Hot Water have kept the surprises coming. Even with an above average knowledge of music, I’d been pleasantly confused at the playing of the Hang. It’s a Swiss instrument which means ‘hand’ and watching Copley and backing vocalist Leon Visser play it sounds and looks like something out of a séance in Teletubby land. Cellist Barbara Kennedy was also a pleasant albeit brief touch.

    It was a media frenzy. The photo-buddy and I met up with about fifty independent groups of journalist types, which is a nice, round (albeit exaggerated) number. But you get the idea. We could have moored a oil tanker by tying all the camera cables together. In fact, since first touching base with them, I’ve learned that this is indeed a band that is grasping for abundant commercial potential while still remaining true to the sound of South Africa. After a few words…erm, “backstage” (behind the barn) with Visser, I learned that he earned his place as backing vocalist by leaving behind a less serious band and concentrating on being more focused and driven as a musician. In other words, keep an ear out; Hot Water is on the boil.

  • Cool Evening With Hot Water
  • Album Review: Hot Water: One
  • On Your Feet With Tucan Tucan
  • More news…

  • Hot Water fill-in drummer Devin Jones was also the man behind the kit for recently disbanded carnival rock outfit Verismo, and now plays with The Jack Mantis Band
  • Assistant album producer Galen Hossack is one of the guys behind LoadTheShow.co.za, the only site in South Africa which offers both free MP3 downloads and pays their artists (ok, we’re in business with them. But check it out anyway…)
  • Donovan‘s sister Marisa designed the album cover

  • Posted in Event Reviews | No Comments »

    Goldfish: Teaching A Nation To Fish

    Friday, January 18th, 2008

    Being in a band is like being a politician on the campaign trail. You tour from place to place, smiling and waving, babbling your “message”, being interviewed, conducting in-depth PR discussions, hoping everyone will like you and thus buy your albums. This can consume you.


    I thought about this intriguing parallel as Dave and I stood in the lobby of the Mandela foundation after the 46664 press conference. We watched an established local Pop Star (with his high-profile model girlfriend in tow) casually leave his coffee cup on the Nobel Peace Prize cabinet and maneuvered his way into a photo-op. I suppose when you start doing bathroom fittings endorsements, you’re kinda a lost cause.

    Goldfish – All Night.
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    Live, The Goo Goo Dolls, Peter Gabriel, and Annie Lennox were all at the conference. Johnny Clegg, Just Jinjer and Arno Carstens, too. Wed all assembled for the press conference alongside artists we had grown up listening to. Surreal.

    It hit home even stronger when one of Mandela’s assistants called us in. We were nervously ushered past Ludacris and Corrine Bailey Rae.

    It’s about now that you realise who the REAL star of this whole caboodle is. I just wish I had a sampler with me when he said in that distinctive voice, “Ahh! Goldfish!”

    Teach a nation to Fish…

    Alexandra Township: one of the nation’s largest informal settlements. We hopped a police-escorted ride through congested Jozi traffic to an educational school play about AIDS. We were billed as speakers. We knew our stuff.

    But addressing a student when she puts up her hand to ask if a CD4 count of 220 is low is hectic. If you’ve got a count of 200, you’ve got AIDS. A powerful moment, which made the whole experience suddenly real. With proper treatment and anti-retrovirals, anyone can live a long and productive life. Let’s just work towards getting our government to make them available to everyone.

    Ludacris got it good when one of the kids answered his diatribe on safe sex with, “what do you mean when you rap, ‘I keep lotsa ho’s in different area codes’?”

    Uh oh…

    Big Fish…

    Ellis Park Stadium: an insane gig. To walk out on to that stage and see thousands of people in front of you is pretty damn cool. The stage was revolving, so whilst one band played, another band set up, only to be swung into view, ready to rock as the other band finished their 15 minute slot. Perfect for keeping the music flowing.

    We had our own stage, which extended into the Golden Circle (how appropriate). We made the most of our 15 minutes, and jammed our hearts out. What a blast! The crowd was awesome, singing along to the Fishies and making us feel right at home. We chilled out afterwards and watched the other bands perform, and soon it was time to welcome Mr Mandela on stage. All the artists assembled on the back half of the revolving stage, and whilst Madiba made his way to the microphone (which took some time). The crowd went bananas and it took a good ten minutes for them to calm down. As soon as Mandela started talking, you could hear a pin drop.

    “Aids is no longer a health crisis,” says Mandela. “It is a human rights issue. It’s true. People in South Africa are being denied access to anti-retrovirals that can save their lives. So, being part of a movement to make a change – however small – was an incredible honour for us. The people who work for 46664 are an inspiration. Perhaps it is the ‘Mandela magic’ rubbing off on them or something, but it is so good to see people involved in something they believe in.

    46664 rocked, and I think everyone that was there walked away a little more educated and hopefully a little more pro-active about this disease that affects us all, whether we realise it yet or not. With millions raised, it was another huge success for the 46664 movement. A huge thanks to the 46664 foundation, Real Concerts, all the artists who took part and everyone who showed up to have a good time whilst doing something uplifting.

    by Dom Peters

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  • When Who What Where ZAR
    18 Jan, 9pm Goldfish Electronic jazz Tilt, DBN n/a
    20 Jan, 8pm Goldfish Electronic jazz Ignite, CPT 30
    26 Jan, 6pm Goldfish Electronic jazz J&B Met, Kenilworth, CPT n/a
    27 Jan, 8pm Goldfish Electronic jazz Ignite, CPT 30
    2 Feb, 7pm Goldfish Electronic jazz Fees, Stellenbosch, CPT n/a
    3 Feb, 8pm Goldfish Electronic jazz Ignite, CPT 30
    9 Feb, 10pm Goldfish Electronic jazz Grahamstown Festival n/a
    10 Feb, 8pm Goldfish Electronic jazz Ignite, CPT 30
    15 Feb, 8pm Goldfish Electronic jazz Old Biscuit Mill, CPT n/a
    More gigs…

  • Goldfish saxophonist David Poole‘s first band later went on to become Dorp
  • The band was named after bassist/keyboardist Dom Peters‘ memory span; he claims that it’s “as useless as a goldfish”

  • Posted in Music Features | 1 Comment »

    On Your Feet With Tucan Tucan

    Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

    Jive, kwela, pantsula: what do all these words mean? Well, not much if you were raised in Constantia, but for the vast majority of people who know what their hips are for, it’s about moving.

    Tucan Tucan

    “Do we have anyone from Cape Town in the house?!” screamed the barefoot, frontlady Cindy Gibbons to another capacity crowd at the V&A Waterfront. Bit of a silly question, really, but it got the desired results. “Yeeaaaahhh!!!!”

    Tucan Tucan: I’ll have a Mai Tai, and where’s the coat room?
    More Vids


    The whole gig got the desired results, come to think of it. Full-fledged crowd dancers did their best to keep up with a smooth-as-diamonds set from Tucan Tucan, one of South Africa’s most promising new afro-tropical gems. Afro-tropical? Cruise ship swing, baby.

    But in this country, it’s too easy to praise crossover bands, who’ve all been brought together by the beauty of music/jazz/whatever. Gibbons, the most vocal of the group’s 8-piece lineup (vocals, guitar, sax, keyboards, bass, drums — the whole hog) kept firing off reminders: music as a tool, music as diversity, music as unity. Got it. Now, back to the tunes!

    But Buddy. Ohhhh, Buddy. Mr Buddy Wells, everyone. THE sax guy. Like liquid gold he poured out solos, riffs, hooks, lines, licks and runs from the jazz Major 7th heaven in the sky. Last time we checked him was at Freshlyground in the super-chilled Afro-groove Adamu Quartet, and before that was behind the Violent Femmes at Ampli5. Once again, everyone. Mr Buddy Wells.

    Busy group, all in all. Definitely a show. Worth checking out, and definitely worth booking if your aim is to get people in suits to migrate over from the buffet table and loosen the tie…

  • Caelee: Five Minutes In Vogue
  • Afrika Burns: Backwater Art Back In Fashion
  • Freshlyground: Too Fresh For Words

  • Posted in Event Reviews | No Comments »

    Carpet Mafia: Bring The Funkin Jam On

    Thursday, November 29th, 2007

    When you got the buzz, you got it, and Carpet Mafia is another tragic South African music story: all talent, and a cigarette butt of actual representation. All talent, because not even a Tuesday night crowd in Cape Town could keep quiet after listening to a loosely hammered hourish-long set from four dedicated motherf*%#ers.

    Carpet Mafia on Overtone

    Obz Theatre in Cape Town: newly revamped, and very much suited to sit-down dinners. Carpet Mafia: newly rejoined, and very much suited to pelvic freestyling. So, no surprises that the early numbers received less applause than a Pinelands dog show.

    Carpet Mafia rippin’ another one.

    Bassist and supposed frontman Portasul, Roccamonte (keyboard, guitar, cigarettes), Don Thulioni (drums) and Jazzabezzi (lead guitar and spaceship effects) could have had ‘em eating out of their hands, as they did when I first saw ‘em back at Obz Fest, when Cool Runnings was Cool Runnings (what’s this Roots sh*t?). Tight foot-tapping funk that speaks of devotion and a beer please, barman. Now.

    One or two of The Carpet Mafia’s tricks?

    Portasul: “Let’s make one up”
    Rocco: “Pick a key, man.”
    Portasul: “G?”
    Crowd: “Yeah!”
    Rocco: “Let’s go.”

    …followed by another epic 10-minute freewoven piece that could sound like anything from a dreadlocked Prince to a Copa Cabana fraudster. Rocco dominates both keys and the occasional guitar, while effects pedal-heavy Jazzabezzi earns his Gibson rights. Portasul indulges in a rabid fretboard-raiding or two, but keeps the rhythm for the most part, Don Thuli gets that zombie look in his eyes behind the kit: the hallmark of a metronome timekeeper. Stellar solo, too.

    Loads of communication going in this dedicated band, which is…uh…the point of band music. Also watch out for creative phrasing, segued songs (ie, no break, just a mellow fade), feel-easy, persistent licks, spontaneity and an overall New York gangster vibe. Oh, Mafia. I just got it now.

    Other Carpet Mafia News: back together just two months after bassist Portasul strayed back home to the USA for a five-month stint, the Mafia are knuckling down to record their first studio album. Any more news? The comments box below awaits…

    Albums to date: Bootleg Uno (live), Bootleg Deuce (live).

  • Carpet Mafia: What You Call Spontaneous Music
  • Carpet Mafia on Overtone | Myspace (free downloads)
  • Borno Media: Band members’ production company

  • Posted in Upcoming Events | 2 Comments »

    Cape Town Intl Jazz Festival To Hit High Note

    Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

    The Cape Town International Jazz Festival is green to go, and the initial press conference went down as smoothly as the complimentary pilsner. Take a look at what’s in store for next year’s unparalleled annual gathering of jazz, hip hop, soul, experimental and jam musicians in the country’s creative city centre!


    Event-producing CEO Rashid Lombard is a legend. Sorry, but when you see a powerful organiser with a pony-tail defending the influx of electronic and alternative music into the notoriously purist genre of jazz (in front of the Minister of Cultural Affairs), you have to smile. Nice one, man.

    Just to summarise the 51-page report that was levelled at us, there are a number of key developments this year.

    First off, the festival is expanding from a 2-day into a 10-day extravaganza, and blowing up into what organisers are calling a “Mardi Gras” vibe. The 2008 CTIJF will boast a free community concert and a greater diversity of musical styles.

    Furthermore, they’re spilling out onto the streets! Unlike last year, there will be food stalls, a fashion gala event and a new marquee venue known as “The Dome”, which will host an extra 1200 people! And that’s just, like, a ‘mini-concert’. PUMPing…

    The red meat of the festival will be held on the weekend of Friday 28 – Saturday 29 March 2008 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. And, we’re talking 40 jazz and jazz-related musical groups (about 50% local and 50% international)

    “The formula of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival is simple,” says Lombard. “Bring jazz together with its popular music siblings. The 33 356 people who attended the 2007 festival is proof that this is a winning formula???.

    Basically, there is going to be loads going on in this time, including plenty of opportunity to be educated in music in public workshops.

    We’re still waiting for confirmation for the remaining 21 artists, but the lineup at present is:

    Oliver Mtukudzi (ZIM)
    Zola (RSA)
    The Manhattans feat. Gerald Alston & Blue Lovett (US)
    Ananda Project (US)
    Bongani Sotshononda Project (RSA)
    Gavin Minter with the Mother City Jazz Orchestra (RSA)
    Gerald Albright (US)
    Hiromi (Japan)
    Kenny Barron Trio (US)
    Lennart Åberg Band (Sweden) feat. Peter Erskine (US)
    Leslie Klein-Smith and “Mother City Groove??? (RSA)
    Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Band (RSA)
    The Bays (US)
    Najee (US)
    The Big Idea (RSA)
    The Four Sounds feat Zelda Benjamin & Phyllis Madikwa (RSA)
    The Soul Brothers (RSA)
    Tierney Sutton (US)
    Tutu Puoane (RSA/Belgium)

    We’re gonna be scooping as much as we can about this mammoth event. Did you know that 35% of the festival attendees are international visitors? It’s huge! We understand that if you’re under 40, the list sounds like a bunch of randoms. But trust us, we’re sold. After checking out the promo vid from last year’s event, and witnessing first-hand how much effort is being put into this thing, we have faith that you’ll have to be stoned to be disappointed. As a musician, there is a level of music that you only begin to reach after 20 years of practice.

    What more could you expect from Cape Town, anyway? Well, let’s call it a warm-up for 2010.

    Posted in Event Reviews | No Comments »

    Table Mt Blues Summit Flattens CT Crowd

    Monday, November 12th, 2007

    The Blues is the music of perseverance. No, not Perseverance Tavern. Well, that too. But more a music that speaks of real times, of hard work and of no shortcuts. Meting it out with a vengeance on Saturday night at the Mother City’s annual test of blues loyalty, the Table Mountain Blues Summit had more than just a mellow evening on offer…

    Table Mountain Blues Summit on Overtone
    Boulevard Blues’ Richard ‘Pebbleman’ Pryor showing ‘em how it’s done.

    Perseverance Tavern was, in fact, my first stop of the evening, and I wasted a good 25 minutes driving ‘dazed’ around the same block in Constitution street like a total asshole searching for the event.

    But it was more than compensated for, because on arrival, the Tafelberg Tavern in Hope St had managed to totally destroy most of its well-behaved, school hall vibe. By the time young veteran Dan Patlansky clocked in his last chord, the 20- to 80-year-old crowd had pushed back the ridiculous white chairs and claimed back their dancing space with a windmill arm-fuelled air guitar or two…

    I’ve seen opening act Acid Blues before, and caught guitarist James Kibby’s eye in the lobby after the show. It was a look of insanity. I managed to circumvent The Lonesharks and Delta Blue on my seventh loop around Hof Street. Next time, for sure.

    Boulevard Blues got them going. Mellow in beginning, the Champagne Blues soon upped the tempo and kicked an already-pumped room into overdrive

    “I just got one question,” offered leather-throated lead vocalist Dr John in the instrumental break. “Do you wanna get hiiiiiiiiigh…?” Rooaaaar!!!

    The aforementioned band, who were behind most of the organising, then unleashed Richard Pryor. Rumour has it that the guy’s left hand just applied for sponsorship with motor oil Q20. Jack Black solo licks from the back room in hell, we tell you.

    Dan Patlansky was the other act I was beyond blessed to see. Adorned with warrior tattoos and long, curly hair, the man is obviously something of a sex-beast if he does the job like he plays his weather-beaten red Fender Strat. Not just balls-to-the-wall riffs, but dynamic intuition — when you think he’s gonna blast, he comes in quiet as a mouse’s husband. Do yourself justice if you’re into guitar, and make a plan to see either of these two magicians.

    On a sour note, there was a serious drinking problem throughout the evening. There was not enough done. Do not:
    a) deprive a man instant, easy access to the bar because the place is packed
    b) offer him drinks coupons. It’s like monopoly money.

    Seriously, event is gonna have to get a bigger venue with more bar flow next year. By our estimates, a good 15% of the crowd should still be alive by then.

    The Table Mountain Blues Summit genuinely did exceed my expectations, but I sense that there’s a way to go. Perhaps, to follow the lead of main event sponsor Marshall Music and get local music off the ground, let’s demonstrate our appreciation for not just the blues, but classic rock, metal, soul and jazz by pitching up next year, huh? To those who made it, hope the kids were sleeping when you got home. Wink wink. Till then, here’s some stuff…


  • Boulevard Blues
  • Acid Blues
  • Myspace:

  • Dan Patlansky
  • Boulevard Blues
  • Website:

  • Boulevard Blues
  • Dan Patlansky
  • Delta Blue

  • Posted in Event Reviews | No Comments »

    Alan Funk: Alan Funk

    Thursday, May 17th, 2007

    Am I going stir-crazy, or is the broadly interlaced afro-beat/ska Cape Town scene making a musical charge? It kinda makes me wonder how aptly titled eight-piece group Alan Funk manages to convoke a single practice attended by all, let alone a tight, upbeat and fiercely indigenous self-titled debut album.

    Alan Funk

    With a cascade of echoing saxophones and bold Xhosa vocals, Alan Funk‘s self-titled debut album bursts onto the Cape Town scene, bringing with it familiar yet fresh afro-funk and soul-infused melodies. If you’ve heard the likes of Freshlyground, The Rudimentals, Kolelo and the smattering of other Mother City kwassa-kwassa, ska and afro-beat pathfinders, you kinda get a quivering idea of what you’re in for.

    But other than one of the acts at the Oudekraal Vodacom Joy Of Jazz Festival, who the heck are they?

    “The band’s name came about by accident, says manager Stephen Charnas. “They played a house party at Alan’s (the guy with the long grey beard who is a friend of everyone in the band) house, and called themselves Island Funk. However, when it was reported in the paper the next day, the journalist who attended the party thought they were called Alan Funk, and that’s what got published.”

    The octet formed two years ago, when a “highly productive jam session” between bassist Steve Funk and guitarist Dan Boschoff began attracting other members.

    First was drummer Geoff Adams, then vocal duo Lwazi Manzi and Nhoza Sitsholwama. Alto saxophonist Max Starke was next, then Greg Bridges on percussion and finally, tenor sax player Victor De Freitas jumped on board. Everyone offered their own piece of the pie.

    Corporate gigging seems the way to go, but after the MyCokeFest scandal – where, rumour has it, none of the local bands were paid – it seems that you gotta watch your back before you compromise your integrity as a creative unit.

    “I am aware of the realities of having to compromise for the sake of making progress,” says Charnas. “Each potential interaction with the corporate world will be adressed according to its particular merits and, like all major decisions, will be decided on by the whole band.”

    Mashing up Xhosa, Zulu and English, duo Lwazi and Nhoza dominate the musical proceedings on the stage with resolute vocal command, but the album (like any other) strips the performance dynamic and distributes the limelight somewhat. News is that Lwazi is leaving to begin her medical internship (yeah – a singing doctor – ‘how aaaare yoooou feeeeeeling?’), and the plan is for Nhoza to take the reins. There are reportedly some extra vocal harmonies in the pipeline.

    It always seems a little pointless to rattle off lists of genres, such as “afro-funk, 70s American funk, township jive, rock and soul”, because they say very little about the musical experience. So let’s break down the 7-track album piece by piece…

    Bilingual opener Running Away boasts some easily recognisable chord sequences in a slow tempo, and begins the album in a very familiar key.

    Ntomb’Olahleko (Lost Girl) is laced with subtle build-ups and features some soft R&B percussive riffs and beautiful, two-tone sax harmonies. The seven-minute Wedding Song is an upbeat township jive track at number three, and boosts the gentle tone of the album somewhat. Neighbourhood Vibe is a pumping track, doused in Zulu click onomatopoeia, and classic funk guitarwork and an (almost) power-rock drumming climax.

    Opening with a stylish jam sound, vocals take a back seat on Funky Daze, and serve more as instruments of melody than lyrical expression. Again, sax duo Victor De Freitas and Max Starke shine brighter than their lustrous instruments in this one, both in their brass harmonies and their solo work.

    Club Blues is the closest thing the album has to a single, outlining a little about how it feels to be in the scene. A mid-song phonecall sample and a sexy, pounding slow beat makes this one a pelvic motivator. “Walk into the club, I’m all dressed up, I need to get myself together Gotta find a man…cos I don’t walk the streets.”

    Album closer Tie The Dog Loose was recorded live at Zula, and was wisely left to the end. The atmosphere and cohesion of this young group can immediately be sensed through the applause of the crowd and Lwazi Manzi’s band introductions and crowd banter.

    On the whole, the soft-edged tone of the album lends it an easy home-listening feel. However, like many other traditional African-influenced groups, it takes a vibrant live audience, a good sound man and a beer to appreciate Alan Funk in their definitive entirety. And, unlike the steaming heaps of transoceanic bullsh*t dumped upon us through any number of internationally obedient radio stations, this album is fighting its way into domestic consciousness with a knobkerrie, a tambourine and a saxophone or two.

  • Hot Water: One
  • New Academics: City of Strange
  • Kidofdoom: Album Review
  • More albums…

    Posted in Album Reviews | No Comments »