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Paul E Flynn, Greenhouse Effect, Munkinpure

Friday, March 7th, 2008

When 2008 dawned, I promised myself (and Visa) that I’d curtail my trips to Joburg to watch bands. I managed to fool myself for a few weeks, tops. I suspect the oversized credit company knew it was a hoax all along. Oh well, there’s something to be said for living on gigs and toast. Anyways, Paul E. Flynn and the Seeds of Doubt went heads up against Greenhouse Effect and the latest “indie rock” outfit to leave the cookie-cutter, Munkinpure.

Paul E Flynn and the Seeds of Doubt

Paul E Flynn is the frontman of iconic South African rock group, Sugardrive. His solo album Fields has been in the works for a while now and it seems that with the collaboration of the Seeds of Doubt (Sean Strydom, Donovan Campbell and Paulo Rego). It’s set for an April release. Flynn has arguably the most distinctive voice in the country, and it’s the kind of voice that sends quivers racing along your skin. Especially if the window’s open.

Thursday night was one of the best gigs I’ve been to in months [catch the last time we covered them]. Smidgen of country but minus the Stetsons (although Paul did do an alarmingly accurate rendition of the redneck dance on stage). Too much time in Ireland perhaps. They were still rock enough to get me and the usual gig partner-in-crime up and dancing, and they had fantastic rapport with their audience. All in all, we had an awesome time (and not just because of the free wine that came with the burgers, which apparently only I was drinking!), the band looked like they were having loads of fun, and we were also taught a novel use for onions. My kinda show.

The support acts had more measuring up to do than a tailor before St Patrick’s Day. Greenhouse Effect played first, offering a funky image which immediately struck a chord with the hip kids. Switch the kit for a drum machine and let the trip-rock sound.

The final act was indie rock outfit Munkinpure, one of the bands coming up for air at Splashy Fen Music Festival (March 20-24, KZN — more here). The threepiece had the ill fate of a dilapidated audience. Blame the barman.

My beautician recently told me that the space between my eyebrows represents my liver and is crying out for mercy. Who knew. Anyway, it’s all relative. After all, what seems excessive to a Benedictine monk is veritably chaste by Paris Hilton’s standards! I guess I’m somewhere in between.

[ by Belinda Glenn ] | Overtone needs you like an overdue shiatsu. Write/shoot/film.

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    The Privates, Gonzo Republic Start The Party

    Thursday, February 7th, 2008

    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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