This week's blog is going to be a local affair. We have scoured the country for some fresh local talent to set your hearts beating and to caress your ears with joy. We road-tripped from the golden beaches of Durban to the gaudy settings of Joburg, before reaching the wind and cold in Capetown, to show you good people that South African music is far from dead. It is in fact on the rise in both quality and quantity!
Its music time....
1. Gangs of Ballet - This Love
Don't worry you are not about to watch a new South African version of Swan Lake. These guys are serious. Gangs are undoubtedly one of the hottest prospects in the South African music scene right now. They hail from the lovely city of Durban and are making heads turn around the country with their particular brand of rock and roll. I'd describe their music as 'anthem rock', with a touch of class. They recently opened for Switchfoot in Joburg and have also just signed for the record label EMI. This video was shot at the launch of their EP, held in an empty pool next to the city hall, back in March. What an epic backdrop to a spectacular track.
2. Matthew Mole - Take yours, I'll take mine
Matt Mole is a bit of a musical genius. Understatement. I'm lucky enough to have spent some time with Matt over the past few months and can honestly say that he is one of the most genuine guys I have ever met. This Fish Hoek local really puts his heart and soul into his music. If he isn't making his own tunes, he's either giving lessons or recording other up and coming artists. He's studied sound engineering at a pretty rad campus in central Cape Town. Mr Mole (I'm also reminded of a certain scene from Austin Powers), is currently in a Converse competition to play at the 100 club in London. Lets hope MM takes the gold. Matt 'the music machine' has got plenty other songs on his Soundcloud profile so check those out if you want some more ministry, 'Truth Be Told' is a classic.
3. Desmond and the Tutu's - Zim Zala Bim
Thats the reaction most people have after seeing Desmond and his aptly named Tutus live. Desmond is a non-stop party machine, they are so amazing that they get Joburg jocks to bust a move on the dancefloor that doesnt involve a fistpump. Desmond have been around for a while now yet they never seem to get old, they play dancey rock and Zim Zala Bim is their latest offering. Judging by the way it gets my mates going, it is most definitely a winner. If you aren't covered in a layer of magical dance sweat by the time this song finishes (yes you girls do actually sweat no matter what you tell people), then you probably have one of those old computers that didn't come with speakers and it's too much of a mission to buy the right kind.
4. Holiday Murray -Jirey
A fairly recent addition to the South African scene, Holiday Murray are a band that I really anticipate seeing live. They flirt a bit with some folky/european melodies but still mantain an overall pop-rock sound. When I hear their songs off their self titled debut album, I can't help thinking that Vampire Weekend had a baby with Death Cab For Cutie and then put it up for adoption in South Africa. These guys have managed to build up a great unique sound that works for them, something that many young SA bands struggle to do. A creative little music video goes a long way to proving themselves.
5. Goodnight Wembley! - Time Machine
Goodnight Wembley helps us end off this weeks post with some legit rock n roll! Formed by a few members from succesful SA band Taxi Violence as well as various other local bands, these guys know what they're doing. Named after the phrase uttered by many rock gods such as the Beatles and Led Zeppelin, Goodnight Wembley! have clearly stated their influences. There's more grit in their guitars than a southern grizzly bear's back-left molar. This songs going to make you want to grow your hair long and unwashed, just so that you can look cooler when you press the replay button.
Al Bairre - When I Was Tall
Ok so I know the last track was supposed to be the end, but I thought I'd reward all you desperados for holding on that extra day for your weekly fix. My mates and I saw these guys in Cape Town right after the glorious Matt Mole. We could only stay for half a song on account of us being walking zombies after a casual 20+ hour drive from Joburg, but it left me wanting to dig a little deeper. Despite some bad sound at the gig and some slightly effeminate air guitaring in the music video, these vibey cats and their twin backing vocalists manage to pull out some sweet dancey numbers that will find a snug place in my iPod playlist.