Thank goodness for our local 'LIVE' audiences

Greetings all!
...from deep cyberspace at our fingertips! This has indeed been an enjoyable month of varied and exciting live shows played with wonderfull musicians in front of really 'spirited' audiences around the country. It is these audiences that give one a real glimpse of the future of SA music....'live' audiences wanting a 'live' music experience, both feeding off each other with creative purpose and fun till musicians and audience become one big 'band'...Certainly good to hear that 'live' music is the way things are going these sure beats the 'dead' one hands down!...with the added bonus of selling CD's/DVD's and other merchandise directly to an eager audience...up close and personal.

March kicked off with STRINGS&SKINS (Greg-oud,guitar,bouzouki,oudtar/Ashish-tabla,darbuka,zarb/Wynand-drums) at PLOT6..where a good pod of keen audience arrived early during a downpour armed with raincoats and umbrellas( it's an outdoor venue!) to get good seats. Happily the weather cleared before the show started and a fun time was had by all. The JazzZombies( Greg-guitar,Hugo de Waal-guitar,Marc Duby-bass,Kevin Davidson-sax,Jorik Pienaar-drums) played a burning 'jazz aint dead it just walks funny' set at Tings and Times in Pretoria. This also doubled as a fairwell show for our awesome bassist, Marc Duby, who has accepted a proffessorship department head of music at Rhodes University..good one Marc!
The STRINGS&SKINS international collaboration with Algerian vocalist and oud player Fethi Tabet and his stunning six piece band was an absolute blast with the energetic audience dancing from beginning to end. The rest of the month was spent on an exciting and successfull whirlwind tour of KwaZulu/Natal and the Eastern Cape with Steve Newman as a special guest in STRINGS&SKINS..where we promoted Steve's new solo album 'Flavours' and the new STRINGS&SKINS 'Passages in Time' CD...ja well it was a very full month with many kilometers,places and faces..something like a travelling salesman but with a whole lot more benefits starting off with the concept that you get to keep what you sell while the buyers also get to keep what they buy!..COWABUNGA!! with 'live' music ,I prefer 'live' audiences as well...

Good news is that upon arrival back home McCoy Mrubata and I continued to work on the second VIVID AFRIKA album that should be out later in the year. This project, based on compositions from McCoy and myself has a breathtaking live show which has received rave revues on their tour across Southern Africa and Reunion Island. The group is busy with plans for some shows in the south of France at the invitation of Algerian oud player/singer Fethi Tabet. Further more STRINGS&SKINS have also been invited to tour East Africa including Zanzibar during May 2008(this will make it our third time to perform in Zanzibar!)
If one looks at the music industry in SA it is evident that the 'industrious' part of the formula lies mainly with the musicians themselves where they show their multifaceted talents for writing, arranging, rehearsing, recording, forming groups, managing themselves, self-financing, agenting,hustling and organising tours to sell CD's that they produce and sell themselves with very little help from the so-called music business moguls. It is only when we perform outside of our country that we get respect, recognition and appreciation that is mostly absent from our local music industry. Thank goodness for our local 'LIVE' audiences who put heart and soul into the development of SA music and who can recognise something that moves them (when and if they get to hear it)..what a pity that most access to the public is under the control of unmusical greedy music industry fatcats who decide what the audiences should see at our music and arts festivals. Ofcourse not all music industry people are a drag to us musos...some actually have a vision and have acted with conviction in honestly promoting SA music. is one such bunch of positive irrepressibles who this year won the music blog of the year for their praiseworthy promotion of South African musicians and their music. Congrats guys!!
...and again I say...gimme a 'live' SA guys rock!