Dawn, music and a sore shoulder

 

Dawn Selby of The Reals.

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BILLY SUTER chats to singer-keyboardist and musical director DAWN SELBY, a stalwart of the Durban music scene and important member of The Reals band, which performs its hit Woodstock tribute show at Durban’s Rhumbelow Theatre in Umbilo  this weekend (August 25 to 27). Also in the group are singer-guitarist Barry Thomson, drummer Mali Sewell, bassist Jason Andrew and guest singer Marion Loudon. Performances are scheduled for 8pm Friday and Saturday (August 25 and 26), and 2pm and 6.30pm on Sunday (August 27). Phone Roland Stansell at 082 499 8636 for more information and to book. Tickets cost R150 each.
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OF ALL THE SHOWS YOU HAVE PERFORMED WITH THE REALS – HOW MANY HAVE THERE BEEN IN TOTAL? – WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE  (AND WHY)?

We have performed six years’ worth of shows – too many to mention! Our current favourite is our Fleetwood Mac Tribute, The Chain, but I enjoy them all.

THERE HAS BEEN TALK, FOR SOME TIME, BY THE REALS OF A SHOW OF ’70S HITS – IS THAT STILL LIKELY? AND WHAT OTHER TRIBUTES ARE BEING CONSIDERED BY THE BAND?

We have exciting new shows planned for 2018,  but at this stage we can’t let the cat out the bag.

HOW LONG HAS THE REALS BEEN TOGETHER – AND WHERE, WHEN AND WHAT WAS THE BAND’S FIRST SHOW?

Officially the band has been together for six years, although some of us have been together for 31 years. As The Reals, our first show was Barry’s Taste of Thomson.

WHY THE NAME THE REALS, HOW LONG HAVE YOU HAD THE CURRENT  LINEUP, AND HOW FAR AFIELD HAS THE BAND PERFORMED OVER THE YEARS?

Barry thought of the name and it is based on the fact that what you see is what you get, with no gimmicks. The current line-up has been together since we began, and we have played up to 3 000km from Durban, our home base.

WHAT, FOR YOU, HAS BEEN THE MOST MEMORABLE PERFORMANCE THE BAND HAS GIVEN?

Every show we perform is memorable for me.   

HOW HARD (OR NOT) IS IT BEING THE ONLY WOMAN – AND MUSICAL DIRECTOR – WITH THE GUYS IN THE REALS?

As the musical boss, my word goes. Gender has nothing to do with it.

WHAT FIVE WORDS BEST DESCRIBE YOU?

Patient. Reliable. Understanding. Humble. Hard-ass.

WHAT ARE FIVE THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF (HOWEVER TRIVIAL) THAT PEOPLE ARE UNLIKELY TO KNOW?

Heart of gold. Loyal to the death. I love my dogs. Conservative. I love baking

YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING AND /OR AMUSING MOMENT ON STAGE?

It hasn’t occurred yet.

THE MOST FAMOUS PERSON YOU HAVE MET – AND WHO WOULD YOU GIVE GOLD TO MEET?

Ken Hensley of Uriah Heep recorded in my studio, playing on my Hammond.

I would like to meet Hans Zimmer and David Foster.

WHAT FIVE THINGS WOULD YOU LIST UNDER ‘VASTLY OVERRATED’?

Fashion. Acquisition of the latest electronics. Flashy cars. Caviar. The Kardashians.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR YEAR SO FAR?

Visiting a springbok-breeding farm in the Karoo.

WHAT ARE YOUR FEARS AND PHOBIAS?

Equipment failure or being late for a gig.

TWO HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR CAREER?

Orchestral arranging for the Guelph Symphony Orchestra. Publishing music curriculum for South African schools.  

THE MOST FRIGHTENING THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO YOU?

Dislocating my shoulder, which may have caused permanent damage, thus ending my career.   

FIVE OF YOUR ALL-TIME FAVOURITE SONGS?

I’ll Be Over You (Toto), Five Counts For Rita (Jimmy Smith), Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven), Difficult To Cure (Rainbow) and Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Eva Cassidy).

WHAT FIVE THINGS WOULD YOU LIST UNDER ‘SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE’?

Fresh Karoo lamb. Life in Canada. Lemon merengue pie. World travel. Strawberries.

WHAT ALTERNATIVE CAREER PATHS MIGHT YOU HAVE CONSIDERED – AND WHY?

I’ve always wanted to be a musician.

WHAT IS THE MOST PAINFUL THING YOU HAVE ENDURED? PLEASE ELABORATE.

Dislocating my shoulder…  and the inefficiency of the paramedics who attended to me.

HOW MUCH DO YOU READ – AND WHAT DO YOU ENJOY READING?

I enjoy reading crime fiction when I have the time.

WHEN LAST DID YOU CRY – AND WHY?

Last week, saying goodbye to my friend in the Karoo.  


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