Sound advice: Gigs (Nov 29-Dec 5)

Simthandile Mtolo performs at Sound Café in Ballito from 7pm on Friday, December 1.

BILLY SUTER reports on gigs in and around Durban this and next week – including a tribute to Badfinger and Bad Company, and a new, regular, free, Monday big band gig.

POPULAR Durban group The Black Lapels presents California Sunshine, a showband tribute show, at The Rhumbelow Theatre at Tina’s Hotel,  Beryldene Road, Kloof, at 8pm on Friday and Saturday (December 1 and 2) and 2pm on Sunday (December 3).

Rob Warren of The Black Lapels.

A tribute to the birth of the Los Angeles music scene, the show teams singer-guitarist Rob Warren, bassist and singfer Garth Warren, drummer Gareth Gale and guest guitarist Rusty Red.

Expect to hear music associated with  The Band, The Eagles, Neil Young, Crosby Stills and Nash, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, The Byrds, Creedence, Jackson Browne, Van Morrison and others.

These artists and their music defined an era. Set the tone, so to speak for a generation of hippies, beatniks, bohemians, artists, poets, protesters, lovers of excess and freedom to live and love by. Ultimately the mainstream found them too. So that’s pretty much all of us.

Seating is at tables of six, and tickets cost R150 each. Phone Roland at 082 499 8636 to book.


JAZZ and soul will be offered by Durban singer Simthandile Mtolo at Sound Café at Warne House, 5 Garlicke Drive, Ballito, from 7pm on Friday, December 1.

She will perform alongside Obakeng Thamage on keyboards, Talent Mbatha on bass and Sbu Zondi on drums.

Mtolo has been an actress, model, songwriter and musical director, and lists among her influences Simphiwe Dana, Esperanza Spalding, Erykah Badu, Whitney Houston and Jill Scott.

 Admission is R50 a head.


ALWAYS in search of fresh ideas for their showband tributes, versatile Durban band The Reals have decided to feature the music of two groups whose names begin with the letter B for their latest show.

Titled Badfinger to Bad Company, the show will be staged at the Durban Rhumbelow Theatre in Umbilo – every Friday to Sunday throughout December, until December 17. Performances will be at 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays and 2pm on Sundays.

The show’s first half will intertwine the connection between Badfinger and Apple Records, a record label owned by The Beatles. They were supposed to be the next Beatles but a series of tragedies, mismanagement and “rock and roll rip-offs” left Badfinger little more than a sad footnote in musical history.

The Reals… Rhumbelow Theatre dates.

The show also features Apple-affiliated artists, including The Beatles.

Badfinger, originally known as the Iveys, signed to Apple after several demo tapes received approval from The Beatles. They had top 10 hits in the UK and US, including the song composed by Paul McCartney, Come and Get It.

The show includes Badfinger hits No Matter What, Day After Day, Apple of My Eye and Baby Blue.

The show’s second half highlights the classic rock songs of  British band Bad Company, including Bad Company, Can’t Get Enough, Feel Like Making Love, Good Lovin’ Gone Bad and Movin’ On.

The Reals features Dawn Selby as musical director and on keyboards/vocals, Barry Thomson on guitar/vocals, Jason Andrew on bass/vocals and Mali Sewell on drums/vocals. Included in the line-up is guest guitarist Shaun Dragt.

Tickets for each show cost R150. Book at Computicket or phone Roland at 082 499 8636.


IF YOU are after a sundowner and some good music, varied sounds to wash away the Monday blues each week, consider popping in at Durban’s Berea Bowling Club, on the corner of Brand Road and Ferguson Road, every Monday.

You can attend and play bowls from 4pm (they have floodlights.) There will be club members in attendance to assist anyone new to playing bowls. They also have bowls available. The music, by different acts each week, flows from 6pm to about 9pm.

A full bar is available and food can be bought at the venue.

This Monday (December 4), the attraction is The Gentry, featuring John Skuy, Gavin Hughes and James Carlsen, who have a wide variety of musical influences.

The cost is R50 for the music, which includes the bowls (you don’t have to play if you don’t want to). If you require any further information call 082 499 8636.


IF YOU’RE a fan of big band music, don’t miss the free weekly session at Durban’s bay-side  KuDTa restaurant on Wilson’s Wharf, where music flows from 5.30pm to 7.30pm every Monday.

is led by popular Durban musician George Mari and showcases the city’s swinging talent.

Featured each week is a 13-member line-up of Durban-based jazz musicians including Burton Naidoo (piano) Llewellyn Chetty (bass), Sbu Zondi (drums), Gerald Sloane (Guitar), Debbie Mari (vocals) and Thabo Sikakhane, Phuti Mofokeng and George Mari (trumpets). Other contributing are Mxolisi Mdlalose, Tim Lewis (saxophones), Kgetsi Mokgetsi, Siyalo Khumalo (trombones) and Tseleng Mokatla (flute).

“The Monday Big Band promises to make Mondays the favourite day of the week with a wide range of repertoire including Little Sunflower, Doxy, Jive Samba, Lullabye of Birdland, South African standards such as Shona, The Mandela Suite, and other original compositions by band members,” says a spokesman.

With occasional change in personnel, The Monday Big Band will feature guest musicians every so often – to be announced.


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