Sound Advice: KZN (Dec 6-11)

Rusty Red…performing in Hilton and Kloof this week.

BILLY SUTER reports on gigs in and around Durban this and next week – including tributes to Eric Clapton, Badfinger and Bad Company, and a gig by an SA Idols favourite

RUSTY Red and Fiona Tozer are among acts secured for the fortnightly Music in the Hills gig, in a former barn at The Knoll Historic Guest Farm, Knoll Road, Hilton, to be held again this Wednesday, December 6. Admission is R30.

Starting off the fun at 7pm will be The Vast Oddity, a duo with influences of rock, folk, reggae and trippy vibes. Their music taste is vast and odd, apparently!

Tozer, who is to take to the bandstand at 7.30pm, is one of South Africa’s longest-standing folk performers, with a story dating back to the KZN Folk Clubs of the 1970s and 1980s. She has been a regular at Splashy Fen for years. .

The new millennium brought a change of course with a dalliance in jazz and, subsequently, a master’s degree in composition in 2008. Since them, Tozer had several commissions to compose works for various ensembles, including the KwaZulu-Natal Youth Orchestra.

She continues to do folk gigs, and is once more concentrating on performance and composition.

Singer and guitarist Rusty Red will perform from 8pm.

If you’ve been looking for a musician who can really play the blues, look no further than Rusty Red. Over the last few years, he has been honing his skills with an array of formidable acts such as The Black Lapels and Splashy Fen legends, The Hairy Legged Lentil Eaters.

Rusty has shared stages with South African blues-Rock guitar guru Larry Amos and opened for  blues guitar wizard Dan Patlansky when he was only 18.

Along with solid guitar wizardry and emotive vocals, and combined with the unshakeable rhythmic talents of Skippy Kubheka on bass and Chris Melling on the drums, Rusty Red is wandering dangerously close to the territory of some of the most legendary blues acts of the previous century and, not mentioning any names, South Africa’s very own home-grown legends.

The MiTH 9pm pick this week is Crossroads – a Tribute to Eric Clapton and Friends, featuring Rusty Red, Chris Melling and Skippy Kubheka.

Visit for more details and directions.


JAZZ, R&B and soul will be offered by Pietermaritzburg singer Nosihe Zulu at Sound Café at Warne House, 5 Garlicke Drive, Ballito, from 7pm on Friday, December 1.

She will perform alongside pianists Zibusiso Makhathini and Lesedi Thloloe on percussion.

Nosihe Zulu… Ballito gig.

 Zulu grew up in a musical home. She was inspired by parents and fell in love with music at a very young age. Growing up in big church community she found herself being asked to perform at different functions and events.

An eclectic singer who enjoys expressing herself in a wide range of material she finished in spot eight in the 2016 season of SA Idols.

Zulu is enrolled at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, where she is pursuing a degree in jazz and popular music. She is currently working on a solo project.

Songs she will be covering at the Ballito venue are current and old-school favourites with a fresh take, as well as her own compositions, influenced by the likes of Asa, Nina Simone and Lira, among others.

Admission is R50 a head. Mail for bookings.


WHEN Nonhlanhla Wanda and Sharon Katz formed The Peace Train’s 500-voice multiracial youth choir in KwaZulu-Natal in 1993, their goal was to use music to promote the country’s first, fully inclusive elections and a peaceful transition to democracy.

Travelling across South Africa aboard The Peace Train, joined by their friends Ladysmith Black Mambazo, they helped change hearts and minds.  In 2016 they toured the US together on The Peace Train 2016 Tour Across America with a 100=voice performing group; and this season, the 25th anniversary of the original South African Peace Train, they are staging concerts in South Africa with special guests: bassist, Mlungisi Gegana and drummer Albert Chemane.

You can catch them from 8pm on Saturday, December 9, at Durban’s Jazzy Rainbow, 93 Simiso Nkwanyana Road (Goble Road). Admission is R60 which includes one drink. Concert proceeds will benefit several orphanages and youth programmes throughout South Africa.

Nonhlanhla Wanda and Sharon Katz, who formed The Peace Train’s 500-voice multiracial youth choir in 1993, .

Nonhlanhla and Sharon originally trained their choir by travelling to the then-separated communities and schools throughout KZN. After the election, The Peace Train performed for many of President Nelson Mandela’s special events and became the first multiracial group to represent the new South Africa on a five-week concert tour in America in 1995.

Their first US-release, Imbizo, was nominated for a Grammy for Best World Music. Double Take was recorded with Abigail Kubeka and Dolly Rathebe; Carnival! features The Peace Train along with Sting, Elton John, Tina Turner and Madonna.

An award-winning film about their work, When Voices Meet, features John Kani and Abigail Kubeka. After its world premiere at the Durban International Film Festival, When Voices Meet was selected for 25 festivals in America and has been shown in 49 countries in Africa, winning Best Documentary, Best Original Soundtrack, Audience Awards and the President’s Award. Its Johannesburg premiere was on November 19 at the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre.


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 intertwines 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 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.


HEAD for Tina’s Hotel, 14 Beryldene Road, Kloof, at 8pm on Friday and Saturday, and 2pm on Sunday, for Crossroads – A Tribute to Eric Clapton and Friends, teaming singer-guitarist Rusty Red, drummer Chris Melling and singer-bassist Skippy Kubheka.

Take a journey through a soundtrack driven by blues icons: Eric Clapton, John Mayer, Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix and others.

The show will highlight Eric Clapton’s greatest hits from his early days in Cream, The Yardbirds and as a solo artist, a career that has spanned more than four decades and has earned him a triple induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

See my Review from May at


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.

Nux Schwartz.

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 11), the attraction is Nux Schwartz and Jason Andrew (of The Reals).

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.


Note that 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 taking a break until January 8 as some band members are appearing in Durban shows over the next few weeks..

The group 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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