Sound Advice: Gigs (Dec 14-19)

I Grandi Tenori comprises three tenors – Ayanda Zwane, Mlindi Pato and Timothy Sehau – who are from KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and Free State respectively.

BILLY SUTER reports on gigs in and around Durban this and next week – including one by the novel Bombshelter Beast, a madcap mix from Aaron McIlroy and Lisa Bobbert, and a showband tribute to Badfinger and Bad Company.

DURBAN’S Friends of Music, in partnership with I Grandi Tenori, will present a Christmas Opera Evening at 7pm on Thursday, December 14, at the Durban Jewish Centre, 44 KE Masinga (Old Fort Road). Tickets, available at the door, cost R50 each.

This concert will see South Africa’s acclaimed Three Tenors – I Grandi Tenori – performing a repertoire that will include opera arias, light classical as well as popular Christmas Carols.

I Grandi Tenori’s mission is to use its own resources to fight unemployment, exploitation and non-recognition of opera graduates. It is for this reason that all door-takings collected at the concert will go towards the Let Me Sing schools project – an initiative that seeks to support music syllabus in schools across KwaZulu-Natal.

I Grandi Tenori comprises three tenors – Ayanda Zwane, Mlindi Pato and Timothy Sehau – who are from KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and Free State respectively. The trio has toured nationally in classical opera concerts.

The varied programme will include Nessun Dorma,; Core ingrate, The Lord’s Prayer, Ave Maria, E lucevan le stele, Una furtiva lagrima, My Way, Masibuyelan and La donna e mobile.

Christmas music will include Holy City. O Holy Night. Silent Night. Away in a Manger. Hark the Herald Angels Sing and Joy to the World.

Bring family and friends and celebrate the season in style. Safe parking and a cash bar are available.


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.


SINGER and impersonator Danny Fisher presents The Voice at Tina’s Hotel, 14 Beryldene Road, Kloof, at 8pm on Friday and Saturday (December 15 and 16), and 2pm on Sunday (December 17).

Presented by Steyn AliveProductions, the show sees the former frontman for The Blarney Bros impersonating the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, Roy Orbison, Tom Jones, Meatloaf, Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, Julio Iglesias, Bob Dylan, Benny Hill and even Nelson Mandela.

Seating is at tables of six. Tickets cost R150 each and booking is by calling Roland at 082 499 8636.


ENTER the family of bling brass players, sexy saxophones and a rocking rhythm section. Add multilingual rappers, dancing singers and superb storytellers – and prepare for the visual spectacle that is Bombshelter Beast.

The group will be hitting the East Coast with some finesse and a lot of attitude – performing at The Chairman, 146 Mahatma Gandhi Road, Point, from 9.30pm on Saturday, December 16. Admission is R200. To book call 079 753 6313.


Multilingual rappers, dancing singers and superb storytellers – prepare for the visual spectacle that is Bombshelter Beast.

Also catch the group at 2pm on Sunday, December 17, at The Rainbow Restaurant, 23 Stanfield Lane, Pinetown, for which admission is R100. To book for this gig call 031 702 9161.

The group has been described as featuring colourful and innovative artists, who perform a mixed-grill of musical styles. Instruments you have never seen before, African fabrics and safari suits, and a fusion sonic approach.

Bombshelter Beast represents a unique approach to the South African sound – where you will experience a Jozi-mixed grill of old school kwaito and house, drum ’n’ bass, dancehall, dub, ska, boeremusiek, hip-hop, ghoema, rock and the odd sneaky bit of jazz – all peppered with rapping and live improvisations.

A band like no other – think Black Cat White Cat meets Brenda Fassie – Bombshelter Beast are said to charm their audiences across the board.

Bombshelter Beast started in 2015 with a year-long residency at one of Joburg’s hippest clubs, The Orbit in Braamfontein. They have since wowed audiences in a variety of ways and in some interesting places such as the MTN Bushfire Festival Swaziland, the Capital Craft Beer Festival in Pretoria, Fete de la Musique and the Goliath Comedy Club in Jozi and Oppikoppi 2016 in Northam.

The Durban leg of Bombshelter Beast’s Summer Roast Tour is supported by Concerts SA through the Music Mobility Fund, a funding mechanism which offers opportunities for South African musicians to undertake live music tours.


POPULAR Irish singer and musician Dave Monks presents the fun Great British Pub Night show at Pietermaritzburg’s Rhumbelow Theatre, at the Allan Wilson Shellhole, at 2pm and 6.30pm on Sunday (December 17).

This fun show is said to offer some 50 snippets of the most popular singalong and clap-along songs on the planet.

Expect evergreen hits like Roll Out the Barrel, She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain, Happy Days Are Here Again, It’s a Long Way to Tipperary, Show Me the Way to Go Home and also hits associated with Rod Stewart, Tom Jones, Cliff Richard, Roger Whittaker, Smokie and The Beatles.

Tickets cost R150 each. Booking is at Computicket outlets or by phoning 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 18), the attraction is Rene Tshiakanyi.

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.


Aaron McIlroy and Lisa Bobbert.

HEAD for Tina’s Hotel, 14 Beryldene Road, Kloof, from Tuesday to Saturday next week for Aaron & Lisa @ Tina’s.

The show has these two Durban theatre darlings free-wheeling from one fun sketch to the next, as the mood takes the . The two seasoned players delve into their treasure trove of nonsensical comedy gems and songs, to extract scenes you will either remember as old friends, or encounter afresh as new acquaintances.

Performances are at 8pm from Tuesday to Saturday next week (December 19 to 23), plus there are 2pm performances next Saturaday and Sunday (December 23 and 24).

Book by calling Roland Stansell at 082 499 8636. Show tickets cost R180 each, and dining is optional. Seating is at tables of six.


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