Sound Advice: Gigs (May 23-29)

Mali Zulu and band … at the MiTH event in Hilton on Wednesday (May 23).

BILLY SUTER with his weekly gig guide. Gigs in and around Durban include another MiTH event in Hilton and the return of a great Eric Clapton tribute show.

MALI Zulu, a two-year-old acoustic pop-folk trio from Pietermaritzburg, is the 9pm headline act at the fortnightly Music in the Hills (MiTH) event, scheduled for today, Wednesday, May 23. The venue is a former barn at The Knoll Historic Guest Farm, Knoll Road, Hilton.

The group, which has performed extensively locally, features Mali on lead vocals and rhythm guitar. He made the Top 31 of season 10 of Idols and, following that experience, landed a recording deal in Pretoria.

Mali then moved to Pietermaritzburg to work at Umgeni Water (ICT) and continued to follow his dream of being one of the greatest musicians of his time.

He will be joined by Skippy on backing vocals and bass, and Qin on backing vocals and lead acoustic guitar.

The team, offering a mixed bag of music, has released a single, Try, that has been playlist on East Coast Radio, Hashtag Radio and Capital Music and is available on all major online stores.

Performing at MiTH from 7pm is Nicky Grieshaber, well known in the KZN Midlands for bringing live piano to all occasions. Nicky plays rocking rhythms, wavy waltzes, folksy favourites and perky pop.

Next up, at 7.30pm, will be  Roarke Angelbright, a singer-songwriter from Westville. The 19-year-old puts a unique twist on his performances by using a loop station. He records backing to his songs live and on the spot.

Percussion, rhythm, riffs and whatever else he needs is played, live, on one guitar, and looped to create a more full, ‘band sound’. He plays a variety of unique covers and original songs.

His style takes influences from folk, blues and even small elements of hip-hop in his rythmic beats – but overall it is probably best described as acoustic rock.

 Roarke played in the 2014 Durban International Blues Festival, at the age of 17, as well as many other venues throughout KZN. He became a solo act in the beginning of 2016 when he began singing and looping live for the first time.

The 8pm MiTH pick is St John and Tanya, two  popular Midlands musicians.

Tanya Nicolson leaves her heart on the stage –  the utter abandon with which she delivers jazz standards, jazz not-so-standards and soulful ballad covers has apparently left MiTH members tearful on more than one occasion.

St John Haw, in his unique, quiet way, provides a perfect foil for Tanya with smooth and evocative keyboard work, and a raspy vocal that is as surprising as it is visceral.

MiTH is a semi-open-mic music club allowing musicians to share the joy of their music with a friendly audience which includes fellow musicians – who have all “been there” too. (Non-musicians welcome too!)

Whether you’re a newbie looking for your first opportunity to perform publicly, or a more experienced, mature musician simply looking for people who are as passionate about music as you are, pop along.

Take your own booze. Food and soft drinks are available for sale.

Musicians who want to play at MiTH, should contact Charles Webster (082 331 7271) or Doug Borain (072 340 7034).


IN association with Concerts SA, Cape Town-based electronic musicians and DJs K-$ and Doowap will perform in Durban this week as part of a regional tour across southern Africa through the Igoda Festival Route.

They perform at Twenty5, 25 Silver Avenue, Morningside, Durban, from 8pm on Friday (May 25) as part of the Zakifo Festival. Admission is R150 and booking is at

DJ Doowap.

For more about the Zafiko Festival, which runs in Durban from May 25 to 27, see my earlier post under ‘Music’ on this site, or see the full lineup at

K-$ and Doowap are also scheduled to entertain at the Bassline Festival in Johannesburg on May 26, and the Bushfire Festival, Malkerns, Swaziland, on May 27. These events are linked by Igoda, a unique and innovative concept that brings together the finest music festivals within Southern Africa to create one of the first touring circuits on the African continent.

K-$ and DJ Doowap will also join Sri-Lankan star M.I.A. on her first African shows, taking place on June 7 in Cape Town and June 8 in Johannesburg.

“As an artist, I’ve realised my sound, my spirit, my performance, is always in a constant state of evolution,” says K-$, a Cape Town-based DJ and cultural figurehead.

“Now, touring the Igoda route with my friend Doowap, we get to evolve together, learn from new audiences, and take our show to the next level. There’s nothing more beautiful to me than being able to bring to light everything I represent through music, and allow others to let go, be free, and just dance.”

“Everything about my eclectic bass set; from the captivating visuals, to the hypnotic dancing and the blend of genres, is amalgamated to put the audience in a sonic trance,” adds Doowap.

“The idea of my set is to create an altered dimension and safe space that allows individuals to liberate themselves through a state of euphoria and dance.”

Over the past five years Khetsiwe DJ Doowap Morgan has become known for her skilled and inventive live mix deejaying that is fast seeing her become a contender on the continent’s music scene.


THE Leon Scharnick Quartet will give a free 5pm concert on Saturday, May 26, at The Rainbow Restaurant, 23 Stanfield Lane, Pinetown. For bookings contact (031) 702 9161.

Alto saxophonist Leon Scharnick is considered one of South Africa’s most exciting and promising young jazz musicians. Originally having studied piano as a child, Leon picked up the saxophone at the age of 19 and went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree in music performance from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Over the course of his musical journey he has performed with a number of prominent musicians and musical outfits, including Kirk Whalum, Zim Ngqawana, Andile Yenana, Brian Thusi and the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Sax ace Leon Scharnick.

He also performs regularly with guitarist Menyatso Mathole, one of the founding members of the popular South African band Stimela, and has been featured on albums by saxophonist Salim Washington and trumpeter Brian Thusi.

In addition to his work as a sideman, Leon teaches music and also runs his own quartet which is committed to playing original compositions, as well as a host of standard tunes from the jazz tradition.

Leon has been a stalwart performer on The Rainbow stage over the years, appearing as a side man with many bands. For a few years now there has been a lot of jovial banter as to when he gets to headline his own show at the Rainbow, with his own material to the forefront. This is the day, so lend support.

The band line-up is Leon Scharnick on sax, Sanele Phakathi on piano, Dalisu Ndlazi on bass and Bucco Xaba on drums.

Thanks to the support of Concerts SA, there is no cover charge for this concert.


IF YOU have not seen it, do yourself a favour and catch the fine Eric Clapton and Friends tribute show, Crossroads, which returns to the Rhumbelow Theatre’s Tina’s Hotel branch, 14 Beryldene Road, Kloof, this weekend.

It is performed by excellent Durban guitarist Rusty Red, bassist Skippy Kubheka and drummer Chris Melling – at 8pm on Friday and Saturday (May 25 and 26) and 2pm on Sunday (May 27).

The  trio will take you on a journey through a soundtrack driven by blues icons Eric Clapton, John Mayer, Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix and others.

The show highlights Clapton’s greatest hits from his early days in Cream and 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.

Admission is R150 a head and booking is by calling Roland at 082 499 8636.

See my review from the first performances last year at:


DON’T miss singer-guitarist Dave Stake’s excellent Leonard Cohen tribute show at the Rhumbelow Theatre’s Pietermaritzburg branch, at the Allan Wilson Shellhole, at 2pm and 6.30pm on Sunday, May 27. Admission is R150 a head and booking is by calling Roland at 082 499 8636.

Leonard Cohen – A Tribute is an exploration of the life and works of the late singer-songwriter. It features his music and poetry interspersed with anecdotes from his life and other literary writings.

You can expect early hits such as Suzanne and So Long Maryanne, the haunting Famous Blue Raincoat and Who By Fire?, lighter works such as Tower of Song as well as pieces from Cohen’s final album, You Want It Darker?, that was released just before his death.

The text for the show was researched and written by Perran Hahndiek.

The show had its debut at The Rosebank Theatre in Cape Town where it was sold out for the duration of its run.

Admission is R150 a head (R130 for pensioners) and booking is by calling Roland at 082 499 8636.


THE Rockwood Theatre at Sibaya Casino is presenting a new show, That ’80s Show, that is a fun entertainment. Check it out from Thursdays to Sundays  – it features Barry and Calli Thomson and a host of other talents. Expect music by Wham, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Tina Turner, Def Leppard, Tears for Fears and more.



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