New tour and single for top SA band

Wonderboom is to tour soon, and release a new single and video .

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BY BILLY SUTER

WONDERBOOM fans can expect a new tour, single and video from the hit South African band which has chalked up 22 years on the music scene, released nine albums and scooped multiple awards

Best known for their fundamental rock sound, the band has experimented with different genres, ranging from funk through to punk and even Afro-dance, but it is the live performances that continue to captivate audiences.

The recent release of their ninth album, Rising Sun, after a lengthy hiatus – it’s been seven years since the release of their last album – signalled the start of something very special, and Wonderboom is now set to release a new single, Praying Mantis. Written by band members Cito and Martin Schofield, the song is about the fatality of falling for a femme fatale.

“We wanted to capture the tragedy of falling for a femme fatale, while also depicting her sadness. It’s about the realisation that your demise is inevitable and, although she must do it, she feels devastated about taking you out,” explains Cito.

The single, which forms part of a story woven together throughout Rising Sun, is fresh territory for the band.

“It is different from anything else on the album and anything Wonderboom has ever done,” explains drummer Johnathan Bell.

Bassist Wade Williams agrees: “As a musician, I think the greatest satisfaction comes from being part of something that listeners can relate to while pushing the boundaries into a place that is fresh and unusual.”

The music video for the track will be released on July 30.

“The concept for this crazy fantasy tale about being heartbroken was initiated by Roger Williams, our resident artistic genius,” explains Schofield. “We wanted to do something dark but lighthearted, to show that you should never take yourself too seriously, even in dark times.”

Wonderboom was formed in 1996 and consists of Cito (main vocals/guitar), Martin Schofield (guitar/vocals) and Wade Williams (bass), founding members who have been writing songs and performing together for over 22 years. Jonathan Bell (drums) joined the group after the death of their friend and drummer, Garth McLeod, in 2013.

The band took its name from a road sign pointing to a small town outside Kroonstad.

“We liked the idea that it means different things to different people and can be pronounced in different ways,” explains Cito.

As one of South Africa’s longest-standing rock bands, Wonderboom boasts an impressive resumé – it has headlined many major South African festivals and has been nominated for five Best Rock Album SAMAs. It  also won the South African leg of the 2004 Global Battle of the Bands and came second worldwide at the finals in the London Astoria.

Asked about a career highlight, the band’s answer is unanimous – in December 2017, the memberstravelled to Chengdu, Chin,a to represent South Africa at the Silk Road Indie Music Festival in a music performance competition… and won gold!

Other highlights include sharing the stage with Muse, Korn, Chris Cornell, Kaizer Chiefs, 30 Seconds To Mars, Good Charlotte and some amazing local bands at Cokefest in 2008.

Explaining the reason behind their The Best Side Story Tour, starting in August, the band says: Our usual performances are balls-to-the-wall rock production shows, where we make sure the crowd is exhilarated and stomping. This, however, is an unplugged, storytelling type of show that will let our fans in on our most intimate experiences.

“Sometimes the stories behind certain songs are not what people expect and to have the opportunity to share these stories is rare. With The Best Side Story Tour we hope that audiences will get to know us better; individually and as a band.” In addition, they add: “Touring is a fantastic way to go around the country and play to audiences and in venues that don’t usually get to see us perform.”

These are the confirmed tour dates:

AUG    31 FRI           MIDDELBURG  Rustique Boutique

SEPT   6 THU            JHB               Barnyard Silverstar

SEPT   15 SAT          JHB               Casalinga

SEPT   21 FRI           PLETT            Barnyard Plett

SEPT   22 SAT          CT                Vinyl Knysna

SEPT   23 SUN         CT               Cafe Roux

SEPT   27 THU          EASTRAND     Barnyard Emperors

SEPT   28 FRI           JHB               Barnyard Rivonia

OCT    13 SAT          WHITERIVER   Barnyard Whiteriver

OCT    25 THU          PTA               Musiekskuur Rockwood

OCT    26 FRI           KZN              Caversham Mill

NOV    3 SAT            BRITS            Die Ou Pastorie

NOV    10 SAT          JHB               Radium Beer Hall

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