Sound Advice (Oct 31-Nov 6)

Bassist Thuto Motsemme performs in Durban from 6pm on Wednesday, October 31.

BILLY SUTER with his weekly Gig Guide for in and around Durban. Highlights this week include a campus date by bassist Thuto Motsemme, a tribute to Leonard Cohen and an exploration of poetry in music.

DURBAN’S Centre for Jazz and Popular Music on the second level of the Shepstone Building on the Durban campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal presents bassist Thuto Motsemme from 6pm on Wednesday, October 31.

He will perform alongside Sbu Mashiloane (piano), Leon Scharnick (sax) and Bucco Xaba (drums).

Motsemme is a flexible and versatile bass player from KwaMashu who was introduced to music when he was 13 and participated in local choirs as a baritone singer. He later studied music in Durban.

He has worked over the years with musicians such as Feya Faku, Andile Yenana, Themba Mkhize, Steve Dyer and  Bheki Khoza, to name a few. This has assisted him in developing his own unique and distinctive sound.

Motsemme draws his influence from a variety of music, including church hymn, African folk music, avant-garde, hip-hop and  jazz. His compositions are fresh, bubbly and full of energy. 

Doors open at 5.30pm and admission is R80 (R50 for pensioners, R25 for students). Contact Thuli at (031) 260 3385 for more information.


IF YOU missed it in Pietermaritzburg recently, do yourself a favour and catch Dave Starke’s fine show, Leonard Cohen – A Tribute, to be staged at Durban’s Rhumbelow Theatre at 8pm on Friday and Saturday (November 2 and 3) and 2pm on Sunday (November 4). It will also be performed there from November 9 to 11.

Written by Perran Hahndiek and performed by Eshowe-based singer-guitarist Starke, the show is an exploration of the life and works of the late Leonard Cohen. It features his music and poetry interspersed with anecdotes from his life and other literary writings.

Dave Starke performs Leonard Cohen – A Tribute in Durban this weekend.

You can expect early hits such as Suzanne and So Long, Maryanne, the haunting Hallelujah and Famous Blue Raincoat, and lighter works such as Tower of Song and other Cohen greats.

The show had its debut at The Rosebank Theatre in Cape Town where it was sold out for the duration of its run, and more recently was performed in Kloof.

Raised in Cape Town, Starke is a smooth performer with a gentle guitar-playing style. He pays excellent tribute to Cohen, offering not only a well-researched history of the man, his poetry, music and achievements, but also insight into Cohen’s thought processes.

Tickets cost R150 (R130 for pensioners and students) and can be booked at Computicket or by phoning 082 499 8636.

Also of note in Durban is a repeat of a hit show by The Reals, conceived by and featuring singer-guitarist Colin Peddie. It’s Poetry in Music which, originally staged at the Rhumbelow Theatre branch at Tina’s Hotel in Kloof earlier this year, returns there at 8pm on Friday and Saturday (November 2 and 3) and 2pm on Sunday (November 4). It will also be performed there from November 9 to 11.

Also featuring singer Samantha Landers, the show offers material that is more lyrically driven but without losing the punch which accompanies popular music. Expect songs associated with The Eagles, Bob Dylan, Indigo Girls, The Waterboys, Leonard Cohen, Mumford and Sons, Paul Simon and others. My full review is available by clicking here:

Tickets cost R150 (R130 for pensioners and students) and can be booked at Computicket or by phoning 082 499 8636.


THE Rockwood Theatre at Sibaya Casino is presenting the colourful A Rocking World Tour November 4.

Showcasing a vibrant parade of chart-topping hits from across the globe, A Rocking World Tour opens with a visit to Australasia, where the talented cast pay homage to the great bands and singers that rocked Down Under – from rockers AC/DC and Midnight Oil to the irresistible Kylie Minogue.  From there, they spin the globe and get caught up in an Asian adventure, with a colourful fusion of high-energy Bhangra and Bollywood hits.

A scene from A Rocking World Tour.

The worldwide movement continues with the sultry sounds of Latino pop – Mexico’s Carlos Santana, and the cheerful Jamaican jams of Bob Marley. From there, the team bellydance their way through to South America, the only place where hips don’t lie, to the sounds of pop princess Shakira.

The next stop is the world’s party capital, Europe, where the singers and musicians pay tribute to Sweden’s Roxette and Abba, Norway’s A-Ha, France’s Gipsy Kings and Daft Punk, Italy’s Eiffel 65 and Germany’s Boney M, before jetting off to Britain to celebrate Queen.

Among other acts whose music features in the show are Michael Jackson, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Freshlyground, Brenda Fassie, Mandoza and PJ Powers.

The cast includes singers Aimee Rain, Christina Jenkins, Jemma Shankland, Jean Citto Kieran Rennie).

The band consists of Barry Thomson of The Reals on lead guitar (to be replaced next week by former Tree63 guitarist John Ellis), Lloyd de Gier on bass, Dillan Kanny on drums and Shemuel Mahebeer on keyboards.

The theatre opens at 6.30pm – meals are on sale at the venue – with the show commencing at 8pm Thursdays to Saturdays. Tickets cost only R99 each on Thursdays, and R130 each for other performances, but half price for pensioners at the 2pm Sunday matinee performances, when under-12s get in free.

My full review of the show by clicking here;


STILL looking ahead… note that after 14 years and a few varied venues along the way, the “new look” Durban International Blues Festival returns to Zacks restaurant at Wilson’s Wharf from 7pm to 11pm nightly, from November 1 to 3.

This year’s line-up is tight, concentrating on the demand to showcase more of South Africa’s own blues talent, both local and national.

With good food and drinks from Zack’s and their neighbours, Julio’s, live music and a family atmosphere, throw in the ever popular auction for a guitar, this year’s festival is not one to be missed.
Unreserved tickets can be bought at Computicket (R150 each)  and limited tickets available at the box-office will cost R160 each.


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