Sound Advice (Aug 27-Sept 4)

Guitarist Skippy Kubheka is part of the Tracing Circles trio formed in July. Catch the team at Music in the Hills in Hilton on Wednesday (August 28).

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BY BILLY SUTER

AN ALTERNATIVE rock band based in the Midlands, Tracing Circles, will be the 9pm headliner at the Music in the Hills (MiTH) event on Wednesday, August 28 – at The Knoll Historic Guest Farm in Knoll Drive, Hilton.

Held fortnightly on Wednesdays in a barn in Hilton, the event sees doors open at 6pm and the music flow from 7pm. Admission is R40 at the door.

Featuring drummer Patrick Austen and Dev van Rooyen,  the trio is headed by charismatic guitarist Skippy Kubheka. The band formed in July and has developed a distinct sound, drawing from the energy of Royal Blood, Biffy Clyro, Queens of the Stone Age, Foals, Reignwolf, John Butler and Pearl Jam.

Performing at MiTH from 8pm will be Durban singer-guitarist Gavin Ferguson, who has a smooth, soulful sound to his singing with rock and acoustic guitar influences. He performs a variety of jazz, rock and flamenco strumming and classical finger style picking.

The duo of Kristen Blessie and Evan Oosthuizen perform from 7.30pm, after 7pm set by The Flayed Spirits, featuring Martin Gee Godfrey (vocals), Charles Webster (vocals and guitar), bassist Steve Ellery and drummer Michael Webster. Expect songs associate with Free, The Talking Heads, AC/DC, Pink Floyd and other rock legends.

MiTH is a semi-open mic music club. It offers an opportunity for 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 – come along and join us!

One can take one’s own booze to MiTH. Food and soft drinks are available for sale. For more details, and directions to MiTH, phone Charles at 082 331 7271.

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THE Centre for Jazz and Popular Music, on the second level of the Shepstone Building on the Durban campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, will present vocalist Nosihe Zulu from 6pm on Wednesday, August 28.

Former Idols finalist Nosihe Zulu.

Nosihe is a student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, pursuing a degree in Jazz and Popular Music. Selected to join the Pietermaritzburg Children’s Choir in her primary school years, her musical aspirations continued to grow throughout her high school years, when she won numerous singing competitions and toured throughout KZN.

A season 12 Idols contestant, who finished in eighth position, she performs at corporate and private events .

Doors open at 5.30pm and admission is R80 (R50 for pensioners and R25 for students). Contact Thuli on (031) 2603385 for more details

Meanwhile, note that The Centre for Jazz and Popular Music, on the second level of the Shepstone Building on the Durban campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, will present a Jazz Guitar Showcase featuring students from the UKZN School of Arts (Music), at 6pm next Wednesday, September 4.

This show will feature jazz standards, famous songs and some originals. Participants for the evening will include Mkhanyisi Ngubelanga, Samkelo Chamane, Damien Roodt, Dimitri Barry and Jesse Smith. The showcase will also feature special guest, UKZN alumni Dane Francis.

Expect to hear songs like Motherland by Jimmy Dludlu, Fragile by Sting and standards such as Days of Wine and Roses by Henry Mancini, Bluesette by Toots Thielemans, My Funny Valentine by Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart, The Night Has a Thousand Eyes by Buddy Bernier and Jerry Brainin, Impressions by John Coltrane and In a Sentimental Mood by Duke Ellington.

Doors open at 5.30pm and admission is R80 (R50 for pensioners and R25 for students). Contact Thuli on (031) 2603385 for more details

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POPULAR singer and musician Cat Simoni returns to Durban’s Rhumbelow Theatre in Cunningham Road, Umbilo, this weekend.

Titled Wine, Woman and Song, Simoni’s new show will have performances at 8pm on Friday and Saturday, August 30 and 31, and 2pm on Sunday, September 1. Admission is R150 a head (R130 for pensioners) and booking is at Computicket or by calling Roland Stansell at 082 499 8636

Westville-raised Simoni, who is now based in the Cape, presents a new cabaret inspired by her recent tour to Europe’s jazz festivals and clubs. She describes the show as a personal salute to her favourite, wine-drenched composers and artists.

Singer and musician Cat Simoni – at the Umbilo Rhumbelow Theatre this weekend.

From a tipsy Johann Strauss’s title song spiced with Cat’s own teasing lyrics, to Marianne Faithful’s timeless Ballad of Lucy Jordan and the Janis Joplin classic Mercedes Benz, the show has something for everyone.

Also on the songsheet are tributes to The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, Chrissie Hynde, Chris de Burgh, Cher, Edith Piaf, Melina Mercouri, Shania Twain, Queen, The Pogues, Jaques Brel, Billy Joel, Joan Jett, Etta James, Adele and Amy Winehouse.

Wine, Woman and Song is devised and directed by Paul Spence.

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ORIGINALLY staged at the now-defunct Heritage Theatre in Hillcrest in 2009, and last performed at the Rhumbelow Theatre in Umbilo in 2017 and in 2014, when the venue first installed and used the audio-visual screens flanking that stage, Woodstock is back again to celebrate the 50th anniversary of America’s legendary three days of love and peace.

The current season, which recently ran for a few weekends at the Rhumbelow Theatre in Umbilo, heads for the Rumbelow Theatre at Tina’s Hotel in Beryldene Road, Kloof, this weekend and next.

Under the musical direction of keyboardist-singer Dawn Selby, Woodstock highlights singer-guitarist Barry Thomson, bassist Jason Andrew (in blond wig and headband for the first half), Mali Sewell on drums and vivacious guest vocalist Marion Loudon, who appears in a changing parade of outfits.

They perform against a backdrop of a large peace sign and changing coloured lighting, the stage draped in drops of colourful fabric, to present a repertoire that has been tweaked since it was first performed years ago.

The production opens with Richie Havens’s Freedom, performed by Thomson, who goes on to offer Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s The Cost of Freedom, Andrews and Loudon then taking the lead vocal for I Feel Like I’m Fixing to Die.

With various footage from the Woodstock documentary appearing on a raised screen between songs, patrons are treated to a broad cross-section of the legendary material that made the Woodstock music festival such an historic event.

The cast of Woodstock, now at Tina’s Hotel in Kloof.

Highlights in the first half include Loudon’s Me and Bobby McGee and I Shall Be Released, along with Sewell’s delivery of  The Letter, Andrews’s interpretation of The Band’s The Weight, Thomson’sIf I Were a Carpenter and the closer before interval, the band performing the catchy Marrakesh Express.

The second half is even better, opening with Lay Down,  Woodstock,  If You’re Going to San Francisco and Thomson’s delivery of Fortunate Son, before Selby’s belting, showstopping  rendition of Janis Joplin’s gutsy Piece of My Heart.

The Santana instrumental Soul Sacrifice follows before the show’s finest moments –  a medley of hits by The Who ( See Me, Feel Me, Summertime Blues and My Generation) , followed by Thomson taking the spotlight for I’m Going Home and a closing salute to Jimi Hendrix with the rousing Voodoo Chile and Star-Spangled Banner. Brilliant stuff!

The audience laps it up, especially when Thomson plays guitar with his teeth, and behind his neck, in tribute to Hendrix, who was the last to perform at Woodstock and also the highest paid act at that festival (ShaNaNa got the least, by the way).

The show, which closes with a crowdpleasing rendition of the Joe Cocker version of The Beatles classic, A Little Help From My Friends, is a great deal of fun, performed by a band that is clearly having a good time making music.

The show will be staged at 8pm on Friday and Saturday, and 2pm on Sunday, until September 8.

Tickets cost R150 (R130 for pensioners and students with cards) and booking is at Computicket or by calling Roland at 082 499 8636.

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