Sunday, 18 December 2016

CD REVIEW! Disturbed - Live At Red Rocks

A couple of months ago my husband and I got married and on the evening of the reception, the DJ told us he wants to play us something special, and out of the speakers came “The Sound of Silence”. At that point I've heard of Disturbed before and heard some tracks, but this hauntingly beautiful rendition of the Simon & Garfunkel songs hit all the right spots. The days after the wedding I found myself buying all their CD's on iTunes. I love rock and metal and this live CD is absolutely brilliant. Some of my other favourite songs  "The Light" and "The Vengeful One," too name a few, also features on this CD. It's highly recommended and will make you play air guitar and rock you head at the same time. Now let's hope they decide to tour South Africa as well. 

CD REVIEW! Prince4Ever

I'm still sad about one of my favourite artists Prince which died earlier this year. since my childhood when I watched Purple Rain, dancing to all his hits and buying everything Prince related. And I did it again with his post death CD, Prince4ever. A double disc CD which is a collection of most of well-known hits. The CD even includes Moonbeam Levels” - a previously unreleased song originally recorded in 1982 during the "1999" sessions and later considered for the never released "Rave Unto The Joy Fantastic" album. The hits I miss is from his CD The Gold Experience The Most Beautiful Girl In The World, I Hate U and Gold. Some of my favourite tracks on this CD were 319 and Endorphinmachine. With that said, this is a great compilation if you want to hear the legend at work. I will always miss you Prince! Prince4Ever!

Friday, 9 December 2016

The Vamps are touring South Africa for the first time ever!

Big Concerts confirmed today that pop rock band The Vamps will be touring South Africa for the very first time performing in Cape Town on 18th March 2017 at Kirstenbosch Gardens and Johannesburg on 20th March 2017 at the TicketPro Dome. Presented by Channel 24. Another Big Concerts Experience.

Tickets go on sale Monday 12th December at 9am. For further information, visit www.bigconcerts.co.za

When James McVey and Brad Simpson first started writing music a few years ago, little did they know, that along with soon-to-be-found new members Tristan Evans and Connor Ball, The Vamps would soon become one of the UK’s biggest exports in music.

With five top 10 hits and prestigious tour support slots with Taylor Swift, McFly and Austin Mahone, The Vamps joined forces with Demi Lovato to release ‘Somebody To You’ and then went onto release a cover of ‘Oh Cecelia’ with Vine sensation Shawn Mendes.

With an incredible 450 million views across YouTube and VEVO, almost a million Youtube subscribers, 4.4 million Facebook likes and 3 million followers on Twitter, The Vamps are excited to visit all their fans in South Africa in March 2017.

Tour Information:
Cape Town
Saturday 18th March 2017
Kirstenbosch Gardens 
Ticket Price: R570
Tickets go on sale Monday 12th December at 9am. Go to www.bigconcerts.co.za for all the information. 

Please note the following ticketing polices: all fans attending the concerts that are younger than 14 years must be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian.  

Monday 20th March 2017 * next day is a public holiday
The Ticketpro Dome
Ticket Price:  R340 – R745
Tickets go on sale Monday 12th December at 9am. Go to www.bigconcerts.co.za for all the information. 

Please note the following ticketing polices: all fans attending the concerts that are younger than 14 years must be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian. There is also an age restriction on Golden Circle and General Admission standing tickets– no one under 12 years and shorter than 1.2 metres will be permitted into the standing zones.

Thursday, 8 December 2016


Global superstar Justin Bieber announced today that his Purpose World Tour will be coming to South Africa in 2017.

Johannesburg: Sunday 14th May at FNB Stadium
Cape Town: Wednesday 17th May at Cape Town Stadium

Please note the following ticketing polices: all fans attending the concerts that are younger than 14 years must be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian. There is also an age restriction on field standing tickets (Front Zone Standing East/West and General Admission East/West) – no one under 12 years and shorter than 1.2 metres will be permitted onto the field.

With worldwide album sales in excess of 100 million units, Bieber has dominated pop culture and social media.  With 3.1 million sales worldwide for his latest album ‘Purpose’ Justin Bieber’s current global tour has smashed box office records. Hit singles include ‘What Do you Mean’, ‘Sorry’, ‘Love Yourself’ which all peaked at number one on the Billboard Top 200 making Bieber the first male artist in almost a decade to have three number ones from an album.
…and NOW, Justin Bieber brings his Purpose World Tour to South Africa with two stadium shows.

Sunday 14th May 2017
FNB Stadium
Ticket Price:  R410 – R1540
Tickets go on sale Thursday 15th December at 9am from www.bigconcerts.com and Computicket
Pre-Sale: Exclusive pre-sale for Discovery Card holders from 13th December 2016. Go to www.discovery.co.za for more information

VIP packages available from www.computicket.com.
Suite Hospitality: SAIL: bookings@sail.co.za or dial 082-560-8993

Cape Town
Wednesday 17th May 2017
Cape Town Stadium
Ticket Price:  R350 – R1260
Tickets go on sale Thursday 15th December at 9am from www.bigconcerts.com and Computicket
Pre-Sale: Exclusive pre-sale for Discovery Card holders from 13th December 2016. Go to www.discovery.co.za for more information

VIP packages available from www.computicket.com.
Suite Hospitality: For any hospitality enquiries, please contact Dudley Horn on Dudley@tegsa.co.za

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Mark Haze is back with a bang!

Photo by: Dylan Haskin
South African musician Mark Haze might be best known for his incredibly wide vocal range, but fans are in for a surprise as Mark is also about to reveal that he possesses great versatility when it comes to the style of the amazing music he is able to create. Audiences can certainly expect the unexpected with his latest project that embodies an entirely new sound and feel from this talented singer/songwriter. Mark is back and better than ever before with his new look, sound and single - set to be released soon.

For more than 15 years, Mark has been working tirelessly on establishing himself as one of the best live performers and musical talents in the country. He has certainly come a very long way since starting his first band, 12th Avenue in 2001 and has since kept the momentum going and growing, bringing it back full circle to his next upcoming single, ‘Better Than This’. The song was written with his long-time friend and 12th Avenue band member Bjorn Faree symbolising that Mark has come a significantly long way since their early days. The single truly describes what many artists experience in the stages of their career, and as Mark notes “Throughout everything I’ve gone through and will continue to go through, I know that I am truly blessed to be able to do what I love to do and have always dreamed of doing every day.”; a sentiment that sits firmly in the hearts of every working musician nowadays.

Photo by: LornaD Photography
The lyrics, “But I don't know where I'm gonna go. But I know that I'm better than this” suggest a clear message that ties into Mark’s current stage in life; a phase of new beginnings. Mark is starting on a new journey in his music career and life and regardless of the unknown challenges and obstacles he may still face on the way to inevitable success, he knows that he can achieve even greater things and rise above the disappointments of the past. There’s a certain undeniable optimism in the air when Mark speaks of the story behind his upcoming new single and says, “While I'm eternally thankful for the platform that Idols and the record label afforded me, I had been feeling for a while that I'd like to experiment outside of my original genre and incorporate other elements besides that of traditional rock; all the while still leaving room for my roots. I found myself in a space where there was a lot of doubt pushed towards me and I knew I had to be steadfast, because there's more to me than what most people have seen or heard. I ended up writing the track with my old friend, Bjorn Faree, who I worked with in my old band, 12th Avenue, and on my first album, "Where Angels Fear To Fly". Coupled with the production styling’s of Nathan Woodman, I feel like I found the sweet spot between "good old fashioned" and what's new in terms of experimenting with current styles. The song is for anyone who was told they can't, and who knew better and persevered.”

Plans for a new tour, new music videos and singles are well underway. Mark and his band consisting of Nathan Woodman (Goodluck, Jeremy Loops) on keys and Mark’s brother, Gareth Haze on drums have been working tirelessly on bringing to life a new sound that’s sure to impress even the toughest critics.

As long as the sun still shines, no one can rain on the Mark Haze parade that is about to unfold.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

HOT RELEASE! Louise Carver Releases Her Brand New Album ‘Hanging In The Void’

Louise Carver releases her finest studio album to date as ‘Hanging In The Void’ is officially out on CD and on all Digital platforms nationwide.

‘Hanging In The Void’ is Louise Carver’s most heartfelt and emotionally stirring album. First single “Lift Off” launches the album with a powerful message of hope and belief, and stand out tracks “Remedy”, “Time Stood Still”, “Your Love Is Like” and “All the Lessons” all tell a story of a tough personal journey that lead to creating one of the best records of 2016.

Louise Carver answers 3 Questions about the new release ‘Hanging In The Void’:
What was the inspiration behind the writing of the album? “I was very clear that I wanted to go back to a production that’s job is to support the song and not dominate it. The song had to be strong enough to stand on its own with lyrics and melody that created powerful emotions. I have always and will always write about what I have felt and experienced - to be authentic and reach people emotionally is what I do this for.”

Which songs on the album mean the most to you? “Each song has been so lovingly written and then produced so it is really difficult to choose any favourite but the one that still hurts to hear it is, ‘All the lessons’ and the song that makes me feel so proud to be a working songwriter is ‘Lift Off’ as I know it will encourage people to shift gears and find courage. I love the energy of ‘Keep your eyes on me’ and the late night nostalgia of ‘Your love is like’. Each song on the album is part of me and hopefully becomes part of people who love the album.”

How did you decide on the album title: “I was sitting in a pancake restaurant with my US producer, Joe Bermudez in Boston and we were talking about the awareness or cognitive shift astronauts get when they view earth for the first time from a space ship - how insignificant everything on earth seems compared to the bigger picture. He told me the sensation is called ‘hanging in the void’, and I instantly knew that was the right name for my new album.”

Carver has had multiple radio hits with singles such as ‘Empty Fantasy’, ‘It Don’t Matter’ and ‘Warrior feat. Zulu Boy’ and ‘Hanging In The Void’ is set to deliver many more radio and fan favourite singles. The album was recorded with one of SA’s finest producers Mark Beling and is arguably Carver’s best work.

MUST HAVE! The Muses release fourth studio album FOUR

Exactly four years ago, The Muses released their very first album Pop on Strings. Little did they know that it would become a tradition year on year.

So before we bid farewell to 2016, the girls have launched their fourth studio album, aptly titled FOUR.

A force to be reckoned with, The Muses were founded by Olivia Kotze in 2011. They have since travelled the continent, playing for mass audiences, as well being invited to perform at some of the most prestigious events the country has to offer. Therefore, fans and curious bystanders alike, know that when it comes to this sassy string quartet, they don’t disappoint, be it on stage or in the recording studio.

As with their previous releases, FOUR is made up of a mixture of pop tracks arranged for string instruments.

“I think people love the fact that they recognise the music and hear the tracks on the radio and yet with the string quartet arrangements the melodies and harmonies come across as something completely different and new. It draws people in and makes them want more,” says Olivia.

Though uncertain they were going to release a new album this year, it wasn’t long before fate stepped in. As some of the most active performers in the country (entertaining crowds up to six times a week), these classically-trained virtuosos are always searching for new tracks to perform live. Before they knew it, their repertoire had grown so immensely. With enough songs to create a new album, the girls thought: “why not?”

And we’re glad they did. FOUR is the perfect party starter, featuring hits like “Can’t Stop The Feeling”,  “Uptown Funk” and for the more classically inclined, “Sound of Silence.”

Olivia says, “The song choices were a mixture of tracks we liked and wanted to play and one or two that were requested for corporate shows. The album just grew organically, but there are still so many tracks we would love to cover but, think there is something for everyone on the album.”

With the soothing sounds of two violins, one viola and a single cello, The Muses are experts at getting people on their feet and dancing, and you don’t even have to go to the nightclub. With FOUR, you can party it up in the privacy of your home, when no one’s looking and break out those uncanny dance moves.

HOT! Francois Van Coke gives a throwback track to Fokofpolisiekar

FRANCOIS VAN COKE’s highly anticipated sophomore album, Hierdie is die Lewe (This is the Life), will be released on 2nd February 2017.  The album can already be pre-ordered from iTunes or Google Play. The first music video from the album, Mensdom was released on 10 November 2016.

Permanent Record released a 7” vinyl featuring Mensdom and a B-side track called Klein Prys (Small Price) that Francois wrote for Fokofpolisiekar, or Die Bende (The Gang) as they are also affectionately known.  Klein Prys is about the legacy the band shares and the tough times that brought them to where they are today. 

Francois reminisces about the old days when Fokofpolisiekar started out, the chances they took, the sacrifices they made, and the adventures they shared.  After all these years and after everything they have been through, they remain family and still thrive as a band.  “It’s been a privilege to walk this road with the Fokof guys and to still regularly play shows with them,” says Francois.

Francois had a very special music video made for Klein Prys.  The video contains priceless footage of Fokofpolisiekar in their early years and present days.  This footage has never been released and gives the viewer an intimate behind-the-scenes look at the band.

Watch Klein Prys here: http://bit.ly/2gyQKDc

EXCLUSIVE! We speak to local muso Amanda Lamprecht, or in short “Amandala” about recording Afrikaans music in the States

South African Amandala lives in Seattle. She released her English album “Far and Wide” in US in March this year and her debut Afrikaans album “Alles Wat Jy Lief Het” was released in South Africa on November 1st. Amandala is currently in South Africa to promote both her albums.

Wow, you live in Seattle and just released and Afrikaans album. Congrats! Tell us why you decided to release an Afrikaans album? I was working on a full length English Album called “Far&Wide” that was released in March 2016 ; simultaneously the Afrikaans Album “Alles wat jy lief het”, began as a side project and before I knew it ,it  blossomed into its own thing. So this year, I released two albums; one in Afrikaans and one in English. All different songs and all original material.

You have lived in Seattle for 15 years now. What prompt the move to Seattle and tell us a bit more about your music career in the States? Since I was in high school I always thought that one day, I will travel or live overseas. When the opportunity came to go to the States it was very exciting. My music career is in Seattle on the West Coast. I play gigs, record and I’m part of the vibrant Seattle music scene. For 10 years I played in punk, goth and indie bands, but  3 years ago I started to play out my own material and since then things have really picked up for me in the city. I am very fortunate to have worked with great musicians. The drummer for Modest Mouse and the violist for Macklemore played on my album “Far&Wide” that was recorded at  London Bridge Studio, that is known for their work with artists such as Macklemore, Pearl Jam, Temple of the Dog, Alice in Chains and Blind Melon. I’ve also been fortunate to play gigs with super talented musos. Trey Gunn from King Crimson was the special guest at my Album release show in March. So yes, there are many opportunities in one city alone. Between South Africa and Seattle I stay pretty busy with music and promos. Many of the tracks for the Afrikaans Album “Alles wat jy lief het”  was recorded in Seattle at Earwig Studio and the tracks was send over to Stellenbosch, to be finished at Sunset Recording Studios.

For those who don't know, how would you describe your style of music? My English album has a true Seattle dream pop darker sound. Songs like “nothing” “the traveled”, “it’s you I find “and “coming home” are examples of typical dream pop music. The Afrikaans Album is original pop music. My voice sounds young and has round tones. I have a nuanced unorthodox singing style that is unpretentious and unique. Both albums contain songs that are playful and songs that are more serious, that hints at a deeper intensity. My music is melodic and catchy with twists and turns that surprises.

How did you start in the music industry? I started playing violin at the age of 6, singing in choirs all my life and playing in bands since my early twenties. I am an independent artist that work with big names in the industry, but so far I have no big machine of promotion and/or labels behind me, only people in the industry that loves my voice and my music and that are eager to help me along the way.

What kind of music do you like to listen to? I like heavy metal, grunge, industrial, pop, indie, goth, electronic dance and classical music.

When you arrived in Seattle, did you had a job, or what did you do to keep your head above water? I always fall back into doing IT recruitment internationally to keep my head above water. I also started my own boutique IT recruitment company. I teach Yoga classes, yoga workshops, teacher trainings and retreats and I also paint and sell my art online and at posh school auctions.

Besides music, you also studied Acutonics. What is this and why this move? Acutonics is like acupuncture but instead of using needles one uses tuning forks on the body. I was in a rear-end collision and went for an acupuncture treatment for my neck and back. The acupuncturist used tuning forks on me and when I heard the sound of the forks and felt the sound vibrations in my body and along my spine, I knew instantly that I wanted to find out more and study this modality. Acutonics works with musical intervals and sound, so being a musician that also teaches yoga I just fell in love with this modality. The sound waves of the forks vibrate and travel deeply into the body. The rich resonance and vibration connects with and supports the body's natural frequencies, stimulates and balances the body's physical and subtle energy field, promotes wellness, deep inner harmony and creates a sense of well-being. It is very gentle and I love it!!!

What other things do you do besides singing and studying? I don’t study at the moment. I studied and got a Law Degree at NMMU.I also studied many Yoga certifications in the US and in India and the Acutonics Certifications. Besides singing and music, I love cooking vegetarian food, traveling, painting and doing “ The Bar Method”

Who lives with you in Seattle and what is family live like in the States compared to South Africa? It’s only my husband and I. The rest of my family live in Port Elizabeth and I have a sister in law in Sweden. All families are very unique and diverse no matter where they are. In my personal experience the US families I know might be more loving and accepting with LGBT family members than families I know in South Africa.

What do you miss the most about South Africa? I miss my family the most.

Can you still remember the first ever CD/album you bought? The Flashdance music soundtrack. I borrowed my sister’s black ballet leotard and leg warmers and put on  black boots my mom bought for me at OK and danced around on “What a feeling” and “His a dream” from that soundtrack 

What is the one CD/album that is your guilty pleasure that friends or family maybe don't know about? PJ Harvey “Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea”

When you going back to the States? February 20, 2017.

2017 is knocking at the front door, what are your plans for next year? After spending allot of time in studios , releasing 2 full length albums and 2 music videos in 2016,  I plan to play gigs and do promos in 2017.