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A concert venue like no other

First published on www.samusicscene.co.za

By : Andy Leve

Pictures : Alastair McLahlan

It’s drawn the attention of many people that are either in or love the local music scene- myself included. When I first heard about SkyRoom Live I was so excited about the concept that I just had to find out more about it all.

The venue is nestled amongst the many other skyscraper buildings in Braamfontein Johannesburg. This location provides an intimate setting together with the night sky as a backdrop, it is nothing short of picturesque.

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In 2010, founders of SkyRoom Live, Mark Daubeney , Eban Olivier , Graham Cunningham and Desti Loeijs worked on the Sony 3D world cup project. This sparked the idea of broadcasting live events in 2D or 3D to either cinema, websites, facebook so that people will be able to experience live events, without physically being at the event. The result of that : SKYROOM LIVE.

After two and a half years of developing the concept, Skyroom Live officially launched on 18 March 2012, with Die Heuwels Fantasties as the first act to grace the stage. Other acts that have performed there include, Jack Parow, Jozi, Aking and The Parlotones, to name a few.

Die Heuwels Fantasties rocking the rooftop

Die Heuwels Fantasties rocking the rooftop

The audience at the performances is strictly by invite only. There are a limited number of tickets given away on Facebook and Twitter. The performance is filmed on HD and can also be viewed on the SkyRoom live website or Facebook stream…LIVE!

All of the shows from Season 1 have been packaged and archived on www.skyroomlive.com for people to purchase a year long license for $5 per show. The bands involved earn revenue from these sales.

Mark from SkyRoom Live says Season 2 promises to be bigger and better and there is also talk of having unsigned acts gracing the Skyroom Live skyline too. “This is the world’s greatest platform to expose new talent – LIVE” he adds.

 

 

 

 

A Bloc Party in the City

First published on Music Industry Online / Music In Africa

By Andy Leve

Pictures : Yetunde Dada

Mary Fitzgerald Square was rocked to the core this past Friday, 5th October- as the masses came out for the highly anticipated In the City concert.

The show was headlined by British indie rockers Bloc Party; however the local acts certainly held their ground. First up on the bill was South African Music Award winning trio Shadow Club. This band simply screams rock and roll and definitely sets a high standard for the evening as they warmed the crowd up with their hits including “Good Morning Killer”, “Lucy” and “Guns and Money”.

The trio were followed up by, Yesterday’s Pupils and Tumi from The Volume. Yesterday’s Pupil ‘s psychedelic sounds, singing and guitar playing were complimented by Tumi from the Volumes’ intuitive rhymes. The audience enjoyed the fusion of sounds, beats and lyrics so much so that one fan threw her bra on stage. This soon became a prop for Yesterday’s Pupil and Tumi, who took turns covering their faces with the bra as they performed- much to the amusement of the crowd.

Tumi from The Volume and Yesterday's Pupil share a laugh on stage

Tumi from The Volume and Yesterday’s Pupil.

 

From synths and guitars to Die Antwoord’s signature vulgarity and techno / hip hop beats, the crowd stayed engrossed to the stage for what can only be described as a mindblowingly zef set. As soon as DJ Hi-tech, clad in a lumo orange suit, took to his DJ booth- the heat was on.

 

He dropped the beat to their song “fok julle naaiers” and Yolandi Visser emerged on stage showing her middle finger to the crowd as they sang along. The band has been enjoying sold out shows in The United States and parts of Europe and did not disappoint their home crowd. The audience was treated to Ninja’s pelvic thrusts, Yolandi’s ass shaking and even a guest appearance by an unknown dancer who joined Yolandi and Ninja on stage for a few songs.

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The pint sized, foul mouthed and dynamic , Yolandi Visser

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He is a Motherf$c*ing Ninja 

Die Antwoord had the crowd engrossed for their entire set, and I guess as a token of appreciation, Ninja jumped over the railing and into the crowd. They ended their set with their debut hit “Enter the Ninja”.

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A topless Matt Tong on drums

From the pioneers of Zef Culture to the Kings of indie rock- Bloc Party. The stage was set and as soon as drummer, Matt Tong walked on stage topless.

The crowd could not contain themselves and screamed until lead singer Kele Okereke walked on stage. He walked up to the microphone and belted out the first line of the first single, “Octopus” from their latest offering, “Four”.

In the beginning of the set Kele’s vocals seemed to be drowned out by the guitar and drums but he soon found his feet and never looked back! “Helicopter, “One more chance”, and “she’s hearing voices were screamed back to Kele as the fans “helped” him sing.

Kele from Bloc Party

Kele from Bloc Party

Not so long ago there were rumours that Bloc party had called it quits. Their latest release, however, means that they will still be keeping crowds jumping up and down atleast for a while longer.

This event was undoubtedly a night to remember.   Every single act deserved an encore and standing ovation of the hundreds of people who gathered at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown to rock out to a stellar line-up.

All The Glory to Mi Casa

First Published on www.samusicscene.co.za

By : Andy Leve

Pictures : Lauren VD Vyver

 

It’s a stunning Sunday afternoon, music lovers are out in their numbers. With picnic baskets, camping chairs, drinks in hand and wearing sunglasses at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens.

You wouldn’t say it was the middle of winter in Johannesburg. I doubt that a little bit of cold would have stopped this crowd from coming out to see the biggest house music  group in the country.

For months, I had been going on and on about how I just wanted to see Mi Casa live and it finally happened. I, along with the hoards of fans at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens, was in the mood to dance my feet off and sing my lungs out.

Mi Casa has taken the music scene by storm! The trio has only been together for just over a year and already their debut self entitled offering saw them walk away with 3 South African Music Awards.

For the last while all I have heard is how amazing they are, and it’s not that I did not believe the hype around them (trust me, I have the CD, have trolled the net for every live gig that they have online) I just wanted to be part of it!

To captivate an audience is one thing but to hold that attention throughout a near 2 hour set is quite something, and Mi Casa has that special “something”.

It is this something that they all have that made the crowd go wild. At one point I had little kids no older than 5, pushing up against my legs and squirming to get right to the edge of the stage.

Killer moves, voice and looks , J'Something

Killer moves, voice and looks , J’Something

When I turned around I just saw a sea of very happy faces, some were imitating Mo T’s trumpet solos while others were singing and swaying their arms and heads from side to side as Dr Duda and members of the band kept the beats pumping.

 

Mo T plays with so much heart

Mo T plays with so much heart

The man with the golden voice, and the killer moves – J’Something … well what can I say, except that it seems that everyone wants a piece of this man. I had hardly been at the gig for 5 minutes and people were swooning over him quite unashamedly. One super fan, even called herself “Mrs J’Something”, and told me about 10 times throughout their performance, that she had flown to Maputo a few weeks ago especially, just to go see them live.

J Something nails his vocals and creates a brilliant connection with the audience throughout. So much so that every single lady (myself included) totally believes that he is singing to them.He really gets into it, doing his signature feet shuffle and has such a good time on stage that you just want to jump up on stage with him, and well that’s exactly what happened… You know you’re good when a fan jumps on stage and starts gyrating madly.

by Lauren VD Vyver

Dr Duda keeping the beats on point

Not only did they perform some of their own songs including change in my life and La Vida, but they also mixes these with songs from artists like Usher and David Guetta’s without you and Adele’s rolling in the deep, Avicii and even a little Stevie Wonder to name but a few.

The lady next to me, (the one who flew to Maputo to see them), was on the verge of crying, … ”I love these guys” she screamed in my ear. Yip… myself included.