26 April 2011

One of the strangest things to see on a train

I took this photo a few months back and have shared it with a few friends. I decided it's finally time to unleash it upon the internet! It's a little out of focus, but if you look carefully you can make it out.

Finger licking good...well, not exactly.
Yes friends, those are indeed chicken bones the floor. Where was this taken? The alley behind the local KFC? A traditional healer's backyard? No, this photo was taken inside one of Cape Town's mind-numbingly awesome Metrorail trains. I know I get hungry when traveling, but whoever devoured this culinary delight must've had some appetite.

This is among one of the many wonders that you can experience on the Metrorail system. I've yet to snap a pic of the shirtless, tattooed ex-prisoner that I once saw. Although, thinking about it now, I don't think he'd appreciated that very much. :)

Don't forget - 12th Avenue live in Durbanville this Saturday! - 30 April, 9pm, at Blizzard (Wellington Rd.) with Silent Side and Save the Ears for Breakfast! See you there!

21 April 2011

Bunnies laying eggs...

Because I'm going to try and spend as much time away from my PC as possible over this long weekend, I figured out just wish everyone Happy Easter!

I can't believe it's Easter already. I think I only just stopped writing 2010 instead of 2011 about a few weeks ago. :) I hope you all enjoy the hot cross buns, chocolate eggs, chocolate bunnies, chocolate eggs being laid by chocolate bunnies, chocolate bunnies hatching out of chocolate eggs...okay, enjoy the chocolate.

And for those of you, like me, who actually celebrate Easter and not just the chocolate, I hope God blesses you and your family big time this Easter.

Enjoy the long weekend! :)

20 April 2011

When you're bored...

I've been sick for past couple of days, so I've been spending most of my time reading, watching TV (and falling asleep in front of it), and playing X-Box.

I'm feeling a lot better now, but still feel a little short on energy and willingness to do anything constructive. In times like these, I check out a fun website called Bored.com. It's filled with great flash games to keep even the most fun-deprived creatures happy for at least an hour or so.

Check it out if you're feeling bored like me today. :)

15 April 2011

It's all about the venue

My lifelong dream is to headline at Wembley Stadium in London, England. It's just such a fantastic venue with such a rich history of excellent performances. Apart from that, it's totally humungous! However, this isn't the only place I'd like to play. Cape Town Stadium, where I got to see the legendary U2 perform earlier this year, would be epic, as would any of SA's 2010 Fifa World Cup Stadiums. Madison Square Garden, NYC, USA would be another great place to perform.

However, when I think about it, I've actually performed in some amazing venues, and from a young age no less. I was only 13 when I played a drum solo in front of about 3000 people at Bellville Athletics Stadium, for my school's Inter-schools Athletics Tournament, which was nerve-wracking, but loads of fun at the same time.

Here is a list of a few incredible venues that I've been blessed enough to perform at, and why that particular show was so memorable. Enjoy!

Grand Arena, Cape Town - 2008

The opening night of our tour supporting Seether. 5000 people singing back at us waving giant foam fingers. Not to mention, the amazing backstage area, equipped with plenty of food and drinks. We also played Standard Bank Arena, JHB; Wavehouse, Durban; and NMMU Sports Centre, PE on that tour, all of which were amazing. However, the Cape Town show stands out the most, as it's my hometown and it was my first ever huge arena show. 

Artscape Theatre, Cape Town - 2005

My high school jazz band performed at the Cape Town Youth Jazz Festival. We did a half hour set that included some of the most insane improvisation and musical innovation. I particularly remember using a 5/8 running into a 6/8 time signature on one of the songs.

Die Mystic Boer, Bloemfontein - 2010

Closing show of our 2010 tour. We had an incredible show and one of the craziest backstage parties ever.

Mercury Live, Cape Town - 2006 & 2011

I've played at Mercury so many times, but our music video launch for our song "Single" in 2006 and our album launch for "12th Avenue", earlier this month, were two of the most epic shows I've played there. 

Endler Hall, Stellenbosch - 2005

I played at a Choir recital here while in high school. It's just a beautiful auditorium with incredible acoustics and a genuine pipe organ. I love it when you can hear every voice and every instrument when there isn't a single microphone in the room. 

Wanderers Sports Club, Windhoek, Namibia - 2010

My first show outside my country's borders, but definitely not the last. The crew at this venue made me feel like a rock star. I didn't have to worry about a thing.

City Hall, Cape Town - 2004

Another jazz band performance. City Hall looks amazing from the outside and even better from the behind the kit.

Zeplins, Pretoria - 2005

Probably the strangest place I've ever performed at. Very dark, very gothic, but still rocking. It was here that we opened our first ever national tour as a band, and where I witnessed my first ever failed stage dive. Can you spell faceplant?

V&A Waterfront Amphitheatre, Cape Town - 2008

This is another venue that I've performed at since high school. I can't remember all the details of every show I've done here, but I do remember a show in 2008 where the stage was covered in artificial grass, which was helpful since my bass player at the time left his shoes at home!

08 April 2011

Raise your voice!

I don't really mean to get all serious on a Friday, especially when I have a show tonight, but I thought that this can't really wait.

I was on Facebook earlier today when I saw a friend post a link to a petition on www.avaaz.org. This website is doing some amazing things in terms of exposing human rights violations, getting the public involved in letting world leaders know their thoughts, and basically creating awareness amongst the global community.

Go check it out. It's completely free and really easy to sign up and add your name to some petitions that can make a huge difference to our world. I know that I'm not prepared to simply sit and watch while politicians sleep on the job, so if you feel the same way, start getting involved in projects like this.

So sign up now, and then go and enjoy your weekend! :)

04 April 2011

Back on stage again

After a lengthy, but absolutely worth it, recording process, 12th Avenue finally have a new album out. We launched the new record at Mercury Live, in Cape Town on Friday night and it was a show of epic proportions. While still doing soundcheck, we were receiving Twitter messages such as "We're queuing outside. Open the doors, it's cold out here!" By the time the doors opened, the queue was quite a way down the street and by the time the show started, a capacity crowd awaited us.

I had a fantastic time on stage. It was just one of those shows where everything seems to work. Thank you to everyone involved in making it such a success - the rest of the band, support acts, management, venue, crew, family, friends and fans. Big hugs to all of you!

12th Avenue on stage at Mercury Live, Cape Town. - I'm hidden behind the drums/band. :) - Photo - VoiceofRock.com

Where to from here? A number of places, actually. This Friday, we're set to play a 2-hour acoustic set in Gordon's Bay, which is likely to be a whole lot of fun. Gordon's Bay is a town full of fun people, great food and an awesome atmosphere. I'm really looking forward to it, particularly because it's the first time we're playing the acoustic versions of the new songs.

We have plenty more shows lined up. They're all on our website - www.12thavenueband.com - but I've added a few here for the lazy readers. :p More shows are still being booked, so this list is likely to get longer!

8 April - Bertie's Moorings - Gordon's Bay
30 April - Blizzard - Durbanville
6 May - Nameless Pub - Somerset West
7 May - Viper Lounge - Table View
26, 27, 28 May - Johannesburg, Pretoria & Bloemfontein - TBA

01 April 2011

Tonight's the night!

A couple weeks ago, I was thinking to myself, "I can't believe our new album is finally complete". And now, after hours upon hours of rehearsing, it is time for our album launch show at Mercury Live in Cape Town, and the kick-off of our national tour.

On days like this, I don't really know how to feel. I'm definitely excited, but there's always a certain amount of nerves involved. I've never been afraid to play in front of a crowd. In fact, I'm more afraid of playing in front of 1 or 2 people (like music practical exams when I was in school) than playing in front of thousands. Maybe it's just a case of "Will they like the new songs?", "Will people actually show up?", "Will all the equipment work?" etc. etc. etc.

Things like that are what really make musicians nervous. Well, at least that's what makes me nervous. However, I think today,  the excitement levels are far outweighing the nerves. I think we're definitely ready for the show and the set that we've been working on is solid. We've also been getting loads of positive responses online whenever we mention the release show, so I think it's going to be a busy one tonight, which is awesome.

So, with about 10.5 hours to go until soundcheck, I guess all I can do is wait patiently...

See you tonight, Cape Town. It's gonna be a big one! :)

The new 12th Avenue album. Available from www.12thavenueband.com on 01/04/2011.