Dance with Shortstraw tomorrow

2013-05-02 00:00

SHORTSTRAW is a five-piece indie band from Johannesburg which is making waves in South Africa after winning the 2013 MK Award for best indie, appearing in a Nissan advert and recently opening for The Kooks. Alastair Thomas (guitarist and singer) spoke of the bands excitement: “It was pretty much the most amazing thing to happen to us so far.

“It was just super sick. The venue and the organisation were amazing. We found out about a month before the Kooks concert and the hardest thing for us was having to keep it a secret for so long.”

The band was formed in 2007 with just two members — Alastair Thomas and Oliver Nathan — who had played together in Wanton. They performed only eight times in their first year of playing together, but had no real aspirations for the band, which was called That’s what your Mother Said Last Night.

In 2009, they decided to record an EP and added a guitarist and a bassist who left two years later, after which, three new members joined to become Shortstraw.

The band has just gone on tour to promote its latest album Good Morning Sunshine and will be performing at Live — The Venue in Durban tomorrow.

“We are returning to Durban once again, and you can expect us to keep it as upbeat as possible. If you like dancing and sweating then you will like the performance. It will be fun and we expect a party afterwards,” said Thomas.

Good Morning Sunshine was written in December last year, recorded in two weeks and produced by Jacques du Plessis and Mark de la Querra of High Seas Records. “Around December 1 last year, we were offered a house in Verkykerskop, a small secluded town in the Free State, where we all went to finish writing the new album. After that, we went straight into studio to record.

“The album was recorded in two weeks and mixed in two weeks. It was important to us to record the album quickly so that we didn’t give ourselves any time to make up problems in our heads. We wanted to produce the album in the moment without changing anything afterwards,” said Thomas.

Hanro Havenga is credited with having photographed the album which features scenes from a breakfast table which reference the name of the album.

“The whole thing was shot at Wolves Coffee Shop, which is owned by a good friend of ours. We always knew we wanted this album to have the hung-over, morning-after look with the half-eaten breakfast on the table. We wanted to have five different breakfasts to represent each band member, but in the end everyone just wanted the English breakfast — except for the bassist,” said Thomas.

Of their recent success, he said: “Things seem to be going well for us. We are not used to that. After this tour, we plan to record our next video and, of course, we would like to perform overseas.”

• Catch Shortstraw and support act, Matthew Mole, tomorrow at Live — The Venue. Doors open at 8 pm and tickets are R70.


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