‘Hairies’ to be honoured, Vusi Mahlasela at Splashy Fen

2011-03-11 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG band the Hairy Legged Lentil Eaters has been confirmed as the featured act for this year’s Splashy Fen Music Festival, taking place near Underberg in KwaZulu-Natal from April 21 to April 25. The festival coincides with the 20th year of the band’s existence, and is an opportunity to celebrate a shared history that dates back to Splashy Fen’s early beginnings in 1990.

Described as the most eclectic folk band this side of the Limpopo, the Hairy Legged Lentil Eaters have made an indelible mark on Splashy Fen over the years, never failing to win over audiences with performances that have ranged from the satirical to the bizarre.

Speaking on behalf of the band, vocalist and guitarist Brian Bedingfield said that it was exciting to be offered the featured act billing and to be paid tribute to in this way by a festival that is “in their blood”.

“Either individually or collectively, the Hairies have been at every single Splashy Fen — if not on the bill, then busking and generally spreading good humour. During the early years, our association with the then Pietermaritzburg Folk Club also saw us getting involved in other ways, either as sound engineers, stage managers, crew or MCs.”

Currently, the band plays an active role in the running of the Maritzburg Musicians’ Club, which meets every other Tuesday at The Red Door in Pietermaritzburg.

Also on the bill is South African music icon, Vusi Mahlasela, who will make a rare visit to KwaZulu-Natal to perform at the festival.

Celebrated for his distinct, powerful voice and poetic, optimistic lyrics, Mahlasela recently released his seventh album titled Say Africa. Recorded in the United States, the Afro-folk-driven album was produced by legendary American folk-blues musician, Taj Mahal, and also features guest vocals by Grammy Award-winner Angelique Kidjo.

Mahlasela has toured the world and performed alongside the likes of Alicia Keys, Dave Matthews and Josh Groban at shows that include Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday celebration in London’s Hyde Park and the 2010 FIFA World Cup Kick-off Concert in Soweto.

Supported by East Coast Radio, the festival will also see performances by the likes of Karen Zoid, Ard Matthews, Dan Patlansky, Boo!, Madala Kunene, The Rudimentals, Valiant Swart, Good Luck, Wrestlerish, Versus The Wolf, Isochronous, City Bowl Mizers, T.H.O.T.S, Margaret’s Daughter, Newtown, Red Light Stereo and The Aquarian Quartet, featuring guitar maestros Steve Newman, Syd Kitchen, Greg Georgiades and Tony Cox.

The Maritzburg Musicians’ Club has a limited number of R400 tickets available. Tickets cost R500 at Computicket and selected Game stores. The price includes camping for the entire festival.

• For more information, visit www.splashyfen.co.za or phone 031 563 0824.

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