Reviving rock'n roll

2012-05-11 00:00

UNADULTERATED rock ’n roll is the sentiment surrounding Shadowclub and Southern Gypsey Queen’s national tour.

Both trio acts have been punishing the road over the past few weeks, performing between Arcade Empire in Pretoria to the Waiting Room in Cape Town, and everywhere in-between — Grahamstown, Gordon’s Bay, Queenstown, and East London. Next Friday, they arrive in the KwaZulu-Natal capital to perform at the Red Door.

Southern Gypsey Queen (SGQ) is no stranger to local music fans. Gareth, Paul and Tammy Wilson have been the mainstay of the act for 10 years, and the band’s live performances have garnered it widespread adulation across the country.

It has teamed up with Shadowclub, still glowing from its South African Music Award (Sama) win for best rock album.

“We were doing shows together in Jozi, and everytime we double-billed a show the turnouts were great and the vibe was just electric,” says SGQ frontperson Gareth Wilson. “We figured we wanted to take it out on the road a bit. We’ve been doing the dirty-blues rock thing for 10 years now, and it was great to finally have a band doing the same thing to go on tour with us.”

And thus, Dirty Sexy Rock ’n Roll was born, and the tour has been stirring a nationwide movement of old-school rock ‘n’ roll revival in clubs around the country.

The title suggests it all. “There have been a lot of messy moments,” laughs Gareth. “On the last night of the tour, myself and Louis [from Shadowclub] got ourselves kicked out of a 24-hour casino at four in the morning, and then persuaded the security guard and his machine gun to drive with us to a shabeen to carry on with the jol.

“We also picked up a homeless man called Makaya to join us. Fortunately, no one was awake, and we were forced to go drink rooibos at the hotel.”

But as much as they play hard, both bands work exceptionally hard. The latest SGQ album, Delusions of Grandeur, has been receiving nationwide attention, and while it didn’t scoop the best rock album at the Samas, Gareth says that Shadowclub winning “was close enough to home to still celebrate. SGQ are very happy for them, and are proud of them for the win,” he says. “Finally, a proper rock ’n roll band won best rock”.

Shadowclub and SGQ arrive at the Red Door next Friday night. The first band is on at 9 pm and tickets are just R35.

 ryan@ryancalder.co.za

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