Career launch: Local Indie band gets a shot at the big time

2008-10-29 00:00

LOCAL indie rock band, The Ranks, emerged victorious in the 5FM Demo Bag competition this week.

The competition, conceived and hosted by DJ Koula, was a search for local up-and-coming bands not signed with any record label, and it gave them an opportunity to launch their career.

The Ranks is made up of Neil du Plessis (20) and brothers Brett (17) and Matt Jones (22). The band has attracted a large following, especially local high school pupils.

Du Plessis said he was at Gateway Centre when he received a call from Koula. “She was like ‘Hey Neil, it’s Koula from 5FM’, and I was like ‘Huh?’,” he said yesterday.

“She told us we’d won and I just screamed! I got the strangest looks, but who cares. It was a bit of a blur, I was so excited. I do remember saying ‘Okay, can’t talk for long, my phone is about to die’. Sleep was a struggle that night! I was too amped!”

5FM DJ Koula told The Witness that entrants over a six-month process were narrowed down to the top five bands, and listeners voted for their favourite band.

“We received over 18 000 votes, and The Ranks won. They submitted a very catchy song and have a distinctive sound,” she said.

Asked how they won, Du Plessis said, “By God’s favour, I guess. A friend from Jo’burg decided to enter us and until they announced the top five we didn’t have a clue what was going on. We just want to thank Jesus Christ mainly, as well as all the people who voted for us.”

The band will travel to Johannesburg in January to record an album with Darryl Torr (of Harris Tweed fame). “We will then have a rocking album, some insane experience and an opportunity to take things as far as we desire,” says Du Plessis.

“We are going to focus on our studies — Brett [drummer] is finishing matric next year and Matt [bass] is doing his final year in architecture, so we’re keen to get that out of the way and then maybe headline Wembley or the Absa Stadium... who knows?”

For more on the band visit

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