Catch aKing in Durban

2014-09-09 00:00

SOUTH African rockers, aKing, are heading to Durban as part of a nationwide tour to promote their new album, Morning After.

The band — made up of Laudo Liebenberg (guitar/vocals), Hennie van Halen (bass), Jaco “Snakehead” Venter (drums), Andrew Davenport (guitar/backing vocals) — will be hitting the stage at Live The Venue, 166 Matthews Meyiwa (Stamford Hill) Road, Durban, tomorrow

Their first single, the video for which is on YouTube, is Man Unkind, a powerful, guitar-driven track which fans are going to love.

Van Halen said they are really excited to get the album out to fans, which has been produced, arranged and written by the band.

“Before we would take songs into the studio and finish them with the engineers and producers, but this time we tried to do a lot of the production work ourselves,” he explained.

“We were in control of the production and had no one else to answer to.”

Asked what fans could expect from the new album, Van Halen said that their sound had definitely evolved over time.

“We wrote our first two albums with Hunter [Kennedy], but then in 2009 he got too busy to be actively involved in our group because he and Pierre [Greef] from Die Heuwels Fantasties started their own label.

“We were joined by Andrew on rhythm guitar and the third album which we did with him really changed our sound. He’s English and that brought a different context lyrically.

“I think we have found a comfortable space … but we have not shied away from trying new things, like starting with a piano riff rather than a guitar riff and then writing a song from there.

“But one thing never changes. As soon as Laudo opens his mouth and sings it’s distinctively aKing. He’s a baritone and it’s difficult for him to sound different.”

Van Halen said that while they are open to collaborations they are sometimes restrictive.

“As soon as you plan to do a collaboration — besides factoring in the time and getting together to do it — you have to decide whose sound you are going to go with, especially with hip hop. Is it going to be a rap song with some guitar or is it going to be a rock song with rap?”

That said aKing wouldn’t say no to having some dance remixes of the songs on their new album.

“Just Music has a dance wing, so we’re looking at connecting with some of those artists to do some remixes.

“It’s very far from what we do, so I think it would expose our music to people who don’t know our music,” Van Halen said.

As for coming to Durban to perform, he says the guys can’t wait.

“We feel it’s really worth it to come to Durban. The crowds have a vibe of their own. It’s a healthy cross between the audiences in Johannesburg and Cape Town,” Van Halen added.

“We’re also really happy to be playing Live again. It has some of the best sound in the country. It’s on a par with the Assembly in Cape Town and Arcade Empire in Pretoria.”

The gig is one of several which aKing will be doing nationwide to promote Morning After, and Van Halen says its going to be fun living out of a tog bag and in a tour van for awhile.

“The touring environment really brings the band together and has a cohesive effect.

“It helps the morale of group and that translates to the live shows,” he said.

• Tickets for aKing’s gig at Live The Venue are R70. Inquiries: 084 510 3107.

• Keep in touch with the band on Twitter @akingband, on Instagram — akingband, via their Facebook page: aKINGband and through their website

• Copies of Morning After will be on sale at the gig and can be bought through iTunes until September 16, after which you can find them in store.


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