Songs a present to fans

2015-06-16 06:00
Crimson House plans to do things differently with the release of the band’s third album, Come alive. 

Hylton Boucher

Crimson House plans to do things differently with the release of the band’s third album, Come alive. PHOTO: Hylton Boucher

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town blues rockers Crimson ­House want to give their new album away.

The band members, who are preparing to release their third album, Come alive, have decided that instead of selling their new release at their launch, they’d like to “gift” the album in digital and physical formats to new and existing fans.

“We wanted to get the music out there, that’s it,” says Crimson House frontman Riaan Smit.

He says the band doesn’t want to have to sell the album at one show at a time or have to fight with distributors and labels to get it “in the hands of the people we ­made it for”.

One of the songs on the already com­pleted album is called “Give it all away”, in which Riaan sings about his soul not being “for sale”. “I wanted to stand behind that lyric, and this music is my soul, our collective souls, and we’re not for sale.”

While the recording of Come alive has al­ready been paid for by regular shows over a period of two years, Crimson House has partnered with South African crowd-funding company Thundafund to raise money to print and distribute the album.

Through its Thundafund campaign, Crimson House fans or “pledgers” can choose a number of pledge options, from R100, which buys a digital download of the album once it’s released, or R150, which buys a digital copy of all three Crimson House albums and a printed version of the new one, to more expensive options that buy merchandise and dinner with the band. An extremely generous fan might consider the R100 000 pledge, which buys the band’s banjo player, Arno van Zyl, or Ara as he’s affectionately known, for a night “no questions asked”.

Come alive was recorded at Jo Ellis’s Blueroom Studios in Ladismith. Jo happens to be Riaan’s grandmother’s neighbour and worked on his cousin William Welfare’s (previously Willem Welsyn) album.

Riaan describes the recording process as an amazing journey, despite a rough start.

They had already lost a day of recording time when they started with their first sess­ion after Riaan got arrested for speeding on his way to Ladismith while listening to the Black Cat Bones’s new album.

“I got carried away in a head bang with Ara and missed the sign.”

The detour wasn’t a complete waste, though. Riaan wrote the song “Holding cell” while sitting in one.

The band has been together for about ­five years and Riaan says there’s a sense of brotherhood that comes out in the music now that they’ve got to know each other.

Besides the more relaxed atmosphere it was recorded in, Come alive is also different from the band’s previous albums, Smoke, dust and whisky and Red shack rock because it contains 16 songs – more than their usual nine or 10.

The songs ­were also all tracked live, giving the album a more “natural feel”.

The band is also proud of Come alive’s album art, created by artist Emily Paradis while listening to the album. Emily created the cover as a physical canvas painting. The original artwork can also be bought as a pledge reward.

Once Crimson House has raised its R80 000 target and pledgers have received the album, the band members plan to literally throw the rest off stage at their debut Oppikoppi performance later this year.

Come alive will be launched at Hillcrest Quarry in Durbanville on Sunday 26 July where Crimson House will be performing with the Nomadic Orchestra and Mr Cat and the Jackal. V

Visit before Friday 26 June to support Crimson House’s crowd-funding campaign. Visit to see Emily’s artwork or for more information about the band

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.