Take us as we come, says trio

2015-04-30 14:45
Jono Tait and Matt and Nick Catto of Hatchetman will open the Big Blues Meets Rock Festival at Hillcrest Quarry in Durbanville this weekend. 

Lightwizard photography

Jono Tait and Matt and Nick Catto of Hatchetman will open the Big Blues Meets Rock Festival at Hillcrest Quarry in Durbanville this weekend. PHOTO: Lightwizard photography

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They describe themselves as an acoustic/ folk-rock trio, but this weekend, Hatchetman will be opening the Big Blues Meets Rock Festival at Hillcrest Quarry in Durbanville.

The band, who hails from Milnerton, Rondebosch and the City Bowl, will be joining Van Coke Kartel, The Black Cat Bones, Pebbleman with Jesse Jordan, The Albert Frost Trio, Gerald Clark andamp; the Deadmen, Boulevard Blues and The Mojo Heads and Azurdee and the Blue River Band for the festival on Sunday.

Class on one bill“I think it’s a wonderful concept,” the band’s Jono Tait says of the idea of bringing blues and rock together on one stage.

“In my mind, the line between traditional blues and rock is blurry enough for the two to make great partners.”

He says the festival provides a space for the “grey areas between rock and blues to come to the fore” and flourish.

“It’s just beyond cool that there’s a festival that’s featuring pretty much everything that’s class about the SA blues and rock scene on one bill.”

Jono is responsible for song writing, guitar playing and lead vocals for Hatchetman, but quickly points out that the band’s vocal sound is geared towards a three-part harmony, so he isn’t really the band’s lead vocalist. Instead he shares harmonies with Matt and Nick Catto.

The three recently recorded a live show at Alma Café, a venue in Rosebank that Jono has been helping manage for the last year since taking over from his parents, who built it up. He is also involved with the Barleycorn Folk Music Club who recently celebrated its 40th anniversary.

Recording plans“The Alma recording was very much an experiment,” he says.

Although he hasn’t had a chance to listen to the playbacks yet, Jono says the album will be “bare bones” with very little overdubs. In fact, they might even decide to leave some of the “wrong” notes in.

“I’ve always felt very strongly that it’s important for a band to be totally transparent about the live experience,” Jono explains, adding: “I mean, it’s three guys, trying to sing three different notes at the exact same time and in the right register of your voice and maybe you’re nervous and a whole raft of other considerations. And it’s live, so obviously there’s gonna be some bum notes, y’know?”

Originally the band just wanted a professional live recording of a show to see what came out, but they ended up with some “great-sounding” tracks and are considering releasing them as an EP of sorts.

Hatchetman have also been talking about releasing a full album in the “not-too-distant future” and although the band is primarily an acoustic guitar act, Jono says they are experimenting with different instruments and incorporating electric influences.

“I’ve always wanted to play in a straight up and down hard rock band so that’s kinda bubbling away in the background somewhere,” he says.

Off to FringeBesides being booked every night for every weekend in April, Hatchetman are also going to be recording a single with Pierre-Arnold Theron from Mr Cat and the Jackal in between mixing their live tracks and looking into pre-production options for their album.

They have been accepted as one of the Grahamstown National Fringe Fest music acts, but before that they need to get their social media platforms, website and merchandise set up properly.

“A lot of stuff needs to come together so that we can really take Grahamstown by storm,” Jono says, but he’s enjoying being part of the business side of things.

It will be all music when the band gets on stage at the Blues Meets Rock Festival on Sunday though. Tickets for the 10-hour concert cost R150 and are available at Compu­ticket. V

Visit www.facebook.com/hatchetmanband to stay up to date with the band’s news and shows

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