A quick Q&A with Clean Bandit

Cape Town - Ahead of their headline gig at the very first Electric Summer Music Festival, UK-based band Clean Bandit will bring their classic and electronic sound to Cape Town on 7 November at Hamilton's Rugby Club and the picturesque Zoo Lake Sports Club on 8 November in Johannesburg.

We chatted to this ultimate foursome ahead of the one-day music experience:

We read somewhere that 'Clean Bandit' is Russian for 'Complete bastard', I'm not sure if that's true so what does the name mean and where does it come from?

Ha, it's kind of true, kind of not. 'Chistaya banditka' in Russian LITERALLY translates as 'clean bandit', but it means 'total bandit/rascal'. Jack likes to translate it as 'utter bastard'. Anyway we thought it was a funny expression and named our band with it.

We also read that some of the bandmates studied language, architecture and history. What made you decide to leave those career paths and follow music? (Those sound like pretty serious courses)

CB: We've all played musical instruments since were small children and music has always been an important part of our lives. We got obsessed with doing it and haven't stopped with this obsession.

A photo posted by cleanbandit (@cleanbandit) on

What made you decide to combine classical and electronic music together?

Neil and I started a classics string quartet first, with two other girls. Jack listened to all our concerts and one day we discussed doing something dancey together. He recorded our classics performances and experimented cutting them up and adding baselines and beats that he wrote around them. Then Luke came and played the beats live on his drum kit, and things went from there.

Rather Be is still being played all over the radio in South Africa, why do you think it's such a huge hit?

Oh great! I don't know. I like it, but it's always hard to know why one song is more popular than another...

Where do you keep your Grammy award?

(Grace) I keep mine on top of my bookshelf at end of my bed.

(Getty Images)

Who's a guest you'd like to get featured on a song?

Lana Del Rey

Have any of you been to South Africa? If not what are you looking forward to?

I've been to Cape Town before - I have a close friend there - I love it it's so beautiful.

What can your South African fans look forward to?

Lots of live instruments (violin, cello, keyboards, drums, saxophone, electronic steel drum) and different voices, and a lot of dancing.

What is your top festival tip?

Don't get sun burnt

What's the best and worst thing about touring all over the world?

Best is seeing and meeting fans in new places and travelling to places we would never have got to go to otherwise. Worst is that it's not very glamourous and usually we are living in bunk beds on a bus, a bit like camping.


We're giving away x2 tickets for Cape Town and Joburg. 

All you have to do is simply e-mail us at music@channel24.co.za and include the following information:

Name & Surname:

Contact details:

The city you're from:


Only 1 entry per person.

Entries close 6 November.

Travel and accommodation not included.

Winners will be notified via e-mail. 

For more information on the event make sure to follow the link here.