Tune Me What? It’s Our Birthday!
In this episode of Tune Me What? Leon Lazarus and Brett Lock celebrate the first birthday of the show. Now living in San Diego in the United States and London in the United Kingdom respectively, the presenters started Tune Me What? to expose the brilliant music they loved growing up in South Africa to their new friends and neighbours.
There was such a demand for South African music that the show grew rapidly in popularity and reach and now attracts a loyal interanational listenership.
Since the theme this week is celebrating one year of the programme, this episode kicks of with the band a href=”http:www.youtube.comwatch?feature=player_embeddedampv=juRXW5Cv_S4″ target=”_blank”Zulu Speara and their song ‘Come On (Celebration)’.
Zulu Spear is a modern mbaqanga band based in California and fronted by Soweto-born singer Gideon Bendile, who has worked with musical giants like Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, and fellow South African jazz legend, Hugh Masekela.
Next up is the band Amersham who were a very popular pop-rock band in the late 1990s known for their catchy songs, energetic performances and the effervescent personality of singer, Adam Lomax. The song choice is aptly named ‘Birthday’.
This is followed by ‘That Happy Feeling’ by Boerekwela. Boerekwela is a project led by John Leydon of Mango Groove and featuring fellow Mango Groove penny-whistler Jack Larole that blends elements of Afrikaans Boeremusiek and Zulu Mbaqanga. It follows on from the pioneering work of Nico Carstens. This track was written by German songwriter Bert Kaempfert.
Two tracks featuring Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse follow this, one as a solo artist and one as a member of the band Harari. South Africa has just had its fifth free election marking 20 years of democracy.
Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse will be remembered as the musician tasked with writing the official song for Nelson Mandela’s presidential campaign.
Harari was a super-group and many of its members, including Mabuse, went on to successful solo careers. The band backed American artists Wilson Pickett and Percy Sledge on their tours of South Africa as well as having their own international success. We play their track ‘Party’ which entered the American Disco Hot 100 charts in 1982, as well as Hotstix’s solo track ‘Celebration’.
Country-tinged Famous Curtain Trick is next with a song called ‘House Party’. FCT were a band of changing line-up formed around songwriters Jim Neversink and Nadine Raal.
We then continue the ‘party’ theme with a track by Trevor Rabin called ‘Take Me To A Party’. Rabin was a member of the 1970s teenybopper sensation pop group Rabbitt.
After moving abroad he joined the British progressive rock super-group ‘Yes’ and today enjoys a career as a successful composer of film music. There’s still more ‘party’ music to be had as we listen to The Honeymoon Suites and their song ‘A Party In My Head’.
The group Jabula – popular in the late-70s and early-80s and comprised of exiled South African musicians based in London – contribute the next song, ‘Jabula Happiness’.
Led by Julian Bahula, the group featured Busi Mhlongo on vocals and even sax legend Dudu Pukwana was part of their early line-up.
The ‘Tune Me Something New’ section introduces Sylvester Aklamavo, a jazz-fusion guitarist from Benin. Aklamavo grew up in Nigeria before moving to South Africa eight years ago.
Forming a new band in his adopted country, he’s released an album called ‘Extreme’ which he describes as ‘Afro-fusion’. He treats us a track from Extreme called ‘Move It’.
Getting more edgy, the show then features tracks by two very current bands: ‘Good Day’ by a href=”http:www.youtube.comwatch?feature=player_embeddedampv=HL7QWio_iO8″ target=”_blank”Skwatta Kampa. Skwatta Kamp is a 7-piece hip-hop collective who named themselves after the poverty-stricken informal settlements that surround many of South Africa’s cities.
‘Vernietig Jouself’ by Fokofpolisiekar or ‘Polisiekar’, as they are often referred to on air to avoid profanity, are a rock band from Bellville in the Western Cape. As an alternative Afrikaans band, they named themselves to shock the conservative Afrikaans establishment.
Playing out the show is Urban Creep, a short-lived band from Durban in the mid-1990s. They only managed to produce two albums during their short tenure as one of the country’s most successful rock bands. Chief songwriter, Chris Letcher, went on to a solo career and a critically acclaimed partnership with Matthew van der Want. In keeping with the theme, the song is ‘When the Party’s Over’.
There is a short reprise at the end with the song ‘Happy Birthday’ by African Treehouse.
Tune Me What? is a podcast and blog by Brett Lock and Leon Lazarus that highlights South African music and artists at home and around the world. For more information, visit tunemewhat.com or facebook.comTuneMeWhat.
Source : ThinkAfricaPress