Well this review is slightly delayed, probably a good thing, as this last weekend saw a couple of awesome events going down in Durbs [see General MIDI article]. To paraphrase a famous quote: "something magical this way comes", as 2007 in Ethekwini is starting to take shape as a monster year of note for all things musical-entertainment!
So lets rewind to Friday 19 Jan, Glass Magic Castle, Hillcrest...
Billed as a Bon Voyage farewell gig for Habit To's drummer, Dale, on his way to the UK, the gig turned out to be a cracker for such an intimate venue.
Wesely, Radar ComplexKicking things off were newly formed live acoustic-electronica outfit Radar Complex, headed by talented Wesley Adams, on synths, samplers and mix, together with guitarist wiz kid, Des.
Radar Complex started 2007 off at the amaFull-Throttle new years bash outside Ifafa, and set a high standard with their unique take on downtempo/chilled electro-acoustic "trippy"-hop styled music. The blend of electronica and acoustic guitar and sample elements, creates some mesmerizing atmospherics, that are well suited for ambience rich chill out zones, or daytime loungey outdoor sessions. I can easily picture these guys live at a Botanic Gardens gig.
Des, Radar ComplexAll in all a perfect way to ease into the evening's event, even though they did experience some sound problems, as I can relate as an electronica artist the setup was not ideal, and far from sounding too negative, believe, that live electronica acts should be given more professional consideration, and accommodated as if they were a full normal acoustic band; still some education for venues and promoters to be done in that area.
But I believe these issues weren't as major as the somewhat perfectionist artists made out, the overall feel and sound of the compositions still was given enough justice. Look out for future gigs from this talented duo: Radar Complex.
Enter Habit To – if you have not seen them live yet, then you truly have missed out on one of the most talented bands to come out of Durban in years! Get to see them as soon as you can, as they are destined for bigger stages, hopefully they will be touring JHB and CT shortly, to impress the audiences there!
Habit To, Glass Magic CastleHeaded by the super talented singer-lead-guitarist Michelle - and yes she is a woman in this extremely male dominated entertainment world - brilliant voice, angelic at times, yet can growl out the anger of youth, and moan the soulful angst of a veteran blues singer.
Backed by solid bass guitar from Andrew, and percussion drumming work from Dale, Habit To wove a wicked web in the Glass Magic Castle, taking the audience on a real journey, which is an elusive accomplishment for most bands, but this is one group of artists that have the superior technical skills, natural creative talent, and polished professional performance to deliver the goods!
Highlights of the set for me included [as I don't know the names of the songs they played], a new song, quite bluesy, which together with some of their other material styled in a similar way, and a number that required mass audience clapping, that I can see take the roof off, in a fully packed stadium gig.
I would have to say that this sound suits them more so, than some of the "heavier" stuff they were churning out, that is possibly designed to cater for the Burn crowd (?), again just my personal observation and preference.
So whether it's rock'n'roll, acoustic, electronica or a didgeridoo and a bongo drum - whatever bakes your noodle - 2007 has started off by setting some high standards for the rest of the year's parties and musical events!
Catch one at a venue near you... keep an eye on the durbanscouts.za.net event guide!