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Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Band Rock


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This gig was one of those truly impressive instances of bands giving back to the community of fans who support them. The event was arranged as a benefit for a young man named Ivan who is battling cancer and needs some financial assistance, and it was truly heart warming to see local talent taking to the stage for a worthy cause. We missed quite a few of the bands who played earlier, as the gig kicked off at 16:30 and we could only make it there much later (baby shower – best not to get into that!) but what we saw was well worth the trip out to Umhlanga.

The first act we caught was Superhotjoy, who were as enjoyable as they were the last time I saw them at the Willowvale. They didn’t seem to receive as enthusiastic an audience response as on the previous occasion but the atmosphere in the little theatre at this bowling club was quite stilted, with many people sitting at tables arranged around the room. Quite a tennis clapper set up, which I suppose is to be expected to some degree in this neck of the woods. However, the band made up for what the audience lacked in enthusiasm and truly seemed to be having a wonderful time on stage. The more I listen to them, the more I am struck by the vocal similarities between their frontman and Sting. It’s quite uncanny really. A very talented trio who perform with joy and accomplishment. It was quite sad when they announced that this would be their second to last gig…but maybe from the ashes of Superhotjoy will rise the phoenix of the beloved Perez.

Next up was Driverlane, who are currently riding a wave of success. Their single Regular Flavour has been selected for the soundtrack of Footskating 101 and made it to number 1 on the high 5 at 5 this week (I won’t divulge the marketing tactics that have been employed by some members…suffice to say children and confectionary were involved…). They seem to be sweeping across the country like a tsunami and have been gigging extensively to promote the movie and their upcoming debut album. Last night’s performance was entertaining to say the least. Vocalist Mark taught us why you should never mix sleep deprivation, alcohol, and antibiotics….you will end up doing the river dance and various other strange moves from the ‘80’s while on stage. Bless. Nonetheless, the crowd was loving them and from what I could make out between my fits of giggles, they put on a good show.

It’s amazing what good sound can do for a band. Watching Bed on Bricks last night was like watching a completely different band to the one I saw at Sibaya a month ago. I enjoyed them at Sibaya, but I absolutely loved them last night. And once I could actually hear them properly, I realised that there were songs other than Funny that I recognised…Funny is still my favourite though and makes me get all swoony with excitement like some prepubescent little girl. Sigh. Bed on Bricks are supremely talented and offer their audience a performance the likes of which they are unlikely to see from many other bands. For this band, it’s not just about the music they make, which is a heady blend of reggae, ska and rock to name but a few, but about the way that music is presented on stage. I can only imagine the hours of rehearsal that must have gone into developing a performance as tight as theirs, and the connection between band members on stage is evident. They had the audience eating out of their hands like docile little bambis, and those who had been doing nothing more than the odd tennis clap earlier in the evening were soon skanking around on the dance floor, sitting down when instructed to do so by the frontman Mike Hardy, and jumping up again on command. I’m not sure bands from out of town can ever fully appreciate how special it is to get such a response from the generally apathetic and listless Durban audience, but Bed on Bricks had this audience so enthused they were harmonising during the acapella moments. Which brings me to the rich vocal talents of this band – it takes a lot to be able to sing without the backing of your band, and Mike Hardy and Dave van der Linden pull it off with great finesse. But there isn’t an iota of rock star arrogance present on stage, and I think the fact that these guys were prepared to play a benefit for a local Durban boy, even though they hail from Cape Town, and then still made a R2600 donation to the cause, secured them a place in many people’s hearts. It was a pity that Dave snapped a string towards the end of the set and encouraged the audience to go and get a drink while he replaced it – alas, it doesn’t matter how transfixed an audience is by a band, once they’ve succumbed to the lure of the bar (which in this case was in another room altogether), you probably won’t be getting them back any time soon. Those of us who stuck around while the string was replaced were treated to an impromptu jam session with Mike on sax, and it was of course worth the wait to see the remainder of their set. Altogether, it was one of the best performances I’ve seen in a long time and I’m so glad I got to see them with decent sound so I could fully appreciate this band.

I think all that’s left to be said is that the organisers of this event and the bands who agreed so willingly to play at it need to be highly commended for their dedication to a friend and fan. It’s a pity it wasn’t more widely publicised so that more people could come along and make their donation, but hopefully enough was collected to make a difference in this young man’s life. Kudos to everyone involved.
Posted by Belle at 8:27 PM
- Belle's Bands

"Innovative Cd Packaging"

Our indie rock friends from Durban, South Africa SUPERHOTJOY, just sent us their debut album. The album is great, but what really caught our attention was the fantastic packaging. With the help of local design shop Disturbance Design, the band decided it would be fun to stick with a local theme and somehow finagled their way into Durban’s museum to pose with stuffed animals in an African savanna scene. Those images were then printed onto Polaroid pictures and stuffed into the album’s sleeve. Yet another creative example of people bringing back Polaroids.

"Gig Of The Week: Big Idea & Superhotjoy at KwaSuka"

August 24, 2007

By Emma Nicholson

If you haven't been to the KwaSuka Theatre in Greyville lately then make a plan to go on Friday night. The whole place has been revamped by a group of young performers and the quirky converted church is set to become one of Durban's cutting-edge cultural hubs. It offers theatre, dance, film screenings and music - case in point, the gig on Friday night.

Performing under the banner Live @ the KwaSuka are Durban's own Big Idea and Superhotjoy.

Big Idea are known for bringing diverse audiences together, which suits the eclectic atmosphere at KwaSuka. This alternative hip-hop crew has a tradition of combining different styles with live performances and so have invited the pop-rock group Superhotjoy to join them

Superhotjoy have generated quite a lot of buzz on the local scene but, unfortunately, this will be one of their last performances before lead singer, Garret van der Spek, leaves for the US, so take the opportunity to see these guys while you still can.

Other performers include DJ LV and DJ Karabo and MCs are Ewok and Black Pepper. The event is presented by Ruffinery Records in association with Miller Genuine Draft, so it should be a good party.
- Tonight

"SuperHotJoy, BigWood & Some Nude Springboks"

Friday night saw a return to the formula that made Disturbance Design's erstwhile restaurant/gallery/design store "Home" so popular and so sorely missed. Held at Manna, 'Big Wood' featured artwork, stuffed toys, great tunes from Disturbance honchos Richard and Roger (and ex-Disturbian, Ryan); and the second Durban performance of SuperHotJoy. Ex-Cynosure lead Garret van der Spek's new outfit features Mike Goddard (Perez, Big Idea, Love Jones... this guy is a machine!) on drums, and Kieran Smith on bass (another accomplished machine!).

GarrettGarrettVan der Spek was on fine form, dressed to screech in falsetto-inducing stovepipe jeans and snakeskin boots, and belting it out he was too. Sound like? Hmmm.... The Police. No, honestly - with bass and drums that were tight as... a very tight thing, and van der Speks' renowned vocal style, this was a slick show with oodles of energy and loads of attitude. The whole package was the perfect compliment to the independent style and art that Disturbance is renowned for, a style that has a strong following, as the capacity crowd at Manna showed.

Saturday night and the Nudies blew into town to promote the release of their new album, Peace Breaker, at Burn. Burning up, more like. It might be autumn out here folks but lemme tell you that inside Burn you'd never know it. The sweat was dipping off the ceiling when the Springboks took to the stage, and to their credit they never let this get in the way of a rocking performance.

Despite sound that was overpowered by their heavy-duty assault, they performed with the usual aplomb, trotting out a selection of both classics and new cuts from the album. Say what you like about Arno but as a unit the Nudies kick big booty all over the shop, even when the heat threatens to make you faint. Backstage you'd never think they were one of SA's greatest rock bands of all time - they were polite, offered your roving correspondent beer and Jagers (hic!) and generally shot the shit like any old bunch of maties.

And then it was time to get the hell outta dodge and salvage what little was left of the weekend. -

"Superhotjoy on the Behance Network" - Behance Network


The Shindig Fantastico - EP [2007]
Good Friends are Hard to Find in the 21st Century - LP [2009]



All three members had played music together in some form or another before the band was ever conceived. While commitments to other bands prevented them from ever formally making music together, the idea had certainly occurred to them so that when the opportunity fortuitously arose, it was a seamless transition. Having cut their teeth in various other bands to this point all three members had a clear and uncomplicated approach to making music together which came out in the songs and live performances which ensued. From the very first loud, energetic rehearsal until the final show before circumstances separated them, superhotjoy stood out from everything else going on in the South African music scene. So despite living on opposite ends of the earth they have never contemplated giving up on something so special and which is apparent in the release of 2009's album "Good Friends are Hard to Find in the 21st Century". Its an unwavering commitment to one another to ensure Superhotjoy achieves the success we believe it deserves.