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We chat to 3 artists ahead of this weekend's Cape Town Folk `n Acoustic Music Festival

2015-08-05 05:00

Cape Town – This weekend the 8th instalment of the Cape Town Folk 'n Acoustic Music Festival, featuring an array of top South African artists, will be taking place at the Baxter theatre.

What is the Cape Town Folk 'n Acoustic Music Festival? Well, it’s a show featuring top South African artists who will perform completely acoustically in an intimate, concert-style setting. Artists set to perform include David Kramer, Valiant Swart, MacStanley, Tailor and Donovan Copley (Hot Water). Their performances will be stripped down to the essence of the songs.

We got to ask Bill Knight, Nicky Schrire and Clive Ridgway from Rocking Horse a few questions ahead of the show...

Channel24: Are you looking forward to playing this year’s Folk fest and why?

Bill Knight: I’m very much looking forward to performing at SA’s Premier Folk & Acoustic Fest. I’m especially pleased that I’m performing in a duet with my Musical Mentor, the legendary Roger Lucey. I’m also pleased to be sharing the Stage with David Kramer: Back in 1978, I played in a thing called “Campus Capers”, headlined by David, just as his musical career really took off. David has been a major musical influence.

Nicky Schrire: I'm really excited to be playing this year's Folk Fest for several reasons. Firstly, I'm fan-girling quite a bit to be on the same bill as David Kramer (as well as most of the other artists on the line-up!). I grew up watching his musicals like "Poison" and "Kat and the Kings" and am so inspired by his creative output and his contribution to the South African arts scene. The second aspect of the festival I'm looking forward to is getting to play with cellist Ariella Caira and to share our musical collaboration with the audience.

Clive Ridgway: Tony, Barry and I are very grateful for the opportunity to perform in an authentic acoustic setting.  We were lucky enough to be around at the time when the great singer-songwriters (Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, James Taylor and Willie Nelson etc) emerged, and were embraced by the world. We have done what we had to do to make a living out of music which most of the time meant labouring to project out to an audience rather than draw them in … Gavin’s festival gives us a chance to do what we love best play and sing our songs in a gentle and intimate setting.

C24: What can people expect from your performance at the festival?

Bill: A very dynamic duo with a strong emphasis on lyrics. Roger and I have a long history.

Nicky: People can expect to get a taste of the type of acoustic-driven music that Ariella and I play. It borrows from the folk tradition in the instrumentation (guitar, cello and voice) while throwing forward to more pop-acoustic sounds in our delivery and interpretations. However, our focus is always on story-telling and making our listeners feel something. We'll definitely play the title track of our EP "An Education" which came out on a London folk label, Wild Sound Recordings, this past June as one of our two musical offerings.

Clive: We will be performing a couple of songs from our new record.  Three acoustic guitars and three voices … maybe a bit of mandolin depending on the song selection.

C24: What’s the one thing no one knows about you?

Bill: I can’t read music.

Nicky: I'm quite an open-book (interviewers often get more content than they bargained for!) so I don't really have any secrets. People tend to be surprised when they learn that I played the saxophone professionally (that was how I got into jazz) and most people, myself included, didn't know I played the bass clarinet until I'd bluffed my way into being in the orchestra for the Cape Town production of "Chicago" some years ago. There were some very hairy moments as I "pretended" to be proficient on the difficult instrument!

Clive: Tony and I have written songs for many well known SA artists in styles ranging from RnB to country.  

C24: If you could give up and coming musicians advice, what would you tell them?

Bill: Keep on trying - often when the going seems too tough, the goal is just around the corner. Persistence and tenacity are the key.

Nicky: Don't neglect thinking like a businessman/woman in your quest to be a professional musician/artist. Many people think it's "uncool" to pay attention to the business side of music, but I think it's incredibly important and impressive. Even if you're lucky enough to have a team (manager, booking agent, etc.) around you, you're only doing yourself a disservice if you don't have the first clue as to how to write up a press release, or send an e-mail to a venue/festival booker, or how you release music through online platforms like iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, etc.

Clive: Having something to purposeful and authentic to say is what matters most of all. Music is the medium … be the message!

C24: What’s next for you?

Bill: I’m collaborating with a friend, Chris Davidson with a CD, “Scarecrows in a Field” due to be released in late August. We’ll be on tour up the Garden Route in early September.

Nicky: I've been writing and practising so much that I'm very much looking forward to playing a lot and sharing my music with people. There are some shows in the pipeline for September and I'm hoping some new collaborations too. Find me on social media to stay in the loop!

Clive: We release a new record in a few months time … to celebrate our 30th anniversary as a band.  We have a grand concert planned for Sunday 9 December, the actual date of our anniversary.

The line-up:

Friday 7 August: David Kramer, Valiant Swart, MacStanley, Tailor, Medicine Boy, Donovan Copley from Hotwater, Andra, Wren Hinds, Faye Oakes, Roger Lucey, Bill Knight Fruit Vendor, Chris Verge, Jasmine Minter.

Saturday 8 August: David Kramer, Valiant Swart, MacStanley, Tailor, Donovan Copley from Hotwater, Nicky Schrire, Ariella Caira, Rocking Horse, Andra, Timothy Hutchinson, Jono Grayson, Tony Cedras, Dave Reynolds, Basson Laubscher.

Tickets cost from R195 to R175 per ticket and are available through Computicket.


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