Justin Bergh in London - SA Pop star plays London

2006-03-29 11:04

After spending time in America, where he met, worked and jolled with some industry heavyweights - most notably the lads from Collective Soul and Bon Jovi - Justin is now in London to showcase his talents.

Despite arriving in London at the start of the year Justin spent about as much time in the city as he did away from it. A series of gigs back in South Africa took him home for a while but he is now back, settled and scheduled to play a gig at London's famous Half Moon Café in Putney on Tuesday 26th July. The Half Moon is something of a London institution and greats like The Rolling Stones and Kate Bush have performed there. More recently South African acts like Tweak and Karma have also graced the stage.

Justin is up next and he promises to deliver a great show. "I will be playing all my singles - the ones people will know from the radio back home," he says, adding, "I'll mix in a few covers as well.

"I am really looking forward to it and I guarantee an energetic performance."

"I am really looking forward to it and I guarantee an energetic performance."

As a solo artist Justin experiences the highs and lows of being on the road by himself but he has assembled a quality band for the night, which includes ex-The Usual bassist Yoyo Buys.

Interestingly, it was Yoyo's former band-mate, James Stewart, who played a role in bringing Justin to prominence. Having taught himself guitar by jamming with his brother and his father when he wasn't even a teenager, Justin eventually graduated to the studio where he recorded his first professional demo. It was at Stewart's Street Level Studios where Justin, backed by a quality band, recorded a demo that would end up on the desk of a BMG executive.

Soon, Bergh was signed to the label, catapulted onto the charts and into the public consciousness. With songs like Out of my hands, No Ordinary World and Love the sinner performing well on play lists around the country Justin grew as a force in the South African music industry. He opened for Collective Soul at Sun City. A performance at Newlands in front of 65 000 people came next.

"I sang the national anthem before a TriNations game," he reflects, "and even thinking about it now gives me goosies. The stadium was packed and the energy was intense, it was incredible."

This was followed up with a series of appearances ahead of Stormers Super 12 games. "I loved playing in Newlands, but I think I was a curse to the Stormers," he smiles ruefully. "Whenever I played before a game they seemed to loose."

But although he loves sport as much as the next South African, Justin is more about the music and the show he delivers in London on the 26th will reflect that. "It will rock," he reiterates. And, as if to underscore the point, when asked what song he would like to claim to as his own, he comes back with the Guns and Roses classic Paradise City. "It's the epitome of Rock."

- Anthony Pascoe for MWEB

Justin Bergh is young and driven and musically gifted. According to women's glossy Marie Claire he is also one of South Africa's most eligible bachelors... Which makes sense really. He has the looks and he lives the lifestyle - partying, playing hard and travelling the world with his guitar.

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