It couldn’t have been more than two hours after the #Gibsons house concert in the peach orchid that Stef sent me a message.
“Hey Ryan its Stef, we met at the Gibsons today, Bev gave me your info! Awesome gig :):):) my hubby is having his 40th on the 16th of May was hoping if you’re not booked you could come n do a house call? Heehee”
So two weeks later, here we were.
A great afternoon where we met plenty of great people who make these house concerts very special.
We were graced with a guest appearance by Kayleigh and Jade, who added their special vocal talent to a raucous rendition of “Happy Birthday” to Marius.
Some years ago I was on a golf course with my cousin on the south coast.
I like golf, except when it spoils a good walk. And this was one of those particular days. I was shanking every drive and toe-poking every chip on this beautiful course, which ruined the scenery and fresh sea air.
OKAY, so this is somewhat ambitious. But here is the idea: we’re looking to record parts of the songs that will make up The Great Deep at the house concerts this year.
So there are a number of options we have in store.
Gang vocals. This is essentially when a bunch of people sing or chant or lyrics to one of the new songs at a house concert. This could be a chorus, bridge, or a special section of the song. We’re looking to record this album in places like your lounge or garden.
Percussion. We’re thinking this could be mayhem, or it could be awesome. The house concert crowd grabs something that makes a percussive sound and the whole house joins in on part of a song or three… playing beats on tables, coffee cups, with tree branches, etc.
A special guest performance. Many of you connected to the RCB are great musicians. Singers, guitarists, violinists, keyboardists, drummers, saxophonists, trumpeters,… the list goes on! If you play an instrument, why not get involved?
And of course, this is not only limited to audio. We’re looking for video recording ideas. Photo recording ideas. Drawings.Paintings. Any media form, we’re interested in.
And of course, we’re open to ideas. Can any of you think of anything else? Post it in the comments section below. Or better yet, help us by spreading the word and using (clicking on) the social media icons below.
THE question everyone wants an answer to is: “How are the house concerts going?”
The easiest way to find out is to host one yourself, but in essence… from our side, they’ve been incredible.
We have performed these types of concerts in living rooms, back gardens, on back patios; front verandahs, big houses, small houses, estates; in small theatres, in coffee shops, and in a barn… a “house” can be any space you have access to where your friends can gather, sit, and enjoy a concert.
Something we’re constantly working on in terms of the performance is our story. That story varies depending on who in the band is performing on the particular night. In this instance, it was Tammy and I. As many of the RCB community will know, Tam and I perform often together, but we’ve very seldom spoken about our life. Rather, we just sing about it. Well… at this stage in our marriage, it feels like it’s the right time to talk about a few things, so we’ve introduced that narrative into the show.
One of the other things we have started with the RCB house concerts is a particular hash tag for a particular house concert. So for instance, this past weekend took place at 9 Burns Road, which evolved during the course of the afternoon and evening to #9onBurns…
…which was one of those very special evenings.
Most of the 40-plus guests had arrived by 6pm, and the evening took place in the back garden, on camp chairs, picnic blankets and alongside bonfires. It was a beautiful mix of people – eager kids, smartphone-engulfed teenagers, intrigued parents and even more intrigued grandparents, family and friends, friends of friends…
The format for the evening was bring and share, and once food was plated up and everyone had their seats, Tammy and I performed the set list (which I’ve posted below with some of the song links, for anyone interested). Under the stars on a beautiful autumn evening, #9onBurns just confirmed the vast potential of house concerts. There was a great deal of intrigue during the show, during the songs and during the storytelling. People were really paying attention. Even the kids, sitting on a blanket right near our feet, didn’t move for the hour-long performance.
After the show there’s always a general buzz, and #9onBurns was just more so. We got to meet everyone afterwards and by 9pm, everyone had headed home. Hardly rock star by cliche standards, but unforgettable.
SET LIST FOR #9onBURNS
On The Edge
Wide Open World
I Will Follow (a song written and performed during my formative years with a band called Pulse)
I’m Alright (off the solo album Better Days)
Where To From Here (off the solo album Better Days)
Stuck Around Here (off the solo album Better Days)
Loving Every Day
More Beautiful Tonight
And to round off the story – two new songs from The Great Deep, which I am glad to say, were very well received. (Phew!)
Encore: Homeward Bound (off the solo album Better Days)
Most people I speak to don’t… they all say something along the lines of: “Why set yourself up for disaster? You know you’re gonna fail to keep them anyway…”
Pretty pessimistic view, if you ask me.
But I get where they’re coming from. I’m the world’s worst at new year’s resolutions. I can’t even remember yesterday’s headlines, let alone stick to a lofty ideal for a whole 365. But I do like to take moments to pause and reflect, and also to start a-new.
Of course I want to save more money, be healthier and be more generous all-round. You know, the usual things.
The more specific, musical things are cause for some serious pondering. You have to consider that the world is different to what it was five years ago when the RCB released its debut album On The Edge. Back then, the world did not have Adam Calder. Now it has Rachel, Adam AND Zoe! And Zoe has just started walking, ya’ll. This is like her having her driver’s licence. Nothing is safe, and there is a wild frontier to be explored.
This makes me want to explore my next wild frontier. You see, the future is no longer as it was – as any music business person will tell you. We’ve done clubs, music venues and festivals… we’ve done selling CDs… we’ve done marketing our stuff to radio… and we’ve done chucking our names away doing silly gigs and promotions. So what’s next?
House concerts. It may sound strange, but yes. Click on the blue link to the left and leave a comment or send us an e-mail. I would really like to hear what you think.
New album. Yes, we have a new album. It’s coming out this year. It’s called The Great Deep. The new tunes will be coming to you in all shapes and forms. We’re thinking USB flash sticks with the new album on them… what do you think?
Art. There’s a world inside that is yet to be seen… and I have to get it out there. As a budding animator and cartoonist, this is the year I have decided to try and integrate the two things I love: music and animation.
That’s it. Those are my expectations and dreams for us in 2015. Let’s see how we do…
WE did it. After months… nay!… years of writing and recording.. we are putting on a show. But not just any show! And not just for the sake of it either… this, people, is going to be one of those SPECIAL moments. Like, VERY special.
Here’s the plan:
1. You bring a picnic blanket and picnic basket of food.
2. You pay R50 for a ticket at the gate (or if you’re clever, you can pre-order your ticket for just R40!)
3. You enjoy an afternoon of live entertainment, from 3pm onwards…
Here’s what the band is planning to do on the day:
Jon (left) has booked his plane ticket to KZN and will fly in 2 days prior to the show. He’s bringing his keyboard. And his persona.
Many don’t know this, but the RCB keyboardist is a Masters graduate in statistics, works as a behavioural analyst for an online company and is single. Yes, ladies. A-v-a-i-l-a-b-l-e.
True story: he runs a half marathon every three months, and lives in Mowbray, Cape Town.
Roberto (right) will be locking up his dog after his ubiquitous weekly Durban trip (where he spends a lot of time these days and nights), and heading up to Hilton with his family.
The master blaster, who works at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, is a father of two, husband of but one wife, and spends his spare time trying to control their new labrador from causing chaos in the neighbourhood.
He does not run half marathons.
Rudi (left) has agreed to let the RCB, and you, invade his dwelling place.
Rudi is one of the leading authorities on F1 as well as bunny chows. His hangout these days is The Knoll in Hilton.
He doesn’t need to bring anything, including his family, because everything ascribed to him in this world is all there: wife, family and drum kit.
I am bringing my wife and kids. My wife is going to be on stage, which is why I need you there… to look after the kids!
Kidding. (Pun intended.)
We are quite excited about performing for you, in all seriousness.
So this is what we are going to do: we are going to pray for beautiful sunshine, and host the show on the sprawling front lawns of The Knoll in front of the farmhouse.
Then, dear fans and intrepid chance-takers, we will play you the new music of the RCB. And let me just say, we are very excited about this new music. We think that you might be as well, once you have heard it.
All I’m saying is come ready. Bring your family, your friends, someone who needs cheering up… freak, bring your cellphone if you have to… just come ready. We are setting up an appointment with you, and afterwards you will not think the same way about the world.
Or bass guitars, for that matter.
DIRECTIONS TO THE KNOLL: (Thanks Keith!)
Take Pietermaritz St to Chief Albert Luthuli St/R103
Follow R103 to traffic lights by Old Main Brewey, turn left into Dennis Shepstone Dr in Hilton
Continue on Dennis Shepstone Dr, passed Cowan House school
Turn right on to dirt road at sign for “Knoll Barn”