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London’s calling SA’s garage bands

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IOL Skin2soul

Skin2Soul

Helen Herimbi

Some of the best music is created in the bedroom. Just ask any hip hop producer.

For musicians who’ve learnt to play instruments, the bedroom would have never been enough. Depending on what side of the economy they are on, the backyard (with the washing line behind them) or the garage (when the folks have driven to work) is many a musicians’ haven. It’s where they can jam and make the most noise driving someone’s mother up the wall. It’s also the comfort zone the iconic apparel line, Converse, would like up-and-coming bands to leave.

In the brand’s latest musical initiative, Get Out of the Garage, Converse wants to see bands step out of their garages and on to London’s 100 Club stage.

The iconic club has been running since 1942 and was on the verge of closing last year because the cost of partying on Oxford Road – and around the world, to be fair – was just getting too high.

Instead of being forced to close and take being given the boot, the club accepted a helping hand, and maybe a pair of Chuck Taylors, from Converse.

According to the UK’s The Guardian, the 100 Club’s owner, Jeff Horton, told XFM they’d found the perfect partner in Converse. He wouldn’t say exactly what the deal entails, but assures Converse is “not interested in ownership, they’re not interested in shareholding… They just want to stand alongside us as our partners, to make sure our club co-exists with them and through them.” Well, alright then.

Although it is more popularly known for playing host to punk and rock bands, the 100 Club is also well known as a spot that gives out-of-the-box and up-and-coming acts their big breaks.

Word is, the 100 Club actually helped to launch the career of the Sex Pistols. So it only makes sense that this competition would attempt to seek out some of the most banging bands that don’t have a big label behind them to vie for a chance to perform at the legendary club. Or, more accurately, the ones with the most twitter followers and Facebook friends who are willing to take time out of their virtual lives and vote for them to be included in the Top 10 bands who stand a chance of performing at the club.

The 10 bands were picked from a plethora of hopefuls by the judges – rapper Zuluboy, Cassette frontman Jon Savage and MTVbase’s talent and music manager, Garrick Williams.

From here on, it will be up to the fans to decide who gets to play on the 100 Club’s stage. The top 10 bands include Capetonians: grunge/rock/pop outfit, Goodnight Wembley; electro band iScream and the Chocolate Stix; folk artist Matthew Mole and electro band The Kiffness. Joburg is represented by the Afrikaans rock band Swart; indi-folk singer Shotgun Tori; psychedelic rock group Savage Lucy; jazz/fusion singer-songwriter, Nakhane Toure and energetic Afro-soul group Skin2Soul. The final contestants are North of Winter, a rock band from Pretoria.

The winner will be announced on August 6 and one superfan will get to say “I’m with the band” and go along to London, VIP-style.

Visit www.facebook.com/ converse to cast your vote.


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