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THERE is an unofficial tour circuit in Durban. It consists of open mic sessions on any night of the week and they are proving extremely popular.
On Monday night, Amsterdam in Glenwood has the students rocking. On Tuesday night it’s the turn of the popular Jack Rabbits in Morningside. The Winston Pub plays host on Wednesday and on Thursday the Blue Waters opens its doors to up-and-coming musicians, with Steve Fataar and friends ending the circuit on a Friday in style at Zack’s, Windermere Centre.
A leading protagonist in this equation is Murry Caetano, one of the few female sound engineers in the city. Seeing a gap in the market, and also having an entrepreneurial spirit, Caetano books artists and does the sound for Blue Waters on Thursday nights.
As a qualified sound engineer she has worked in London, but says she really gained her experience on the Winston’s sound desk.
“The sound desk is stuffed so you have to really know what you are doing to make the bands sound good,” she smiles.
When she was cutting her chops at the Winston she also recorded the bands live and released a CD compilation of 13 bands last year.
Caetano’s alternative rock background means that she has high standards when it comes to live performances.
“If you want to play the Blue Waters do not bring backing tracks because basically that is just karaoke,” she states firmly.
Each artist gets to play for 15 minutes: “That’s because you can be famous for 15 minutes,” she says.
“If someone is terrible I have a good chuckle. My musicians come first. I will not pull the mic because these people are creative people.”
The success has led to her booking two acts every Saturday night between 6pm and 8pm.
About her proactive approach to her career, she is philosophical. “It’s really up to the alternative people to do things together. When I was in London it was easy to meet people. In Durban, we are too competitive. We have everything here, but every-one is too scared to miss out on a piece of the pie, yet the pie hasn’t been baked yet. It’s taken four years and I think I have a bit more clout.”