935 Kahn Morbee of The Parlotones wows the fans as the band performs during their farewell concert at Ellis Park stadium at the weekend. 120113. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

AWARD-WINNING local rock band The Parlotones have delivered their last performances before leaving for the US permanently.

In their shows on Saturday and Sunday at Ellis Park and Kirstenbosch respectively, the band gave the fans two hours of their best music.

Both venues were sold out, with some fans struggling to purchase last-minute tickets to bid their heroes farewell.

“These shows were to send the message out to the fans that we are relocating,” said lead singer Kahn Morbee.

Although the move is permanent, the group promised to return whenever possible to perform to the fans who made them the sensations they are.

“It’s not to say that we are never going to come back and perform here, but more of a symbolic gesture that this is our last show for a while in South Africa,” he added.

The group will be based in Los Angeles, but still plan to make their music back home to keep it “purely South African”.

Fans arrived at the shows in their droves, most of them with their faces painted in the band’s signature art and in black-and-red regalia. The band researched which songs their supporters would most like to hear.

“We decided to do a longer set than we usually do. We looked at doing 25 songs, which would be trimmed in parts so that they fit in the two-hour time we had. We also went on social networks to ask fans what they wanted to hear, and we were surprised at some of the old songs they asked for which we haven’t played in a while,” said keyboardist Glenn Hodgson.

Over the years, The Parlotones have been a regular feature in most local music award ceremonies, clinching many awards. Their fan base spreads as far as Germany, Australia and the US.

Building on the evidence of that popularity, the band decided to give the cut-throat US music industry a go.

“All we are going to be doing is play in the gigs we have lined up there. There are a few radio promotional things waiting for us and we have been invited to the Grammys as guests, so that’s pretty cool,” said Morbee.