THIS year marks the 45th anniversary of Woodstock, the “three days of peace and music” when 32 acts performed outdoors before an audience of 400 000 people. So, in honour of the anniversary, the Rhumbelow Theatre will be hosting Celebrate Woodstock with The Reals.
Widely regarded as a pivotal moment in popular music history, Woodstock was also listed by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the “50 Moments that Changed the History of Rock ’n’ Roll”.
A four-piece band, The Reals (pictured) comprises Barry Thomson, Dawn Selby, Mali Sewell and Jason Andrew, with the very talented Marion Loudon joining the group for this production.
Tonight caught up with Sewell (drums and vocals) and Andrew (bass guitar and vocals) to learn more about the production and why the band wanted to dedicate a show to Woodstock.
“Woodstock was a huge event at the time, and is now historic.
“We decided to put on the show because the music is so amazing. I did some research and suggested it to the rest of the band.
“We thought to do the show because the 45th anniversary of Woodstock was coming up. So the timing was perfect, August being the month in which the festival took place all those years ago.”
As drummer and bass guitarist, Sewell and Andrew are key to the band. They lay down the rhythm and provide the heartbeat to the music.
They have also helped to develop the unique tightness of the band.
Speaking of The Reals’ sound, I ask the guys about the key to their successful musical relationship.
“We’re very versatile. But I would say our music is more rock-oriented. There’s a lot of creativity in the band, and on stage you hear it coming through,” says Andrew.
Sewell says: “I think that, besides the fact that every member of the band is passionate about our music, we’ve also worked together for a long time. We’re like a family of brothers and sisters. So we kind of know how people are feeling at the time.
“We have that understanding. So when I’m down, the band lifts me up. They let me in when I feel left out. Besides, we are very dedicated and, I suppose, talented in our own individual rights.
“We produce a sound that’s unique, and we have a tight rhythm section, which is the foundation of the band.”
For the show, audience members are encouraged to dress Woodstock-style, and stand a chance of winning a “Best Dressed” prize.
“Nearly all the songs are those of the musicians who performed at Woodstock in 1969, and we’re going to have audio-visual screens and two stages.
“There’s also going to be actual footage from the Woodstock movie,” Sewell adds.
• The production runs at the Rhumbelow Theatre from August 8 to 17. R120, and pensioners pay R100. For block bookings (eight or more – first weekend only) R100. Book at Computicket, or call Roland at 082 499 8636.