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OppiKoppi highlights with Creative Feel: PART 2

Maddy Behrens

Maddy Behrens (Friday 6 October, 11:30-12:30 @ TOP BAR)

Since the age of 16, Maddy Behrens has been gracing stages across Gauteng. Growing up in Newcastle Kwa-Zulu Natal, her songs are inspired by small towns, big dreams, love and life. 5 years on, the 21-year old singer/songwriter/musician has played at venues across the country such as Park Acoustics, OppiKoppi, Café Roux and Arcade Empire.

Her ethereal presence and folk-style acoustic playing bring about something different. She is a force to be reckoned with.

Jerry & The Bandits

Jerry & The Bandits (Friday 6 October, 11:00-12:00 @ JAMES PHILLIPS)

Jerry and the Bandits, formed in 2013, have been slowly playing more and more shows through the cities of Johannesburg. They have recently expanded their audience by travelling to and playing in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and the Western Cape, South Africa in March 2016.

In mid-2015, Jerry and the Bandits released their first EP, Ghosts, which was and still is well received. The bands fan base increases after every show, as they insist on laying all their energy on stage, as well as making sure the crowd has a memorable time, as the audience is the main driving factor behind the band.

Each member of the band brings their own unique influences, ranging from blues and jazz all the way to alternative and indie rock. These influences are what drive the band and essentially are Jerry and the Bandits.

The Band consists: Jerard “Jerry” Quaintmere (Vocals, Lyrics, Guitar, Bass Drum, Tambourine); Jason Chadinha (Guitar, Harmonica, Backing Vocals); Kirstin Walters (Saxophone, Clarinet, Backing Vocals); and Danny Helsing (Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals). Together the four build the feel good energy that comes with their folk songs which aim to get the crowd singing along.

Jerry and the Bandits have recently released their newest EP, ‘Fiction in Folktale’, which is the result of their passion, hard work, long hours, and hoarse voices. “We have created something we believe in, something we can be proud of and show off to the people who have supported us all this way” says vocalist Jerry, “and although we have released an EP before, we all kind of feel like this one is our child. There is so much that we have planned for these songs and there are so many stories behind each one, which is also how Kirstin helped us stumble onto the name for the EP.” “Many people often get confused by the title we have chosen but it’s not so confusing if you think about it. It basically means that we are passing our stories through to others by use of of our music, that’s essentially all we really want.”

Doc MacLean

Doc MacLean (Friday 6 October, 13:00-14:00 @ TOP BAR)

MacLean is the son of civil rights lawyer and harmonica player. Growing up with a parent like that almost ensured that Doc would become a “Blues Man” one day. He spent his early teens playing harmonica and washboard in coffeehouses and at festivals. He was also a regular on radio and television variety shows. In 1972, he and Colin Linden formed a duo and opened for acts like Muddy Waters and John Hammond. The pair famously traded in a guitar for an old dodge and set off to explore America. During his travels, Doc met, and became friends with, older players like Son House, Tampa Red, and Robert Pete Williams.

“Who I am what I do and what I carry was gifted to me by the grandchildren of slaves,” says MacLean. “I’m a small link in a big, unbroken chain.”

In those early years, Doc went on to accompany Peg Leg Sam the Medicine Show Man, Blind John Davis, Sunnyland Slim and Rev Pearly Brown, to name just a few. Flying Fish, a record label based in Chicago, published all of the records that Doc appeared on during this period. In 2006 Doc moved to Canada. It was around this time that he released his critically acclaimed album, Narrow House. The album was produced by Colin Linden and featured guest performances by bassist Larry Taylor and drummer Stephen Hodges. At the time both Linden and Taylor were the core of the Tom Waits Band.

Yo Grapes

Yo Grapes (Friday 6 October, 15:00-16:00 @ JAMES PHILLIPS)

Yo Grapes is the indie-pop solo act of Craig Durrant, who also happens to be the drummer of local indie/rock fellows Desmond and the Tutus. Craig has been creating, releasing and performing songs since 2011 and has since found a loyal following of fans in a whole bunch of different places. People seem to enjoy songs like ‘Holiday’, ‘December’ and ‘Human of the Week’ which are a combination of made up stories, true life events and other words that rhyme or sound nice in the moment. In 2016, Yo Grapes started to release the next wave of tracks with ‘I Play The Drums’ being the first single. The song got radio play on national and local stations across South Africa – if that means anything to you. The next single ‘Weekend Shy Boy’ is due to be released by the end of June 2017 for free and for money all over the internet.

Apple Gule

Apple Gule (Friday 6 October, 17:00-18:00 @ SKELLUM)

I’ve always loved singing since I was still a young kid. I never took seriously until I left matric. I was asked to help out a friend in studio making a demo. He knew I had a natural talent but wanted to see me exploit it. Ever since my first day in studio I knew it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Apple described his music as a blend of RnB and Soulful-Pop. “ I have a very old school method of writing music, soulful music at that but I try to adapt it to new contemporary sounds and music. I don’t want to limit myself. As music changes I try change with it but keeping my soul element with it. I have a unique voice that is quite emotional too.” Apple’s musical influences include John Legend, John Carol Bukenya, Lira, Kent Smoke and The Weeknd

Apple is currently working on a full length album to be released through Gallo Records, but for the moment he has an EP called “HANDWRITTEN”. Apple’s track “In Your Life” has received massive airplay and has enjoyed successful chart action on 5fm and Yfm. His tenacity and drive, coupled with his talent, makes Apple unique in this industry. He’s continually hustling and working on his craft as a singer / songwriter but also someone hugely responsible for getting stuck into the business side of career. “As for where I see myself in the next year. I definitely want to create a good and established name for myself and end up going on a tour, that’s always been a dream.”, says Apple about his youthful start in this business. “However I want to do one locally and I also want to end up tapping into an overseas market. I think as South African’s we’re more than capable”


Mafikizolo (Friday 6 October, 18:00-19:00 @ MAIN STAGE)

Mafikizolo is a South African singing duo consisting of Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla Nciza. They are three-time winners of the South African Music Award for Group or Duo of the Year.

Go Barefoot

Go Barefoot (Friday 6 October, 20:00-21:00 @ BRUILOF)

We strive to bring our own style and personality into our music by creating an eclectic, interesting and uniquely South African mix of Folk, Urban-African, Alt-Rock and Jazz. We’re fans of get-up-and-move dance beats as well as strong, groovy hooks that take on a new sonic attitude. We strongly believe in collaboration in all forms and actively support all artistic endeavors on and off stage.


Sutherland (Friday 6 October, 20:30-21:30 @ TOP BAR)

Sutherland is an Indie folk band based in Johannesburg, South Africa, and consists of Misty Sutherland-Dadds (Lead Vocals & Guitar) Ren Harmse (Keys & Backing Vocals) and Chris Hojem (Drums & Percussion).

Since Sutherlands’ inception in 2013, they have played hundreds of shows around S.A. (Including many renowned festivals such as OppiKoppi, Ramfest etc) and have performed with some of South Africa’s best known artists as well as a good few touring international acts.

The Nomadic Orchestra

The Nomadic Orchestra (Friday 6 October, 21:00-22:00 @ JAMES PHILLIPS)

The Nomadic Orchestra is a five-piece instrumental dance band based in Cape Town. The primary goal of the Nomadic Orchestra is to get people moving. The band makes an infectious kind of high-energy dance music – even the most prudish find themselves unconsciously tapping their feet. The Nomadic Orchestra is strongly influenced by traditional music from the countries of South-Eastern Europe: Macedonia, Romania and Serbia. They are also influenced by Klezmer, gypsy and circus music as well as contemporary western party music. Their musical training brings a strong jazz aesthetic to the band, and thus an emphasis on improvisation. The music that the Nomads play is original and composed by members of the band.

Bongeziwe Mabandla

Bongeziwe Mabandla (Friday 6 October, 22:00-23:00 @ BRUILOF)

Two time SAMA nominee Bongeziwe Mabandla made waves overseas in 2014 with his perfect blend of Urban-African Folk. His heartfelt lyrics and honest delivery has seen him take to the stage in Germany at Africa Festival and at the renowned Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona in June 2014. Locally he had the opportunity to perform with both Joss Stone and Vieux Farka Touré on their South African tours.

Ticking off the continents he found himself in Japan for Sukiyaki Meets the World Festival. Whilst there, he promoted the release of his debut “Umlilo” through the Meta Company. He stopped off in North Korea before returning back to SA in October where he performed on the main stage of Rocking the Daisies. Shortly after he headed to the United States to take part in One Beat, an incubator for music-based social entrepreneurship where innovative musicians from around the world launch collaborative projects designed to make a positive impact on local and global communities.

The Muffinz

The Muffinz (Friday 6 October, 24:00-01:00 @ BRUILOF)

It’s been three years since the release of their 19-track double album debut Have You Heard? And The Muffinz, a five-piece guitar-inclined band dedicated to live performance where all the guys do vocals, have release their second offering, Do What You Love.

Ask each member of the band how they define their music and the responses are as varied as their personalities. Karabo Moeketsi on bass calls it: “Hybrid African music on steroids”. For lead electric guitarist Sifiso Buthelezi, “Liberated Afro Retro” is more fitting. Lead electric guitarist Simphiwe Kulla terms it “Eclectic Soul Trip”. Drummer, Keke Mabusela rates there’s evidence of growth in their new release even though the music remains familiar. Acoustic guitar player Mthae Sibanda says their sophomore album manages to be dirtier and cleaner – all in the same breath.

At the 2012 Metro FM Music Awards, an annual ceremony celebrating local artists who’ve made a notable impact on the music industry, The Muffinz were nominated in the Best Newcomer and Best group categories. They took home the title for the latter…

-Nobhongo Gxolo

For the full programme, click here.

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