By Marley

Blood Brothers, if you don’t know by now what that is, it is a rock supergroup compiled of the best rock stars in South Africa. These rock stars created Blood Brothers concerts as a means to raise funds for the Vrede Foundation, an organization that helps young people who are suffering from cancer. We were at the Blood Brothers show on September 09, 2016.

Last year Blood Brothers was held in July at the Big Top Arena at Carnival City, Boksburg. It featured 10 muso’s that simply be seen as the rock gods of SA in a way which also included Arno Carstens in 2015. Forward the VHS and stop at 2016 where Blood Brothers was simply just mind-fucking-blowing.

On Facebook, the event said it starts at 18:00 and I thought “no way is anyone who lives in Gauteng going to be there at 6 pm, traffic you know”. I wasn’t the only one who thought that. The doors opened at 7 pm and we had a great spot, right in front of the stage, perfect! So the long wait started as they only kick it off at 21:00 for some other reason, probably to build up suspense I guess, it worked, it was well worth the wait. Red Rock beer and Jagermeister was on sale. The stage was set, the lights dimmed and 3 hours of pure rock ‘n roll with a mash-up of blues and so much more was started.

Loedi van Renen played bass for 3 hours, that is above average and he does a kick ass job of it! I have huge respect for this man plus he is a cool guy. Rian Zietsman is another force to be reckoned with on the guitar, it definitely takes a lot of practice and skill to play like that man. Albert Frost on guitar, priceless, listen if you haven’t seen him live then get out of your cave. He played “Tonight” and I love that song more and more. He is an absolute legend!

Jason Hinch on drums, I love watching him play! He is passionate, hair everywhere and he can do a show by himself and have a sold out audience. Trailing not far behind him Isaac Klawansky, he plays for Shadowclub and sometimes for the Black Cat Bones. Brilliant, just brilliant. Hunter Kennedy, “die stil man wat met woorde boer.” As a poet, I can appreciate what he writes, sometimes you won’t like it and other times you want it tattooed on your body. Much respect for this man as a songwriter.

Francois van Coke, in a year’s time he has released his first solo album and started working on the second one, had one of the biggest songs on iTunes which was nominated for various awards and won one or two and to top it all off, he is becoming a dad later this year. He had the crowd hanging from his limps and lips all the way. George van der Spuy, sometimes he reminds me of a big dog that you just love. He did an incredible cover of Lenny Kravitz “Are you gonna go my way”. Look I’ve never seen Lenny live (come back to SA dude) and I love Lenny’s music. Having George sing that was almost like hearing Lenny singing it. And I completely tapped into my inner – rocker when Taxi Violence played there song “Devil ‘n Gun”.

Kobus de Kock Jnr, can we just give him applause and more porcupine quills? Everyone thinks beforehand what can this “little” man do on stage. Well blowing your panties away is one thing. There was real Afrikaans fees mense next to us who basically bought tickets just to watch Francois. By the end of the night, they had asked me 5 times where they can get more Black Cat Bones songs. And speaking of them it was a real surprise to have Andre Kriel stepping up for 3 Black Cat Bones songs, real sneaky surprise there.

Zolani Mahola, what an addition to the Blood Brothers mix. You think Freshlyground is just another Afro-pop band. Let me tell you something, Zolani is the diamond in your music collection that you’ve been missing. She has fire, she has style, she has the voice! Man, I fell in love with her from the first word. And if she can look that good after a baby then I can as well. African butt solute and welcome! But she did a wonderful job of adding her own feminine voice to the mix. I loved it. Her cover of “Ball ‘n Chain/Same Thing” was so powerful, the band got so into it and they dragged the entire audience with them into it. I’ve heard covers of it but it still gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. This small little lady with an enormous voice like that.

I did overhear a few things that were quite interesting

Girl: Who is that guy with the guitar?

Man: Which one? There is four of them

She points to Albert Frost

Girl: That one that plays it like a violin?

Man: That’s Albert Frost

Girl: But who is he?

Man: Albert Frost

Girl: Yes, but what is his real name?

Next was

Guy in the front line of the bar: “I want to grow my beard like Kobus but want to look like Francois.”

Yes, another moment. Yes, you hear wired things at rock shows.

But Blood Brothers was such an awesome show, to some, there were pieces of it that were a bit “dead”. To me, who is always working or running around or supporting an injury, it was fun rocking 3 hours. I loved every minute of it. And you never go far without bumping into friends that feel like family and you make new friends every time. My mind is sometimes pondering why so many people complain they have nothing to do and yet, there you have a road trip, a “lekker” weekend and one hell of a show to prove it.

Thank you to Rudi for being awesome. Thanks to Blood Brothers for one heck of a show. Thanks for the backstage beer it was awesome. To all the friends we got to see again, hang out with and connect with the new ones. My liver found it’s way back to the hotel room around 8 am the next day.

And a very special thank you to Jacques Schutte for supplying the photos. Check out his Facebook page.

Marley is the founder and owner of Small Town Music. Born and bred in Nelspruit aka Nelsparta. Marley loves music (rock being a firm favourite), tattoos, festivals, animals and South Africa. Self-taught photographer and writer.