Maritzburg Musician’s Club – one of the longest running ‘folk clubs’ in South Africa along with Four Winds in Port Elizabeth and Barleycorn in Cape Town – will be hosting Cape Town’s folk-punk duo, The Shabeen, at La Casa in Quarry Road, Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday, March 8.
The Shabeen challenge the modern ‘anti-folk’ trends with a fun punky folk sound with one acoustic guitar, one double bass and one revolutionist vocalist that’ll be sure to get you bopping!
The band, which recently released their debut album, Folk is Dead, consists of Jon Shaban (guitar and vocals) and Ryan McArthur (upright bass and backing vocals). They were joined on the album by Thomas Glendinning on drums and Stelth Ulvang (of The Lumineers) on accordion.
“We decided on the name Folk is Dead as a play on the saying Punk is Dead,” the band said. “We’re essentially a folk band but we draw a lot of influence from the ethos of the punk culture and bands who influence us are also described as being folk punk.
“We value and embrace the DIY attitude and easy going nature of it all. It’s also a statement of how we feel about the current exploitation of the ‘folk’ sound as a tool in mainstream pop music.
“We feel that the current wave of folk/pop/dance/rock has become so far removed from the sincerity and unpretentiousness which folk music stands for. This is the same thing that happened to punk music as it became more and more mainstream… hence Folk Is Dead.”
The album was written in late 2014 and early 2015. Jon plays a lot of solo gigs and it took a while to write enough material to separate the repertoire between his solo set and the Shaebeen’s set.
But once the band decided on recording a full length album, they were committed to writing and choosing 12 solid tracks which resulted in a consistent sound on the album. The album was recorded at Vanguard Studios in Hillcrest in May 2015 and engineered and produced by the band themselves. The album was mixed by Adam Hawkins at Right Heel Music in Denver, Colorado.
The band drew inspiration for the lyrical content from life experiences and describes the album as upbeat folk/country music with a punk influence. The honesty and rawness found in their lyrics are quite different to what most bands are doing.
“We like to sing about things that are real and easy to relate to. It’s important nowadays amongst the bullshit that the mainstream music industry is dishing out for someone to actually write music that people can relate to.
“It’s not all about sex and love and how high you can throw your hands in the air before you care. There are things to be liked and disliked and things to be happy about and things to be angry about. If our music can make anyone feel anything, then we’re doing things properly.”
Tickets are R40. Doors open from 7 pm with ample open-mic time before the first act.
Keen to buy the album? Go to https://theshabeen.bandcamp.com
For more on the band and their current tour like the Facebook page: TheShabeenMusic or go to the website http://www.theshabeen.com