Nick Turner Duo at East City Live Harringtons
East City Live Thursday 18 April 2019
East City Live is a weekly treat in Cape Town, showcasing a selection of the city’s hottest musical artists. Every Thursday acts are set to delight in Harry’s signature style, laid-back with a dash of sophisticated cool.
Sink your teeth into a delicious meal or just relax with a few glasses of wine, all the while feasting your senses on the marvel of live music with a FREE performance by the Nick Turner Duo!
I had a quick chat with Nick before his show:
You have been in the music industry for a couple of decades: How have things changed over the years? What do you miss from back then and what do you like most about where you are at now?
It may sound strange, but I do miss the grind. Especially back in the Sons of Trout days. We’d rehearse virtually every day, do all-nighters putting up posters, drive all over South Africa playing and living our music. These days I play mostly solo gigs, and then, if I perform with the band we’ll have one or two rehearsal. I miss that camaraderie and chemistry you have with your bandmates. I guess good things don’t last forever.
Sons of Trout’s first album was released on cassette. We actually managed to move quite a few units. These days I struggle to sell even one CD. It’s a completely different game now. It’s all about social media presence, views, likes, grams, followers. Slightly overwhelming from an oke who started out in the ’90s. I am adjusting. Despite the world being smaller and the internet allowing one’s music to be heard anywhere in the world, I do feel it makes us lazy, it’s not as gratifying.
Those days sound brilliant! So, when did you first realise that you would like to pursue music as a career?
I was in my final year studying Electrical Engineering at UCT in 1996, the same year Sons of Trout started. Due to various fortuitous circumstances, and a bit of luck, we found ourselves playing all the top SA festivals within a year of starting. I was hooked. There have been occasions, especially in the early years, when I had my doubts and considered getting a real job. However, it took just another epic performance with the band to make me realise that I was on the right path. I’ve never looked back.
And what has been the highlights in your career so far?
Having had the opportunity to live in New York City and perform with my band Mikanic, at some of NYC’s most iconic venues, CBGB’s, Joe’s Pub, The Knitting Factory, Lincoln Centre to name a few.
Wow! And which South African musicians do you admire most and why?
Johnny Clegg, Madala Kunene, and James Philips. They are all amazing storytellers and have a unique and authentic South African sound. Tananas will have to be one of my favourite bands. Beautiful compositions and extraordinary musicianship.
Love all those artists! Tell me, which one of your songs is your favourite and please share the lyrics with us?
I’m quite enjoying this one at the moment. It’s a new track about social media, called SCREEN SAVIOUR. It’s an ode to my cellphone.
Here is the chorus.
“You’re always there for me
Love and take care of me
I can’t resist all the things that you share with me
Pin me, poke me, tag me, you stroke me
Always together, hashtag forever
When you’re not around I get kinda edgy
Start losing the plot and I’m not really friendly
Swipe you good night as I look in your eyes
Can’t wait for the morning and your next surprise.”
Awesome! So, what can fans look forward to from your East City Live show on Thursday?
I’ll be joined by my good friend and phenomenal bass player Schalk Joubert. We’ve played hundreds of shows together over the years, but it’s been many moons since our last session. Excited to be jamming with Schalk again. I’ll also be performing some of my latest material.
Finally, what are your plans for the rest of 2019?
I’ve been busy writing new material and workshopping the songs with my new trio. We are planning to start gigging the new material in September and recording at the end of the year. The new album is coming. In October I’ll be touring abroad with The “Korreltjie Kantel” project, featuring myself, Luna Paige and Jamie Jupiter. We are performing in Belgium and The Netherlands. I’m also working with a brass band, playing Banjo, headed by Jannie van Tonder. We’ve recently done a live video recording that will be released soon. Exciting times ahead.
Catch the Nick Turner Duo tonight!