On Tuesday night Brother & Brother did our first request gig to headline at Aandklas in Stellenbosch, next to the Nick Marucchi Band and Tracers. It was our best gig to date, nuff said. Because we were asked by Aandklas to play probably about a month in advance, we decided it would be the best thing to work out a strategy to get as many people as we could to come watch us – previously we’ve never really packed out a venue of our own accord. I mean, the previous gig we did at the Nassau Centre in Newlands at Roeshdien Jaz‘s EP Launch was our best gig to date simply because it was a full house in a concert hall – where we had enough leeway to flex the full on stage muscle of the band (and even though the audience was seated, they still vibed like crazy. We even had a standing ovation).
The reason why Roeshdien packed out the place? The answer is simple: pre-sale tickets! As old school as it may sound, THAT was the missing ingredient. No amount of social media promoting could pull in as big a crowd as was present at Aandklas on Tuesday night in this juncture of the band’s career.
Our manager Christo came up with the ingenious idea of selling tickets before hand at R10 each (a really miniscule amount compared to what door covers go for nowadays) in an attempt to hook supporters with something as physically tangible as a small, glossy piece of paper with event details printed on. We decided that each band member should sell 10 tickets each. I sold 18 in total at the end of our ticket sale campaign – and so the numbers showed on the night and it far exceeded my expectation – especially on a cold, winter’s night.
Have a read of what Ashleigh David‘s thought of the gig (I’m deeply humbled by the review):
Brother & Brother @ Aandklas
The only thing that would have been better than seeing Brother & Brother at Aandklas last night would have been seeing Brother & Brother at Aandklas with a date. It wasn’t that kind of party but it would have been nice to share the evening with someone who did not leave you in the parking lot (thanks friends) or with someone who was not dating or married to one of your friends or engaged in their own activities for the night.
Aandklas, described as a Rock and Roll bar in Stellenbosch is located off Bird street near the local taxi rank. The dark space with shots of warm colours, light and music bouncing off the walls has a ruggedness about it that would make me want to hang out their at quieter times. Though I didn’t have a chance to explore the venue a bit more, I remember vinyl records and fairy lights – which music loving woman could resist that? Okay, perhaps I know a few but…..
I made a good choice to head straight to the dance floor once band number one took the stage. Being on my own allowed me to get into the swing of things and have my ears swept away by the culture shock. I wasn’t particularly impressed by their lead vocalist but enjoyed the music somewhat. I contemplated jazz rock and adjusted my usual head bop to a simple sway which seemed appropriate as the pop rock ballads fell instruments and speakers.
Band number two brought improvement and she stayed for the rest of the night. Though my musical friends were still engaged in banter about sound and the use of equipment, I was adamant to be less analytic and only found myself contemplating the need (or lack thereof) for vocal harmonies once or twice. The atmosphere was cheery, and this particular lead singer’s use of the harmonica and acoustic guitar brought a touch of folk to town. Who said men can’t multitask?
I must warn you that I am not quite sure how to write this next section without sounding like a groupie. I am a mixture of proud, biased and thoroughly entertained. Judging by the reactions of countless others, I know I am not delusional and feel free to continue. Brother & Brother lived up to every expectation I did not have. They were great and I’ll be brave enough to say why. In my own words, not in the words of a review writer.
Before taking the stage, band mates were found interacting with guests and enjoying the other acts of the night. Moments before their aandklas would commence, they disappeared into a location I’ll loosely define as a bathroom or separate area. What ever that was about, they displayed decorum and good showmanship throughout the evening and seemed to have an unspoken pre-performance mantra which was followed by a swift and efficient set up. I marveled at how Josh, Adrian, David and Mark managed to hoist themselves together and bring the sound levels up to meet them where they were about to take us. I hope I can one day muster the courage to tell a sound engineer to get it right with such conviction and politeness.
I don’t know at which exact moment over the next few minutes of the night my mind took a proverbial screen shot, mixed it with deja vu and some blessed assurance and announced to the universe that my brother (Josh) and his brothers, were going to be famous. It was something which seemed as obvious to the eye as Josh’s zebra-stripped trousers (which still turns heads). Maybe famous is the wrong word – successful seems apt. These boys managed to chase everyone’s drink of music for this particular Tuesday with potent slips of funk, more than just a hint of rap and synth pop. Of course, alternative rock was never far behind.
Having been a bit confused by the dazed look of one of the earlier musicians, I was happy that this band knew that their facial expressions and bodily functions gave as much life to their music as their playing did. Adrian Rogowski (guitar) was the embodiment of jumping Jack. A follower of Josh’s solo endeavours, I am accustomed to his animated performances. His stunts last night proved why his piano fell off its stand at Ramfest not too long ago. Not to be outdone by the rest, David seemed like a ball of fun behind his drum kit. Though coming as the tame one of the bunch, bassist, Mark enjoyed himself between flicks of the hair and silent pleasures.
The music was beautifully experimental and far from conventional with showy sections strategically placed throughout their set. I can’t describe the sound as eloquently as I can tell you how it made me feel. WHY ON EARTH WEREN’T YOU THERE??? I don’t usually jump for anyone, and I jumped. How high? THAT HIGH! I was a part of visions and dreams, and amazing music. And that was special.
A host of catchy tunes (Josh’s favourite word) begged for your hand and pulled at your arm as if singing along was not already the natural discourse. Wondering if Josh would see the dawn without strep throat at his bedside I was quickly distracted by a few familiar songs including my favourite, “He Knew No Love”. Songs, “All But Left Behind”, “Brother & Brother”,
I’ll stop looking for adjectives to describe what took place at Aandklas and encourage you to see for yourself when Brother & Brother have a house party on stage again. I am incredibly excited by their promising future in music, captivated by their presentation and ability to add poetry (lyrics) to music which would ordinarily steal the show.
This sister is a fan.
Josh Prinsloo (vocals; piano)
Adrian Rogowski (guitar)
David Dos Santos (drums)
Mark Ellis (bass)
*Thanks to Expression Session Kuila for an amazing night out on the town.
*Images by Jason Skippers, event artwork supplied by Brother & Brother.