‘Drums mes­merised me’

Post - - Entertainment - CHARLENE SOMDUTH

ELF-TAUGHT drum­mer Monty Naidoo built his first per­cus­sion set us­ing his mother’s old pots, lids, bis­cuit con­tain­ers and a gal­lon oil drum.

At the age of 11, he did not know that this sim­ple act would pave the way for a five-decade ca­reer in mu­sic, which re­sulted in him per­form­ing in many parts of the city and abroad.

“The sound of the drums left me mes­merised. When I watched bands play at wed­dings and par­ties, I was glued to the drum­mer’s move­ments and was taken aback by the beats they cre­ated,” said Naidoo.

Un­able to pay for for­mal lessons, Naidoo, now 63, of North Beach in Dur­ban, would spend time lis­ten­ing to records and cas­settes, while prac­tis­ing on his makeshift drum set.

When he turned 18, Naidoo joined the east­ern band, Ori­en­tal Limelite. His first per­for­mance was at a con­test at the Dur­ban City Hall.

“Although we did not come out in the top three, we came first in the best dressed out­fit cat­e­gory for our colour­ful se­quinned shirts,” laughed the married fa­ther of three and grand­fa­ther of one.

Af­ter two years, he joined Scor­pio, which per­formed at var­i­ous eater­ies and ho­tels in the city, in­clud­ing Re­gal Restau­rant, Eden Rock Ho­tel, Luthando Ho­tel and Aquar­ius Night­club.

Naidoo also free­lanced for popular bands like Strug­gle, Caribbean Dance Band and Dukes Combo un­til he formed his own pop and disco group, The Leg­ends, in 1987.

“We played at char­ity fairs from the north to the south of KwaZulu-Natal. Among the high­lights was per­form­ing with the late Lucky Dube at a con­cert at the old Vil­lage Green site.”

Af­ter 14 years with The Leg­ends, Naidoo joined El Re­mos, later re­named Kreme.

“While per­form­ing with them, I recorded two CDs – one with the Latino’s Band, and the sec­ond CD fea­tured dance mu­sic with artists like Jona Harris, Sykes Ma­heeph, Der­rick Ge­orge and Lazarus Sig­a­money.”

Naidoo is pas­sion­ate about mu­sic and never misses an op­por­tu­nity to per­form.

“In 2000, I trav­elled to Bangkok and played with the res­i­dent band at the In­dra Re­gent Ho­tel. In 2011, while on hol­i­day in Mau­ri­tius, I per­formed with lo­cals at the Ca­su­rina Ho­tel and Re­sort. I en­joyed per­form­ing with the lo­cals and learnt so much from them.”

He cur­rently plays with Trop­i­cal Heat.

Mu­si­cian Monty Naidoo is pas­sion­ate about his mu­sic.

A younger Naidoo dur­ing a per­for­mance.

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