Blues sounds from the Broers
Knysnarians can prepare for a musical treat as the Blues Broers are set to rock their socks off this weekend.
Since the launch of their seventh album Into the Red in 2014, the Blues Broers performed at the Standard Bank Jazz Festival in Grahamstown, appeared on major TV networks, produced a sold-out show at Pretoria’s Atterbury Theatre, and featured on the Durban International Blues Festival, the Table Mountain Blues Summit and at the Up the Creek festival. They feature at boutique events where they showcase their skills, performing a selection from their wealth of original and standard tunes.
Decades ago the musical landscape was very different. The Blues Broers started out playing in Cape Town’s seedier clubs and bars.
Venues like The Fringe and the appropriately named Smokehouse (some nights you could barely see the stage through the blue haze of cigarette smoke) are long gone, but the band expanded its audience by driving long hours to towns further afield.
It was around this time that they added their “Skiffle set” to the show. Skiffle is music played on homemade instruments, such as a tea-chest bass or tin washboard and it’s still an important part of the band’s performance.
Brought back together
Coastal tours, album releases and rock festivals followed, but in 1999 the band lost drummer, manager and Albert Frost’s father Frank to cancer.
It was a blow they struggled to recover from and eventually the Blues Broers announced that they were calling it a day. In 2006 they held a final show at the Hidden Cellar in Stellenbosch.
The band was brought back together by popular demand for a reunion gig in 2009 and they soon started writing songs that would feature on their 2011 CD release Out of the Blue.
Basson Laubscher, well known for his guitar work with the Valiant Swart Band, Zinkplaat and many other local acts, joined the Blues Broers in 2016 after Albert Frost, long-time guitarist, left the band at the end of 2015 to pursue his solo career.
Says Basson: “I used to sneak out from Paul Roos boarding school on weekends to catch the Blues Broers at the Akker (now the Hidden Cellar). I can’t believe I now play with them!”
The Blues Broers are:
Rob Nagel: Harmonica, bass, vocals Simon Orange: Keyboards, tea-chest bass, vocals
Basson Laubscher: Guitars, vocals Nico Lubbe: Drums, washboard
See them live at Red Bridge Brewery this Friday 30 November at 19:00. Tickets R150 via Quicket, Rl80 at the door, if available.
Booking info: Jackie 084 587 6665 or [email protected]terlive.co.za
The Blues Broers are Rob Nagel on harmonica, bass and vocals; Simon Orange on keyboards, tea-chest bass and vocals; Basson Laubscher on guitars and vocals; and Nico Lubbe on the drums and washboard.