11 February 2010
The greatest stage in world sport, the 2010 Fifa World Cup™ is set to offer South Africa much more than just on-field action. Focusing the eyes of the world on the southern tip of Africa, the event offers an exciting opportunity for some of the country’s top musical talent.
With millions of international tourists expected to make the trip to the Rainbow Nation later this year, young artists and bands across the country are eager to perform for a global audience.
Brimming with talent, the South African music scene remains one of the world’s most untapped resources – now it will get its chance to shine.
Three South African groups hoping to make their mark during the upcoming festivities are Taxi Violence, D-seven and Fox Comet.
All three acts recently performed at the legendary Up the Creek music festival in Swellendam near Cape Town, and after leaving their fans cheering for more, are looking to make the most of the epic opportunity the tournament is serving up for them.
“2010 is going to be a great thing for South Africa. There is going to be a huge buzz around the whole country,” says Fox Comet lead singer Rob Coutts.
Fox Comet, an exciting up-and-coming funk-rock band that burst onto the local scene in 2009, are keen to show the world what they can do.
“It’s going to be crazy, and we’re going to enjoy every minute of it,” says Coutts. “Hopefully we’ll get to play to an international audience at some great venues. We’ve had talks with the Harley-Davidson club in Cape Town about being involved with them. They’re a base for fans from Holland, so hopefully we can win over some Dutch supporters for ourselves as well.
“We’ve also been approached by people organising some big parties in Long Street, which is awesome,” says Coutts. “There are so many parties, so many festivals, we’re keen to be apart of the vibe.”
Louis Nel, drummer for popular rock band Taxi Violence, says he and his bandmates are also looking forward to being a part of the “World Cup mania” when it hits South African shores.
“There is so much going on, and getting involved with the parties, fan gatherings, the after parties – that’s where we want to be,” says Nel. “All around the country there are going to be awesome events taking place. It’s an opportunity to be seen by the world.”
Nel, George van der Spuy, Rian Zietsman and Jason Ling make up Taxi Violence. Formed in 2004, they are a band very much on the rise in South Africa.
“Our main focus is entertainment,” says Nel. “We always do our best to give people their money’s worth and put on a great show. This year we’re hoping to take it up a notch.”
Something a little different, mixing in beat-boxing and fresh harmonies, are D-seven, another act eager to make an impression on the World Cup social scene.
An impressive a capella group, D-seven have shared the stage with a number of South Africa’s top performers in recent times, including Goldfish and Just Jinger.
Looking ahead to the World Cup, the band is keen to test themselves in front of a global audience.
“It’s really exciting – it’s a big test,” says band member Shiraz Jogee. “All the hotels and venues are going to be filled up with international tourists, and it’ll be good to see how they react to our music and that feedback is massive [for any band out there]. This year is hopefully going to be huge for us.
“During the World Cup we’re going up to the Grahamstown Festival and then heading back to Cape Town to get involved in the festivities there,” says Jogee.
“We are involved in a lot of corporate functions and events, so during the World Cup we’ll be doing a lot of that. We’ve got a regular gig on the rooftop of the Grand Daddy Hotel, and a couple other nice World Cup gigs we’re excited to be a part of as well.”
And regarding the football? All three groups are firmly behind the host nation.
“Probably Spain [will be my second choice], but definitely it’s South Africa all the way,” says Shiraz.
“[We’re supporting] any African team,” says Nel. “Obviously we’re behind Bafana Bafana, but hopefully someone can do the continent proud!”
“Naturally we’re behind Bafana,” says Coutts. “It’s going to be awesome!”