18 August 2012 marked the calumniation of 3 years of hard work with my friend, Johnny Ray, the writer/producer of Rockville 2069. From humble beginnings of work shopping songs in his office, with a guitar and a microphone, to a fully arranged, produced, EMI represented CD!! We even have a graphic Novel.
I was a bundle of nerves as we waited for the crowds to settle into the Ballroom at Kelvin Grove Country Club in Cape Town; not knowing if I was shaking from the cold or the nerves or both. There air was pregnant with talent and expectation. But when the first chord of “That Summer we went to Yasgur’s Farm” performed by Joseph Clark played, it was only then that I fully grasped what this evening would mean. Rockville 2069 was destined for the big stages and there I was, in for the ride.
The ballroom, which usually saw Matric Balls and Country club cotillions was fully kitted with hundreds of thousands of rands worth of lighting, sound and filming equipment. And it would soon feel the rumble of the rocking bass bins, nothing short of a scandalous rebellion. Tut tut. That’s Rock and Roll for you!
The performances were amazing. Michael Naranjo’s gravelly voice was electrifying sending chills down my spine. Andries Botha embodied the bad boy rock star of Rockville’s Johnny Rebel when he chucked the microphone on the floor when it wasn’t working. Fully Rock-star. Joseph Clark with the voice of Freddie Mercury was captivating. Noa Milan and her Janis Joplin voice was nothing short of aspirational. I performed “Look about with a Laugh and a Shout” and “I will Always Follow You” off the album. What struck me was that these songs are definitely for the stage and there was a certain electricity that you get from performing them live that you just can’t capture in studio.
The after party was a buzz with press, champagne and sushi. Taking in the after glow, I realised that yes, the evening was over but it would not be the end of Rockville 2069. I am gonna go out on a limb here when I say that Rockville 2069 could find itself on the stages of the West End and Broadway. Now wouldn’t that be awesome?
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