A concert of some historic significance is taking place at the Mercury Live in Cape Town this Friday, 20 March. Three bands from the early 2000’s era of the Cape Town metal and hard rock scenes are reuniting for a concert, the likes of which has not been seen in over a decade in terms of the sounds and styles portrayed.
Ill System, V.O.L, and the Roswell Kings last appeared together in 2003, and yet have managed to conjure by some strange power within themselves to present this once-off reunion show.
V.O.L, having formed in 2003, are remembered for having delivered explosive walls of sound with unusual soaring vocals, peppered with some reminiscence of Mike Patton and the likes, juxtaposed against some savagely-pitched screams. The musical angle seemed fixed at expressing more emotionally than much of what we find today as fixed at expressing in brutality and edginess. The band has since continued to exist intermittently, with all members tied up also in a diversity of other musical pursuits. Front-man Kevin Rule is best known today as front-man for With Dawn, although he also played for Dismantling The Architects and performed his own solo material. Miggs Auer on bass has been indulging deeply, taking part also in the likes of 7th Son, Goodnight Wembley and Project Badass. Jonathan Commerford, on guitar, has been content with remaining ever dutiful to only his beloved V.O.L. Arthur Pereira, on the other hand, has left a trail of broken – albeit gratified – hearts through countless projects which credit him as being probably one of the most active underground drummers ever seen in the city! Some include: Andy Lund & The Mission Men, All Star Collective, Roswell Kings and Project Badass.
Roswell Kings were a force unto their own during the period of their reign. Celebrated for their style of hard alternative rock, with subtle elements of metal and the ability to create massive sonic landscapes, the band has not performed for close to a decade. Members comprised of Andy Lund on vocals and guitar, also of Oh Mercy plus Andy Lunk & The Mission Men. Jason Ling, famous for his role in the classic-rock band Taxi Violence, serves on bass here also, and Art Pereira once again behind the drum kit. This concert will probably be most unique for the sake of this bands return to the stage, where both V.O.L and Ill System have both been stirring significantly in recent months, including live shows, where for Roswell Kings this is to be the first in seven years.
Ill system have recently reformed with full intent after a long leave of absence. Pioneering a unique sound in heavy metal, the band had taken a somewhat nu-metal approach with it’s intense rhythmic and percussive style, and blended it seamlessly with the unlikely partner of reggae and subtle folk/ska styles. Sean Olsen has taken up his original role as front-man and multi-instrumentalist, hammering not only on his djembongo contraption, but also on the guitar for some songs. Not your conventional metalhead by any stretch, Sean has served as guest for countless live acts, including the likes of Woodstock Mafia and his own folk-rock outfit Right Foot Forward. Ill System has proven the perfect conduit to channel ‘the metal’ with his aggressive voice counter-balanced against his Jekyll-&-Hyde-like relaxed inversion. Bobby Addison on guitars brings the sledgehammer rather than an axe, having also played for UK-based Death Of An Icon, and currently also with the alias Project Badass (yes, we also see a pattern forming here). Mike Cubic on bass is a well-known face in local circles, having remained active in South Africa in his other bands Moment Of Clarity and With Dawn, replaces Ill System‘s original bass-man Owen Lowery who remains abroad. On drums, Ramone Pickover of Arc Reactor fame has also taken up his old throne once again.
The concert takes place at Mercury Live, the one and same which all three bands frequented in their yesteryear, at 43 De Villiers Road, Cape Town. Doors open at 21h00 on Friday 20 March and entry will cost R50. However, a massive R30 discount applies for all who arrive before 21h30, so if that is not incentive to get there early, then we don’t know what is! See the official facebook event page for more details, or visit the bands at their own pages: V.O.L – Roswell Kings – Ill System
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