Patrick Davidson: friends in need, friends indeed

Patrick Davidson at SummerFest18
Images courtesy of Christopher Tatzreither

Cape Town, South Africa: five bands from this city are gathering under the banner of the Metal United World Wide this weekend and will play to raise funds for Patrick Davidson. Patrick currently faces urgent expenses.

Metal World Wide United

The MUWW is a global initiative taken on by underground promoters in more than 42 countries around the world. The objective is to host coordinated metal shows all over on a common date – 05 May – in a show of global solidarity as a sub-culture. Each show operates independently, save for the name and affiliation to the Australian-based founders, Black Roos Entertainment.

In South Africa, the project is aligned with True Believers. True Believers is the membership club which enables the continued operation of by it’s founder and lead contributor, Patrick Davidson.

Two shows will take place in South Africa on Saturday 5 May. One in Johannesburg at Rumours Rock City, hosted locally by Emalyth, and another in Cape Town at ROAR Live. The Cape Town show is hosted collectively by: Atlantic South, Black Orchid Burlesque, Holo, Last One Alive, Terminatryx and With Dawn.

At both shows, True Believer members are invited to attend for free entry as thanks for continued assistance.

Metal United World Wide 2018

Who is Patrick Davidson?

Patrick set the M4A ball in motion in 2006, initially with assistance from his flatmate Dave Heidmann (RIP: 1980-2007); but gradually, a growing number of community members flocked to the vision. Today, is one of the world’s leading resources on African Metal music, and host to two of Cape Town’s (and Africa’s) longest running uninterrupted Metal concerts with the annual SummerFest and WinterFest (since 2007).

“I find spiritual enrichment in doing what I do. At the end of the day, I’m not serving Heavy Metal or ‘The Devil’. I’m serving flesh-and-blood people who have feelings and who dream. Through my work I know that I’ve brought a lot of people together to experience enjoyment; even if sometimes it’s only a distraction in their lives to forget bad things that haunt them. Let’s call it an antidote for the sickness of oppression we all feel when bombarded by the daily news of politics and the other dark intrigues of the world around us, and sometimes within us. We need relief from this, and we need human companionship and compassion irrespective of how we dress or what music we listen to. I work to bring these elements together in my community of fellow metalheads.” ~ Patrick Davidson

Pouring in energy and money of his own since the early days, Patrick started to realize the challenges of such a project in 2010. In 2012 he set up the True Believers which allowed members of the public to assist financially with the growing burden. By 2014, the pressure of career and M4A combined became a bit much. Patrick resigned from permanent employment, taking on a freelance role which allowed for M4A to really take off with the help from the True Believer membership base. However, this also meant a severely reduced cashflow.

No medical aid, low private funds

Patrick Davidson

“Whilst I’m generally content with my lot in life, there’s a private matter I’ve been struggling with for years. It’s not only physically encumbering, but psychologically too. My ability to combat it hasn’t improved, because it involves money; which is my greatest weakness. But it’s my teeth. They’re awful.” ~ Patrick Davidson

Without medical aid or sufficient private funding, the problem worsened with time. Excessive brushing has only weakened the enamel of the teeth and made the situation more dire. At this time, extensive work is needed, and urgently.

“It’s deeply embarrassing to discuss. I’ve been hiding behind tight-lipped smiles for years, not to mention bouts of pain and anxiety. But I made it known on social media a few months ago that I was struggling with this. There was a great response of verbal support. I was also contacted by Josh Gready of With Dawn, telling me that the bands of Cape Town were willing to rally. Handing them the tentative Metal United World Wide date just made sense.” ~ Patrick Davidson

With Dawn, and the Calling to a Cause

With varying years of experience where members have all collectively felt major ups and downs, With Dawn and Atlantic South took initiative. Before long, Holo, Last One Alive and Terminatryx also gathered to the cause; plus old M4A friends and burlesque troupe, the Black Orchid Beasties.

“One thing we can all say with 100% confidence is that this is what we love to do! There is nothing like performing to a large, consistent, interactive and passionate community. This consistency and large following would not be present today if it were not for a few individuals who put it lots of extra effort, time and financial support. We need to have each others backs if this scene is to continue on the trajectory it is currently thriving on.” ~ Josh Gready (drums, With Dawn)

Josh relates how his own band and close friends felt immediately compelled to step up and assist.

“The scene would not be what it is today without Patrick. It’s as simple as that. And when one of our own are in trouble, there should be no hesitation to put in a little extra effort and help! It’s what the world is desperately lacking these days, but the local metal scene has always been one of together-ness and support.” ~ Josh Gready

Atlantic South

Co-instigators, Atlantic South also enjoy a history shared with and by M4A.

“At first we were aware of the Metal Unite World Wide show which in itself is a great concept. Myself and Josh were just chatting about how amazing the M4A SummerFest’18 event was, as well as the day-to-day struggles that Patrick goes through in order to get these events up and running. I think it’s been 12 years now that M4A has been putting on these bi-annual events and keeping the scene informed through the M4A brand.

I believe it’s a rewarding job in terms of the local scene and what he does, but the endeavour is most certainly taxing both mentally and financially. Then I mentioned to Josh that we should take over the organizing of the Metal Unite show and couple it to raise funds for M4A and the True Believers initiative. We figured it was the least we could do to give back to Patrick and M4A/True Believers in the hopes that he will continue being the gel that binds the local scene. It is remarkable what he has done over the years and Atlantic South are stoked to be a part of it.” ~ Gareth Howard (guitar, Atlantic South)


Terminatryx 2018

Terminatryx, a band for which Patrick performed live guitars between 2007 and 2017, also joined the line-up.

“It’s not only exciting for us to be a part of this global event, but more so in honouring Patrick Davidson for everything he’s done and sacrificed for local Metal for well over a decade. It was sad to see him leave as our guitarist of about 10 years, but he remains a brother, friend, and godfather to our animals.” ~ Paul Blom (instrumentalist/backing vocalist, Terminatryx)

Terminatryx prepares to perform, ironically, its first show as a three-piece since Patrick’s departure in September 2017 at this weekend’s event.

Last One Alive

Last One Alive expresses gratitude for a subtle match-making facilitated by Patrick:

“Three years ago, after years of strumming in my bedroom to an audience of none, I came to the sudden realization that I was creatively impotent; and that joining a band would be the only way of manifesting my lifelong dreams of playing intense music to a crowd. A small message unexpectedly appeared in my inbox one day, telling me about a guy called Bob who was trying to put a band together. I answered the call and it was like getting sucked into a time portal where I suddenly found myself in Last One Alive, playing ferocious shows to great crowds and receiving awards alongside some of this country’s greats; and subsequently joining Atlantic South on prestigious bills supporting big international acts. I am officially living my childhood dream right this very moment.

It was Patrick who sent that message, one small gesture that changed my life, lost among the incalculable number of similar acts by this humble man in his tireless service to the African Metal Scene. It’s time to support the man without whom we would have nothing to bind us together; no voice; no sense of belonging to a strong movement. It’s time to give back and save our most valued comrade from hardship which seeks to jeopardize everything we have built here.” ~ Ric Shields (guitars/backing vocals, Last One Alive)


Smashing onto the local scene in 2016, Holo also opened the festival at SummerFest’17.

“Holo is honored to support M4A and True Believers. When we formed the band we realized we want to be in it for the scene and as we have voiced before, this is an ideal opportunity to chip in. Metal music is ‘an expensive hobby’, as someone wise once told me. It is however an earnest passionate pursuit. We’ve landed late and missed all the groundwork, but really appreciate the people who helped build the scene and lay the infrastructure. It’s to this end that we are beyond stoked to be part of the lineup on Saturday, 5 May.” ~ Remé Marshall (guitar/backing vocals, Holo)

Other ways to support

If you can’t attend the show but would like to lend support, other avenues are possible. Consider joining as a member of the True Believers! Much like other NPO’s, Fiend Arts (reg. 206-082 NPO) (visit website for more info) which operates the membership club consists of an automatic debit order system. You can choose what monthly contribution you are easily able to afford and sign up electronically. Members are eligible for special offers and perks from time to time. Anybody who contributes R80 or more per month gets automatic VIP access to SummerFest and WinterFest concerts.

Any private donors interested in a once-off contribution can contact Patrick directly on messenger if they wish.

“I am beyond grateful for all of this. It was a heartwarming surprise when I was informed about this initiative coming together. I’m so grateful to all existing members, musicians, and just the general public who are willing to express their concern with action.

My gratitude extends also to Sashquita Northey and the entire JHB line-up. Which is a big one! Whilst that show is completely independent from the Cape Town one, all involved up there have still been willing to allow True Believer members based in that city to also attend for free; this as a show of solidarity with the cause represented by the local bands here in Cape Town.” ~ Patrick Davidson

Visit the official facebook event pages for each show as below:

Metal World Wide United, Cape Town @ ROAR Live, starting 20h00, Saturday 05 May.
Metal World Wide United, Johannesburg @ Rumours Rock City, starting 18h00, Saturday 05 May.