Kerry Witting

Kerry Witting

Kerry Witting an assistant editor and music writer here at, UNDERGROUND PRESS, I love writing and creative expression in all forms! You can find her on Facebook and Instagram, to keep up to date with music in and around Durban.

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Calum Scott In Durban - Only Human Tour

Calum Scott - Botanical Gardens

Calum Scott in Durban.  Due to a massive outcry from Durban fans, Calum Scott added a date here in Sunny Durbs for his Only Human South African Tour.  “Durban fans had social media buzzing with the request to have Scott add a date for them on the tour and since the announcement at the end of August, tickets sales have been incredible for the event with just a handful left.”

Originally only set to play in Johannesburg and Cape Town, Calum Scott was over the moon to add another date which turned out to be his biggest crowd yet.  Just over 5000 adoring fans flocked to Botanical Gardens to see the grateful Calum Scott perform at his biggest headlining act to date.

Scott’s heart-warming appearance on Britain’s Got Talent in 2015 shot him to instant global stardom, and when he officially released his audition song ‘Dancing On My Own’ as the lead single from his debut album 'Only Human', it took the world by storm. ‘Dancing On My Own’ quickly charted in over 34 countries on Spotify, peaking at No. 1 on the Viral chart in six, including the U.S. Now certified Platinum in four countries, 3 times Platinum in South Africa, it was the best-selling U.K. single of 2016 by a British solo artist and was nominated for a Brit Award for Best Single. The song has over 550 million streams worldwide, while views of the video are approaching 225 million.  

'Only Human' is the result of a long, cathartic songwriting journey. The album has already gone Gold in South Africa, with single ‘You Are The Reason’ reaching 3 times Platinum in SA. Filled with deeply personal material, Scott’s ability to transform pain into beauty is undeniable, whether he is addressing coming out to his father, unrequited longing, adolescent isolation, or the gratitude he feels toward his sister Jade, who pushed him to sing on stage for the first time and auditioned alongside him on Britain’s Got Talent.

Calum was supported by the three-piece band from Cape Town called Opposite The Other, this is not the first time we have had the pleasure of this band and it is obvious they are quickly becoming a huge hit with Durban fans.  Formed just over 18 months ago, these guys are on the rise fast!  We look forward to watching the evolution.

For a change, the weather held out this time down at Botanical Gwereardens.  Slightly chilly but overall great weather for a concert in the park.  Our MCs for the night from East Coast Radio were out on the stage telling us an inspiring story of how Calum came to fame.  Accompanying his sister to her audition at Britain’s got talent, he agreed to audition as well as support for her and what happened?  His sister got cut he landed the golden buzzer!

Calum Scott - Botanical Gardens

Finally, its time for our main act to grace the stage, Calum steps out onto the stage and the crowd absolutely loses it.  An emotional Calum greets his fans and explains how this is the biggest crowd he has ever performed for and that this night will always be close to his heart.  As if the fans couldn’t love him anymore. Calum definitely brought his best game for this evening, he captivated the fans and delivered an amazing, energetic performance.  Botanical Gardens was the perfect setting for the atmosphere and a beautiful night was had by all.  We hope to see Calum Scott back in Durban soon and I’m sure we will as he has apparently fallen in love with our famous Bunny Chow.

Thank you Sheer Entertainment and Breakout for having UNDERGROUND PRESS, as usual, we love it!


Banging Ballito Beats

arno ard

Sunday was a very heart-warming experience at Ballito Beats. Two South African icons in the music industry coming together on stage and it was magical. Arno Carstens and Ard Matthews absolutely lit up the day with their songs, some new and some old favourites. Supported by Seb Goldswain who is an absolute genius on guitar, the sun was out (for a change) with a bit of wind but the weather was great for a day outdoors.

seb goldswain

Arno explained that he was inspired by Celine Dion who always does a few French songs at her concerts. I’m not a huge fan of Afrikaans music but I must say I was pleasantly surprised at the two Afrikaans songs Arno performed off his album titled, 'Die Aandblom 13.' [UPDATED]

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Ard, just back from a European tour, has also been working on new music. Again, we were treated to hearing two of these amazing songs. I am super excited to hear more of his music soon. Such an inspirational talent, it was just bliss sitting in the sun listening to Ard sing his heart out!

ard matthews 1Finally, the two got on stage together and what a performance it was, these two artists simply gel so well together and feed off each other’s vibe. It took me back to when I went to my very first concert as a girl, Spring Bok Nude Girls and Just Jinger. So much has changed since then and I think it’s safe to say Ard and Arno will keep growing and adapting to the times and trends. Of course, the day was not complete without some old favourites from Just Jinger and Spring Bok Nude Girls, they belted out Arno’s Little, Ard’s 'Shallow Waters' among some other golden oldies.

As the show started to come to an end, it seemed as if the two were having so much fun they didn’t want to get off the stage! Coming back about four times for “one last song” of course the crowd was absolutely enthralled and I think it was a massive hit for everyone. It was an absolute pleasure being there for such an awesome day and even more amazing getting to meet Ard and Arno after the show!

*Thank you, Ballito Beats, for having Underground Press, we loved it!



Gangs Of Ballet album Launch Tour - Rivertown Shed

 Gangs Of Ballet - Rivertown Shed

When I heard that Gangs of Ballet will be launching their new album, Form & Function Part 2 at the Rivertown Shed, I was like, where the hell is that?  I was in for a nice little surprise. Upon arriving at The Shed, we noticed how much parking there was, bonus! No driving around the city on a Friday night looking for dodgy parking.

The Rivertown Shed is situated across the road from the ICC (on the other side, not where the old Tilt used to be).  As we walked up to the venue we were met with some rad urban street art occupying the one side of The Shed wall, top to bottom. Always a good sign.  The excitement starting bubbling within as I began to realise it was quite a big warehouse. Oh yes, a warehouse party! LOVE THEM.  As we walked in, there was a cool retro pop up coffee tuk tuk done by Exploring Coffee.  A nice different concept to have a rock gig, that little tuk tuk would prove to be quite significant later on……

Walk straight to the bar. Need beer. Much to our dismay we were told that unfortunately the venue was unable to secure the liquor licence in time for the gig.  Damn, what a bummer. But that was not going to stop Durban.  People turned up in the droves to support our local favourites.

ISO - Rivertown Shed

As we got backstage, ISO, the opening band, was setting up and getting the sound check done.  Super excited to see these guys play, especially at such a fitting venue.  The performance these guys put on was incredible. Their stage presence was nothing short of stellar, the way they feel their music while performing is quite something to watch.  They jumped and jived and the crowd jumped and jived, the lighting was amazing and the theatrical smoke at the end was the perfect closing.  ISO is a well experienced band and it shows. And the one guy let me sit on their road case backstage for the whole night, thank you ISO!

As soon as the band comes off stage, we duck outside for a quick smoke break.  While out smoking, we get chatting to a bloke about the venue. He mentions he works for the guys that own the venue and they are shooting the gig so they can start promoting the venue for more nights like this one.  Two words. HELL YES.  Durban so desperately needs a good venue to host bands and one big enough to fit all the adoring fans we have here.  Let’s all pray that this kicks off, Rivertown Shed will be perfect for many events, covering all aspects. Just need to sort out that liquor licence first…

Al Bairre - Rivertown Shed

Next up, Al Bairre took to the stage with their happy go lucky vibe. God, I love this band. And so does the whole of Durban apparently with the way the crowd went crazy as they stepped on.  Al Bairre has had major success and they have a massive following here in Durban and it’s no wonder with that catchy, love infested groove they have going on.  Sporting their trade mark tie dye shirts, Al Bairre got down and dirty with it, displaying impressive acts of bum wiggles and stage hand stands.  Talk about high energy. Wow. They belted out most of their popular songs, while the love sick fans sang along to each and every word. The excitement they bring to a gig is infectious, honestly if you having a crap day, please just go watch a video of Al Bairre live, it’s almost life changing.

Gangs of Ballet - Rivertown Shed

Finally the headliner graces the stage, Gangs of Ballet.  Originally from Durban, you can see they are in their zone.  Gangs of Ballet were well worth the wait, with a down to earth demeanor that simply filters all the way down, you almost feel like it’s a bunch of your buddies playing for you.  Interactive and intimate.  Apologizing profusely about the booze situation, Brad connects with the crowd with ease as they break into the first song, the crowd absolutely loves them.  Gangs of Ballet rocked and rolled the stage with their set and at one point Brad even got off the stage and continued to play his guitar while walking through the crowd. What a legend.  What a show.  Thank you for a wicked night, thank you for a wicked venue, thank you for having UNDERGROUND PRESS and thank you for the CD! Can’t wait to have you all back soon!

UB40 at Durban Botanic Gardens supported by Grassyspark

UB40 Botanic Gardens 

Durbs proved that not even heavy rains will stop them from enjoying UB40’s second concert in the country.  Oh and did it rain. On a chilly wet night, Durban welcomed Grassyspark and UB40 at the Botanic Gardens, the oldest public institution and Africa's oldest surviving botanical gardens, oozing with character. There was a 20 minute delay due to heavy rainfall just as the concert was about to get underway. This was the first gig Grassyspark has had in Durban and I was just wondering what on earth has taken you guys so long? I think I can safely say that the 031 absolutely loved you guys! 

 Grassyspark Botanic Gardens

Grassyspark is a Cape Town band, made up of seven members, incorporating many different instruments including the sax, trumpet and the trombone.  They describe their sound as a blend of ska, funk, rock, Latin and reggae.  All I can say is that their performance last night was on point.  The vocals were crystal clear, perfectly timed and the way the band grooves together was just magical to watch.  One of the best things about the show was how they interacted with the crowd.  It’s clear that Durban would have them back any day, so please guys, don’t be strangers!

Another thing that stood out was the uniqueness of each and every song, each song sounded totally different to one before but at the same time blended in with the overall performance, Grassyspark definitely showcased their diversity on stage last night, something that sets them apart from the normal run of the mill band.

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After Grassyspark had warmed up the stage, we were graced with the legends UB40.  The opening song was Here I Am, originally done by Al Green in 1973.  UB40 covered the song and it peaked at number 7 on the billboard charts in 1991.  Memories just came flooding back when I heard this song, I have been a diehard UB40 fan since I was a kid. Such bliss.

For about two hours the reggae group from the U.K treated their Durbanite audience to a diverse set from their impressive catalogue of albums.  From the outset, Ali’s vocals and crisp delivery was evident on every song.  Astro took center stage for a few songs here and there while the whole band was displaying their love for the music and especially their audience! It's obvious they enjoy entertaining their fans.

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As the show was coming to an end, the band walked off stage, only to return to the crowd chanting Red Red Wine!  James Brown got behind his drum set and proceeded to wow the crowd with an impressive drum solo, followed by an incredible six song encore.  The conclusion of the night was definitely a highlight when, finally, the long awaited song of the night was performed. The iconic Red Red Wine.  Watching this song being performed live by UB40 was mesmerising. It brought chills. 

Despite the rain, this was an incredible show, thank you once again to Big Concerts for your hospitality and having UNDERGROUND PRESS.

Beer and Adventure at Pecanwood Oktoberfest

Voted SA's No 1 sport & lifestyle festival and KZN's biggest beer fest, Pecanwood Oktoberfest did not disappoint this year with its wide variety of activities, big names in the music industry and of course great beer. 

Saturday proved to bring out all the stops with the sun gracing us with its presence, finally! And boy did she shine.  The day was hot, humid and beautiful and the drive up to the Midlands was definitely such an enjoyable one.  I was really impressed when I got there and saw how organized the security company was with directing the beer and adventure lovers, there was an easy process they were following and It really made all the difference, keeping it fun and light and in order.

Parking was easy to find and I’m glad I got up there early enough.  First up was definitely find me a cold beer, the beer tents or vans were all situated together on the right-hand side of the stage tent with seating in the middle and I remember thinking how amazing the set up was.  They had a good selection of different craft brewers displaying their craft so the only problem there was deciding which beer to try.  On the other side of the stage tent, they had set up another bar selling ciders as well, just one thing I would’ve liked to see was maybe some SAB beers on tap, however, I didn’t seem to find any, but, alas, craft beer will do!

Across the pond, with a giant inflatable slide going into it, (so rad) they had set up a Beach Bar complete with beach sand and groovy tunes in the background. What struck me was that there is so much to do at this festival, no matter where you are from, what walk of life, there was an activity for you or at least a bar, whether you’re a music lover, chilling in the main tent watching some of SA’s best musicians, a beer lover, wandering around the craft beer section with so many choices, or adrenaline junkie either seeing how dirty you can get your 4x4 or playing a game of footie in the inflatable arena, there were so many different things to check out and get involved in.

Oscar’s meat had a food stall up, selling one of my personal favourites, the much loved Eisbein.  Perfectly fitting for the Oktoberfest vibe, the food was great and cooked to perfection, they went for only a few food stalls, which at first I was sceptical about, but after reading the menus I saw that that’s all they really needed!

Down in the stage tent, I got there just in time to watch one of Durban’s favourite artists, Rowan StuartRowan has got a single out on 5FM and from the reaction of the crowd, he seems to be killing it.  It’s so great to hear a crowd singing along to a local favourite. With Rowan's polished voice and mad guitar skills, he definitely was a hit amongst festival goers.  Chico Muya donned the stage next and with his bubbly nature took it to the next level, by this time the festival was in full swing and started filling up rather quickly.  I didn’t expect anything less with the star-studded line-up Pecanwood Oktoberfest had arranged. 

Pecanwood Oktober Chico Muya

As in true KZN nature, the heavens opened up and poured down, stunningly while the sun was still shining in all her glory, or more affectionately known as a monkeys wedding. It came down pretty hard but thank goodness, there was plenty cover for everyone to huddle under while it poured down.  At this point I was in two minds, it was such a great idea that camping was free and much safer and easier, however, would the tents hold out in this rain?! 

Thank you Pecanwood Oktoberfest for having Underground Press, great vibe, great food, amazing beer and a wonderful setup!


Nasty Rumours The Winston Pub


Mouse, Harbingers and Nasty Rumours hit the stage at The Winston Pub on Wednesday night.  The evening was jam-packed full of energy from all bands and how great it was to be back at Durban’s beloved Winston.

The opening band was Mouse, a local duo who came in at second place at The Brawl of The Bands held at The Winston Pub.  They have been playing since 2015 and have a unique sound they like to call Moss-Fuzz, a Durban style of Garage-Fuzz-Rock. On vocals and guitar is Damon Miles, while Christopher Chay heads up drums and vocals.  Their set was one of high energy and musical freedom and I think it was the perfect way to set the scene for the evening.  This one is definitely one to watch! Catch them at this year’s Mieliepop Festival in Lothair, Mpumalanga.

Mouse The Winston Pub

Next on was four piece band, Harbingers, made up of members of Fruits & Veggies, Sibling Rivalry & The Accidentals.  They bring experience and rhythm to the stage, while their use of the saxophone is quite an intriguing one, changing up the sound and adding something original to the SKA Punk Rock scene.  The Harbingers are an incredibly entertaining live band and I’m looking forward to hearing their infectious SKA Punk sound again! Here’s an interesting fact about the Harbingers: 100% of Uber drivers who have heard Harbingers liked Harbingers. Taken from their Facebook page. The Harbingers will be joining Nasty Rumours once more tonight in Johannesburg. Catch them at Rumours for Enter the Portal, alongside, Grassy Spark, Fuzigish, Boxer & Switz Pop-Punk band Nasty Rumours .

Harbingers The Winston Pub

To end off the night, Nasty Rumours took to the stage with their Powerpop Punk influence. Described as an old English 70’s punk sound, the crowd was definitely in their element.  Also making me realise how much I miss Punk Rock! Nasty Rumours have been jamming together since 2013, and coming from other bands to form Nasty Rumours they have plenty experience on stage and it showed through their interaction with the crowd.  They have toured most of Europe and the UK, sharing the stage with many well-known bands.  The energy that the Nasty Rumours put into their set is nothing short of incredible and, like the bands before them, they got the crowd skanking quickly.  There was a slight sad moment on stage, where the lead singer, Juli mentioned a good friend, MC Anilker, had passed away the night before.  They dedicated the next song to MC Anilker and explained, they would not be where they are today if it was not for him. Juli affectionately referred to MC Anilker as their Hero.  I’m sure he was looking down from wherever he is, with a huge smile, Nasty Rumours are a great band, with a great sound and down to earth vibes. Durban would be happy to have them back anytime!


Nasty Rumours winston

An Intimate Evening With Seal - Durban ICC

seal 2016 alastair fraser 1

Underground Press was lucky enough to have the opportunity to cover the Seal concert in Durban on the 14th June 2016.

For me, by far one of the best concerts I have ever been to. Seal was supported by Tresor, a local favourite who has just won Best Pop Album for his debut album 'VII' at the Sama’s. Tresor’s performance was just as incredible, with his humble demeanor he even asked security if his fans could have a little dance in front of the stage.

tresor seal 2016 alastair fraser 2

The auditorium was halved for Seal’s performance, which I thought was a great thing as it really made the whole evening more intimate.

Seal took the stage with amazing lighting displays and a back ground drop that stunned fans all night long. Seal’s energy and performance was one of top notch, even jumping over the pit fence into the crowd where he sang an entire song amongst his adoring fans. Seal had his fans dancing and jiving along with him which doesn’t happen often with seated concerts! He even grabbed a fans hand and serenaded this woman from the stage, definitely a highlight!

seal 2016 alastair fraser 4

His interaction with the crowd and storytelling leading into his songs were well thought out and you could clearly see the amount of effort that has gone into the preparation of his concerts.

Seal delivered his song performance perfectly, with his songs sounding great and just as they are on his albums.

At the end of the night, Seal said thank you and goodnight and ran off the stage, leaving us fans in a bit of a confusion as we had yet to hear everyone’s favourite 'Kiss From A Rose'. After a bit of a wait and the crown screaming for more Seal ran back out on stage, where the back drop displayed a gorgeous red rose and he began the encore of the night, best performance ever!

After all these years, Seal still has the gift of wooing his crowds, what a magical evening thank you once again Big Concerts!

seal 2016 alastair fraser 3


deitys muse convergenceUnderground Press was lucky enough to get a copy of DEITY'S MUSE'S new album titled 'Convergence', released in March 2016.  The band has shown their versatility and ability to adapt to the ever changing industry by experimenting with their sound quite a bit on 'Convergence' compared to their earlier albums.

DEITY'S MUSE call themselves a groove driven rock band from Johannesburg and the latest offering is their fourth studio album. Sharing the stage with many international acts as well as having an international tour under their belt, the latest album definitely showcases their growth over the years.

The album has taken more than two years to create, so I’m sure the bandmates are just dying to get on their next tour to promote the album.

'Convergence' was recorded between Ashley Lane at Loudmouth Studios, and by band members at home. Additional guitars and programming were recorded at Vin James Music in Australia by Clint Vincent (Dead Letter Circus) who is also credited as mixing engineer and producer for the album.

The album artwork was created locally and is really a beautiful piece of work. All in all the album gives fans something new to look forward to, with some fresh new influences mixed perfectly with the band's solid sound they have created over the years of performing.

DEITY'S MUSE is described as one of the greats in Johannesburg and we look forward to many more years of great music!

 Check out their video 'Satellites' below!

DJ Melitia: Pimping The Decks

DJ Melitia has a vast range of different genres that she mixes namely: Hip Hop, electronic, jazz, blues, punk rock and rock n roll. It’s so awesome to see girls on the decks and above all with some skill on top of that as we all know it’s not easy to mix Hip Hop. Originally from Cape Town DJ Melitia now resides in Johannesburg, killing the scene up there. We caught up with DJ Melitia ahead of her appearance at the 'Lets Swing It Family Picnic'.

You are originally from Cape Town, what made you move to Johannesburg?

I am actually originally for Jozi. (laughs) but lived in CT for almost 10years. I moved back up to Joburg when I had my little boy, it’s always better to be near family in that situation.

dj melitia

Have you always been into Hip Hop and punk rock? Do you have a favourite to mix with?

I’ve traditionally always DJ’d Hip Hop, Jazz, Electronic, Blues type stuff and still mostly do. The punk rock is something I grew up on. I landed up DJ’ing with the legendary Hog Hoggidy Hogs on the punk rock tip and would play in-between all their shows for close to 10years. Good times.

What was it like working with Jack Parow?

I know Zander from my university days in CT and we have a lot of mutual friends. He has remained one of the humblest, most talented and nicest guys in the industry. DJ’ing with him has always been a surprise because he would usually ask me 10 minutes before he went on stage. Thank goodness I’d usually be a couple brandy and cokes down to have the courage to press play.

Have you played before at Lets Swing It? And if you have what can we expect?

I have played the previous event at Bullion Bar and it was really fun. You can expect a mash-up of the best old school meets new school swing. I am to warm up all your feet for the long night of dancing ahead.

Where do you draw your influences from for your sets?

I think all of us on the line-up might say our parents, I play a lot of stuff that I used to dance to with my Mom as a kid. She knows how’s to boogie. Some newer stuff like The Atomic Fireballs comes directly from my punk rock roots.

dj melitia 2

Karabo On Idols 2015 and beyond

Karabo’s story of eventually winning Idols 2015 is such an inspirational one. Rising up from the first comments from the judges in his audition, he proves that with hard word and determination you can do anything. His humble and bubbly approach to life is a breath of fresh air and I definitely see Karabo going far in his career. He has just recently released his first album titled ‘Love Is A Verb’ and he has really strived to appeal to a large audience, incorporating various genres such as House, Afro-pop, gospel and R&B. We were lucky enough ask Karabo a few questions about his rise to fame and where he sees himself in the future.


Photograph by: Jacques Loots (Fathom Media)

One of your skills is doing motivational speaking, how did you get into that and what is your favourite topic of motivational speech?

I got into motivational speaking through, some motivational talks I used to do at church and many other schools I got invited to and my favorite topic is "Repetition" and "it is not only a dream but ut can be a reality.

What was your first thought when you got the mixed feedback from the judges in your first audition?

I was quite disappointed and thought I was not going to get the golden ticket, but those comments are the ones that molded me and made me the artist that I am, today.

Where exactly are you planning to take your career in music?

The plan is to eventually take my music overseas and make it international. And I also would like to collaborate with, influential artist in South Africa and aboard.

A few words of wisdom for the up and coming artists in South Africa?

If doing music is your dream, take responsibility of it nurture it and make sure you practice every day to improve yourself. Talent alone is never enough

Where would you go in a time machine?

I would definitely go to Israel, I would love to see where and how some of the History in the bible transpired. That would be a life changing experience.

You have such a humble nature, what would be your advice to staying positive in the difficult industry of music?

Remain true to who you are, never try to emulate what others are doing and never forget where come from and where you are planning to go because every transition is important.


Photograph by: Jacques Loots (Fathom Media)

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