Parlotones back for tour after US limbo

Gabi Mbele

AWARD-winning South African band The Parlotones will be back in the country this weekend.

After announcing their move to the US in January, the band is back to perform in South Africa as a result of a “limbo” abroad trying to make a name for themselves.

Speaking from Los Angeles, singer Kahn Morbee said: “It hasn’t been easy for us because we are not superstars here. We have had loads of opportunities, but there is super- competition. We are all fighting for small spaces in performing, television and radio play.”

In addition, the rand-versus- dollar woes had challenged the band in many areas, such as trying to record an album on their own because “studio sessions are more expensive”.

But they do love the idea of earnings being in dollars.

The four band members – drummer Neil Pauw, guitarist Paul Hudgson, bassist, pianist and backing vocalist Glen Hudgson and Morbee – have resorted to living in the same house to save on costs.

“Luckily we get along and it helps us because we are away from family and have kind of become a family,” Morbee said.

But these tales of hardship do not mean they are not happy abroad. They have performed more than 100 shows, spending up to seven weeks on the road.

They got their first break when they aired on LA radio station KROQ drive-time with DJ Ted Stryker’s 4.2.

Stryker, after proclaiming he was a fan, had them on his show, which was turned into an insert for his television show on CBS.

They were also seen by rocker Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots when they performed at the Viper Room.

He “offered to jump on stage” and join The Parlotones for a song, Morbee said.

“We have met so many people here – songwriters, producers and even Rolling Stones legend Mick Jagger [at a bar with his daughter]. Although he didn’t know us, it was an honour to meet him.”

The band will perform at Carnival City on Saturday.

They hope to launch their fifth studio album, Stand Like Giants, next month.

They will return to Los Angeles after their South African tour.

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