Expect the unexpected

THE eclectic musings of nationally acclaimed solo acoustic artist Gary Thomas will be in the Bay tonight for a one-night performance at Friendly Stranger at 7pm.

The Durban-born musician who launched his new album, Midnight Atlas, at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown earlier this year, has recently returned from a two-month European tour which saw him performing on stages across Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, England, the Czech Republic and Turkey.

The Cape Town-based musician, who self-produced his 11-track album, explained that half the album has a French horn, saxophone and viola trio backing.

The music was written in a simple way – in part to make way for those instruments but at the same time to create a sound that complements the melodies that came together in the album, he said.

"It's quite a straight forward, self-contained album with its own concept. I think this album has a bit of all of me in it," he said

Thomas, who studied jazz and classical music at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, described his music as a mixed sound.

"What I have always tried to do is create quite a full sound for my solo music so it never feels like I'm missing a band," he said.

His range and talent comes across in the variety of his performance. "I can be pretty mellow and at other times I can be the loudest solo acoustic guy in the country," he said.

The Led Zeppelin fan, who started out playing guitar at the age of 10, almost went down the advertising route when he left school but realised that his passion was in music.

"I felt if I worked really hard at this I could basically make a living from playing guitar and I guess all those people around me who have been doing that are always pretty inspiring," Thomas said.

Tonight's audience can expect something unique from Thomas who says his shows get quite physical. His performance will feature both new and old material, but Thomas says he enjoys keeping his shows fresh. "I really enjoy it and I'm only doing what I love... I think they can probably expect the unexpected," he said.

ýTickets will be on sale at the door for R70 and for more information you can contact Friendly Stranger on 074-911-9708