Band bringing indie beats

SIMON and the Band a Parte are bringing their indie-folk sound dashed with rock elements to The Music Kitchen this week. The trio – comprised of Simon van Gend on vocals and acoustic guitar; Eric Michot on bass, and Ross Campbell on drums – have been together since 2005, when they released their first album, a home-recorded and self-financed offering titled Pocketsongs.

The band's sound embodies the foot-tapping mantra that is instilled in folk music with the added benefit of compelling lyricism. "The easiest way to describe it is folk-rock, it's got an acoustic guitar singer-songwriter element to it," Campbell said.

The band may draw their influence from fairly obscure musicians, but their sound also contains aspects from the late 1960s, with hints of Neil Young and Bob Dylan also present in the trio's sound mix. This creates a fusion of old and new styles.

Their current offering, Blinking and Breathing, which they are touring around South Africa promoting, was produced by Ian Pritchett.

Pritchett, an Australian, is known for his work with Angus and Julia Stone, The Beautiful Girls and Jump Media.

Blinking and Breathing features guest artists, including Brendon Bussy, Dave Ferguson and Ross McDonald.

"It's a pretty full sort of production, but essentially it is still stripped down to the three of us. I suppose it has a bit of an indie feel to it, but it's quite acoustic-sounding too," Campbell explained.

In this album, the band went back to their roots, Campbell revealed: "We have [returned] to that more bare bones sound."

Though this will be the band's second performance in Port Elizabeth, they are looking forward to performing to a bigger crowd this time round.

Their performance on Thursday will feature songs from their new album, but will also incorporate some of their older offerings.

"We will be doing quite a good deal from all the albums and it's all original music," the drummer said.

For more information, contact 083-656-1166.