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Music that’s just tutu good for words

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By Valencia Govindasamy

Durban - They are the South African band on everyone’s lips these days. Of course, I’m referring to the Durban four-piece, Gangs Of Ballet (GoB).

As a fan, I find the group awesome, on stage and the radio. They have come a long way since they released their five-track EP and have had immense success.

From releasing their album to having two tracks featured on VH1’s reality TV series, Rehab with Dr Drew, as well as being selected as the supporting act for US rock band Switchfoot, the year has been good to the guys. But something tells me this wasn’t based on luck. GoB are immensely talented and from listening to their latest release, it’s evident that they have put in a lot of hard work and are in this for the long run. Their music reflects originality and comp-rises a mix of alternative, melodic, anthemic, electronic and dance genres.

Brothers Brad and Josh Klynsmith, Hardus de Beer and Jonathan Rich are the most down-to-earth people you will meet. Chatting to them about their success and plans for the future, they said the experience has been great thus far. “It’s really unexpected. Out of our five songs on our EP, four have been involved in radio and the top 10 on 5FM. So it’s so unreal. When we first heard our music on the radio, that experience was like when you’re a kid and it’s a Christmas present and you’re so stoked. It was like the same feeling. It was almost dream-like because it all happened so quickly,” said de Beer, the bass guitarist.

“Also, I think radio play is such a key element in the music industry. 5FM were the ones that opened the door for us. They have been so good to us. They’re very pro-South African music and I think it shows in their putting a lot of songs on their chart and playing a lot of local stuff. So once we heard our song on the radio, that was like the turning point for us,” added lead singer and guitarist Brad Klynsmith.

Earlier this year, the guys opened for Grammy-winning band Switchfoot. As fans of the group, vocalist and drummer Josh Klynsmith said: “That was amazing. When we were growing up and learning to play instruments, Switchfoot were a huge influence on us. So for us to first meet them and play on the same stage as them was honestly like a dream come true. “Also, the guys were phenomenal people. They’re very down to earth and we were so impressed with them. I think it was a fascinating experience.”

As for the Durban scene, the boys feel there’s a lot of talent.

“We don’t think it’s weak. We’ve met a lot of great bands in Durban, so there’s sincere talent. I just think fewer guys are committing. I also think South Africa has to realise the music industry is a team sport and the bands are putting in a lot of hard work, money and effort in entertaining people and they need their audience, so people need to buy albums, support them and keep them going,” said Brad. - Tonight

* For information on Gangs of Ballet, visit www.facebook.com/GangsBallet

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