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Gossip from The Rudimentals


Bong and The Rudimentals describe their days supporting one of the biggest Reggae acts in the World... 

The Rude Crew
Rude Crew: Martin Meredith, Brian Travers and Laurence Parry

Right, so it all started with a call from Doc Mike, our lead guitarist to the Rudeboys, "Guys, we got the UB40 SA tour! We can't make the news public yet until press has released the news and we have the signed contract" Baited breath!
UB40 are regarded as one of the most popular bands of all time across all divides in South Africa, so this is heart-stopping for us. A week and a few days later, we get the news: It's on! Finally, we all simultaneously unclench our nuts and have a party in true rude style.

Ska and reggae music from around the world
Doc Mike, Robin & Clyde

Our newly appointed Super-manager, Mr. Clyde Finlayson Esq. breaks his arm somewhere in between the partying and hectic practice preparations, but this spurs him on to a higher level, organising flights, backline, press and TV, vehicle hire, accommodation and all the trimmings that go along with a tour of this stature. He pulls it off without a hitch, thus elevating himself even higher in our humble opinions. Then it's negotiations with the Big Bosses whom employ us and they are great, giving us all time off our respective jobs, to live a dream. Off we jet to Durban for the International Convention Centre Concert.

Ska and reggae music from around the world
Bong T, Boss & Astro

DURBAN (4th July The international Convention Centre)
We get to Durban, a city famous for it's curry and promptly sample some of this fare. We get to the venue early afternoon and get set for a rude sound check. As we arrive, a Mercedes Veto leaves and I see Ali Campbell and cohorts in their van. They smile, wave at us and depart. So they are done with Sound Check. It's our turn. We get on stage and check out our top-notch equipment. The stage is amazing with a massive UB40 banner as the backdrop. Sound check done, we decide to stay at the venue and we proceed to have supper there, complements of Big Concerts!

At a soundcheck
Sound check - Ratanga

Then we don our Rude Suits and get ready for the stage show. We get on stage to a 9000+ audience who cheer madly as we set up, and we launch into our set, which is a non-stop box of 11 songs. T Boss has the crowd screaming and skanking, and they sing along with us! Massive!! Our  set was a blur of harmonies and solos, dub sections, ska into reggae into dancehall, which had the crowd staring in amazement at the flawless interchange of genres. We are not a pigeonhole band. The set ends with RDP and the crowd chanting "We are the same kind...." with us. Then T-Boss does the "Are you ready for UB40?" bit and the crowd goes berserk!

We get off stage, as high as a herd of goats let loose in a Hydro Ganja field and go backstage. We want to see the legends first-hand, so we go into the crowd. This was a huge mistake on my (Bong) part, I was mobbed for pics by fans wanting to pose in photos with me and my dreads. So much so for thinking the word anonymous exists with floor length dreads!! I have got to be the stupidest twat ever!

Some friends
Sisax, Bong & Norman Hassan

Eventually UB40 get on and proceed to blow the place apart with all the hits that made them famous! "Red Red Wine", "I can't help falling in love", etc, got the crowd up and skanking like mad. The sweet smell of Durban Poison wafted through the air in true Durban style. Yeah, this was a reggae concert for sure! UB40 left Durban screaming for more!! Great show, legend band.

Then we decided to go clubbing, (Me, Mr. Boss, Sisax, Jo-D and our Durban girls, Gen and Kerry. We got very drunk at a great live music/alternative club called "Burn" I vaguely remember something about a really beautiful girl telling me about a "large effort" she was told about and she wanted to see this...

The Rudimentals on stage
The brass section & Mr Boss

JOHANNESBURG (6th July The Coca-Cola Dome)
The next day off to Johannesburg we jetted and arrived to a cold afternoon. We got our cars and off we went to our digs to rest, we had press, radio and TV lined up in between food, drink and other distractions, so resting was a good call. The next day was hectic, with real live paparazzi waking us up early. We were also being shadowed by a TV crew for the entire Johannesburg event the whole day, so that was also hectic!! We took it all in our stride and arrived at the Coca Cola Dome in Johannesburg early afternoon. Now, there is only one word to describe this venue: Frikkin' Hugely Insanely Massive! Oh, sorry, that's four words, bummer.

Ska and reggae music from around the world
Boss Man

This place holds 25 000 plus people. We did the sound check thing again and skipped supper this time for after the gig. We wanted to be hungry. We got on stage at 20h00 sharply dressed and proceeded to amaze the massive crowd, most of whom had only heard of us and never seen us live, or heard our music before. So much so for that, now we have a bigger fan-base than ever before!! The set culminated in the Brass
Boys going down on one knee for the finale anthem of RDP!! The crowd went nuts again!
Then it was time for UB40 and they did their amazing thing by proceeding to blow the roof off the Dome. They played the same set as Durbs, and got the same response: audience madness!! It's crazy when you are in an indoor venue and 25,000 people are screaming their heads off. You cannot hear shit drop. After the show, we got to meet the boys from Birmingham. I swear Norman Hassan is my older brother! Have
you checked out the resemblance in size, face, stature and shit like that?? These guys were down to earth, helpful and friendly. They checked up if we were being treated okay, and promised that if we said the word that things were kak (being ill-treated in SA slang...) for us, we just had to say the word.. They obviously have heard that all local musos here get treated like shit. I mean, local music gets less than 20% airplay on most radio stations... But this was not the case at all, and we hastily assured them of this fact. We are an Indie band so we aren't scared of shit anyway. There is nothing to lose.

Rudies Brass
On stage at Durban

CAPE TOWN (9th and 10th July Ratanga Junction)
Then it was off to Cape Town for the Ratanga Theme Park shows on the 9th and 10th July. Cape Town is our home town, but, as earlier implied, we are not well-known to mainstream audiences, so this was going to be a difficult one for us, as UB40 fans are definitely mainstream. Odd thing this. Well, it was definitely a mission accomplished for us - we got to play to a market segment that had never heard us before and the response was awesome! Cape Town music lovers are very discerning and they scrutinised us very carefully as we went through every turn, twist and solo of our set. I don't know if it was the fact that the first show was on a Monday, or that it was quite a cold evening, but the crowd took a little time to warm up to us. So much so for the hometown advantage! The applause was deafening, but I think that ska is a new thing to the
masses in Cape Town and it is only the informed lot that know what is "happening" at the moment. None, or very few of our fans were there, they don't do UB40. That is quite a shame for them because UB40 lived up to every expectation and got the crowd to sing along and get very drunk with them at every turn of their wonderful set on both nights!

We got to meet and speak with the guys properly this time and had a blast! Tuesday was much better for us, we knew what to expect and
got the crowd singing and dancing along with us. The atmosphere was great and everyone was in concert mode, partying and skanking the night away with UB40. What a show they put on again. The venue was much smaller, holding 5000+, hence the 2 night show. Good idea.
So, there you have it; all in all a great success for The Rudimentals, we made some awesome contacts along the way, which you all will be hearing about soon! New fans, friends, experiences, and experience gained. Big up to Gear House for great sound, Big Concerts for a great tour, and lastly, but most importantly, massive respect to UB40 for treating us like human beings in a sea full of sharks and other assorted predators.

Bong and the Rude Crew.


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