Of Cape Town underdogs and aging rockers

Of Cape Town underdogs and aging rockers

By Ian Bredenkamp

Everyone loves the underdog, the man least likely to succeed. We all revel in the thrill when the downtrodden man rises to the occasion. Remember the Goosebumps you got when ‘Forest Gump’ got the girl? Or that feeling you got when Napolean Dynamite droped his nerd rags and (almost) became cool?

One gets the same feeling about Alen Abrahams.
Never heard of him? He’s the singing car guard from Kalksteenfontein on the Cape Flats who’s amassed nearly 500000 views on YouTube.
That’s an incredible achievement considering the online market in the Western Cape. Abrahams was discovered singing his renditions of pop hits while working the corner of Dorp and Loop streets in the Cape Town city centre.
He writes funny Afrikaans lyrics to big American hit songs and performs them with the confidence and gusto of a seasoned star.

Abrahams has become a celebrity overnight with radio and TV appearances and this week announced his first live concert.
Abrahams, along with guest artists James Bhemgee, Karen Kortjé, Lloyd Cele and Melissa Allison, will perform on March 22 in the 3000 seater auditorium of the His People Centre at N1 City. Search “Singing Car Guard” on YouTube to see what all the fuss is about…and get ready to laugh!
Next weekend also sees the return of the Music Exchange conference. It’s an annual convergence of music industry role players and offers aspiring music stars the opportunity to learn how the magic works.

How does one make a great album? How do you get your song played on the radio? How do you make a music video? Confirmed speakers include Hollywood composer Trevor Jones (‘Last of the Mohicans’, ‘Notting Hill’) and Sipho Hotstix Mabuse. More information at www.musicexchange.co.za.

Meanwhile Arno Carstens has been busy – I spent some time with the Cape Town-based rock star recently to talk about his new album, ‘Atari Gala’. The former front man of the Springbok Nude Girls recently released his new album filled with radio-friendly rock.
He’s also been raising his nine month-old son and painting too – his art has been well received by critics.
Carstens has shared a stage with U2, REM and the Rolling Stones and ‘Atari Gala’ is his fourth solo album.

Lastly, tickets went on sale this week for the live show I’m most excited about in 2013. Kings of Chaos is a super group comprising the biggest names in 1980s and 90s rock.
Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum from Guns ‘n Roses, Joe Elliot and Vivian Campbell from Def Leppard, Sebastian Bach from Skid Row, Glenn Hughes from Deep Purple and Ed Roland from Collective Soul.
They perform at Grand West on June 8 and proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Rape Crisis Centre in Cape Town. Perm your hair, get your skinny jeans out and don’t miss this one!

Tweet me @IanBredenkamp