Snoop Lion, Def Leppard and Blackbyrd making waves

Snoop Lion, Def Leppard and Blackbyrd making waves
By Ian Bredenkamp

By Ian Bredenkamp

Joe Elliot’s Def Leppard has only good memories of his last visit to Cape Town. I recently interviewed the rock vocalist ahead of the Kings of Chaos tour to South Africa. He is one of the many rockers who make up this new super group, other stars including Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum from Guns N Roses, Ed Roland from Collective Soul, Glen Hughes from Deep Purple and Sebastian Bach from Skid Row.

Def Leppard played the old Green Point Stadium and Ellis Park in the 1997. I spoke to him ahead of his flight to Australia where Kings of Chaos is playing with Aerosmith and Van Halen. Recollecting his 1997 tour, he reckons us Saffers are very friendly, have beautiful women and love Def Leppard. Who can argue with that? Catch Kings of Chaos on June 7 at the Grand Arena, Grand West. The June 8 show is already sold out.

Onto a local band of the moment: one of the Blackbyrd trio has quit the band. The SAMA-nominated group confirmed to me this week that Samantha Heldsinger has left – she is marrying soon and moving to Durban. Local star Axene will replace Heldsinger. The news is bittersweet: Blackbyrd’s new single ‘I feel good today’ hit No1 on the radio charts in Cape Town and Joburg the same day her split was announced on Facebook.

This past week I also briefly met one-hit-wonder star Jennifer Rush. Ok, to be fair, she had more than one hit. ‘Power of Love’ turned out to be the biggest selling single of 1985 and held the Guinness Record for ‘Best Selling Single by a Female Vocal Artist’ for eight years until Whitney Houston released ‘I Will Always Love You’. That’s not bad going and her subsequent co-writer royalties have been substantial. The other less memorable singles by Rush include ‘Ring of Ice’ and ‘Madonna’s Eyes’. Rush is in Cape Town for two shows at the CTICC on April 26 and 27.

More live music on the way to Cape Town includes Snoop Lion. It’s forgivable to ask “Who?” Snoop Lion is the artist formerly known as Snoop Dogg. Does that ring a bell? Born Calvin Broadus, he’s one of the most successful hip hop/rap recording artists in history. His questionable lyrics and lifestyle have made him unpopular with parents and hugely popular with fans (a winning formula since the days of The Beatles). He recently changed his last name from “Dogg” to “Lion” after a trip to Jamaica where he was told that his surname needed to carry a positive energy, not a negative.
Regardless, Snoop will be in the country to headline the MTV Africa Allstars concert in Durban. Catch him in Cape Town on May 21.

Lastly, it’s Freedom Day on Saturday April 27. It would’ve been great to see a host of free music events around Cape Town to highlight the day, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. There is one cool event hosted by the Creative Cape Town group at City Hall.
Paul Hamner, McCoy Mrubata and Moreira Chonguica will play the venue on Saturday night. Bookings are at Computicket.

Tweet me @IanBredenkamp