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Monday, June 6, 2016


An unpretentious, good-natured and captivating show. (Review by Keith Millar)

If you are in the mood for some good live music from the 90s,Tina’s Hotel in Kloof is the place to be this weekend.

Fearless Productions have put together a dynamic band of six musicians to perform an eclectic mix of music from this era in a spirited rock tribute show entitled The Story Behind the Story.

And the story? Well, the premise is that songs in themselves are nearly always little stories - usually about love and loss. The show sets out to investigate the background that motivated and inspired the songwriters to pen these stories.

To achieve this, they have sourced a wonderful collection of video clips which feature many of the great artists of the 90s chatting about what influenced them to write a particular song. The band then replicates that particular song.

Included in the wide-ranging selection are ACDC’s Thunderstruck, Four Non-Blondes’ What’s Up, Pulp’s Common People, Sinead O’Conner’s Nothing Compares to You, Michael Jackson’s Black or White, Roxette’s Joyride, The Cranberries’ Zombie, Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit, Meredith Brook’s Bitch, Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ Otherside, plus many more in the two-hour long programme.

The band, which was only assembled for the production, display considerable synergy and flair considering the short time they have played together. They gave an energetic and enthusiastic performance which was most enjoyable.

Fronting the group on vocals is the man behind Fearless Productions, Noel Johnson. He is a charismatic character who interacts well with the audience. Joining him on vocals as well as playing the keyboard, and providing considerable glamour to the group, is the captivating Sarah-Leigh McFarland. Displaying fine guitar skills are the baby of the group Jason Bottomly, and the dexterous Adam Fanner. Jon Scoop Randall, bass and Marius Botha on drums provided a rock-solid backbone for the group.

The sound and lighting provided by NJM Management is of a high standard and the technical operators certainly play an important and integral role in the show. However,  I would suggest a little more lighting on the singers and other musicians when they do solo bits, as I felt the band was left in the gloom of low lighting and stage smoke a little too often.

The Story Behind the Story is an unpretentious, good-natured and captivating show which provides an entertaining and interesting night out.

The outing, however, would be enhanced if the management of Tina’s Hotel did not, for some inexplicable reason, have a ban on food being consumed in the function room. The suggestion that one eats in their restaurant before the show also does not work as past experience has shown that, while their food is very pleasant, their service is so abysmal that one has to bolt their food down to be in time for the show.

A show such as The Story Behind the Story is essentially supper theatre and the experience can only be enriched if it were treated as such.

The Story Behind the Story can be seen at Tina’s Hotel, Beryldene Road, Kloof on June 10 and 11 at 20h00 and on June 12 at 14h00. Tickets R100 pp available from or at any Pick ‘n Pay outlet. – Keith Millar