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Tuesday, May 21, 2019


(Abbo Hall, Chris Melling & Brian Bedingfield. In front: Erin Fourie & Grace Botha)

Two iconic female singer/songwriters are the focus of Tracy & Joan, the latest music show presented by Just Theatre at the Hexagon Dive in Pietermaritzburg and later at The Knoll Historic Guest Farm in Hilton.

Tracy Chapman and Joan Armatrading are celebrated by singers Erin Fourie and Grace Botha. This marks the first collaboration between these two popular Midlands performers who have chosen to bring to the stage a tribute to two very different, yet remarkably complimentary musicians.

Accompanied by well-known musicians, Brian Bedingfield (who spearheaded the project), Abbo Hall, and Chris Melling, the show brings together the best of both artists’ songs, with some lesser-known numbers in the mix. Many will remember Armatrading’s All the Way from America, Somebody who Loves You, Opportunity, and The Weakness in Me. Chapman’s famous numbers such as Fast Car, Talkin’ Bout a Revolution, Give Me One Reason, are included, along with Baby Can I Hold You, and many more.

The two performers’ unique voices blend beautifully as they interpret some memorable songs in a show that combines musical artistry with legendary songwriting.

Erin Fourie has become one of KZN’s most popular performers, both at local music venues and in theatres. A former Idols top 7, she has a vocal and stylistic range that encompasses most genres from Rock to Jazz, with Musical Theatre thrown in. She has even been known to sing Country! A regular at the Hilton Arts Festival, Fourie has had sold out shows for the last three years.

Grace Botha is a jazz musician who enjoys the stage and shares her renditions of well-known songs while usually accompanying herself on piano or guitar. She studied jazz formally at Howard College and amalgamates her love for jazz, pop, folk and soul. She is one-half of the duo Sachet SA, has sung with Seb Goldswain, opened for Jason Hartman's home town gig and sings regularly at weddings, local restaurants and events where she feels most at home.

Brian Bedingfield is featured on acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin and bass. He has been involved in local music since the very beginnings of the Folk Club at the Polo Tavern in 1980. He is a founder member of that very Maritzburg of institutions, The Hairy Legged Lentil Eaters, which have gone from busking at Art in The Park to iconic festivals such as Splashy Fen, Southern Cross, White Mountain and Hilton Arts.

Singer/songwriter Abbo Hall has been learning to play guitar since age eight. After attaining a Diploma in Fine Art in Durban, he collaborated with long-time friends Fuzzy Roadstone and Nibs van der Spuy to form an acoustic guitar trio which became the show-stopping festival band of the 90’s, Plagal Cadence. After moving to the KZN Midlands he began jamming with the local musicians which led to a variety of Howick-based bands that played a mix of World, Folk, Rock, Blues, Reggae, Classical and Latino. These include bands Pan, Fan the Fire, The Chili Pips and Geode. Two years ago, he joined Pan Latino as the bass player.

Chris Melling, aka "The Baviaan", is a local Midlands session muso (drummer and percussionist) who has performed and recorded with countless bands over the years. He works full time as a sessionist and at Marshall Music Midlands handling sales and repairs of all instruments and is also a well-known drum and percussion teacher.

Tracy & Joan has performances on May 24 and 25 at the Hexagon Dive on the UKZN Pietermaritzburg campus in Golf Road (tables seat 10) and on May 31 at The Knoll Historic Guest Farm in Hilton (tables seat 8).

Shows at 19h00 for 19h30. Tickets R120. These are picnic evenings: bring food, but no drinks as there is a cash bar. Bookings through