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Monday, August 12, 2019


(Pic by Val Bottomley)

It may be clichéd to say don’t miss this one, but if ever there was one not to miss, this is it. (Review by Keith Millar)

The Reals, Durban’s accomplished show band, have over the years presented many wonderful productions paying tribute to some of the greatest rock music acts of all time.

However, I would venture to suggest that their best production of all is their fabulous  tribute to the legendry music festival, Woodstock, which in August 1969 saw half a million young people get together for three days of peace, love and music.

This year marks the 50th year since the Woodstock festival took place and the good news is that, to celebrate this milestone, The Reals have revived their superb tribute to this iconic event and will be performing it at both the Durban Rhumbelow Theatre and Tina’s Rhumbelow Theatre in Kloof until September 8, 2019. This is the 10th time they will be performing this popular tribute show.

The Reals, as ever, are made up of their musical director Dawn Selby on keyboards. the incredible Barry Thompson on guitar, bass master Jason Andrews and the legendary God of Thunder, Mali Sewell, on drums. All contribute to the vocals.

At the opening night last Thursday they showed that they are at the top of their game. They may have done this show many times before, but they don’t rest on their laurels. Their performance is as fresh, dynamic and as sensational as it ever was.

Guest vocalist for this production is the vivacious Marion Loudon, a seasoned performer who never disappoints. However, in this show she is on fire and raises her performance to a new level. She exudes energy and exuberance that needs to be seen to be believed. Her delivery of Janis Joplin’s stirring hit, Me and Bobby McGee, is one of the highlights of a show that is jam-packed with great music. Her versions of I Shall Be Released, Lay Down, San Francisco and The Who’s See Me are not far behind.

Bass man Jason Andrews, despite carrying a bad bout of flu, impressed with I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die (Country Joe), Coming Into Los Angeles (Arlo Guthrie) and, The Weight (The Band). Mali Sewell contributed The Letter, and Joni Mitchel’s 1970 tribute to the festival Woodstock, while Dawn Selby did huge justice to Janis Joplin’s Piece Of My Heart.
(Left: Barry Thomson. Pic by Val Bottomley)

Guitar guru Barry Thomson as the frontman of the band makes considerable contribution to the show. His vocal contribution includes Richie Haven’s Freedom, If I Were a Carpenter (Tim Hardin), Fortunate Son (CCR), On The Road Again (Canned Heat), See Me and My Generation from The Who and Feelin’ Alright and With a Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker).

But it was his phenomenal performance on the guitar of Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Child and Star Spangled Banner which brought the house down. It was a brilliant and moving performance which confirmed his position as one of the leading guitarists in the country.

Another absolute cracker was Santana’s Soul Sacrifice where all the members of the band get to take the lead in turn and show off their considerable skills on their instruments.

It may be clichéd to say don’t miss this one, but if ever there was one not to miss, this is it. Excellent music performed by a very skilled and talented group of Musicians.

Woodstock can be seen at Rhumbelow Durban until August 25, on Fridays and Saturday at 20h00 and Sundays at 14h00. (Shows on August 17 and 24 are sold out). (Venue opens 90 minutes before show for picnics & drinks)

Tickets R150 (R130 pensioners, students with a valid student card and tables of eight or more.

Take along food picnic baskets. Braais will be available, and food is available to purchase at the venue. There is limited secure parking and booking is essential. A cash bar is available (no alcohol may be brought on to the premises). Rhumbelow Durban is situated at 42 Cunningham Road off Bartle Road in Umbilo.

Booking is through Computicket or contact Roland on 082 499 8636, email (also for group booking discounts of 20 or more) or visit – Keith Millar

"Woodstock" runs at Tina’s Hotel in Kloof from August 30 to September 8, 2019.