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Sunday, December 22, 2019


(Pic by Sharon Watters)

A fantastic festive celebration of rock music. Review by Keith Millar

Silly Season Showdown, which is currently on at Durban’s Rhumbelow Theatre, is a fantastic festive celebration of rock music.

It features guitar wizard and vocalist Barry Thomson and Friends. The friends are keyboardist extraordinaire Dawn Selby, bass guru Jason Andrew, the talented and versatile Andy Turrell on drums and the vivacious firecracker Marion Loudon on vocals.

Displaying extraordinary energy, fabulous synergy and top rate musicianship, they create a bit of magic on the stage as they perform hit tunes from the various tribute shows presented by The Reals over the years, along with a sprinkling of Christmas music. Such as Santa Baby, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, Jingle Bells Rock and of course the finish off with a sing-along of We Wish You A Merry Christmas.

There is also a hilarious version of The Twelve Days Of Christmas with very different lyrics which includes items such as DroĆ«wors, Ouma’s Rusks, Boerie Rolls, an imitation of the World Rugby Cup Trophy and, to top it all off, the eye popping sight of Jason Andrew dressed only in a South African flag speedo (ala Faf De Klerk).

But it is with the rock music from the tribute shows that the group really excelled. None more so than their Woodstock segment where Marion Loudon performs her show-stopping version of Janis Joplin’s Me And Billy McGee. I have heard her perform this on several occasions and I will never tire of it. It is simply superb.

Also from Woodstock was a moving and emotional rendition by Barry Thompson of Joe Cocker’s A Little Help From My Friends.

These two may have been my highlights - but in this show the hits just keep coming. From The Eagles there is Take It Easy, from the British Invasion is The Beatles Twist and Shout, The Rolling Stones Start Me Up and Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love by Bad Company.

Also in the first half Dawn Selby pays a fine tribute to recently passed Roxette singer, Marie Fredriksson with Dressed for Success.

After interval, amongst others, we heard Barry Thomsen’s excellent version of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s Pride and Joy from the show Guitar Legends, Go Your Own Way and Don’t Stop from Fleetwood Mac and Hold On Tight from The Travelling Wilburys.

Also on the programme is a song which for me epitomises the spirit of this show. That is Monty Python star Eric Idle’s Bright Side Of Life. It is a show filled with good fun and some serious rock music and which puts smile on the face and leaves you feeling pretty good about things. I highly recommend it!

Silly Season Showdown has two more performances. Today at 14h00 and on December 24 (Christmas Eve) at 18h30. But don’t despair if you can’t make these dates. The same show, sans the Christmas music but with a few other additions, will be back under the title of Beat It - 2019 at the Rhumbelow at Tina’s Hotel in Kloof from December 27 to 31. The Sunday show will be at 14h00 and the New Year’s Eve one will start at 21h00 and run to midnight.

But don’t delay because tickets are selling fast.

Tickets R150 pp. (except for Tuesday 31st which will be R350 a ticket – snacks, streamers & party hats will be provided on the tables and champagne at midnight.)

Book at Computicket or contact Roland on 082 499 8636 or email

Bring food picnic baskets. Bar available (no alcohol may be brought on to the premises) Limited secure parking available. – Keith Millar