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Sunday, March 14, 2021


(Ross Tapson, Aaron Saunders, Grant Halliday & Neil Ford. Pic by Val Bottomley)

The choice and quantity of material was also excellent and - to the artists, sound and lighting folk - thank you for great entertainment. Try not to miss this show. (Review by Adrienne Lansdell)

Whether or not your favourite genre of music is ‘rock and roll’, these veteran performers, who go by the name of ‘In-The-Flesh’, will not disappoint you. Grant Halliday (drums), Neil Ford (bass guitar), Ross Tapson (lead guitar and vocals) and Aaron Saunders (lead guitar and vocals) collectively entertained the audience with their unbridled passion for music and their professionalism in executing it. The lead vocals were excellent. Tapson and Saunders have voices that are well suited to rock and roll music and entertainment in general. The lead guitarists were also excellent. They worked well together with no hint of competition between them. Ford gave a solid performance as bass player and supporting vocals. Without a drummer, Tapson informed us, there is no ‘foundation’ to the music or the band. Halliday performed his ‘foundation’ duties with great skill and sensitivity.

Halliday’s enjoyment of drumming was evident in Jealous Again by The Black Crowes. This enjoyment was in obvious in every song of the evening. There was a time of ‘bonding’ between Halliday and bass player Ford during Rocky Mountain Way (Joe Walsh) where the two artists were obviously enjoying each other’s talents.

This connection also occurred during Lenny, written by Stevie Ray Vaughan (1982) which was the only instrumental number in the show. With the feel of a ballad, the musicians on stage could well have been playing for themselves only, so intense was their enjoyment of their instruments of which they are masters.

“Southern Rock” is a sub-genre of rock music with roots in blues, jazz, soul, R & B, and is, generally, focused on the electric guitar and vocals. Jacksonville, Florida, might be best known as the “Birthplace of Southern Rock”.

Some 40 years ago, it was considered to be the epicentre of the rock music scene. It provided a pool of talent as, for example, the band, Lynyrd Skynryd (1964), which was still performing as recently as 2017. Although not all the songs performed by Southern Rock Classics in this concert were from the “American South”, Tapson explained that they were all inspired by “Southern Rock”.

The band bravely “hit the road running” with an impressive rendition of Grand Funk Railroad’s An American Band, which is classic “hard rock”. A high bar was set for the rest of the evening which did not disappoint. The three vocalists harmonised beautifully in this performance.

Creedence Clearwater Revival’s war anthem Fortunate Son followed. It was performed against a backdrop of cleverly-softened pink lighting. More CCR followed after the interval. Tapson has a voice that is well-suited to rock music and particularly to CCR songs. The audience was enthralled by what Tapson called “beautiful’ songs”. The band performed the well-known CCR songs that evoked many memories and enthusiastic audience participation.

Lynyrd Skynryd’s Tuesday Gone (1973) allowed the audience to enjoy an occasional slower tempo which perfectly suited the romantic theme of leaving a girl named Tuesday behind. Also, an opportunity to again enjoy watching Saunders, Tapson and Ford lose themselves in themselves and their instruments.

Towards the end of the show Gimme Back my Bullets, (Lynyrd Skynryd), which is a fast-paced song, gave us all a deep insight into the seriously-committed rock artists on stage whose performances were only enhanced by the excellent skills of the sound and lighting engineers. This dedication was also evident in the performance of the ZZ Top song Tush (1975) which belongs to the genre of “Blues Rock”.

If there is anything to elevate the enjoyment of the show, it would be to ask the band to be more measured in its verbal communication with the audience. The frenetic pace of many of the songs could be more nicely balanced with calm repose between songs during which snippets about the songs and anecdotes could be shared with the audience.

Pop Singer was the final song of the show after the audience demanded more, and there was no less energy than when the band first began. Their enthusiasm was still palpable, their versatility very obvious, and the entertainment of a very high standard. The choice and quantity of material was also excellent and - to the artists, sound and lighting folk - thank you for great entertainment. Try not to miss this show.

There will be one more performance in Durban today (Sunday, March 14) at 14h00. (Venue opens 90 minutes before show for snacks/drinks). Tickets R160. Bring food picnic baskets or buy from Kevin. A full bar is available (no alcohol may be brought on to the premises).

Limited secure parking available. Booking is essential on email: or through Computicket

All Covid-19 protocols will be strictly observed. Rhumbelow Theatre is situated at 42 Cunningham Road off Bartle Road, Durban. - Adrienne Lansdell


There will be a performance of “Southern Classics” on March 20, 2021, at 19h00 at the Northlands Bowling Club in Durban North. The same booking details apply.