The Nieu Bethesda dust still falls out of my telecaster from that Brothers gig on the back of a mielie trailer on the dust road in the heart of the karoo hamlet. The Brothers got the crowd skanking for sure, even improvising an anti-fracking anthem for the picketing karoo crowd.
And that is The Brothers, from getting the Splash Festival crowd on the beachfront singing “PE; The best place to be!” to jamming psychedelic solos at guerilla gigs at surfing contests for free, The Brothers are as Eastern Cape as Eastern Cape could be.
The Brothers hail from Port Elizabeth: the windy, friendly city. Here they skank up a little storm with their band of reggae, funk and rock, infused with heady doses of improvisation - a unique genre known as Skafrica.
Drummer Lloyd Martin is a feather in the ol’ cap. A consummate beat master, Lloyd Hails from Cape Town, but spent the last 30 years (yes, we're not children) in Johannesburg doing sessions and projects like the Castle adverts featuring “Africa” and “More than a feeling” and “Prisoners of strange”, with Carlo Nombelli, Johnny Fourie and Marcus Wyatt, among others.
Keys are grooved by one Boet Strydom. A veteran of the Holiday Inn-covers circuit, who, 15 years ago, decided to pack it in and farm chickens in Uitenhage. He finally decided to see the light and haul out his Hammond and play. Unfortunately it’s too heavy for gigs but he has a stage piano (electric) which he uses.... beautifully.
Joe van der Linden on lead guitar and vocals has lived at length in Cape Town but missed Port Elizabeth too much so returned. He enjoys old 60’s amps and a variety of guitars to plug through them. In his time, he has played with Valiant Swart, Sons of trout, Delta Blue, The Zaps, Zolani Mahola and more. He writes some of the tunes too.
Etienne Verster is the bubbly freak who galvanised The Brothers. He sings and plays percussion and his “Brappe” body language and facial expressions add an art vibe to The Brothers. He loves his performing and music so much that everyone in the room and the band feels it!
David Houghton hops between tuba, bass guitar and guitar. David studied and worked with arranger/pianist, Noel Stockton and studied classical guitar with Stefan Velkov. Whilst living in Bloemfontein, he was a member of the award winning Afrikaans band, ddisselblom. Some of the highlights with ddisselblom include winning the Geraas award for Best Duo or Group and a Kanna at the KKNK festival. Other highlights included collaborations with Stef Bos and Koos Kombuis. David formed his own band, Acoustic Moodz, in which he played acoustic guitar - playing mostly his own compositions.
Graham Beyer is a musical freak of nature, multi-instrumentalist with the focus on the mental. He cut his teeth in the Drakensberg Boys Choir, where he learnt to sight read flyshit and honed his ear and musical memory to prodigious proportions. Later, as a student of UCT’s jazz programme, he became the first-call trombonist for the top acts of the time, including Winston Mankunku, Jimmy Dludlu and award-winning Kusasa.
The Brothers show is an unpretentious cross-section of South African culture cut through with a musical scalpel: a fusion as robust and incidental as South African culture itself.