Terence Reis - Bilene


2002, Independent


  1. Perfect Love mp3
  2. Everything's Okay
  3. Kathy and Simone
  4. Keep The Money
  5. Léyahn
  6. Gone
  7. How It Is
  8. I Love You The Whole World
  9. Trouble In Paradise
  10. Up On The Wheel
  11. Steelworks


  • Terence Reis: vocals, guitars
  • Garth Victor: keyboards
  • Graeme Currie: bass
  • Rob Watson: drums
  • Efrain Toro: percussion
  • Maurice Judge: mandolin, Irish whistles, flute
  • Fem Belling: violin
  • Sergio Zampoli: accordion
  • Sez Adamson: pedal steel guitar
  • Nick Carter: mandolin
  • Chris MacAuley: bagpipes
  • Deon Katz: acoustic guitar on 'Kathy & Simone'
  • Elizabeth Rennie: violin on 'Perfect Love'
  • Wally Callis: drums on 'Kathy & Simone'


First let’s get the pronunciations correct, that’s Reis (rhymes with "beige") and his album is called ‘Bilene’ (that’s "Bee-Lenn"). Terence (of Portuguese, Welsh and English descent!) came to South Africa via LM and Malawi. A Drama degree at Wits led to an acting career of note as he became the "Reis" of the SA theatre scene. He starred in a string of dramatic productions from ‘Macbeth’ to ‘Death Of A Salesman’, took the leads in the SA productions of ‘Hair’ and ‘The Buddy Holly Story’, won numerous acting nominations and awards for his stage and TV performances, and worked and appeared with the Not The Midnight Mass group.

But it seems there’s still a rocker itching to get out and Reis has been regularly writing for and performing with The Cuban Doctors, and has now recorded and released his debut album. To do this he called in a mixture of musicians - Garth Victor (k), Rob Watson (d), Efrain Toro (perc) - and put Graham Currie in charge of the whole operation. Currie, who also plays bass on the album (as he did with Big Sky behind Rodriguez on the first SA tour), programmed ‘Bilene’ with Craig Dodds, and got the legendary Peter Thwaites to master it.

All these songs are originals and in many places approximate the album that could have resulted had JJ Cale and Mark Knopfler ever pooled their talents - the kind of album that could possibly lure Chris Prior out of retirement. It’s a big-hearted, crystal-sounding, adult-orientated folk rock album that starts getting very warm and familiar after a while. ‘Bilene’ opens strongly with ‘Perfect Love’, a stirring folk rock song with violins and gruff vocals. Then follows a long second song called ‘Everything Okay’, which has a 4-minute guitar instrumental before the lyrics even begin.

The balance of the tracks on ‘Bilene’ are similar bright and optimistic folk-rock ballads, and with Reis’s actor’s ear for catchy lyrics always apparent, it’s a lasting and entertaining piece of work.

-- Stephen Segerman, June 2002

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