Black Eyed Susan
Back Stabbers & Money Grabbers
Released: May 1998, Independent
Opening track, Heavens Gate, is a Strawbs-like, short acoustic intro before the restrained, gruff power of their popular Ballade Of Timothy Leary sets this album on its course. With their influences sticking their heads out all over this album, Black Eyed Susan still sound original and confident. Besides their stirring Leary tribute, theres the Elvis is God reference in the emotional kitchen-sink drama of Graceland, a Ginger Baker drums reference (but nothing else remotely similar to Cream) on White Room and their awesome (and very timeous) heavy rock version of Hate Street Dialogue off Rodriguez Cold Fact.
Lost Love is loud and sensitive (really!) and Generation X has nothing, thankfully, to do with Billy Idol. Instead it is Francois Bredenkamp adding his expressive vocals to a cool rock song with lyrics that speak of the concerns of this so-described 90s confused peer group. Where did it go wrong, the day that the winds of change blew my generation into no mans land. This hard-working and wonderfully-focused band has the ability to be both retro and currently aware, and this bodes well for its future as one of South Africas most exciting rock bands. The only black eye on this album is on poor old Susan!
This hard-rocking Johannesburg band formed as a five-piece in February 1996. Francois Bredenkamp, the voice and driving force behind the band recruited Hilton Inez (Guitar), Sydney O'Grady (bass), Zack Bach (drums) and namesake Dries (guitar). After some opening gigging and writing, the band recorded their first demo in August. These three songs - 'Alone Again', ' The Ballade Of Timothy Leary' and 'Generation X' - received good radio play and positive feedback. In 1997 the band combined some live recordings with some unreleased studio material and released the 'Live In A White Room' demo which built on the success of their earlier release and sold well at their many Gauteng appearances. Vaughan Klibbe then joined as their new bass player and another four-track demo was recorded by Paul Destifani at the B# Studios.
The band then spent the early part of 1998 recording, mixing, pressing, conceptualising and distributing their first full album, 'Back Stabbers And Money Grabbers'. The album spawned more radio charters and the band launched into a series of thundering and acclaimed concerts to promote the album. Hilton Inez moved on and Vaughn Klibbe took over on guitar with Cloete van Wyk joining on bass. Jose Cuervo put their faith in the band with a generous sponsorship, and a new EP and national tour are on the cards for 1999.
Disclaimer: Some of the content on this page originally appeared on the Indie Music Explosion (http://www.Indie.co.za) website which sadly disappeared sometime during 2000.