Eminent Child

Eminent Child


Cover art:

Still Learning Into the Universe


  • Brad Peens: Vocals, hamonica
  • Darren Peens: Vocals, guitar
  • Tienie Smith: Guitar
  • Chris Thexton: Bass
  • Gino Fabbri: Drums, backing vocals


No, not Eminem's Child! Not remotely! This is yet more clean-cut, SA C-rock (Tree63, MIC) that is grabbing far more attention overseas than it is in SA. And it's not too hard too see/hear why. The band has done its recent Britpop homework (Travis, Coldplay), kept an eye on Creed's "are they/aren't they" strong US rock crossover success and fashioned and released 'Into The Universe', an album that's very hard to fault on any level of current MOR rock. 'Into The Universe' bulges with some very impressive pop/rock goodies, more (current) Manic Street and less (well, not too much) Preaching. Okay, so the first line is: "My Jesus is so kind, He'll come and split your mind" ('Miracle'), but from there on there are no more major name checks or drops and it's a pretty good album all round with 'Sing My Song' leading other strong single contenders like 'Fascination', 'Way Of Love' and 'Friend' into the charts.

It took Eminent Child five years to get to this point. The four piece, comprising Gino Fabbri (drums), Michael McAuley (bass), Darren Peens (guitar, vocals), and Brad Peens (vocals, guitar), started with some talent contests in PE, recorded a demo that picked up a lot of fan interest and radio play, and grabbed a one-album deal that produced their debut 'Still Learning'. Six songs off this album got countrywide airplay and they played at the Martell Rock Fest in Grahamstown, opened for Mango Groove's final tour down the coast culminating at the 3 Arts final concert, and supported Hothouse Flowers at the 2000 Splashy Fen.

A single '2000' followed (it appears as a bonus track on 'Into The Universe'). Eminent Child then signed a three-album deal with Sarepta Music, the successful Natal-based Christian Rock label. The band had previously travelled to England on the proverbial "wing and a prayer" and took a slot on a festival where they played to an audience of 20 people. But fortunately, as the band described it, it was the right 20 people and the overseas invitations started arriving. They returned to the UK the following year and played the Cross-Rhythms Festival on a farm in Oakhampton (this time to a capacity crowd), as well as a number of smaller venues.

Following the signing of the Sarepta deal, the band were given the chance to play in Einthoven at the Flevo Totaal Festival as a main stage opening act in front of about 5000 people. The band was a huge success and the next day were offered a deal with GMI music in Holland for European Distribution as well as a UK Distribution Deal with Kingsway Music (who had also signed Tree before). During 2001 Eminent Child have already toured The Netherlands, picked up two SAMA Award nominations (Best Group and Best Christian Contemporary Album), and are booked to tour Holland, Switzerland and England with some unconfirmed gigs planned in Sweden, Germany, Italy, and New Zealand. The band also played the mainstage at Splashy Fen a few weeks ago.

So Eminent Child have arrived, and 'Into The Universe' is a well-produced affair (by Neal Snyman) with top tunes, loads of ideas and a warm heart.

Stephen Segerman, SA Rockdigest #106, May 2001

All info supplied by John Samson, May 2002

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