Exploring their routes, barefoot

BARING THEIR ROOTS: Saul Nossel and Noah Bamberger are two of the band’s original members. The band’s new EP, Routes, was just released and is available for free online.  Photo: Roxanne Joseph

BARING THEIR ROOTS: Saul Nossel and Noah Bamberger are two of the band’s original members. The band’s new EP, Routes, was just released and is available for free online. Photo: Roxanne Joseph

Johannesburg band Go Barefoot creates music that makes you want to dance. Described as a mixture of urban-African, jazz, rock and folk, they “really love” their city, a lot.

John Smith, a graphic design student at Vega, is one of the band’s guitarists, vocalists and a “Kenny G” lookalike. The other is Michael Dawson, an architecture student at the University of Cape Town. When he is not coaching soccer, Clive Vicker is Go Barefoot’s bassist. Saul Nossel, a third year music student at Wits, plays the drums and finally, Noah Bamberger, a second year applied computing student, plays the keys.

 

New kids on the block

The band are relatively new to the South African music scene and take example from other local groups, such as Desmond and the Tutus and Shortstraw, who organise and book their own gigs, manage their own tours and work together in everything they do.

“We take conventional and obvious sound, and don’t do that.”

Each of them brings a different set of influences and styles to the group, according to Nossel. Jazz, rock, blues folk, indie and electro are all thrown into the mix when writing a song and practicing for a show. They even have elements of maskandi genre, which Michael learnt from a busker on the street.

“But we’re very experimental,” Bamberger said. “We take conventional and obvious sound, and don’t do that.”

Their audience, they said, has changed from just their friends, to a variety of people. They cater to the up and coming generation, but want to reach out to places like Hillbrow, Soweto and Yeoville.

“Joburg is a progressive, but segregated place,” said Bamberger. “And we want to get out of that by partying together.”

Doing something different

Their music speaks to people of different races, classes and backgrounds. One of their favourite places to play is Braamfontein’s Kitchener’s because it is one of the “coolest and most integrated clubs” in the city.

“We love an audience that loves to lose itself, and who loves dancing. It hurts us if they don’t dance, we struggle to play if people just stand there,” Bamberger explained.

Both Nossel and Bamberger agree that they do not fit into the South African music scene, because they are “trying to do something different”.

“There’s no such thing as original music, only original combinations of it.”

They want to encourage fans to explore the inner city a bit more, and believe their music can help that happen.

Go Barefoot recently played a string of gigs across the city, from Melville to Greenside to Braamfontein, and are about to start a small national tour, starting with an “epic” show at Kitchener’s next weekend. They also just released an EP, called Routes, which, according to Nossel, is about “the routes we take and the roots we come from”.

Their EP, Routes, is available for download online.

Cheapest Zamalek in Braam

By Luca Kotton and Zelmarie Goosen

MORE REFRESHMENT: Wits Vuvuzela’s Anazi Zote sitting at Vuyo’s enjoying a refreshing beer after a long day in class.                                        Photo: Luca Kotton

MORE REFRESHMENT: Wits Vuvuzela’s Anazi Zote sitting at Vuyo’s enjoying a refreshing beer after a long day in class. Photo: Luca Kotton

EVERY weekend student, after a hard week of studying, need some time to relax and get away from the books. But making the student budget stretch to include the many great pleasures in life can be difficult.

For beer drinkers, a nice cold beer in the downtime is a good way to settle the nerves. So Wits Vuvuzela set out to answer the all-important question: “Where can we get the cheapest beer in Braam?”

While the locally-made Castle may be a popular choice for some, the sweet taste of the internationally awarded Black Label came out tops this time round. Known as the “Zamalek” for its strong after-effects, we decided to use it as our basis for finding the cheapest beer in Braamfontein.

We looked for this most popular beer at four different places and also made a mental note of the venue’s atmosphere.

[pullquote]So Wits Vuvuzela set out to answer the all-important question: “Where can we get the cheapest beer in Braam?”[/pullquote]

The prize goes to…

The most expensive Black Label went to the Orion at R23 for a “dumpie”, which is understandable considering its upper-class target market. The second most expensive Zamalek was found at Kitchener’s, at a cost of R21. We could argue they offer much more with their student atmosphere and vibey music. Their noisy neighbours, Great Dane, sold their dumpie of Zamalek at R20. This beer of choice goes down well with one of their famous hotdogs, while dancing on their five cent floors. The cheapest beer in Braamfontein was awarded to the new kid in town, none other than Vuyo’s which sells beer at R16. Sitting outside Vuyo’s, listening to old school tunes, while knowing Mama Vuyo was in the kitchen making our favourite South African food, led to one of the most relaxing sunsets we have experienced in Braamfontein.

The truism stands: you get what you pay for. A bottle store is still the cheapest, and that comes as no surprise, but we doubt a bottle store can offer you a night to remember with great music, great friends and, more importantly, great South African beer.

Weekend hotspots in Braam

#Teamvuvu went out to some of the weekend hotspots in Braam, to see where all the fun is. The team of photographers consisted of: Pheladi Sethusa, Nokuthula Manyathi, Shandukani Mulaudzi, Sibusisiwe Nyanda and Nolwazi Majwara.