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#MusicExchange: Shortstraw's last hurrah

Four years since the release of their last album, Shortstraw bring fans one last hurrah in the form of a brand-new album, entitled Fine thanks, and you?, which was released last week.
Image supplied: Shortstraw have released what seems like their last album
Image supplied: Shortstraw have released what seems like their last album

The band wanted to give back to their fans in the form of a brand-new collection of songs, because although this might be their last album for the foreseeable future, the songs will live forever.

When Covid and life made it difficult to get together to write a new album, Shortstraw took a look at their vault of old ideas and voice notes from jams through the ages and picked and chose from there. A couple of them stemmed from little ditties frontman Alastair had doodled on his acoustic guitar, which was then fleshed out either in the practice room or finished in the studio.

The result: An eclectic mix of songs that don't really have an overarching theme, but happy songs made especially for the fans and band members themselves.

As usual, Shortstraw teamed up with producer Jacques du Plessis at High Seas Studios in Parkwood, Johannesburg. Jacques is very much the 6th member of the band in that he's played a part in recording and producing every album of the band apart from the first one.

“We just wanted to put out all the songs we were sitting on. Since the hiatus in 2018, we've been struggling to get back into the swing of things because we all have our own businesses that we love doing and it’s hard to juggle it all. This is potentially a last hurrah for us, but the show is not over because we are proud to give fans a new album,” says Alastair & Russell.

“All the lyrics I write are either about my wife, my dog, or being a miser. Or sometimes it's just a story I made up. There's a song about living in Joburg called Sucker for Punishment. So, it's all over the place. But we love it all.” says Alastair.

I caught up with Alastair last week…

Bizcommunity What is your job description?

Sleeper inner and free drink drinker.

Bizcommunity What does music mean to you?

A loud ringing in your ears.

Bizcommunity My music is about…


Bizcommunity What is your motto?

Don't be an idiot.

Bizcommunity Fame is about…

Trying not to behave like Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.

Bizcommunity Retirement will happen when…

The ringing starts to fade away.

Bizcommunity I don't do…


Bizcommunity I would love to co-write with…

David Byrne.

Bizcommunity Where do you go for inspiration to create?

Dagga and whiskey.

Bizcommunity What is the most enjoyable aspect of your work?

The free drinks.

Bizcommunity The song you must do during every show?

Keanu Reeves, begrudgingly.

Bizcommunity Any funny moments on stage?

Tom once weed in his pants. Actually, it happened more than once. Pretty much whenever Tom wees in his pants.

Bizcommunity My heroes are…


Bizcommunity My style icon is…

Probably not very iconic. Have you seen how we dress?

Bizcommunity Which living person do you admire most and why?

Pete Davidson. Because, how?

Bizcommunity What is your most treasured possession?

A photo of my first two dogs.

Bizcommunity It's your round; what are you drinking?


Bizcommunity Dream gig to do?

One last jol at the Bohemian.

Bizcommunity What makes you stand out?

Big legs.

Bizcommunity Any nicknames?

"This band sounds a lot like Desmond & the Tutus"

Bizcommunity If you were not a musician, what would you do?

Be rich.

Bizcommunity Pick five words to describe yourself?

Very, very good looking. Modest.

Bizcommunity What are you streaming?

Trash reality shows.

Bizcommunity Greatest movie ever made?

Dude, Where's My Car?

Bizcommunity What book are you reading?

Divorcing Jack by Colin Bateman

Bizcommunity What song changed your life?

El Scorcho by Weezer.

Bizcommunity Who do you love?

My wife. My dogs. My family. My friends.

Bizcommunity What is your favourite word?


Bizcommunity Top of your bucket list?

A putt-putt tour of America.

Bizcommunity Your greatest achievement?

Making it through 2021.

Bizcommunity What do you complain about most often?

Being tired.

Bizcommunity What is your biggest fear?

That a snake will pop its head out the toilet while I'm having a poo.

Bizcommunity Happiness is…

Beer in a plastic cup.

Bizcommunity On stage, I tend to…

Avoid eye contact.

Bizcommunity The best life lesson you have learned?

Treat others the way you want to be treated. I.e., Don't be a douche bag.

Bizcommunity What has been your favourite journey so far?

Touring Japan.

Bizcommunity Do you do charity work, and if you do – what do you do?

We have a charity called the Bowsie Foundation where all proceeds go to various dog shelters.

Bizcommunity Wishes and dreams?

World peace. Better posture. That dogs lived longer.

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About Martin Myers

Co-owner at Triple M Entertainment, founder Music Exchange, manager Sipho Hotstix Mabuse

Let's do Biz