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Splashy Fen 2009 line-up

Splashy Fen celebrates its milestone 20th festival this Easter with a line-up that not only pays tribute to a number of legendary artists but also features a large contingent of exciting newcomers - some new to the Splashy Fen stage and others that are hot new acts on the South African music scene.
Splashy Fen 2009 line-up

Supported by East Coast Radio and Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, the Big 20th Splash kicks off on Thursday, April 9 with a strong showing of going-places Durban bands. Performing in the Grant Erskine Marquee is T.H.O.T.S. (Tree Houses on the Sea), a dynamic group of experimental musicians making a stir with their fresh Hip Hop sound. Up next is Fruits & Veggies with their unique brand of ‘Rockhopsoul', followed by Habit To, Gonzo Republic, Sugardrive, City Bowl Mizers and Squeal, reuniting for one night only.

Moving across to the Splashy Fen Stage, Pretoria band Wrestlerish makes its debut on Underberg soil at 9pm. Playing folk/acoustic music with a country feeling, Wrestlerish has been described as “original and extraordinary” and seems set to be the next big thing to come out of South Africa. Other acts to watch out for are Seth, Luna Paige, Alter Irving and The Otherwise.

Friday quick picks

Friday in the Grant Erskine Marquee is dedicated to the grand legends showcase, featuring the likes of Syd Kitchen, Tony Cox, Nibs van der Spuy, Chris Chameleon, Madala Kunene, The Rudimentals, Shawn Phillips and Urban Creep's Brendan Jury. Jury performs at 5pm with Cape Town singer-songwriter Cofield Mundi.

Although a newcomer to Splashy Fen, Mundi is anything but a music industry novice and was nominated for a US Grammy Award in 2007 in the category Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, alongside big names such as Madonna and Nelly Furtado. Tracks from her recently released second album, The Big Question, can currently be heard on radio stations around the country.

A strong line-up on the other stage will no doubt have people wishing they could be in two places at once, so as not to miss out on acts like Andra, Haggis and Bong, Brenda Burnit, The Fuzz, Maisha and The Arrows, among others.

Saturday sizzlers

Things get a bit more up-tempo on Saturday, when the programme kicks off with a cameo unplugged set by Stealing Love Jones. The glamorous pop rockers will make a splash of their own when they fly in by helicopter to be part of the Big 20th Splash celebration.

Then it's the turn of a cappella swing trio Dr Fly and The Nurses, followed later by a string of Cape Town artists, including Simon van Gend's acoustic folk rock outfit, as well as the energy-driven grooves and soulful songs of The Jack Mantis Band.

Watershed is up next, followed by Hot Water, a five-piece that will no doubt get feet tapping with its cross-cultural fusion of upbeat South African jives, hopping blues and modern folk ballads. Voted Best Band in South Africa by Men's Health Magazine in September 2008, Hot Water - also hailing from the Cape - is fronted by the multi-talented Donovan Copley and has been booked to perform at the Hague Jazz Festival in Holland in May 2009.

Sure to heat things up even more is Napalma, with their irresistible Afro-Brazilian rhythms, followed by hugely successful electronica phenomenon, Goldfish, returning to Splashy Fen with synths and sax in tow for the second year running.

Yet another act to look out for on Saturday is The Shadowclub, a Johannesburg band whose unique foot-stomping blend of blues, punk, soul, and old school rock ‘n roll is making people sit up and take notice.
Catch them at 8pm on the Splashy Fen stage, where Durban punk/ska rockers Sheep Down will also be performing.

Sunday's got the blues

A day to chill, reflect and bemoan the fact that Splashy's nearly all over, Sunday's line-up has a strong blues flavour, featuring artists like The Gloucester Blues Project, Bobby and The Dynamites, RedHOUSE and the maestro himself, Dan Patlansky.

And if that's not enough, festival-goers can expect to be blown away by yet another Capetonian, Dave Ferguson, whose unique approach and sound has earned him an almost cult-like following. Using only harmonica, vocals and a live, looped human beat-box component, Ferguson delivers a truly original one-man show of what he calls “Trans-Blues & Country-Dub”, with some surprises thrown in for good measure.

Also on the Sunday bill are Heather Mac and The Brills and UK-based Mann Friday, a group of Zimbabwean and South African musicians performing melodic rock with cross-over electronica tunes and some gently mixed African rhythms.

With more than 90 artists performing over four days, Splashy Fen 2009 promises a line-up studded with talented newcomers and familiar favourites. Held near Underberg in KZN, the festival runs from April 9
- 13 and also offers fun outdoor activities for the whole family, colourful craft stalls, a wide variety of food and drink outlets and various camping and accommodation options.

Tickets are available at selected Game stores (R400), Computicket (R450) and at the festival gate (R500). Children under 12 pay R50 - tickets at the gate only. The price includes camping for the entire long weekend.
For more information and the full programme, visit or contact Pedro at 082 892 6176.

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