Reach for the Stars

Every artist started somewhere: "The Boss", Bruce Springsteen was inspired to take up music after seeing Elvis Presley on The Ed Sullivan Show. He got his first guitar at the age of 13 and eventually became the lead guitarist and vocalist of the band The Castiles. Tom Petty met Elvis Presley when he was 10 years old and instantly became a fan of the rock and roll genre. The Beatles also made an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, and the seed, for Tom Petty to be in a band, was planted. The French band Phoenix first started out as garage based band. Founded in a pub in Dublin late one December night, Thin Lizzy took form after two musicians realised they had the same ambition: making music for a living. From the original wave of British punk music, The Clash was formed in 1976. The group came together as active members in different parts of London's music scene. What do all of these artists have in common? Yes, they all wanted to be professional musicians and yes, they were all inspired by other musicians. But most importantly, they all started somewhere: once unknown, struggling groups or individuals, jumping from one band to the next, trying to find their groove.

Blue blood

A band making waves, with their groove already intact is alternative pop-rock group aKING. Formed in 2007 when Laudo Liebenberg and Hennie van Halen started writing an album in their spare time. "I played in a band with Merwe Marchand le Roux and he wanted to call it 'King', but that was already taken so we made it aKING - a play on royalty and pain," lead vocalist Laudo says. Drawing inspiration from individuals such as Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty and bands like Phoenix, Thin Lizzy and The Clash, this dynamic combo is well on its way to being the next inspiration for unknown, struggling, garage bands.

From strength to strength

With their first album, Hunter Kennedy and Jaco Venter from Andrew 6 SACF Vol. 7 No. 3 By Melindi Coetzee Jaco

aKING

*polisiekar joined artistic forces with the guys from aKING and came up with the runaway success Dutch Courage released in February 2008. At the end of that same year the band showcased their versatility with the release of the downloadable album, In the Twilight; recording three songs in collaboration with Ghetto Vibrations, Khayelitsha United Mambaso and the Thokozani Brothers. "Sometimes I wake up at night with a line or two, but we mostly throw the ball around between us. No song has ever been written entirely the same in our camp. I'm not sure why, but it keeps things interesting," Laudo says smiling. Against all Odds, their second album and The Red Blooded Years, the third, were both produced by multiple award- winning producer Theo Crous. In their third album, there is a clear progression of their song-writing abilities. The Red Blooded Years offers fans the exciting journey of a young band's coming of age ending with a phenomenal instrumental track - a first for the band. "The title refers to our experience of growing up. I suppose it's the themes of youth which chronicles our coming of age, as a band and as individuals," Jaco says proudly. Andrew Davenport joined the band in 2010 and his distinctive guitar and vocal influences add another level to the band's maturity. Laudo Hennie © Adriaan Louw © Louis Minnaar

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