By Stuart Buchanan
Southern Gypsey Queen played their first gig in over two years at De Tap Huijs on Wednesday March 14, to a small but energetic crowd. Whether it was a lack of advertising, or just because they’re still unknown among students, most people missed one of the best up-and-coming rock outfits currently on the scene today.
Southern Gypsey Queen began performing in 2000, under the original name Bombay Duck, and consists of brothers Gareth and Paul Wilson, Tammy Wilson (Gareth’s wife) and Thys Smit (their neighbour). They grew up in the small Eastern Cape town of Molteno – “the home of Ouma rusks”, Paul says.
They are currently promoting their third album, Rise Up, with the first single of the same name doing very well on the SA music charts. “This was kind of a crossover album for us,” explains Gareth. “We were originally just a rock band, but this time we brought in a little bit of funk and a few other genres and created a rock fusion album which I don’t think has been done in South Africa before.”
“We were a lot more meticulous with this album,” adds Paul. “For a rock album you get your best results when you go in and just bang it out, but for Rise Up we hired in horn sections, string sections, piano players etc. It was a long process.” For all the time (and money) spent on the production of Rise Up, the band still identify themselves strongly as first and foremost a live act. In a set which lasted an hour and a half, they certainly proved, to those who came to De Tap Huijs that this was the case. But then again, their fans already knew that.