Once upon a time there was a teenage girl whose parents divorced after years of relentless fighting. In the final year of high school, she moved from Johannesburg to Cape Town with her Dad, a few treasured items in tow. Among them was an over-played cassette tape with a recording of a TDK Session hosted by ruler of the rock waves, DJ Barney Simon. On it, 45-minutes of songs from the Cape Town group Fetish that captured the emotions of that time, beyond just typical teenage angst.
That was then. This is now. I haven’t loved a band as much since Fetish disbanded in 2004. At the time, I felt somewhat betrayed by their break-up, like a clingy girlfriend you could almost hear crying out, “after all we’d shared together!” But the time apart has been good. I have grown, and so too has Fetish. And now the time is right for a reunion.
It’s been 10 years since the band played its last South African shows and Fetish – that would be Michelle Breeze (vocals), Dominic Forrest (guitars), Jeremy Daniel (bass), Ross Campbell (drums) and David Fiene (keyboards) – will be coming together to perform two live shows in South Africa. Their live gigs were always electric, and the band’s name on the bills of shows alongside some of my other favourite artists – Lenny Kravitz, Skunk Anansie, Smashing Pumpkins – made those late teen/early twenties all the more bearable.
Being in New York means I will miss these two nights of what will no doubt be music magic. But there is something to console me and other Fetish fans across the seas. The group will begin recording a new album – yes, a new album – from today at Digital Forest Studios in Constantia, which will be produced by long-time creative partner Chris Tuck. I cannot wait to hear what comes of long-lost tracks and new endeavours. Until then, a re-listen to the last album released by the band – Remains. Thanks to new technology, this one won’t ever be too worn out to play. Unlike that poor cassette tape.
Fetish plays Mercury Live in Cape Town on 13 April and then Tanz Café, Johannesburg, on the 14th. The band will be supported by the super talented singer-songwriter Matthew Van Der Want. For more details go here.