We can’t wait till Christmas is over, as the very next day Tribute Fest will be happening at Hillcrest Quarry, Durbanville. It’s set to be a fabulous day of music and nostalgia. LK Mediabook caught up with Sean Nunan from MUSIC 4 THE MASSES, who will be performing on the day, to chat about their Depeche Mode Tribute.
How did Music 4 the Masses Depeche Mode Tribute come about?
All 3 of us are ‘DIE HARD Depeche Mode Groupies’ and have been fans of the band since the 80s. A seed was planted about 11 years ago by our Lead Vocalist and founder member Elton ‘OTIS’ Tuck one night while watching the One Night in Paris (no not that one) Concert. Having missed both their South African tours and with an undeniable following in SA, the “what if” fantasy started to germinate. Years and many continents later, while on Facebook ‘OTIS’ noticed that I had put up a video Facebook post about a Depeche Mode concert in Budapest, which was part of their current World Tour which, again left South Africa out of their schedule. And my caption was ‘What I wouldn’t give to play drums for Depeche Mode for just one Stadium Concert.
In the past ‘OTIS’ had noticed that there was an outcry on social media with pages like Bring Depeche Mode to South Africa being created. Having been in various cover bands and becoming slightly bored with the “same old same old” everywhere you go, he thought the inevitable “why not”. He made contact with me and we decided to go for it and that is how Music 4 the Masses was formed.
Along the way we met the very talented Eric McCallaghan who was later to leave the band due to commitments elsewhere in the industry. The very capable Charles Knighton – Pullen then joined the band to continue the good work at bringing the very best sounds, incorporating live guitars into their songs and visual performance to the stage in what is the most unique cover band experience in South Africa.
What can fans expect from your set at Tribute Fest this year?
We LOVE and RESPECT Depeche Mode and we are determined to give our audience an AUTHENTIC as possible performance not to be forgotten along with all the songs that they remember from a band that has successfully spanned 40 years with well over 100 million albums sold worldwide. We perform their songs as close as possible to the originals having sampled most of their loops and hooks and have even created our own dance remixes in some songs guaranteed to have the crowd on their feet chanting for more.
What is the funniest or strangest thing that has ever happened to you while on stage?
Too many to mention, At a Stellenbosch Varsity Concert we were playing on a flat bed truck and the kit was so far back that the drum stool moved off the stage and I grabbed onto the drums to keep me from falling but alas I took the kit and myself off the back of the stage much to the roaring laughter of 5000 students. I once set my shirt a light by taking it off while playing and threw it on the lighting rig behind me not realising that it would catch alight and as a result I almost burnt the club down as everything just caught a light behind me and the Fire Department had to be called in and the club evacuated. While setting up my drum kit at the Bloemfontein Civic Theatre I leaned back to what I thought was a black brick wall behind me was actually a black curtain and I bailed to the bottom of the stage. When I resurfaced my brand new white T Shirt was dust brown and so was my face. The Groupies in the front of the stage obviously had a different perception of me after that. Should I continue?
Why do you think it is important to pay tribute to the greats? Do you think SA Audiences appreciate this?
As mentioned earlier Depeche Mode has sold 100 million albums and have been together for almost 40 Years. They are still touring the world and filling stadiums wherever they play. Their legacy needs to be kept alive and honoured, SA audiences are still starved for entertainment on a larger scale, and we don’t have access to the greats coming to perform on our doorsteps like the States and Europe do. So Tribute Acts are the next best thing for audiences to relive their youth and hear the songs live that they grew up listening too. As long as the Tribute Bands stay true to why they are honouring their Artist or Band of Choice I think its Awesome and the fact that this year is the 4th Tribute Fest with growing support in Ticket sales it proves that SA Audiences appreciate our Tributes and this year’s line up proves it.
What are your plans for 2018?
We want to grow this experience. We just want to perform as much as possible There are so many Depeche Mode fans in SA and globally.. We have already been invited to perform in Dubai and Abu Dabi next year and have also had interest from a venue in Spain. The SA Booking Agencies are also excited about what we are about and hopefully we get booked for loads of Corporates and Festivals. We will play for anyone that will listen to us so we keeping an open mind. We are also very excited to be included on the Tribute Fest Bill this year.
Tribute Fest at Hillcrest Quarry
Big Stage, Big Sound, Bars, Food Stalls, Kids Entertainment.
Tickets are R180 and kids under 12 get in for free
Tribute Fest at Hillcrest Quarry on Boxing Day – Line-up
13:00 Elvis (James Marais)
14:00 Neil Diamond (Johan Liebenberg)
15:00 Outrageous Stars (Patrick Canovi’s “Kiss the Sky” Show Band)
16:00 Bob Marley (The Rivertones)
17:00 Tina Turner (Ramaine Barreiro)
18:00 Joe Cocker. (Patrick Canovi’s “Kiss the Sky” Show Band.)
19:00 Depeche Mode (Music 4 the Masses)
20:00 Uriah Heep/Deep Purple (Patrick Canovi’s “Kiss the Sky” Show Band)
21:00 Bon Jovi (Mark Haze)
22:00 ZZ Top (The launch of a surprise new act)
22:40 Guns n Roses (Patrick Canovi’s “Kiss the Sky” Show Band)