“It is easy to play in Grahamstown. The students here are music-hungry. It is a blessing for starter bands”. That is the contention of Stuart Manning, lead singer of Double Fox, an instrumental soft rock band. Furthermore, Manning credits talented Rhodes University students for Grahamstown’s rich musical culture.
Manning says the band is often booked for weddings and birthdays around the Eastern Cape but claims Grahamstown will always be home. “We prefer to be here playing for the students. We are not intimidated to play our new songs because they welcome any artistic expression. For any band or DJ, Grahamstown is a good place to kick-start your career,” he concludes.
Double Fox started forming in 2010 when Manning and Brian Ford began playing together. A family man, electrician and bass guitarist, Ford was also a former member of locally renowned band, BJ and The Bearded Ladies. Ford’s nephews, Gary and Dwayne Ford have have subsequently joined Double Fox. “We’ve come a long way and I’m proud of us. The main thing now is to start producing a lot more of our own material,” Manning says, commenting on the band’s future.
Besides local bands, a variety of nationally renowned bands also play for Grahamstown audiences. This year alone, Goodluck, Plush and Jax Panik have performed. Old Rhodes students also make their way back to entertain the crowds. David Scott, creator of The Kiffness, an electronic duo, started his musical career at Rhodes University while playing in the band, Liberators of Cheese.
On Saturday, 24 March, local artists will showcase their talent in a charity event called ’Singing for Soup’. The event will raise funds and awareness for Grahamstown’s Masincedane soup kitchen including less fortunate children from surrounding townships.
“We get so much from this community, giving back is really a privilege for us.” says Manning, who is headlining the event.
For more details, contact head of Masincedane soup kitchen, Jocelyn Coldrey on 0836075257 or email her at email@example.com.