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 ALL music lovers – listen up! Band or Bust is almost here – and it is the perfect place to discover new tunes, or simply to enjoy a fun Saturday afternoon with friends, good music and a good vibe.

As part of the Toyota US Woordfees, Texx and the City pre­sents this exciting new competi­tion at the Stellenbosch Universi­ty Visual Arts Quad on 7 March. Band or Bust is an initiative with the purpose of showcasing under­ground and independent talent, to give upcoming musicians the opportunity to perform at a major festival, and to aid them in their future endeavours. The top five finalists, picked out of more than 100 entries, will battle it out for the overall prize: R10 000 in cash, the recording of a single under the guidance of Theo Crous and Karen Zoid, as well as a professional pho­toshoot.

Tallulah Gray, one of the fi­nalists, is excited to perform: “I feel so lucky to be amongst the five finalists chosen to participate in such an incredible event. The other artists playing are absolutely incredible and I am honoured to share a stage with people who care so much about their music,” Gray said.

Theunis van der Merwe, a member of another finalist, the folk-acoustic band BrotherBroth­er, agrees that this event gives valuable exposure to musicians. “It is an incredible opportunity,” Van der Merwe said.

The audience can look for­ward to a varied program, with genres ranging from intimate acoustic-folk to hard rock. Gray describes her sound as “acoustic alternative rock with influences ranging from punk to soul” and promises a “powerful and intimate show”. Her lyrics reflect issues that she is passionate about.

“The music I write has strong political influences and I often draw on my love for history or passion for current affairs as well as pop culture and movies that I love,” she explains.

BrotherBrother uses a range of different instruments, including the acoustic guitar, banjo, bass, harmonica, cajon and drum for their upbeat, folky sound. Van der Merwe says that the audience can look forward to “an intimate and comfortable performance with a special focus on our hand-clap­ping and foot-stomping songs.” He believes BrotherBrother’s three voice harmonies and meaningful lyrics are some of their strongest assets. For those who enjoy some­thing a bit more experimental, Cis­tamatic’s Gabbi Le Roux, with her wide pool of influences, including rock, trip hop, industrial, disco, pop and experimental electroni­ca, and lyrics that question issues such as gender and sexuality, is a must-see.

Other finalists include the indie rock band, Champion Trees, from Cape Town, and, Venus and the Snake, the hard rock group that claimed first prize at last year’s Battle of the Bands at Aandklas.

Band or Bust clearly has something for everyone, so don’t miss this awesome event! The action kicks off at 16:00 and tickets are available at the door for R50.

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