WILDEBEEST - Bushrock 1 (1981 S African prog) CDFRESH
Recorded in 1981, ÒBushrock 1Ó is the sound of a truly African progressive rock band in full flight: thundering African percussion, hard rock guitars, swirling Celtic violin and soaring vocals all combine to form a heady musical brew. The "Bushrock" concept was ex FreedomÕs Children drummer Colin Pratley's brainchild. On Wildebeest's live set ÒBushrock 1,Ó the audience is advised to "settle back and relax"Ñ then the music grabs you, throws you around, and does not let up through nine songs and nearly 45 minutes of adventurous rock. Take a sharp guitarist (Boet Faber), a thundering, driving bassist (Piet Botha), add an exuberantly talented drummer (Colin Pratley) and a rocking violin (Dave Tarr), sweeten with some lovely female vocals (Karlien van Niekerk), crank up the volume, and youÕve got the basis of Wildebeest's thundering, stampeding rock album. The songs are primarily driven by beat and rhythmÑPiet's bass punctuates and emphasizes as it drives along, the rock steady and creative drumming is ever present, and the violin becomes an essential rock instrument. Then the guitar sears and soars. Masterful rock, with the great Colin Pratley flailing away on the drums. I think of it as Progressive Jungle Music.Ó The album was recorded live in 1981, and before that makes you pause, remember that the concept of energetic jungle rock music has rarely been better served before or since; the album features two different ÒcoversÓ of FreedomÕs Children tunes from their classic ÒAstraÓ album... not a surprise really, as Tarr and Pratley were both former members of that band.