Meeting Up With The Matchboxes

A Spark of Passion in The Industry

Splashy Fen 2019 was the first time we had seen, or even heard of The Matchboxes but I have no idea why. This group has phenomenal talent, and a passion for the music they produce. Not long after the excitement of Splashy had subsided, we reached out to the band in hopes that we could bring the Matchboxes to you. To our delight, they jumped at the opportunity and shared some interesting facts about the band, and it's members, with us. Enjoy getting up close and personal with a band that is most definitely going to go far. 

Meet The Matchboxes


Who are you, how did you meet, and decide to join and share your music together?

We are The Matchboxes and we’re from Pretoria. Most of the band members have known each other for years because we all met in school and were friends long before the band. When we were about 15 years old, Keanu (our vocalist) asked us if we wanted to jam at his house. Fast forward about 8 years and it turns out we never stopped jamming. 

The name is quite a memorable one, how did you come up with it?

 We spent a few weeks thinking of a name, but from the start we said the title had to include “The (somethings)”, because at the time all the band members we’re really influenced by British Rock bands that had similar names for example The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks etc. One afternoon Alex(our lead guitarist) was listening to Matchbox by The Kooks, an idea sparked and then the rest was history. 

Who would you say are your greatest musical inspirations?

 The band’s greatest influence is probably The Beatles. They have inspired us to always try and bring out the best of ourselves when writing music and that songwriting should be a band’s main focus. 

Do you stick to one musical genre, or do you have your fingers in a few pies ( proverbially speaking)?

We generally just classify ourselves as an Alternative Band, but we definitely draw a lot of inspiration from punk, classic rock , pop and indie. 

Was this your first Splashy Fen?

 This was our first Splashy Fen, but definitely not our last. We had a blast at Splashy. 

What did you most enjoy about performing at this festival?

 The crowd was just amazing and we we’re happy to see that KZN welcomed us with open arms. 

What has been your favorite venue to perform at and why?

 There are many venues that we have enjoyed immensely, but one in particular is Railways Café. We have all just had great memories before, after and during a show and the energy and vibe of the venue is just amazing. 

Do you have any pre-show rituals?

 We don’t have any rituals per say, but about 15 minutes before a show it’s “Band Alone Time” and the four of us just get focused and psych each other up for the show. 

We all know how fans can be a little crazy, what has been the strangest thing gifted you by a fan?

 Unfortunately we are not famous enough to have crazy fans yet. 

Selfies or autographs?

 Selfies definitely. 

If you could each sit down with any artist (alive or passed), kick back and relax, who would it be and why?

 Dave Grohl, he just looks like the coolest dude ever. 

What song (any genre or artist) best defines each of you?

 Keanu - Come as you Are (Nirvana).   

 Stefie - Hero (Foo Fighters).       

Johan - Ace of Spades (Motorhead).      

Alex - Waiting (Green Day) 

What do you do to relax?

 We all have very different lives and spend our time differently, but when we are all together nothing beats good music, beers with your buddies and a good braai (sorry we are extremely Afrikaans) 

Any plans to perform anywhere else in the country in the near future?

 Nothing huge at the moment, because we are currently focusing on writing a lot of new material.  

Where can fans get their hands on your music?

 Fans can find our music on all major streaming platforms as well as YouTube. 

Any new songs due for release soon?

The band is currently in the final stages of recording our self titled debut EP, with follow up singles also being released later this year. 

And the question I am sure many young girls are dying to know the answer to...are you all single? lol

 The only one in the band that’s struggling to keep a girlfriend is Alex our guitarist.

And there you have it! Some insight into a band that caused a ripple at Splashy Fen this year. 

We will definitely be keeping in touch and hopefully get to experience The Matchboxes live again soon. 

A fantastic band with a bright, bright future. We will definitely be keeping our eye on them as they steamroll their way to the top of South African music. Watch this space for the new, soon to be released, EP! 


"Splish" Splashy Fen


It was with a touch of nostalgia that we made the turn onto the dusty road leading to a music-lover’s paradise. The last time I attended Splashy Fen was in 1994 as a very young, adventurous teen and I wasn’t quite sure what would greet me all these years later. As the Welcome board came into sight, all trepidation dissolved, we were home!

The event held in the Underberg mountains, was nothing short of spectacular. For appreciators of music, socializing, mingling, and of course roughing it, this is the only place to be during the long Easter Weekend. 

5 stages scattered throughout the venue gave festival-goers plenty of diversity, and more than enough places to explore. Close on 100 acts were set to perform throughout the weekend. Some newbies, some firmly set in the industry, some legends….but all phenomenal in their own right. 

The crew from Eye on Zululand were drawn like moths to a flame to the Acoustic stage. The relaxed atmosphere and musical brilliance that we were gifted with, and of course the scorching heat on Friday, were so much more than we ever expected. South Africa has most certainly got talent, and Splashy Fen is where they all got together to entertain. For us, Friday night was one for the record books. Eye on Zululand took along local hip hop artist Kelvin Lxrd to share in the experience, and take on the open mic stage. He showed up in true Zululand fashion, ready to conquer the audience. He strutted his stuff and gave his performance his own personal touch. As his song came to an end, strains of “We Want More!” could be heard echoing through the hillside. A proud moment for Zululand, and for Eye on Zululand. Watch out Splashy, Kelvin Lxrd will be back next year!

The beauty of the Corona River Stage is one that you have to see to truly appreciate. While yes the trip down the hillside is done with great excitement and fervor, the path up is on the other end of the scale. The sore legs and breathlessness are more than worth their weight in gold. The stage set in the midst of the flowing river is simply put, paradise. We crossed the steel bridge and entered a different world. Our Saturday morning burst into life with the sounds of Goodluck!  Who would have thought we’d be dancing the day away from such an early hour. This is the true spirit of Splashy. We weren’t quite brave enough to take a dip in the river, but the sheer cold was not enough to stop the younger, more vivacious festival-goers from donning their tubes and taking to the water. As the rain began to fall from the sky we decided to head back up the long, steep hillside, stopping to smell the roses, and catch our breath along the way. The beauty can really only be drunk in from a rock on the pathway half way up the hillside, and that is exactly what we stopped to savor. 

Saturday eve was the first time we ventured into the main stage arena. We couldn’t be at Splashy Fen and not experience the brilliance of Wonderboom. As always their performance was stellar. Martin strutted his stuff, and smiled broadly for the cameras. Catching up very quickly with Wonderboom after their performance was a moment to remember. It really was a blast from my past. Studying in Durban during the early 90’s, I had regularly seen Wonderboom at the Rift and the Station and now to see them all these years later in such a great arena was truly magical. 

We had planned to leave on Sunday, but one more day was on the cards for us. We came all the way to Splashy to see Wheatus in action and we weren’t about to miss out. 

As was customary for us, we found ourselves browsing the craft markets and food stalls and filling up on the delightful Marley’s coffee to warm ourselves from the inside out. Once more we were drawn to the acoustic stage….the powerful voice of PJ Powers could be heard from a distance away. We were humbled by the presence of a legend. She has the ability to bring sheer joy with her voice, her tenacity, and her performance. PJ Powers embodies what Splashy Fen is all about – Unity! While she did belt out some of her new songs, the rendition of the old “Jabulani” accompanied by the energy of her stage presence was enough to throw me back to my childhood years.

The main stage was where we headed on Sunday afternoon. The acts leading up to the performance of the night, did not dull in comparison to what was to come by any measure. The crowds filtered in culminating in a packed tent with an audience ready to party. Australian Josie Smith left the audience in awe. A one-man band like no other. His quirky comments and comical performance, blended with phenomenal musical talent made for fantastic entertainment. Next up was Hot Water a band that mirrors the great Johnny Clegg to a huge degree. The mix of catchy tunes and guitar riffs was hypnotizing. The broad smiling faces and rhythmic moves set the stage alight. Mi-Casa brought his Latino-styled charm to the stage and set girl’s heart aflutter. There is nothing quite like a Latino man shaking his booty and singing with the voice of an angel. 

The build up to Wheatus was almost more than most could bare. When they finally hit the stage it was to wild applause, the audience willing the band to head straight into “Teenage Dirtbag”, but of course, Wheatus had other plans and keeping their adoring fans waiting for the hit number was definitely part of them. The US band last set foot on South African soil 18 years ago. Most of the youngsters in the audience were a mere twinkle in their parent’s eyes when they first hit the music scene. That, however, has not hindered their fan base from growing in huge numbers. Young and old fans (I think I land in the latter there) rallied around, tension growing and excitement brewing. Finally, the first notes of “Teenage Dirtbag” …. The band could barely be heard over the audience’s own rendition of the classic tune. The moment was enough to give anybody goose flesh. What felt like only a few fleeting moments passed, and Wheatus were bidding Splashy farewell. 

The weekend was in all an absolutely amazing experience. The bitter cold, gale force winds, epic array of music and even the porta-loos were all part of a memory that will live on. 30 years of Splashy history were literally rolled up into one 4-day weekend of musical bliss. Age was not a factor, gender was not a factor, race was not a factor, all that truly mattered was brotherhood and music. 

The event organizers pulled off something one can only describe as EPIC!



Another first for The Cannabis Expo

The Cannabis Expo is the largest cannabis event on the continent and there is no doubt that there is a buzz about this fascinating and vast industry.   

Featuring a huge range of exhibitors showcasing a variety of cannabis-related products and services from all sectors in the industry including healthcare, agricultural, finance and lifestyle and a convention stage with talks every half hour, the expo now also includes the Cannabis Food Market.  Cannabis cuisine is massively growing, make sure to take a break a at the food market during your visit to the expo.    

The Cannabis Food Market will provide visitors and diners to the expo a variety of lovely cannabis infused dishes and beverages.  Expect from the menu available, anything from pizza, nachos and tacos to Charged Indian Cuisine. Come experience a combination of Cannabis, Ginger and Garlic and relax in the chilled vibes of Canna Creamery.  To top it all off, enjoy a delightful Canna Cocktail or a soothing Canna Coffee.    

Cannabis is definitely a friend of the food industry and for those with a slightly more sweet tooth, cannabis snacks in the form of sweet treats can be also be found at The Cannabis Expo. Here you will find, lollipops, mints, chewing gum, chocolates and more.    

The Cannabis Expo Durban brought to you by Go Life International runs from 6 – 9 June at Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom.    

Connect with Sibaya on: 

Twitter: @SibayaCasino

 Facebook: @sibayacasino


Prime Circle Thrill at rockwood sibaya

A Class Act!

Last night,  Friday, 14 June, 2019, Rockwood Theatre, Sibaya came alive with the sounds of award-winning rock band, Prime Circle. The audience was treated to a blend of old an new tunes. The band is currently touring the country, taking their new album to their masses of fans spread far and wide and they certainly did not disappoint. 

If You Don't You Never Will is the seventh studio album for the band and their first since their Let The Night In release in 2014.  Let me tell you, it was worth the wait!

The audience drunk in the new songs of the album with gusto and were also treated with some of the old favourites like She Always Gets What She Wants, a song that is still widely-loved today.

The band ended the show leaving the fans longing for more. The pleas were answered when Prime Circle returned to the stage with an encore that lasted four songs. 

Prime circle solidified their place as rock royalty last night!

For me, having last experienced Prime Circle in the flesh more than 10 years ago, they completely blew me away. If I thought they were brilliant then, last night was something phenomenal. I am positive my sentiments will be echoed by the throngs of fans who made their way to Rockwood Theatre at Sibaya.