Mel Botes


David's Confession: About time, Part II

The phenomenal rock-production David's Confession - About Time made a big and successful comeback in August 2010 at Emperor's Palace and received raving reviews from the media and standing ovations from the public after 12 years.  

Ghapi, Denny Lalouette, Nathan Smith, Music Affair, Mel BotesMaestro Mel Botes, talented lead guitarist and creator of the production, will take centre stage and will be supported by top musicians, which include Ghapi aka Philip Botha, the original drummer from the production.

The musicians will be supported by six backing singers and a full orchestra. Multi-dimensional video footage compliments the storyline!

BACKGROUND
The theatrical rock-music production David's Confession - About Time is the brainchild of respected award-winning songwriter/vocalist/guitarist Mel Botes and was first staged in December 1999. The production was considered as one of the major breakthroughs and a phenomenon in the history of South African Rock music.

The music and the production had an enormous cult following during the past 12 years and the CD David's Confession - About Time has become a collector's item and is very much sought after.

Mel teamed up in early 1998 with the three Botha brothers, Andries, Phillip(Ghapi) and Conrad, also known as the group Georgia. The sibling bond complimented the musical synthesis between them and timely advent of a talented Mel Botes took their musical abilities to another level.

WHAT IS DAVID'S CONFESSION ALL ABOUT?
It is a personal tribute to a man's inner struggle with good and evil.

Mel explains: Initially David was the central character of a book I deliberated over for 12 years. I never explored the possibility of publishing the book as it felt too personal. However, David's character was so strong and compelling that I felt forced to give him a voice hence, the lyrics illustrate David's exceptional journey.

I travelled extensively abroad and only a fellow-backpacker will understand the range of emotions one experiences. You meet people who become an integral part of your life, yet you leave them behind without a second glance. A backpacker is subjected to hundreds of diverse experiences intertwined with incredible adventures. Traveling reaffirmed my belief that man will always be exposed to temptation, yet goodness will prevail, states Mel.

After traveling eighteen months abroad, Mel returned to South Africa. He drove to Sun City to approach Georgia (who at that stage played in Trader Horns as the resident band) and asked them to become part of this major project. They agreed immediately and thereafter Mel commuted every week to Sun City to work with them on this album.

Karen Cutts, at that stage the Entertainment Manager at Sun City, has been at the cutting edge of entertainment in Africa since the heydays of the Market Theatre. Karen joined Sun International in 1996 and spearheaded the Entertainment Division. She walked into Trader Horns one afternoon while Mel and the three brothers were rehearsing.

Their raw talent and range astounded me, she remembers. To discover potential in its early stages is a powerful aphrodisiac and we began working together to develop their musical skills and their performance on stage.

Sun City then took over the management of David's Confession and appointed music maestro Johan Laas to produce and arrange their album.

David's Confession, the album, was recorded over a seven-week period (excluding pre-production) in the well-equipped Bop-studios in Mmabatho. The media launch took place during the same year in the Sun City Extravaganza-theatre.

During their season David's Confession opened for well known international acts like Hootie and the Blowfish and the popular Greek singer Anna Vissi in the Sun City Superbowl.

Other performances in the Superbowl included The Chora Awards, the international Ballroom Dance competition and various corporate functions. The band performed live in front of Michael Jackson and had jamming-sessions with London based players like the backing band for Sarah Brightman and Al Vosper, guitarist for Chris de Burgh.

After almost two years as the resident show at Sun City, Conrad was tragically involved in a serious, almost fatal motorbike accident which left him with mental injuries.  Mel, Andries and Philip went thereafter on a countrywide tour, but it was never the same again.

REVIEW

David's Confession Theatre Of Marcellus, Emperor's Palace, Saturday August 14th 2010Ghapi, Denny Lalouette, Nathan Smith, Jon Delinger

The last time this incredible and sorely missed theatrical rock music production was staged, was in December 1999. David's Confession is not a band - it's a musical project, the brainchild of respected songwriter/vocalist/guitarist Mel Botes, surely one of SA's national assets. It features original drummer/vocalist Philip Botha, nowadays known as Ghapi, an incredible talent who could quite easily compliment any world class band you care to name. Augmented by some of the finest session players in the country, as well as a six member choir, the stage was set for what was to be one of the most memorable and exciting evenings in the history of SA rock music.

The setting was perfect, the lighting and sound spot on, and the musicianship flawless, with the costumes and at times robotic movements of the three male and three stunning female vocalists/dancers adding to the spectacular production. With Journey To The Centre Of The Earth -type narration by Michael Richards, the story of David unfolded, accompanied by some of the finest conceptual progressive rock music you will ever hear, in South Africa, or anywhere in the world. The excellent Jon Delinger handled a number of lead vocal parts, together with both Ghapi and Mel. The original album, entitled About Time, and released in 1999, was featured in its entirety, from beginning to end. It's unfortunately not available, but is available as a FREE download via www.melbotes.co.za. The album, produced by Peter Pearlson, is an unrivalled milestone of progressive rock in this country, matched only by the likes of Off The Edge and very few others.

The word masterpiece immediately springs to mind. But the production was more than that. It was creative, exciting, dramatic, emotional, and, for some, a dream come true. It was David's Confession, live, at last. It's about time.

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