Interview: The Shabeen

Cape Town based folk / punk band, The Shabeen have just released their debut album, ‘Folk Is Dead’. We caught up with the band as they kick off a nation-wide tour to promote the album.


Photo credit: Tash Montlake

Congrats on the release of your debut album, ‘Folk Is Dead’. How did you decide on the name?

We came up with the name as a tongue in cheek approach to what we’re doing. It’s not a literal thought of ours that folk is dying. We thought it was quite apt because the concept of ‘Punk is Dead’ came around through the face that certain bands were selling out and the style was becoming quite popular and commercial at one stage. We feel that folk is going through that trend at the moment. Bands like Mumford and Song, Avicii and more are exploiting folk and almost turning it electronic. We have nothing against that at all, we just thought the tie in was clever and the name was appropriate for now.

You’ve been gigging quite extensively for the past three years. Has the album been a work in progress?

Yes, definitely. The album is a product of us gigging, touring and practicing enough to find a sound that we’re stoked with. A handful of the songs are pretty old. ‘Footsteps’ in particular was performed at our first ever gig. A lot of the others have been written since and we think are accurate and best suited to what we deliver now as a band.

You’re about to embark on a nationwide tour with the album. Where are your favourite places to play to in SA?

The George Hotel in Eshowe, KZN. Always such a jol. We also love Durban and Johannesburg. People are really good to us there.

What do you think the state of the local music industry is at the moment?

Local DJ’s seem to be doing quite well. But when it comes to live bands there is a pretty weak scene at the moment. There are loads of reasons why but one that we like to isolate and think that should be worked on is that there is a massive lack of venues at the moment. There are no stages for bands to get better at being bands and gaining stage experience. It means that acts have too much financial pressure on them having to hire big venues which they are unlikely to fill. It’s not sustainable.


Photo credit: Tash Montlake


Catch The Shabeen live on their current tour:

Date: Friday, 13 March 2016

Venue: The Plant, Durban

With: Harbingers and Roachy

Entrance: R50

Time: 8PM

Date: Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Venue: Mystic Boer, Bloemfontein

Entrance: R30

Time: 8PM

Date: Thursday, 17 March 2016

Venue: The Occidental Pub, Kimberley

Entrance: FREE

Date: Friday, 18 March 2016

Venue: Malt & Metal, Middelburg

Entrance: FREE

Date: Saturday, 19 March / Sunday, 20 March

Venue: Mieliepop Festival, Ermelo

Date: Monday, 21 March 2016

Venue: Goodluck Bar, Johannesburg

With: Nomadic Orchestra and more!

Date: Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Venue: House Show, Johannesburg

With: Bye Beneco

Date: Thursday, 24 March 2016

Venue: Arcade Empire, Pretoria

With: Grassy Spark and Diamond Thug

Date: Friday, 25 March 2016

Venue: Outland Festival, Mooi River

Date: Saturday, 26 March 2016

Venue: Sundowners, Johannesburg

With: Slippery When Wet, Bark, The South Shore Ramblers and more!

Entrance: R40

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