K, Ray and The Bird

Quirky, organic folk rock


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Everything that has a beginning...

Posted on July 16, 2013 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (0)

I watched a Metallica interview once, where their guitarist Kirk Hammett said something I found very interesting. After they have been on tour for months, even years, and the tour ends, he returns home and suddenly finds himself in one place, with no deadline or soundcheck or venue to get to. And he found himself slip into this strange state of depression, where he would need to find whatever it was that he used to do before he left home for ages on end. And until he eventually got into that home routine again, he sort of drifted in and out of a rather melancholy state.

K, Ray and The Bird don't do tours like Metallica, or play to crowds as large. But I must say I can relate to the strange feeling of no momentum when the tour ends and normal life resumes.

We're back home. We played our last show in Clarens on Saturday to a crazy crowd who demanded covers (and as a band of the people we did whatever we could to meet those demands). After a freezing Saturday night we made our way home and set our tired eyes on Cape Town's glorius mountain in the evening. And once the gear was separated and we had all our own bags, we went our separate ways, returning to our homes, our loved ones, and our own showers. Man I missed my shower. Not that I didn't shower while I was on tour. It's just...anyway, moving on...

So I have had some time on my hands since yesterday morning. Work is coming up (tomorrow I return to the classrooms), the rest of the band are back into the swing of day-to-day activities, and there are no gigs. So the schedule is empty. And I sort of feel that same sense of melancholy now.

I enjoy my job. I really do. It's better than most jobs in the world. And I have many people here at home I love very much, like my wonderful fiance and my family and friends. But after spending an entire week effectively being a 'full-time' band, it feels a little sad to return to what it was before. There is a certain clarity in having nothing on your agenda other than the gigs you play and the fans you play it to. Without a doubt, the gigs we played on our tour were some of the best we have ever played. The band was tight, the chemistry was great, the banter on stage was alive, and we were all into it - because there was nothing else to distract us.

To be a full-time band would require huge sacrifice. The music scene of South Africa is in Gauteng. That is simple fact. We would HAVE to be there. But it is crazy difficult for a band of our size and or style to sustain itself in virtually any culture. We are a little too qiurky for that I think.

The night before we left, I wondered out loud what we would get out of this journey. More fans? Maybe. CD sales? Hopefully. A following in Gauteng? Yes please. But really, for me, what we got was a glimpse of a life as a full-time band. Not many people can say they have been able to experience that, and for that reason I am grateful we were able to undertake such a great adventure.

And so I want to thank everybody who was involved in any small or huge way. The venues, the other bands, the people who came out to support this unknown band from the Mother City, the warm hearts of our hosts, who gave us beds to sleep in and food to keep us from starving, our publishers for the radio interviews and promotion, the little dog who stole my heart with his young enthusiasm, our families and friends back home to encouraged us all the way and welcomed us home.

And I want to thank my band. You're like a second family. You are more than friends. I know this because I might get irritated with all of you for different reasons, but in the end I still love you all.

Perhaps one day it is in the desiny of this band to focus all our energy on our music. If that day should ever come, I can certainly say I would be more than eager to embrace it.

What's next for K, Ray and The Bird? Who knows? We don't, which is why we are meeting up soon to discuss it. You can be sure we will keep you updated. I almost feel like we have this momentum now, this good energy after a successful tour, and we need to capitalize on that. But not just more gigs. We need new ideas.

So what are we gonna do next?

The End Draws Near

Posted on July 13, 2013 at 3:30 AM Comments comments (0)

I write this on Saturday morning. We are staying with a lovely couple who have welcomed us into their home with warmth and kindness. I, for one, slept like a baby and feel refreshed. Which is great, because the next 48 hours will be hectic as our small tour draws to an end.

SInce we last posted, we played 2 gigs. On Thursday night, we played at TJ's Acoustic Music Club in Emmerentia and Randpark Ridge United Church last night. Great gigs. TJ's don't generally have full bands in their sets, which means we had to tone down just a bit (and I had to play softer, bah) but it went down great. Randpark Ridge United was also lots of fun, although I think the cracks were starting to show in our armour at that point. Days and days of travelling, playing and moving about in a foreign place started to take its toll on our set. Now I know why big bands have roadies. It is not because they are stuck up yuppies, people. It's so they can remain fresh enough to put on a good show night after night.

Today we are driving a few hours to Clarens to play our very last gig for the tour, a small coffee shop gig. Nice and chilled to bring it to a close. And then we make the long trip home, back to our loved ones, beds and my Xbox.

On Sunday night I will close off this series of BLOGS with a final post of thoughts about the tour as well as some words from the rest of the band about the tour. One thing is for certain: JHB, we will return.

Gold Rush

Posted on July 11, 2013 at 4:35 AM Comments comments (2)

I'm sorry.

Despite strong efforts, it is very difficult to maintain a BLOG every 24 hours when on tour. The software I am using doesn't help either - it doesn't load properly in an Ipad browser so I need to slap open my laptop to write these posts (I sound so yuppie right now). And even when we don't have gigs we are busy - time is short and there are plenty of things to see and do in enormous Johannesburg.

So to keep you updated with gigs, our last one was Tuesday at Firkin Pub. It was a freaking blast. Everything was so loud. And the cool thing about that is it forces you to just let go and play. You have no control, you gotta give that up to the soundguy (a very talented and kind Bruce) who must know what he is doing when he works at the same venue 6 days a week. Great reception, lots of compliments and some sales. Gareth was particularly excited about the sales.

That excitement would crumble into terror within 12 hours, for we descended into Gold Reef City yesterday. The motherload for thrill rides in SA. And boy, did it deliver. And then some. And then some more. 

I won't go through all the details, but suffice it to say we tried to get onto everything, and it was well worth the R165 entrance fee. Here are the highlights:

* Anaconda - best ride I have ever been on. Super fast inverted coaster that is surprisingly smooth but gets the adrenaline pumping. Gareth survived that one. Just.

* Tower of Terror - the big daddy, 10 seconds of total fear. Ask Gareth. A straight down drop into a black hole. I did it once. I don't know if I ever will again. Just thinking about it is enough.

* UFO - Awesome fun, and a bit scary that there's nothing strapping you in.

* Dreamboat - While Rae, Mark and Karyn loved this one, it was too far for Gareth and I. For those who don't know, Dreanboat swings around to cover 270 degress of a circle, which means you spent a considerable amount of the ride time upside down. Very high. Very very high. Never again thanks.

The other rides were all great. I gotta say, nothing disappointed. We have one photo, from the Tower of Terror. We'll upload to Facebook later. It's funny. Rae seems to have gone to his happy place, I turned into Wolverine, Mark and Karyn seem to be having a blast and Gareth...Gareth became a zombie of some sort. Check it out later.

Yesterday and today we are in the pleasant company of Mark's aunt and uncle. After the adrenaline yesterday we passed out early. I had hoped to write a BLOG last night but fatigue and the lure of the IT Crowd got the better of me.

Today Gareth and I and being band nerds, sorting through band videos and promo things to upload and use, while the other three have gone sightseeing. We don't like them messing in our system ;-)

Later tonight, we are at TJ's acoustic music club in Mellville. The venue looks great so we are amped and ready to play. I'll report back asap with another BLOG.

With regards to photos, Rae has most of them on his electronic devices. We'll consolidate a tour album at the end and upload it all.

Cheers for now!

Roadie. The word is Roadie

Posted on July 9, 2013 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)

For those who perhaps were searching for a new BLOG entry last night, I apologize. The truth is, the words simply never came. One cannot force any written piece of work. Neither shall I.

But here I am, back into cyberspace to let you know what we have been up to for the last 36 hours. And it is quite a bit, despite no gigs yesterday.

Maybe not that much. Yesterday was, as I predicted, vegetation day - and we were the vegetation. Late start, awesome breakfast, little bit of a walk around Pretoria (how big is this place, seriously), a little bit of getting lost on the way to lunch with our friends from The Forester. I hope we will be able to host them in Cape Town soon and intorduce them to our local friends and fans.

After that we met up with our hosts for the last night and tonight, Joss, who is also our representitive at Sheer Music, our music publishers. We had a great time of fellowship and socialising last night (great biryany Joss).

Today was a bit less chilled. Two radio interviews; one on Radio Pulpit, one on Impact Radio. I was particularly looking forward to the Impact one because I had worked for Impact Bookshops in the Cape years ago, and had visited both the radio station and the bookstore beside it before. I have to say, nostalgia is a strange thing. There's a weird feeling when you step back into a world you once lived in - a strange sense of longing, of missing an older life. Am I the only one?

Anyhow, the interviews were great, and if you did not hear any of them you can catch our Pulpit interview on Radio Pulpit on Saturday between 12PM - 2PM. We will hopefully be able to get audio files of the interviews and post them online. They are worth listening to for many reasons.

One piece of advice though: when doing a radio interview, be sure to know the difference between a roadie and a groupie. Can make all the difference. Mark.

So tonight we are at Firkin Pub, and we are all feeling amped. But you know what? You can wait until tomorrow to find out about that.

Stay safe, and thanks for all the support here in JHB and back at home. It means a lot to us!

Split Personalities

Posted on July 7, 2013 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Something you need to know about our band and our ethos (if you do not already know it):

At the heart of what we do is still our Christian roots. We are all Christians within this band, and that belief system influences everything we do, including our music. But we are not what I would call a 'Christian band'. To me, a Christian band is a band that writes worship songs that sings easily in church or plays comfortably in your car system. Some of our songs are like that, but it is only part of our overall sound and mission.

Gareth calls us 'Contemporary Christian Band', which is as good a title as any. I explain it like this. Because we are Christians, everything we write is written from a Christian worldview. That means that not all the songs will be 'worship' songs or even talk about Christianity, but they are all influenced by Christianity, whether it is talking about Faith, relationships or bananas.

This gives us two pools of songs: one that is written as overtly Christian, and sit well within churches and Chrsitian venues; another that talks about the world we live in and sits well in pretty much any venue. That is our mission as a band. We want to take our message and words anywhere we can. This is how we believe we can do it.

Today we had two oppurtunities to play the the first pool, something we do not often have. We had the privelage of leading worship and playing some songs at two Christ Church venues; Midrand and Blairgowrie. It is a great oppurtunity to almost return home in a sense; to play and sing worship songs with other people who share our beliefs.

We had an amazing time and feel super blessed, and we are so grateful for the support given so kindly by both churhes and their congregations. But at the end of the day, more than how well we played or how many CD's we sold our anything else, we were able to connect with people. It was a great day and we will not forget the kindness shown to us. Bless you all.

Tomorrow is our first day of total rest. How about we all in the band take some photos and post them to show you what we get up to? I imagine not much other than sleep, eat and general laziness after 48 hours of intensity. But we will sleep well tonight after a successful start to our tour.

God is good.

Mark has something to say about himself

Posted on July 6, 2013 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (0)

To my bandmates i have one message: i may be a bit of a coca-cola addict, but at least my face doesn't go pale white with dread when the man at Steers says they have no coffee. So back off :-)

Gig day! We had another, shorter drive today to get into Pretoria, followed by a brief rest before heading off to Asbos Teater. I gotta say, it's a great venue. Small and intimate, very well set up, amd it just feels right.

But first, Pretoria. Have you been to Pretoria? Maybe you live there? Well, if you have never seen it, here's the big thing I learnt today: it's BIG. Everything is so big. The roads, the malls, the churches...it dwarfs Cape Town. It's probably the closest SA get to being American. Sometime over the next few days we will have a chance to explore, which I am looking forward to. I'll report more then.

So, the gig. We shared the stage with The Forester, a local Gauteng band. It was truly a pleasure. Their vibe, feel, humour and obvious love for what they do was fantastic. Do yourself a favour and go and check them out. They have some free music on Soundcloud.

And we had a blast. Not a perfect set (Misplaced intro guys - what the freak?), but the energy was just there. And i have to thank our audience too! You guys were awesome. We could not have asked for a better start to our shows for this tour. And thanks for the encores! 

Photo's? I wish i had plenty. Unfortunately we are not the type of band (yet) who can hire an army of crewmembers (or slaves, as The Forester put it) to handle support roles while we play. But we did get a small few of the set, and other people did take photos. So if we can get them we will share. Watch our website and Facebook.

Getting a gig under the belt has gone a long way to calm the nerves, at least for me. I am looking forward to the rest. I just hope I get a good night's rest under the belt tonight. Last night was a bit rough for me. Could it be because I shared a room with Gareth? Who knows...

Stay safe, and check back tomorrow for our double bill BLOG - 2 gigs in one day!

Also, Mark would like you to know he is a sexy beast. Now you know.

Day 1's exciting report...

Posted on July 5, 2013 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Not much I'm afraid. Driving, driving and more driving.

The trip to Bloemfontein was mostly uneventful. We do have some mild water damage but it seems to be not too bad. Is that even correct Engish? Right now I don't care. Im tired and in need of sleep.

So the plan is to hit the sack early tonight and be on the road again tomorrow morning. We have our first gig tomorrow, with Forester! Awsome stuff. We are really looking forward to sharing the stage with them.

That also means we will have more to report tomorrow. A gig! I'll try to upload some pictures too.

Stay safe

The calm before...

Posted on July 4, 2013 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)

So it's the night before.

My van is loaded. I gotta say it's pretty heavily loaded. At times like this I wish we were a bit more popular in mainstream media...you know, so we could hire couriers for our gear or fly to gigs or something. I know that's a luxury, I'm just being honest. As it is I have Gareth as a passenger for 11 hours tomorrow. Yay... ;-)

That's nasty. I take it back. Gareth is awesome. Especially when he has a whole Pick n Pay chicken in his hands.

It's difficult to say what our expectations are fo this tour. It's bigger than anything we have ever attempted before. As we sat down together today for some last minute logistics and a run through some songs (yes, we still practice the day before tour), there is a sense of anticipation within the band. But for what exactly? I'm not too sure.

I think it's gonna be a blast and despite the long hours and many miles I refuse to do anything but enjoy every second of this experience. At the end of the day we are there to play music, to entertain and speak to people with our songs and our personality, and i hope that happens every time we step onto a stage. Time will tell what we end up getting out of it.

Now i will go to sleep. Early start tomorrow...

We have lift off

Posted on January 10, 2012 at 3:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Hello all.

After a period of relative inactivity over Christmas and New Year (except for a handful of really cool gigs) we sat down last night and mapped out our plans for 2012. With plans made and duties delegated, we are now ready to go again! We'll keep you updated as new information becomes available regarding gigs, festivals, and even some free stuff :-)

Hope you all had a great end to 2011 and we wish you many blessings for the year ahead. Thanks for listening!

A new (temporary) start

Posted on December 23, 2011 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Hello all.

It's a big step, starting a website from scratch.

It's much easier, of course, when you are using an online designer tool to do so :-)

We have a website already (www.krayandthebird.com). It's not bad. It's very nice, actually. Unfortunately, it's also very out of date and super expensive to maintain/renovate. It's money we honestly just don't have at the moment. SO as a temporary fix and to ensure we can continue to communicate with our friends and fans around the world, we have created this website, and this BLOG.

And the timing isn't too good because the year's about to end.

But 2011 deserves mention, because for us it was easily the best year the band has ever seen. We went on to release our second album (the first full-length album from the band), we travelled along the Garden Route three times, played numerous shows across the Western Cape, and wrote some great new songs. All in all, a great year.

So, as 2011 draws to a close, we say merry Christmas! Many thanks to all for their valued and amazing support throughout the year. We are super amped for 2012 and we hope you are too!


Thanks for listening!


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