Rubber Soul Happyfourtwenty A.P.E & Kent O'Shea
ALBUM COVER: Myrtle Square, Myrtle St, Cape Town. At the time the picture was taken in 2002, Alan Benatar (songwriter and bass guitarist) was living in the bottom-right flat, and Patrick Dilley (drums) was residing in the bottom-left flat. Songwriter, acoustic guitarist and vocalist Kent O'Shea originated from Myrtleville, Cork (Ireland), before immigrating to South Africa in 1973. The four VW Beetles parked outside the building were not staged - that's what makes the album cover so classic. The album cover photograph was taken by James Silberbauer, who lived in the flat above Alan's. RUBBER SOUL Yes, the band's name was borrowed from the classic Beatles album 'Rubber Soul'. Benatar and O'Shea formed Rubber Soul in 1994, together with Anton Ressel (electric guitar), Louise Leggatt (vocals) and Jason Louth (drums). The band was popular around Cape Town with their unique style of Acoustic/Pop/Rock. In '95-'96, two singles (Roaches and Let It Go) received national coverage on South Africa's premier music radio station, 5FM. Long-time residents of The Texas Embassy in the leafy suburb of Gardens and The Planet in alternative lifestyle village Observatory (both in Cape Town), the five rocked the joints. A brief tour to the world-famous Oppi Koppi (Afrikaans for 'on the plateau') & Kimberly festival gigs around Cape Town during '95-'96 fulfilled their life-long dreams to be 'in a band'. By the time they stopped playing together in late 1996, only a third of all their songs had been committed to tape - this in three brief recording sessions in three different studios. Nine years later, after O'Shea discovered an old recording of a live rehearsal that had never been put to tape, he brought the band together to start the magic all over again. Sascha Muller (Black Diamond & Semisane) replaced Louth on drums for three tracks created during 2005: Will You Ever Feel and Blow It All Away with Richard Black, Street Level Studios & 'Fool for lesser things' with Tully McCully, Spaced Out Sounds. Both Cape Town recording studios. Rubber Soul's songs have been playlisted on South African radio stations since 1995 (5FM, KFM and, more recently, Radio2000). HOLY ROLLERS/ALTERNATIVE POP EVOLUTION (APE) After Rubber Soul, O'Shea recorded two songs in '97 with the skilful Shapiro brothers David & Adam, who both loved and played heavy metal & Irish folk music. They started a band, baby, and called themselves Alternative Pop Evolution (APE). The brothers Shapiro were perfect for Nicotine and Over You on the album Early Days. Dave played guitars and produced the tracks and Adam played drums, bass and violin for the two songs. After this, Kent teamed up with Benatar (Rubber Soul bassist) and Patrick Dilley (drums) in 1998. Dubbed The Holy Rollers, they played a few gigs at Ruby In The Dust in Obs and recorded three songs (Like A River, Take What You Want and, later, Can't See The Light). Then the decision was made to change their name to Alternative Pop Evolution, and hence Can't See The Light was recorded under the APE banner. In 2000 Benatar left and was replaced by Andrew Hoare (bass) and Bruce Fereday (keys and sax). Safe Tripping was recorded at Paris Studios in Fish Hoek, Cape Town. In 2001, the band changed their name to... HAPPYFOURTWENTY On the 1st of January 2004 the Govenor of California signed that states Senate Bill 420, which regulates marijuana for medical purposes. Californian DJs have, over the years, been known to wish their listeners a "happy 420" when the clock struck 4.20. Benatar returned to the line-up on bass, along with Pete Woodbridge (guitar, vocals, piano, percussion). Hoare went back to guitar, producing a more classical sound (check out All You Have To Say and Sing Your Life off the album Myrtleville). From 2001 to 2005, HappyFourTwenty played loads of gigs at The Independent Armchair Theatre in Obs, as well as at legendary festivals Up The Creek and The Obs Festival. They recorded most of their songs with Richard Black at Street Level Studios in Cape Town. The band released their first album, Awakening, in 2003 along with their first music video 'Awakening'(search 'happyfourtwenty' on You Tube). The track Ecstasy, featuring Ressel and Leggatt (Rubber Soul electric guitarist and vocalist respectively) is currently the band's most downloaded song to date on iTunes. Echoing the airplay success of Rubber Soul, HappyFourTwenty have also been playlisted on all the top radio stations throughout South Africa, including 5FM, KFM, Radio2000, Highveld Stereo, Jacaranda and OFM. HappyFourTwenty will be releasing a new track, One Night Stand in 2008, together with Rubber Soul. KENT O'SHEA (Solo) Sooner Than Later was produced by Richard Black at Street Level Studios. The song was inspired by Nelson Mandela and in particular his mediation talks in Burundi. Anton Ressel also contributed to the lyric of the 1st verse. The song has received extensive radio airplay throughout SA on stations like Highveld, KFM and Radio2000. Another solo track, Hi My Love, was also produced by Richard Black and features Louise on vocals. NORWAY GIRL Norway Girl comprised Leggatt on vocals and O'Shea on guitar and backing vocals. They released the experimental track Star Crossed Lover which was produced by Paul Ressel of LARK fame (brother of Anton from Rubber Soul). This track, which is featured on the Myrtleville album, has also been one of the album's most downloaded tracks off iTunes UK.