Written by Kyle Leaver. Photography by Joshua Stein.
Kaihl (pronounced ‘Kyle’) Thomas Meades laid his guitar on the stage and ripped the bisected lower E-string from the machine head. As he fed a fresh wire through the guitar and began the tuning process, Tinus Lottering booted out a drum solo. Meades drilled a sliding chug riff on the E-string to finish his tune-up. “These guys outdo themselves too much,” said JC Bonnici, manager of Champs Action Bar where the action happened in Grahamstown on Friday, 11 November.
Meades and Lottering are The Dandies; a two-piece rock group from Potchefstroom. They have spent the past two years touring the South Africa, and have just released their new album, Lost Children.
The Dandies’ one-night stand in Grahamstown was the second gig on a road tour to publicise Lost Children along the east coast. They will stop off in Knysna, Plett, East London and many other towns and cities before their final show at Smoking Dragon Festivals’ New Year’s Eve event in the Drakensberg.
The album’s first single, “Lucky Monkey”, was released on 29 August. “We’re releasing each song as a single. Our second single was released on the 2nd of September,” said Meades. The album was recorded at AntiMotion Studios in Johannesburg. According to Lottering, producer Dave Grevlar works very well with Meades in forming and refining song ideas.
“The album is a good reflection of who we are. We draw from a lot of people, we take an element and we sort of build on it,” said Meades. The Dandies describe their genre as “party rock, hard rock, and body rock with edge”.
Meades and Lottering have a standard songwriting process. “Most songs come from riffs,” said Meades. “A lot of the lyrics are Christian; messages of Love. They come from everyday experiences.”
“Being onstage, there’s no substitute for growth,” said Lottering. “The Oppi set [crowd] was full. There aren’t words to explain the joy,” he remarks on their gig at Oppikoppi this year. Meades and Lottering name Railways, Grahamstown, Jeffrey’s Bay, Wild Kei festival and Smoking Dragon 2015 as some of the favourite locations they have played. In total, they have manned the stage over 230 times in the past 24 months, according to Lottering. “The mentality these guys have towards music is up there,” said Bonnici, gesturing in the air.
The Dandies are formerly known as The Jack Rolling Dandy’s. “People can’t remember the name. We don’t want people to miss out just because of a name they can’t remember,” said Meades.
As the Jack Rolling Dandy’s, The Dandies shared the video for their most popular song to date, “The Jack Rolling Dandy”, on YouTube on 18 March, 2013. The video was filmed and produced by Stefan Louw of KoringKriek Fotografie. “We do a lot of stuff with them. They’re really nice guys and really professional,” said Meades of Louw and his team.
The Dandies are looking forward to releasing new music videos soon. “There’s a live video coming out for a cover of the Black Keys’ “Lonely Boy”, and then we’re thinking of putting out a new video in January,” said Meades. The Dandies roped in production company Dizzy Khaki to produce the “Lonely Boy” cover video.
Lost Children is available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and all major accredited download services.