Saturday, 12 June 2010

Around the World [Cup] In 30 Days: South Africa

With the World Cup beginning yesterday, my footy senses went into overload and have essentially taken over everything with which I'm involved. Stretching this to music blogging didn't take too long as, shock...surprise, there are great bands from all around the world in exactly the same way that there are great footy teams. And Argentina. Haaa.

So, for the duration of the shenanigans in South Africa, H-T-A will attempt to uncover a band from each participating nation and give them a brief nod on these pages, with regular posts continuing alongside them. For certain countries this will be a sinch. For others.....let's just say I may well leave North Korea until near the end.

To begin with, it seems only right to go with the host nation. I was tempted by Dave Matthews, who is coincidentally headlining at Bonnaroo Fest this weekend (coverage via NPR here), but given he's one of the largest names in US music it would hardly be breaking news. Instead, I came across Zebra & Giraffe earlier this year and dig their radio-friendly electro-pop enough to give them the shout.

From the video and sound, it will come as no surprise that the Johannesburg band supported The Killers on their most recent visit to South Africa. They have a similar modus operandi to their Vegas brethren, perhaps just injected with some Muse and filtering everything through a set of alternative rock  influences. This results in a distinctly mainstream air that could easily see the band break onto US FM radio when they inevitably head to these shores. Assuming everyone except fans of country music hasn't abandoned the format by that point, of course. 

Zebra & Giraffe released their debut set, Collected Memories, at home in 2008 and you can pick it up here if you dig the sound. Also check out their website or Myspace for more info.

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