Prime Circle Concert Review @ GrandWest, Cape Town

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The band signing autographs at the merch stand.

The band signing autographs at the merch stand.

The stage, Grand West Arena.

The stage, Grand West Arena.

The stage at Grand West Arena.

The stage at Grand West Arena.

 

I haven’t been to a concert since I saw Nickelback last year in December and I was getting some serious concert withdrawal ;). I was so happy when the time came to go watch Prime Circle for the first time. I’m really sad that I haven’t had the opportunity to see them sooner, but I decided to let bygones be bygones. Prime Circle has become a South African staple over these past few years and they produce quality content time and again.

I had listened to snippets of their latest album on iTunes and watched a few videos to psyche me up for the show. I normally like to know every single song that will be played at a concert, but everything happens for a reason, so I bought the album before the show. I entered the arena and was surprised to see that the Golden Circle featured seats, this gave me the impression that it will be a more chilled/acoustic type of show.

Jesse Clegg performed as the support act and displayed some impressive guitar skills and entertained us with some acoustic songs. It was a pleasant surprise and really refreshing when Prime Circle opened their set straight after the support act. At previous concerts that I have attended the crowd had to wait 30-40 minutes for the main act to start playing.

The introduction was amazing, the band opened up with some amazing graphics displayed on an enormous screen. The stage design was really impressive and on par with international acts. The band kicked off with the title track off their latest album “Let The Night In”. From the get-go my belief that this will be a chilled show was shattered, which I was delighted to discover.

I speak under correction, but I believe the band treated us to each track on their latest album “Let The Night In”. The band combined that with some good old crowd-favourites like “Hello”, “As Long As I’m Here”, “Out of this Place”, “Breathing” etc.

I’m listening to their latest album as I write this and I feel like these earphones are definitely not doing it for me right now, compared to how deafeningly loud the band was on Saturday. My ears were still ringing on Sunday!! I was dancing and singing in my seat the entire night, it took all my strength not to get up and go crazy.

After a lengthy set, the band said their goodbyes and left the stage. The crowd inevitably wanted more and Ross Learmonth (vocalist) took to the stage alone to deliver an amazing rendition of their song “Batten Down The Hatches”, it was delivered with such sincerity that the crowd was captivated. The full band re-entered and things got REALLY loud from there on out. The band performed “She Always Gets What She Wants”, which Ross didn’t even really have to sing, because the crowd was doing it for him. They played “Consider Me”, Never Gonna Bring Us Down” and “I Am”.

My favourite songs off the album are “Let The Night In”, “I Am” and “Yeah”. I was amazed by the texture of Ross’s voice and I don’t know how he manages to sustain it. It really is something to behold. Dale Schnettler was really energetic behind his drum set, so much so that he put it out of commission for a few minutes. 😀 The rest of the band, really put in a solid performance and you could clearly see that they were enjoying every minute of it. My only regret was not being in the Golden Circle, but maybe next time. 😉

I’m so happy that I finally got to see the band in action and I can only hope it won’t be the last time!

You can follow the band on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/Prime_Circle

You can follow the band members’ personal accounts here: https://twitter.com/RossLearmonth

https://twitter.com/NeilBreytenbach

https://twitter.com/DaleSchnettler

https://twitter.com/Marco_S_Gomes

https://twitter.com/dirkbisschoff

I was so lucky to get my album autographed by each band member and I was reluctant to ask for photos, so my fiance did it for me, I’m really happy he did.

This image is the property of The Rock Riff.

This image is the property of The Rock Riff.

This image is the property of The Rock Riff.

This image is the property of The Rock Riff.

This image is the property of The Rock Riff.

This image is the property of The Rock Riff.

Check out The Rock Riff’s Band of the Month series ft Prime Circle: https://therockriff.wordpress.com/2013/01/15/band-of-the-month-prime-circle/

Thank you for reading.

Rock Regards,

 

Lauren K

 

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Band of the Month – Prime Circle

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As a South African and as a South African rock music blogger I believe that I should feature some local talent. So this month I’m honoured to present to you, Prime Circle. A band that has changed the landscape of the rock music industry in South Africa. When Prime Circle formed in December of the year 2001 in the mining town of Witbank, Mpumulanga the South African rock music industry was very different to what we experience at the moment. Finding talented, dedicated musicians was a challenge to say the very least. Prime Circle is currently based in Johannesburg and was originally signed to The David Gresham Record Company. Since early 2008 Prime Circle has been signed to EMI Music South Africa.

Prime Circle consists of Ross Learmonth (vocals&guitar) , Dirk Bisschoff (Guitars), Marco Gomes (Bass Guitar) , Neil Breytenbach(Keyboards) and Dale Schnettler (Drums & Backing Vocals).

Prime Circle has played at most major concerts and they have opened for US based band Live during the South African leg of their Birds of Pray world tour. In 2005 the band performed at Nelson Mandela‘s 46664 concert. In 2006 the band played alongside Metallica, Seether, Collective Soul and Simple Plan at the Coca-Cola Colab events in Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria. Prime Circle was invited to join 3 Doors Down on the European leg of their tour and they performed in Berlin, Hamburg and Stuttgart on the 7th, 8th and 10th of June 2011. Both bands were joined on stage by Alter Bridge.

In 2003 Prime Circle released their debut album Hello Crazy World, which reached Gold Status in South Africa. The singles off of this album “Hello”, “My Inspiration” and “Live This Life” was in heavy rotation on South African radio stations. They started building a solid fanbase that has stood by them for over a decade. I still consider these singles as rock classics, because when I listen to it now, it still makes me feel the same way I did when I first heard it…in awe.

In October 2005 they released their second album “Live This Life” which reached gold status in 12 months solidifying their position as South Africa’s biggest selling rock act of 2003/2004/2005/2006. In July 2006 a DVD of their performance at The Function in Johannesburg was released and it was called Living in a Crazy World. In 2007 David Gresham Records released a CD/DVD Best of… box set which followed the success of the previous two albums. The CD featured 17 tracks including acoustic, live and remixed versions of previously released favourites including a new track called Moments which reached number 1 on numerous local radio charts. I was slightly baffled by the release of the Best of… box set at the time it was released, because the band had only released two albums up until that point. Initially I didn’t know different versions of the tracks were included. My personal suggestion would have been just to give the box set a different name.

After signing with EMI the band released the album All or Nothing in 2008. This album in essence was just a taste of things to come, it was the most important step in the band’s evolution. The album was recorded at Bellville Studios in Cape Town the album changed their musical direction from post grunge to a more anthemic rock sound. The band was nominated at the South African Music Awards for Record of the Year and Best Rock Album for All or Nothing. With the success of All or Nothing the band released a live DVD of the same name in early 2009 which coincided with the international release date of the album. The first single off of the album called “She Always Gets What She Wants” is a really special song and received 810,932 views on Youtube to date. You can view the video below:

It is the most viewed South African rock song on YouTube. Follow-up singles from the album include “Consider Me” and “Out Of This Place” which are listed among my favourites.

In mid 2010 the band started working on their 4th album “Jekyll and Hyde” which had a lot to live up to. The album was mixed in Los Angeles by Kevin Shirley who has worked with the likes of Aerosmith, Iron Maiden, Silverchair and Journey. Mastering engineer George Marino who is famous for his work with Guns ‘n Roses and Ozzy Osbourne added some final touches to the album. The first two singles released from Jekyll and Hyde was the power ballad “Breathing” and the thoughtful “Turning In My Sleep”. Both of these songs were nominated for the SAMA MTN Record of the year. In March 2011, Prime Circle won the Best International Breakthrough Act at the MK Awards. Both singles from Jekyll and Hyde still enjoy heavy rotation on South Africa’s regional radio stations.

In July 2012 the band entered the studio once again to tackle their fifth studio album called “Evidence”. Their first single off of their latest album is the title track. On the 11th of January 2013 the Official music video for the track was released and its pretty intense. Check it out!

Here is an alternative link if the video above doesn’t work: http://vimeo.com/57280650

After being part of the music industry for the past 11 years Prime Circle has cemented their brand and they have put their stamp on the South African music industry. I just wish them all the success in the world and I believe they will only grow from strength to strength in the future. Ross Learmonth’s voice has become one of the most recognisable voices in the South African music industry, but the band still remains humble and continues to be dedicated to their fan base.

German fans are in for a treat, because Prime Circle are busy finalising some German tour dates which should be released soon, exciting things to come for Prime Circle fans.

You can follow Prime Circle on the following social media sites:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/Prime.Circle (Like)

Twitter: https://twitter.com/prime_circle (Follow)

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/102173999209147308575 (+1)

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/primecircleofficial (Subscribe)

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Please note, I do not own any of the photos listed below and these photos were sourced from Prime Circle’s official Facebook page, credits go to the photographer respectively.