“It was ‘go big or go home’ for us”, says The River Band vocalist Jandré Spangenberg about the planning that went into their recent launch event in Cape Town.

“We wanted to keep the setting intimate while giving the audience the “big concert” experience. Venue hunting began in October 2018, and we eventually settled on the 100-year-old Centre for the Book (National Library) This spectacular venue presented its own set of challenges… we had to build stages, design sound-system-setups and lighting designs, bring in catering, seating… a massive list of things. The detailed lighting and sound design for the launch took about 2 months to plan. We filmed and recorded the event in order to share the vibe of this special evening and we are very happy with how things turned out.”

Media who attended the event says that it was refreshing to attend a launch in which the hard work and attention to detail was evident. Wynand van Heerden from Bok Radio says: “This was one of the most special CD Launches I`ve been to – so much talent on one stage. It blew me away!”

Hailing from incredibly diverse corners, the members of The River Band all share the desire to enlighten, to entertain, to tell a story, to give a voice to the people in the back of the room. The band was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 2012, and its limbs have evolved and expanded dramatically since. Now, it has grown to be a greater force than the sum of its parts. Jandré says: “It’s a band that focuses on bringing the church of Music to the masses. We just want to have a great time live in concert.”

Listen to the album here: 

Check out the launch videos here:

We chatted to “The River Band” frontman Jandre Spangenberg:

Tell us about the band?

The River Band is a collection of session musicians with equal amounts of passion, talent, drive and perseverance that became good friends over time. You can hear it in the music too. It’s a band that focuses on bringing the church of Rock to the masses. To have great time live in concert. We want to have the most fun the only way we know how, all packaged with that DIY, home-made feel. You, just need to join us.

We hear that the album was written with a specific theme in mind. Tell us more about it?

Oh, this needs some explaining. It is about….. Depression…. But hold on, it’s not a sad album… Instead, it is a conceptual album chronicling the crests and troughs of a struggle with depression over a period of ten years, in chronological order. It celebrates the highs, explores the lows, parties in the happy times, and gets serious in the angry ones. It deals with new life, death, old relationships, new relationships, coddywombling, political frustrations and the sometimes odd relationship one might have with their hometown… no matter how hard you try to get away from your roots, they still hold your tree up.

How did the band form?

After producing music for a while I started to write songs in my free time. So, I started looking for like-minded individuals to make noise with me. I picked a talented drummer from this band, stole a keyboardist from that band… and soon I had a little operation on my hands.

How did it all come together?

Some of my bandmates and I were sitting outside dreaming of touring and gigging when CJ, bassist extraordinaire and philosopher, remarked “I want to play a gig on the Saturday, and die on the Sunday”. How cool would that be? So what were we going to do to get to that point? By that time, my studio have become plenty busy with work, and I have collected a nice heap of great live-sound equipment, have written damn near 90 songs, have a photographer as a fiancée, bandmates with more talent in a pinky-nail than I could amass in two life-times… “Why are we not taking this a bit more seriously?” I wanted to know. If we did not do something with everything that we had, we were most certainly going to hell. Other bands would kill to have these kinds of things at their disposal. And so, it was decided, in December 2017, that The River Band was gonna flood. We are going to be an official band baby, and we are going to bring it!

Tell us about The Album Cover Image?

The Three Tree picture was taken in BoNaZaZi, near Kasane in Botswana. It is the area where Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe meet, hence the name. The trees are on an island in the mighty Zambezi River. This River originates from a little fountain and ended up cutting the largest waterfall in the world. Pretty much the way we want the River Band to go…