With just over a month to go until hundreds of party-hungry paddlers and locals descend on the Karoo town of Cradock, the event organiser have pulled out all the stops as off-the-wall rock band Desmond and the Tutus join 2015 Fish newbies Rubber Duc in entertaining the crowds from the Hansa Gig Rig on Saturday 8 October.
Johannesburg based Rubber Duc, who were a huge hit in 2015, return for their second round at the Cradock Sports Complex whilst Desmond and the Tutus, who hail from Pretoria, will be making their Fish debut despite Cradock not being unfamiliar to a few of the members of the band.
“Myself and my brother Shane, who is the lead singer of the band, are not strangers to Cradock as we always used to drive through there on our way to our holidays in Port Alfred,” drummer Craig Durrant said fondly.
“We used to often enjoy some ‘padkos’ on the church lawns on our way to the coast every December.”
The band have become a household name in South Africa over the years and with their quirky sound and left-field attitude, the band are looking forward to the opportunity to entertain the masses in the small Karoo town.
“We really enjoy playing all types of gigs from large concerts to small town shows because they differ quite a bit.
“Small town shows come with a really unique atmosphere and since a lot of bands don’t play a lot of small town gigs, it’s going to be special for us to get out there and entertain at the Fish,” Durrant explained.
Coming from Pretoria, the band tends to spend more time on land than they do in the water, with Durrant admitting that the band are not too clued up on canoeing, and more specifically the Hansa Fish, but are excited to learn.
“I must be honest, the four of us are not very good water people. We like to keep our feet dry as much as possible!”
The name of the band ties in well with their unique sound and despite people assuming it had a more meaningful development, the band maintain that it was just the best sounding name that they conjured up.
“We all sort of knew how to play instruments and we formed the band formally in December of 2005.
“We were hoping to create a name that was ‘something-and-the-somethings’ and ultimately Desmond and the Tutus was the best one we thought of, so it stuck!
“The four of us are really good friends and it has been a really exciting journey so far for us and we are looking forward to many more adventures!”
Rubber Duc’s original sound and sing-along lyrics should get the people going again in 2016 after they were a big hit amongst the locals and paddlers alike in 2015.
The 2016 Hansa Fish River Canoe Marathon takes place from Grassridge Dam to Cradock Sports Complex on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 October.