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magnificent7ii The Next Generation


Boldly going where no band has gone before!!!



The Eagles • Smokie • ELO • Fleetwood Mac U2 • Juluka • Bob Marley and the Wailers

The music of popular musical outfits Smokie and The Electric Light Orchestra have been added to the next generation lineup of magnificent bands to be performed by the Centrestage All-Star band at the Boardwalk Casino’s Vodacom Amphitheatre from 8-18 August.

The critically acclaimed Centrestage production, The Magnificent 7 2 – The Next Generation, follows in the wake of its record-breaking predecessor , moving the focus from the music of the 60’s to the music of the 70’s and 80’s, returning in an altered form to the venue where its initial run sold over 7000 tickets earlier this year.

Joining ELO and Smokie are The Eagles, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Fleetwood Mac, U2 and our very own Juluka.

“Set your phasers to rock” is the tagline which accompanies the zany space linking between the individual band tributes in the unlikely company of Star Trek’s Captain Pickard, as we “boldly go where no band has gone before”.

In a script penned by Isidingo’s head-writer Greig Coetzee, the prudish Starship Enterprise Captain encounters a space-time anamoly which gives rise to the action, and spars with the ship’s wise-cracking on-board computer Deep Thought, played audio-visually by Algoa FM’s Carol-Anne Kelleher.

Guest artists fronting the usual Centrestage All-Star Band lineup include the dynamic Melvyn Matthews, along with Amaphondo dancers Zamakholo and Shoes , brass ensemble The Centrestage Horny Section - Greg Lyon, Jeff Taylor and Greg Bell, and Clifford Klebb as the ship’s captain.

“The choice of just who makes the cut to carry the description of being one the 7 most magnificent bands of each time period will always be one of debate”, says show originator and Centrestage owner Gary Hemmings.

“As one of the criteria, we used the depth of each band’s hit songbook – with the specific requirement of having at least 5 up-tempo hits that the general audience will know immediately”, he continued.

“Along the way, we have been inundated by suggestions for bands which should have been included – of which ELO and Smokie were the most common requests”.

“In the case of Jeff Lynne’s spectacular Electric Light Orchestra arrangements ,which replace Dire Straits for this outing, one only has to look at immensely popular songs such as Livin’ Thing, Hold on Tight to Your Dreams, Don’t Bring Me Down, Xanadu and Rock n Roll is King to see why they deserve their position in the show.”

“Similarly, Smokie have long been a popular institution for South African audiences, having charted with such feel-good sing-along songs such as Needles and Pins, Oh Carol, I’ll Meet You at Midnight, For A Few Dollars more, Take Good Care of My Baby, Don’t Play Your Rock n Roll to Me, and the ubiquitous Living Next Door to Alice”.

The Magnificent 7 – The Next Generation once again features a strong audio-visual component, with visual textures complimenting each band’s appearance on 3 big video screens.

The Centrestage All-Star Band is made up of funnyman Gino Fabbri on drums, bassist Mike McAuley, keyboard players Candy G and Rory McLaren, guitarists Wayne Kallis and Donovan Hattingh and vocalists Donna Africa and Lelanie Fourie.

Their approach of pain-stakingly recreating the original sounds of each band under the musical direction of Hattingh, combined with the high energy entertainment on offer, has assured the band a following the likes of which has never been seen in the Eastern Cape before.

The group now also act as local ambassadors as they have taken their compilation shows to other centres, chalking up successful runs in Cape Town and Durban – with the Next Generation version scheduled to appear in Durban in September.

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