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Night Beats’ Danny Lee Blackwell talks setlist construction and looking forward to seeing friends Holy Wave & L.A. Witch at Endless Daze 2019

There are a few performances that we’re looking forward to at Endless Daze Festival this weekend.

The first one is the once-off debut collaboration of Dr Lovefield & Kayla The Crow, and the second is the return to SA of psych rock masters, Night Beats.

So in our infamous wisdom we thought, why not take Richard Liefeldt (Dr Lovefield, Retro Dizzy) and place him in an interview situation with Danny Lee Blackwell (Night Beats).

Richard Liefeldt: Night Beats were the first international band to be brought down by Psych Night in 2013. This was a huge step for Psych Night as organizers but was also a breakthrough for the South African music scene, what memories do you have of that first trip? 

Danny Lee Blackwell: We’re honoured to hold that position as being one of the first band of our kind to get down there. The people were the real memory-makers. We made some lifelong friends. The first show in Cape Town will always be special… the energy and welcoming crowd was amazing. Someone baked us a cake! 

RL: That show and your trip in 2013 was a turning point for our live music climate but also for Psych Night as a collective. Are you aware of the major impact that it had on our scene?

DLB: To be honest, no. But it makes the band and I feel honoured for that. 

RL: Obviously with being a touring band you’re put on so many line-ups with bands from specific places that you travel to. Are you aware of any of the local bands on the Endless Daze line-up and if so do you have any favourites? If not, are there a few you’re dying to check out?

DLB: I am, yes. Looking forward to seeing Medicine Boy, although I hear it might be their last performance. There are a few other locals I’ve heard great things about, so I’ll definitely be listening and trying and to scope out new South African acts. Boogarins are great. Holy Wave and LA Witch are good friends, so it will be something special.

RL: Last time you were down here I heard of many wild stories of after parties on beaches, in apartments and up Signal Hill, will there be a repeat performance this time round?

DLB: We never have the same performance twice… but you’ll have to wait and see. We like a good wild time.

RL: With the band and your sound changing, do you find it difficult to put together a set list that encompasses your entire discography? And with that said, will you be pulling out any surprises for your Endless Daze set?

DLB: Prepare for some new things, but also our favourite ones from the past. It can be difficult trying to squeeze everything new and old, but that is part of the fun. The challenging aspect of keeping the crowd focused and having the best time of their life, is exhilarating.

RL: Can you ask the Psych Night lads why my band Retro Dizzy wasn’t booked this year and if it was political or what?

DLB: [Laughing] I’ll ask HR.

RL: When the Allah-Las came down to South Africa they spoke quite a lot about their love for South African music legend, Hugh Masekela. Are you aware of South Africa’s music legends and if so, who?

DLB: Masekela is great of course. I love his song “Patience”. Miriam Makeba might be too obvious, but I was exposed to her a long time ago, I’m curious as to how you feel about her? She made a big crossover to Western culture in the ’60s. Steve Kekana is funky and cool. I honestly wish I knew more. 

RL: Makeba has the aura of a loving mother, so pretty tough not to adore her. Then she would sing and you would be enthralled and kind of lost in this Afro-pop jazz groove. But yes… last question… I’ve tried hard not to be biased because I’m a huge Night Beats fan, so this is more of a statement than a question. We are all just so excited to see you guys perform again and I hope you’re ready to receive a lot of love. And also can I maybe join the band, I’ve got a hat and everything.

Thank you so very much. This is very special to us and we couldn’t be more grateful for inviting us back. Big Love.

[Ed’s note: Sorry Rich but that seems like a casual brush off to me buddy]

Check out Richard Liefeldt and Nic Rossouw’s hilarious trip to Newlands Spring Brewery ahead of Endless Daze.

Remember to enter our competition to win two tickets to Endless Daze and a mad Newlands Spring hamper.