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Last Night at the Bassline

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In 1994 Brad and Paige Holmes opened a small, live-music venue in the bohemian suburb of Melville in Johannesburg. They called it Bassline, which very soon became synonymous with cigarette smoke, great jazz and nights you wished would never end. They later moved the club to Newtown where it grew in prominence as the ultimate venue for live music, hosting amazing artists like Thandiswa Mazwai, Jimmy Dludlu, Lira, The Soil and Grammy Award-winning group Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

In 2016 word spread like wildfire that everyone’s favourite club was closing its doors forever; this place that held all the promises of a new South Africa, a place where people of all races could come together, share a drink, dance and fall in love was to be no more.

But as Bassline starts its new journey with Live @ the Bassline, yet another great story begins with Last Night at the Bassline. 

“An up-close and personal narrative of make-or-break creative enterprise, succeeding against seemingly impossible odds, with a fabulous cast of truly impossible characters. Backstage, behind the scenes, and in front of the entranced audience, we experience the roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd. The story is at once comical and inspiring, harrowing and uplifting, a tale of seasons in hell and flights with angels.”

In this book, esteemed music historian Professor David Coplan tells the story of Bassline and the Holmes’s journey in it, thus giving musicians and jazz fans something to hold on to even after its closure. This book is a tangible piece of the magic to take home and savour. And those who were never there will be given a chance to experience this dream.

With more than fifty iconic photographs from Oscar Gutierrez and other great photographers. The book is more than just a memoir. It is a gritty, smoky, passionate slice of time. Bassline will always be a reminder of what it feels like to live the impossible.

SELLING POINTS

• Bassline has an extensive and loyal group of followers built up since 1994 – “I’m biased, I’m a fan, I will buy anything on the Bassline.”

• If anything ever came close to the spirit of Sophiatown and District Six, it was the Bassline.

• This book is a collector’s item.

• Will appeal to music aficionados alike as author locates the impact of the Bassline in SA’s wider music history. 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

David Coplan is a well-respected writer and film maker. He arrived in South Africa in the early 1970s as an anthropology researcher at the University of Cape Town. His first book In Township Tonight, was pioneering social history of urban black music, dance and theatre in South Africa. A friend of the Holmes’s, he too found sanctuary at the Bassline when he moved to Johannesburg to take up a professorship at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Oscar Gutierrez arrived in South Africa in 1994. As a photojournalist he has documented a great range of events and issues in politics, religion and music with an impressive client list that includes The Cape Town International Jazz Festival, The G8 Music Festival, the Orbit and Bassline. Oscar Gutierrez has an extensive photographic collection of contemporary South African music.

ISBN 978-1-4314-2499-3

GENRE Memoir

FORMAT Trade Paperback 

SIZE 245x185mm

EXTENT 224pp

PRICE R280

RIGHTS World rights

RELEASE May 2017