Al Bairre is a Cape Town based, five piece symphonic indie rock band who combine cello, violins, guitars, ukeleles and drums. Al Bairre launched in 2012 and consist of Kyle Davis, Tom Kotze,Tessa Johnson, Julia Johnson and Nicholas Preen. Drawing influence from bands such as Arcade Fire, Ra Ra Riot, Vampire Weekend and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, their goal was to take an indie band and turn it into an “ice cream of orchestral sounds”.
Since launching in 2012, Al Bairre has played numerous successful shows alongside great acts like shadowclub, Holliday Murray, Beach Party, La Vi, Grassy Spark and Matthew Mole. Al Bairre also released their first EP titled When I Was Tall. When I Was Tall was very well received not only locally but also internationally with tracks being picked up by Sydney University Radio, as well as being featured on Vodafone’s London Fashion Week video. They have also released two music videos for the tracks “When I Was Tall” and “Right Here In July” that has given them great momentum in the industry.
Building on this momentum they were featured in YES Lifestyle Magazine, THE BIG ISSUE and Your LMG September issue as well as many blogs. Al Bairre are also in the process of putting together a Johannesburg tour that they are very excited about. Most recently Al Bairre have been confirmed for Synergy Live music festival, something they are very proud of after such a short time in the scene.
Interview with Al Bairre
How has your sound evolved over the years?
“We’re in the process of writing our second E.P, and I think what we’ve realised with this next one is that everything needs to be bigger and full. We’re not completely disdaining “Less is more”, but we’re trying our hardest to take advantage of all the instruments we’re able to play. So for example with our previous sets there might have been someone only playing tambourine. Now if someone even asks if it’s okay if they simply play one instrument, it would be regarded as a sin.”
Which band was the greatest honour to share a stage with so far?
“The Hives. Every now and then a song of theirs pops on the old playlist and gives us shivers. They were so nice and it still feels like a bit of a dream. It’s a huge honour playing with St. Lucia though as well! Can’t flippen wait! Saffa boy gone did good!”
Take us through your usual songwriting process.
“I (Nic) will bring a skeleton of a song to the band and they will fill in all the major organs (pun) (BOOM), make it look good/sound beautiful and there we go! Wham, bam, thank you mam! Our Frankenstein song is born and is either burnt by people in a church; or accepted into the world and adored.”
Which instruments have you always dreamt of playing, why?
“Not sure. I would say all of us dreamed of playing the instruments we set out to play and if we still dream of others we attempt playing them. I know Tessa started playing the piano accordion. Oh snap! I’d love to play steel drums sometime, but I haven’t been able to find those since school.”
What can we expect to see from Al Bairre at Park Acoustics, and in the near future?
“We’re having some pretty dresses made. We also have two new songs we’ve decided we’re only gonna play just this once before they’re hopefully released with our E.P. in September. Otherwise just huge wide-set-vagina smiles across our faces, we’re always flippen excited to be apart of Park Acoustics and this looks like the big one!”