On Sunday, 30 June 2013 I went to watch Simon van Gend, and his band perform at Deer Park Café, Vredehoek.

Cosy venue with lovely outdoor park and grounds for children

Cosy venue with lovely outdoor park and grounds for children

When I arrived in the area, an area that I had never been to before, I at first couldn’t find a parking.  The place was packed.  I eventually found a parking down the street, and started walking up the hill, noticing how beautiful the venue was.  A huge lawn in front was packed out, with moms, dads and many children, loving life and the beauty of the day.  This is a venue for the old and young.

Upon entering the restaurant, you could feel the electricity in the air, it was almost tangible.  The venue has a cosy atmosphere and is suitable  for a show, function, or party.  The menu has lovely temptations for the taste buds, ranging from delicious food, to decadent cakes.  A fully licensed bar is available.

Simon and his band were there to launch their new album ‘Blinking and Breathing’– I had heard Simon perform at the Folk Festival last year, and again with Joshua Grierson at Alma Café, and found him to be interesting, different and intriguing.  When listening to his voice, he reminds me of Neil Young, but it is difficult to compare him to another, because Simon’s style is so unique.  Music just comes so naturally to Simon.  When listening to him, it felt like your imagination had been stirred.   With the beautiful harmonies, and distinctive sounds, I would have to say his music is part folk, part indie, with a touch of rock. Listening to the lyrics, I realized, here is a man who has poetry running through his veins, you could feel, hear and see it, just by listening to him sing.


Simon van Gend

I can remember as a kid, seeing paintings of beautiful instruments, but never having heard them played ‘live’, especially a Mandolin.  Here I was,  enjoying an afternoon of music, that tugged at the heart strings.  Sounds of a French Horn, Mandolin, and Bandoneon,  being played right before my very eyes.   It felt like heaven had come to earth!


Mandolin played by Brendon Bussy


Bandoneon played by Gustave Fasani

The quality, pure splendor, and enchantment of the moment, was truly a gift.  Not much seen today, I felt like I had stepped back to a place in time, that I had never been before, but, ever only dreamt  of, a surreal moment, come to life!  Music like this, has to be seen, for the heart to come alive!

Joshua Grierson accompanied Simon in singing his song ‘Blinking And Breathing’– my personal favourite, which they performed with such soul, and harmony.


Joshua Grierson singing ‘Blinking and Breathing’ with Simon


French Horn played by Gene Kierman

I was reluctant to leave at the end, but I took comfort in knowing I had my CD to look forward to, and may I add this CD has not stopped playing since.

The CD cover has been magnificently designed by Lauren Fowler, a graphic artist from Cape Town, who is superbly talented.


Art work and design by Lauren Fowler

The 12 track album performed on Sunday, include all the magical instruments played by Simon, and Simon’s band members.   This is certainly going to be a hot seller.

If you would like to find out more about this band, here are the links:







Simon & the Bande À Part – ‘Blinking And Breathing’

2 thoughts on “Simon & the Bande À Part – ‘Blinking And Breathing’


Please leave a comment, thank you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s