Anthems of a Stranger has been launched in Jhb!


It’s been on shelves for a bit, but we officially christened this album release with a shindig at Tanz Cafe Fourways on Tuesday night. With a fantastic Band (Neill Ettridge – Drums, Trevor Donjeany – Bass, Alistair Coakley – Guitar, Ashish Joshi – Tabla, Hlengiwe Pitso – Vocals, Tumie Mfecane – Vocals and Andy Innes – Guitar / vocal) the gig went down really well with rave reviews from all who came along. The band whipped through a set of Seven tracks from the Anthems of a Stranger release to thunderous applause from the large audience. This showcase was just the precursor to more upcoming shows, to give the audience and press a taste of what’s in store and to highlight some of the album material.

Thanks to everyone who turned up and special thanks to the “profile” guests who took the time to come and help celebrate.

A special thank you to Andy Furtner at Gearhouse, who provided cabling, mults and splitters for the live recording and a HUGE thank you to the Gearhouse affiliate Ledvision (under the able leadership of Richard Baker) who provided the immense video wall that you can see featured here behind the band. Thanks also to Warren Gibson from Plug Music for his efforts and to Jules (who also did the MC gig, incidentally) and his team from Sstream who shot multi-camera footage of the show. Thanks to Raeven Brough for doing a great job at the guitar tech position too. Last but not least, a huge thank you to Desiree for everything she does so exceptionally well.

The launch T-shirts and CD will be available here from Friday 09/11/12.

Andy Innes

Andy plays Tugela Crossing on his P22

Alistair and singers

L-R Alistair Coakley (gtr), Tumie Mfecane (vox) and Hlengiwe Pitso (vox)


Alistair Coakley and Andy Innes playing guitars

Andy Innes launch

Beauties and the beast (Tumie Mfecane, Hlengiwe Pitso, Andy Innes)

Andy Innes Anthems launch

Hottest rhythm section in town (Neill Ettridge – drums, Trevor Donjeany – Bass)

Andy Innes

Andy Plays 8-string Baritone on Ride to the Sea

Andy Innes launch

Ashish Joshi (tabla) and Neill Ettridge (drum kit)

Here are some related reviews and articles: (Cleone Cassidy’s Blog – she said it was pure genius, we like this) (Muse announcement and article)

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Anthems Launch in Jhb!


On Tuesday the 6th of November, I’ll be at the official Joburg launch for Anthems of a Stranger, playing a set of tunes from the album. The CD will be available there, along with Tees and some other unique giveaways. Come and see what all the fuss is about.

Event: Andy Innes’ debut solo album launch of Anthems of a Stranger

Date: Tuesday 6 November 2012

Time: 19:30

Venue: Tanz Café, Fourways, Johannesburg

Tickets: R30, albums available to buy at the show


Online: to book or call 011 658 0277


The launch of Andy Innes’ debut album, Anthems of a Stranger, takes place at Tanz Café on 6 November with a live performance by Andy and an all-star band. R30 entrance and the album will be available to buy at the show.

Anthems of a Stranger, the debut solo project from multi-talented musician Andy Innes, is a mix of world folk-rock, hard-hitting social commentary and elegant instrumental interludes. Andy is also the musical director, guitarist and backing vocalist for the Johnny Clegg band. His 14-track offering has a multitude of collaborations and combines arrangements of maskandi guitars and mbaqanga with more mainstream rock sounds. Named after a line from the socially reflective track Aliens, the album is a blend of lyrically emotional gems and instrumental magnificence which showcase Andy’s gentle vocal abilities in the first eight songs before affirming his talent and technical guitar abilities in the remaining six tracks.


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Monte Carlo


I’m in the principality of Monaco today. We had a great show here with the Johnny Clegg Band on Saturday night – played at the Opera Garnier (named after the architect of this venue and the Opera in Paris) – a royal command performance, i.e. Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco told us to come and perform and we did. The opera just had a 26-million Euro overhaul and is a stunning venue.

It’s been a fantastic and unique experience, I met lots of interesting people, got some shopping in down the coast in Nice and generally had an interesting taste of how the other half lives. An amusing anecdote: Roger Moore (the real 007 as far as I’m concerned) was at our gig on Saturday, but I didn’t get to meet him. Whilst waiting for the ride into Nice yesterday I mentioned this to Princess Charlene’s dad, Mike Wittstock over coffee. “Roger Moore?” says he. “Not a problem!”

He promptly calls Roger Moore and, to my eternal amazement, hands me the phone. I had a three-minute chat with James Bond, who says he loved the show in his best “come here Moneypenny” voice. What a lark!

The Monte Carlo Opera is a 513-seater (filled for the show) and is right next to the Casino (the model for Fleming’s Casino Royale).  The after party was at Cafe de Paris. Some pics from the show and the after party follow below.

On another more provincial note, I will be back at Tanz cafe in Jhb, playing three songs for the semis of the Acoustic Anything series on the 9th of October. Feel free to pop in.

warming up for a trio gig at Tanz last week

Barry, Andy, Prince Albert, Princess Charlene, Verny

Monte Carlo Opera gig

opera garnier pre show

monte carlo opera ceiling detail

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Nice review from Today’s Citizen

Andy Innes – Anthems of a stranger – Comfortable crossover

Andy Innes, solo artist and musical director for Johnny Clegg’s touring band, is one of those English-speaking artists (others include Tom Fox, James Stewart and Lionel Bastos) who, without resorting to world music clichés, is able to convey a sense of “Africa-ness” in music that fits comfortably into what most would define as “Western” pop.

25 September 2012 | BRUCE DENNILL


Innes’s profile is such that he’s able to include a long list of artists similarly comfortable with his crossover style on this album – Johnny Clegg; Barry Van Zyl; vocalists Mandisa Dlanga, Hlengiwe Pitso and Bongani Masuku; drummer Kevin Gibson and many more.

The agreeably grown-up songs that come out of that mix of talents are great, with love song Desiree (dedicated to Innes’s wife) and Angels being the best of a strong selection.

Six of the entries on the tracklist are instrumentals, underlining the breadth of skill and creativity at the disposal of Innes and his motley crew.

And within that bunch, there is great scope as well, with Gitane being a hyper-active, jumpy tune and Delilah a soothing, melodic musing. – BD

Also see Bruce Dennil’s interview / article from 24/09 heritage day issue: Citizen September 2012 article online


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Piezo-equipped Guitars (WARNING: guitar nerd tech stuff)



I recently acquired a Purple Hazel PRS P22 to complement my existing arsenal of mag/piezo-equipped stereo guitars. It all started with my Parker Fly Deluxe. Then I got a Mojo, then a PRS Custom 24 that got a Graphtech Ghost system installed the day it arrived. These were followed by a Parker Custom with Graphtech LB63 Floyd Rose piezo bridge and 13-pin midi hexaphonic as well as a late-model Fly Artist and a Bronze Fly. An American Deluxe strat got the treatment too.

Bronze, Custom, Artist

Andy Innes

Deluxe and Bronze Fly

All the guitars are routed stereo on stage: electric mag pickup signals go to the amps (lately this is a Kemper KPA, subject of another blog posting here), piezo signal goes to a DI for the house and routes back to an acoustic amp or in-ear monitors, depending on which stage I find myself on.

Sometimes when switching the P22 with another P22 or another piezo equipped guitar like a Parker, you may hear a pop. This is particularly bad when your guitars are plugged in to the house PA via a DI box. The popping sound is apparently due to rail voltage used to power the active preamp for your piezo guitars.

Funnily enough, the early model pre-refined Parker Fly guitars had this issue solved in the 90’s with their ribbon circuitry. If you plug two of those Parker’s into a stereo switcher like a Lehle, you can switch between the two guitars silently. If, however, you introduce a PRS P22 or a recently built point-2-point wired Parker into the chain,  you will probably hear the pop (read BANG if you are plugged into the PA) when you switch the guitars. Sometimes you can experience this pop when switching between piezo and mags on the guitar itself, depending on the quality and integrity of the switch.

Im not particularly savvy when it comes to electronics, but the explanation several people in the know have given me about this is that the guitar is unloading unwanted electrical charge, causing the pop. This is also called ‘DC offset’. The way to defeat this is with a capacitor and possibly a balanced resistor in the audio chain. The most logical course of action to solve this issue seemed to my tech and I to be the installation in the guitar itself of a capacitor/resistor combo.

I had two of my Parkers wired like this, but it caused problems with the intelligent switching, as the rail voltage was used to switch the late-model Parker pre between mono summed and stereo operation, depending on whether your jack cable plug was TRS or TS. Subsequently I had my tech build me a small box with 2 capacitors in. This seemed to work better, but altered the tone of some of my guitars, thus not 100% desirable.

Finally, I discovered a product by Lehle called the DC Filter. I bought two of these and placed them on the piezo lines of my guitars in the signal chain. Hey presto! That was it – problem solved. Of interest here as well is the fact that I have not detected a significant change in my guitar signal or tone since putting the DC Filters in my rig.

Lehle DC Filter

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