Various Artists - 5fm Presents
The Santa Sessions

The Santa Sessions

November 2002, Sovereign/Sting


  1. Henry Ate - Winter Wonderland
  2. Just Jinger - Have Yourself A Merry Little Xmas
  3. Mean Mr Mustard - When A Child Is Born
  4. Tweak - Last Xmas
  5. Jimmy 12" - Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  6. Sugardrive - Shoplifters Of The World Unite
  7. Wess-Lee - Blue Christmas
  8. Toxic Shame - Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
  9. Zen Arcade - Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer
  10. Kreesan - Away In A Manger
  11. Jo Day - Do You Hear What I Hear?
  12. Perez - The Twelve Days Of Christmas
  13. Danny And Martin (from Wonderboom) - Little Drummer Boy
  14. Q Zoo - O Holy Night
  15. Psycho Reptiles - Psycho Xmas
  16. Marlowe - Silent Night
  17. Kelvin Declined - Auld Lang Syne

Press Release:
3 November 2002

The Santa Sessions is a compilation of Christmas tracks re-vamped and performed by seventeen of South Africa's leading bands including Just Jinger, Mean Mr. Mustard, Kreesan, Tweak and Henry Ate to name a few, all adding their own flavour and style to the carols. (Even 90's supergroup Sugardrive have regrouped to lay down a track for the album.)

Titled '5fm presents The Santa Sessions', the album includes tracks like 'Little Drummer Boy', 'Silent Night', Wham's timeless hit 'Last Christmas', and 'Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer' - all sung in a unique South African style to give the compilation a more "homely" South African feel.

The bands on the album that set the stage for the 90's such as Q Zoo, Mean Mr Mustard, Henry Ate, Kreesan, Sugardrive and Just Jinger have all accomplished smash hits in the past and gained cult status amongst their South African fans and the public in general.

The album is a mixture of acoustic, folk, pop and rock versions of the classic songs and will make for a perfect gift under the Christmas tree or to just to sing along to during the festive season. '5fm presents The Santa Sessions' will be available mid November 2002 and is released through Sovereign Entertainment and Sting Music.

Just Jinger sold over 200 000 albums during their reign, touring overseas and even living in England for a while. Their debut album 'All Comes Round' began an unprecedented roller-coaster ride from relative anonymity to unparalleled South African fame.

Lead vocalist Art Matthews has been showcasing in Los Angeles as well as writing new material since January this year and the band are due to release another album in early 2003. Their rendition of 'Have Yourself A Merry Christmas' is a beautiful acoustic track that leaves you breathless.

Henry Ate burst onto the local scene in the heady days of 1996 - marked as a time in the industry when a host of original South African bands were fighting for recognition.

The singles 'Henry', 'Hey Mister' and 'Just' catapulted the band and their charismatic lead vocalist Karma into the lime light of South African stages and radio airplay. Henry Ate had gone from performing at small town gigs in Johannesburg to huge crowds all over the country almost overnight.

Henry Ate has just released a 'Best Of' album which includes four new songs including the intoxicating 'Life' in which Karma uses her outstanding vocal abilities to it's fullest.

Kreesan, another record breaker, released a debut album in October 1993 and it took just over a year for the Durbanite to evolve from being an unknown singer/songwriter to a household name in South Africa. The album broke records boasting five top twenty hits, off an eight track album and in one year, on South Africa's premier national station.

During this period Kreesan supported and toured with Via Con Dios, Richard Marx, Mike and the Mechanics and Ezio. His material has also been used for the soundtrack of the film 'Ghost in the Darkness' starring Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer.

One of South Africa's most accomplished and hard working bands, averaging five gigs a week, Mean Mr Mustard's first single, 'Can't Get Enough' was released in 1997. 'Only When it Rains' taken off their second album got to No. 1 on the country's leading radio station 5fm and their second and third single, 'Without You' and 'She's Crying Again' reached No 2 on the 5fm top 40. Their first album entitled 'Mean Mr. Mustard' won a South African music award for best new artist for the song 'Can't Get Enough' and they were nominated for best song for the track 'Miracle.'

The bands latest album 'Secret Places', is a mature, full blooded rock album filled with great pop/rock songs.

Q Zoo, who formed in 1995 (as Qcumba Zoo) released their first single, 'The Child (Inside)' in South Africa in August of that year, which shot straight to the top of the charts, earning Q Zoo the 'Best New Band' award at the 1996 South African Music awards. In May 1996 their debut album was released in South Africa, stimulating interest from a number of international record companies - led by Arista who licensed the album for international release. Once again, 'The Child (Inside)' made it to the number one spot on the Billboard's Club Chart, after being launched in America at the end of 1996, with re-mixes by Junior Vasquez, Anthony Acid and others. In the South African Music Awards 1997, the band took the awards for best dance album and best pop album.

Having done promotional tours in the USA at the end of 1996, and in Asia in 1997, including appearances on CNN and guest presenting for MTV Asia, they then settled in to take a break and rediscover the joys of home, before starting work on material for a new album. The bands presence on 'Carols By Electric Guitar' is a rare treat.

Before their untimely break up in 2001, the four-piece, Sugardrive were a unique, intellectual, melting pot of sounds including a blend of trance, dance, trip-hop, and rock. Sugardrive were one of the best original bands on the South African music scene and six years of touring had recreated the band and their style to make them the most loved band in the industry. Sugardrive were constantly showered with praise in the media and they recorded continuously over six years, starting with the grungy 'Hey God It's Me Again', and evolving into the rocky 'Snapshots' EP, followed by the critically acclaimed industry award winning 'Sand-Man-Sky' and the equally acclaimed 'When I Died I Was Elvis'. On the 18th of December 2000, Sugardrive released their fifth album, the live compilation album, 'In The Circle'.

Other SA artists who have become popular in the music industry include punk/rock band Tweak and SA band Perez.

Perez has spent the last 18 months touring extensively and promoting their debut album 'Picture Perfect'. Aside from the tour, they have been climbing the charts with their debut single 'Wasted Out', which reached No. 1 one on the Samsung High 5 At 5 (being the fourth SA band in history to do so). The single ended up spending five weeks in the top five and three of those at No. 1. The bands second single 'Picture Perfect' also reached No. 1 on the High 5 at 5 on 5fm and stayed there for three weeks with their third single 'Dreams & Troubles' entering the high 5 at 5 at No. 9 before climbing to the no. 1 slot and finally ended the race to the top of The 5fm Top 40.

With four number one singles from one album, Perez headline numerous major festivals in South Africa, sell out all their Nationwide live shows, compete with international artists in terms of album sales and are frequently requested to perform at corporate and VIP events which have included the Earth Summit, World Surfing Championships and the Launch of the Wavehouse in Durban. Their latest single the ABBA classic 'Mamma Mia' has been included in the 'Wired Up 2' compilation.

Durban cult band Jimmy 12" is a rock band of different category, with a myriad of influences, moods and textures that have somehow blended to form this weird and wonderful but instantly accessible, yet unique sound. They are widely known in their home town Durban where they perform to capacity filled venues and have been touring nationally in order to get their name known around other parts of the country.

Marlowe, tipped to be the next big thing in the rock world of South Africa, is a completely new sound with Scott Wareham, the bands lead vocalist whose vocal style is so distinctive to the South African music scene that it is leaving audiences captivated. The accomplished high and low notes that are the core of the bands sound have earned Marlowe some positive comments of approval from fellow musicians that come to watch them live.

Having formed three years ago Tweak has become the country's most exciting punk rock outfit. With hit singles like 'Birthday Card' and 'Friends' Tweak is one of the few South African bands that manage to fill venues around the country. So much so that people have to be turned away. Their punk/rock sound has every teenager in the land clawing for more. Creating songs about life that draw from various styles of music such as rap, reggae, rock and grunge, Tweak quickly came to the fore having won a Battle of the Bands. They were invited to perform at the final Big Brother Bash due to housemate Rabin's enthusiastic plea to hear a Tweak song on national TV. The bands offering to the compilation is a re-work of the Wham ballad 'Last Christmas'.

Zen Arcade, - named after a classic Hüsker Dü album - are no misty-eyed Pierrot Lunaires, however, live they kick out the jams with their crisp and potent guitar brews. Hard they are, but with glistening hooks and lures - as in the memory-snagging 'Step Back' on the album - that leave you gasping like a landed fish.

Wess-Lee has released one hit after another since her appearance on the pop/rock scene in South Africa. 'Like A Holiday' was Wess-Lee's first radio single and is still play-listed on every major radio station in the country. It reached #6 on the 5fm top 40. The song & music video are flighted on SAA's international flights as well as all South African Television stations, including M-net soundcheck & Channel O. 'These Sparks Will Fly' is Wess-Lee's second single, which charted at no. 23 on the 5fm top 40 as well! Not only did she open for Ronan Keating when he performed in South Africa but she was nominated for a SAMA award in the category of Best Pop Album.

A performance that walks the razor edge between pent up culture rage and slick, professional musicianship, Jo Day is set to turn the industry right around and put it out cold on its back. After blasting into number two on the charts with her first single 'I Believe', the only female rock voice in SA with real credit has taken to the stage to promote her new album: 'Icon'.

Nothing can prepare you for the sheer power of this act. Jo dispels all myths that women can't cut it in the balls-to-the-wall world of rock. Her grinding vocals eat up anything you've seen before, and her stage presence leaves her audience competely captivated.

Danny De Wet and Martin Rocka, original band members of Wonderboom, are no strangers to the music scene. Danny has been in three previous bands that took the charts by storm in the 80's. Electric Petals, éVoid and Petit Cheval were all successful in their own right. Danny's current band Wonderboom is rated by the South African public as one of our best bands. Martin's current band Martin Rocka and the Sick Shop are a 3 piece psychobilly band from Johannesburg. The two have joined forces to give us their own unique version of 'Little Drummer Boy'.

Kelvin Declined creates and plays their distinctive brand of Rock. They imitate neither local nor international trends, rather continually strive to remain current and innovative. Due to each band member's history and musical ability, Kelvin Declined emerges as a synergetic unit that constantly delivers tight, energetic performances. Mark's interactive and intelligent communication with audiences has won him great admiration with fans.

The final addition to the compilation is the classic Psycho Reptiles, 'Xmas Medley'. This is an extremely rare track that had the country dancing in the 80's.

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All info supplied by Tracy Horn, November 2002

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