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Prime Circle

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These days, describing records as world-class is commonplace – and, more often than not, it all turns out to be unwarranted hype. But to avoid using the term when talking about Prime Circle’s latest would do the 12-track album a real disservice.

The fact is that the five-piece’s ‘”Jekyll & Hyde” is easily as good as the top modern rock records impacting the Billboard or UK charts right now – and it’s no wonder that the group is looking to the album as the strongest chance Prime Circle has of breaking new territories (a process already started early this year with a series of dates in India).

Prime Circle

Given the creative work done by Bellville (Cape Town) based Producer Theo Crous, LA based Mix Engineer, Kevin “The Cave Man” Shirley and George Marino, Senior Mastering Engineer at Sterling Sound, New York, it’s tempting to attribute the global polish that defines “Jekyll & Hyde” to the touch of outside hands.

There’s no doubt that Shirley (Led Zeppelin; Aroesmith) and Marino (Guns ‘N Roses, Ozzy Osbourne) add substantially to the album’s overall sound, lifting it into arena-sized moments and adding a subtle, but potent sheen to the material. But the real work comes from the band itself. “Our mantra during the recording process was that good is not good enough,” confides singer Ross Learmonth. This meant that a batch of potential songs on the album were picked over and some even discarded in the search by Learmonth, Dirk Bisschoff, Marco Gomes, Dale Schnettler and Neil Breytenbach to deliver the perfect mix to their fans.

Prime Circle

What was thrilling to the band was the collaborative process that drove the songs on “Jekyll & Hyde” with Schnettler and Breytenbach – the band’s two newest members – now playing a role in the songwriting process. “There was no restriction on who brought what to the songs – it was very, very cool in that way,” says Learmonth. Adds Gomes, “We put a lot of pressure on ourselves after we had written the first three songs – ‘Breathing’, ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ and ‘Closure’ – because they set the benchmark for us and gave us something to aim for with the rest of the material.”

Prime Circle’s acclaimed live shows have also impacted “Jekyll & Hyde”: widely acknowledged as the tightest rock outfit in South Africa, the visceral energy that Prime Circle gives off on stage is evident in songs like “Closure” - as confident an opening number as the band has ever put on an album and a surefire showcase for the clean direction of the material. The latter sees Schnettler’s powerhouse drumming lead the way for Gomes’ bass and Bisschoff’s quite spectacular guitar playing to follow, with all other elements slotting easily in. The band also used a different technique with “Jekyll

Prime Circle

Guitar / Vocals: Ross Learmonth
Bass: Marco Gomes
Drums: Dale Schnettler
Lead Guitar: Dirk Bisschoff
Keyboards: Neil Breytenbach

And every fan who has ever sung, recited, played or rocked out to the lyrics & music. You make this all possible.

witbank, Middleburg, Maritzburg and Welkom
Record Label
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Proudly SA's no.1 rock band!

Prime Circle

Current Location
Johannesburg in South Africa

Influenced by the fans, thank you each and every one of you, without you we couldn't do what we do. Keep the faith \m/.
Band Interests

Jekyll & Hyde, the band's fourth album was released on 9 September 2010 reached gold status in just 9 days and now platinum status, solidifying their position as one of the top musical acts in South Africa.

The album is responsible for the the band being nominated for a record 6 South African Musica Awards (SAMA) including:

ALBUM OF THE YEAR (Jekyll & Hyde)
RECORD OF THE YEAR (for Jekyll & Hyde ‘s first single “Breathing”)

Of these, Prime Circle walked away with the SAMA for best Rock Album, 2011. Thank you to all the fans who purchased the album and supported the band over the last 10 years.

Winner of the SAMA for best rock album, PRIME CIRCLE is set to treat Pretoria-fans to a whole new live experience this weekend when they perform at the Pretoria National Botanical Garden as part of the Old Mutual Music in the Gardens Concert series on the 17th of July.

he PRIME CIRCLE performance takes place in the middle of the natural beauty of the botanical gardens and fans are encouraged to come early, bring picnic chairs and blankets and spend the day in natural splendour.

With a restaurant in the gardens and alcohol on sale plus a great supervised kiddies area this is a once off chance to see the band fresh from their European tour, “This is a great opportunity presented by Old Mutual to spend some quality time with our fans in a great setting,” said Ross Learmonth of PRIME CIRCLE. “We look forward to making sure our fans have the time of their lives while enjoying the great scenery of the botanical garden.”

Prime Circle

The Old Mutual Music in the Gardens series presents live concerts every two weeks throughout the winter season at the Pretoria National Botanical Garden and is an extension of their sponsorship of the legendary Kirstenbosch Music series in Cape Town. All proceeds from the performances go to The Pretoria National Botanical Garden.

Prime Circle

It’s been a great year for PRIME CIRCLE, not only did the band take home the SAMA award for best rock act, but they also won an MK award for Best International Breakthrough and performed with the American rock band, 3 Doors Down, while gaining a whole new set of fans following their recent tour of Europe.

After maintaining a solid presence on the South African music scene and amassing a plethora of fans over the past ten years, PRIME CIRCLE have definitely proven themselves to be the reigning kings of South African rock. But knowing PRIME CIRCLE, they are just starting to get warmed up – and even greater things lie ahead for South Africa’s top rock band.


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