Prime Circle - Rock Band - Johannesburg
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 is one of South Africa’s most
successful rock bands. *
Prime Circle is: Ross Learmonth, Dale Schnettler,
Dirk Bisschoff, Marco Gomes and Neil Breytenbach
The band was formed in December 2001 and signed to
an independent label (The David Gresham Record
Company). They signed to EMI Music South Africa in
Their first album, “Hello Crazy World”, sold over
45,000 units (Platinum) in South Africa. Their 2nd
album "Live this Life" sold in excess of 28,600
units (Gold), the current “All or Nothing” is
already in excess of 20,000 units(Gold)-making them
the one of the biggest selling South African rock
acts of 2006/2007/2008.
The new album “All or Nothing” was released in SA at
the end of June 2008, and is also available as a
Live DVD recording. Prime circle are in the league
of multi-platinum selling bands. Prime Circle has
played at all of South Africa’s major festivals &
concerts. In addition, they have:
They supported US rock band “Live” on the South
African leg of their Birds of Pray world tour.
In 2005 & 2007, the band performed at the Nelson
Mandela's 46664 concerts, and they’re South
African Ambassadors for the 46664 organization.
They’ve played alongside the likes of:
Metallica, Collective Soul, Simple Plan, Seether,
Korn, Muse, 30 Seconds to Mars, Good Charlotte,
Chris Cornell, Kaiser Chiefs (and more) at an
annual festival called MyCokeFest (in 2006 &
They’ve played in the UK and Dubai on several
occasions- as well as Namibia.
Prime Circle enter 2009 as the
leading rock band in South Africa, buoyed by several
explosive live performances, a gold-selling album,
significant radio play and, waiting in the wings, a
bold assault on the international market.
That Ross Learmonth, Dale Schnettler, Dirk Bisschoff,
Neil Breytenbach and Marco Gomes have dominated the
rock scene in South Africa is hardly surprising.
After all, prior to 2008, the five-piece had
supported the release of their first two albums with
a commitment to hard work and through a workmanlike
approach to gigging and a brace of radio hits,
rapidly built up a loyal fan base.
Still, with the release of third album, ‘All or
Nothing’ and a new deal with EMI Music South Africa
in place, Prime Circle have managed a most difficult
feat over the past year: that is to elevate their
standing in the South African music industry even
further, at a time when tough economic conditions
have issued artists with increasing challenges.
Perhaps the most easily recognizable reason for this
is the power of a Prime Circle live performance.
The band has always been known for igniting stages
but late January 2009 saw Prime Circle cement its
live status with a performance at Cape Town’s
Kirstenbosch Gardens that still has fans talking.
The show was part of the popular Old Mutual Summer
Sunset concert series and saw a sold-out crowd
transforming the World Heritage site into a
near-spiritual location as Learmonth and the band
delivered what is undoubtedly their best live set
As a companion piece to the albums, Prime Circle’s
live DVD is expected to find a strong footing with
the band’s devoted fan base – and gives newcomers to
their music a chance to feel the band’s live energy
in full force. This is especially important given
the international impact Prime Circle is poised to
have over the coming year when ‘All or Nothing’ is
released into key global markets.
Listening to the album gives
additional – and undisputable – evidence of just why
Prime Circle has managed to reach gold status, just
six months after ‘All or Nothing’ hit the South
African market – and simultaneously stamped its
sound all over the
country’s rock, all hit and adult contemporary radio
Indeed, one of the key radio singles off the album –
‘She Always gets What She Wants’ – is an album
standout that reveals Prime Circle as a band capable
of producing songs that are easily on a par with the
best work of international stars Nickelback, 3 Doors
Down and Daughtry.
The song also signals a more melodic direction for
the rock band – it’s slow build and use of layered
vocals creating an utterly memorable piece of music.
And the sonic surprises do not end with this song:
With its call and response vocals “All I Need” is
more indie than mainstream and album closer, “Tear
It Down”, is part post-punk, part full tilt rock and
ends the album on the most exhilarating note.
“Hey Now” is similarly infused with a resonant
beauty that comes from a combination of front-man
Learmonth’s heartfelt singing, the tug of drum loops
and, most noticeably, the inclusion of a pretty
mesmerising keyboard melody in the song.
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Prime Circle - Rock Band - Johannesburg