Crimson House records live album

Recording live to vinyl are Crimson House: Arno van Zyl on guitar, Nick Becker on alto sax, guest performer Luca Hart on violin, Christoph de Chavonnes Vrugt on drums, Riaan Smit on guitar and vocals with Gareth Harvey on baritone sax and Jacques Jansen van Rensburg on bass guitar.

Deep in the inner city, on a mid-week night in the rain, musical history was made.

Gypsy blues rock band Crimson House took time by the hands – and turned the tables around – recording their show as a live album… straight to vinyl.

For Muizenberg resident and lead singer of the band, Riaan Smit, the event was a marriage of two ideas. “We wanted to create something completely organic in the way we recorded; and the medium it is being listened to in

“We always wanted to make a vinyl, and we also always wanted to do a live album that captured our live energy,” he said.

On Wednesday August 2, that long awaited recording to vinyl was done at Cafe Roux. The crowd stomped, whistled, banged on tables and cheered as the band worked their music like a well-oiled machine. The world beyond the rain-steamed Shortmarket Street evaporated and for the too-short eternity of the next 80 minutes; everyone present was wholly immersed in the gravelled gold of Riaan Smit’s voice, and the larger than life, locomotive-magic in the house.

New sounds met with the same level of love as the crowd favourites, and guest artist Luca Hart sweetened the stage with the flower in her hair and her lilting violin.

“The songs we select for the vinyl will be exclusively available on that vinyl. Other selections will go onto a CD, and the whole show will be a live DVD. So you could say, we hit three birds with one stone,” Riaan grins.

He said Cafe Roux had everything they needed to record an album. “Besides the great room and great equipment, there’s a fantastic and respectful audience, they are quiet during the performances and lose their minds in-between with applause; it’s exactly what we needed,” Riaan said.

He spoke to the False Bay Echo before the show, sipping on water and wandering between the burgeoning crowd.

Producer for both the band’s new studio and live album is Antonio Cencherle, of Kenilworth. He will be producing their new albums in V-LAB at Soundcast Studios in Woodstock. “What a great bunch of guys; off and on stage. It’s almost as if their connection off stage gets translated into their music on stage. It’s magical,” Antonio said.

He said that the live recording process was as organic and simple as it should be. “We set up for a live show, connected some awesome mics to the guys, and they played like gold. I am the lucky person to be mixing the live recordings.”

Antonio became involved with Crimson House earlier this year on a single that he produced for the new album. “Riaan Smit called me and suggested we do a track together. We realised that we work very well together as a team, so we decided to do more tracks. Riaan then introduced me to the band,” he said.

And together, on Wednesday night, they made history.

The live album has no specific release date, but the band’s sights are set on February 2018. “Our latest studio album also has no release date, possibly early 2018. However,” Riaan said, “we are releasing the studio album, one song at a time.” Muizenberg and far south fans, take note and circle this date: Crimson House will be releasing a new single off their new album in their own neighbourhood – on Saturday September 2, at the Muizenberg Big Bash. Check out Facebook for further details.