“Take his Welsh/Afrikaner roots, add a bit of Dylan, Cohen and Waites, soak in Miriam Makeba, Mahlathini & the Mahotella Queens, Amaswazi Emvelo , add some Tony Bird, David Kramer, the Other Band, Bright Blue and Juluka, shake well, and you come up with a “Kaapse Mengsel”. Skollie a bit of this and a bit of that, and you have “Skollie Rock” – an African Melting Pot.
This best describes Bill Knight, a Singer-Songwriter, Recording Engineer, and Music Activist, and one of South Africa’s, and specifically Cape Town’s; National treasures.
He was born in Botswana, during the British Protectorate, and was nurtured on the Ancient heartbeat of Africa– and blessed by the Koi-San, the BaTswana and the Immigrant Settlers – all resilient, open-hearted, hospitable, and fond of Laughter. Bill absorbed their music and rhythms as fast as they came.
Bill moved to Cape Town in 1966, and soon came into contact with “Die Kaapse Volk”, with their own colourful dialect, (KaapseTaal / KombuisTaal). Bill was immediately entranced by their Music and Rhythms.
He has performed at various Festivals – the Barleycorn, Four Winds Club,(Port Elizabeth), Up the Creek (Western Cape), Splashy Fen, Drakensberg, Durbanville & Hermanus.
Bill collaborated with Seymour Howe, (Scriptwriter), and David Muller, (Actor) in the celebrated Kalk Bay Musical, “Harbour”, which grew to be a cult favourite.
Bill’s involvement with Music Activism began with his joining the Barleycorn Music Club, which promotes original Local Music in the early 80’s. Bill is a past Chair, and Life Member.
In 2003, Bill launched the Cottage Club, a Home Venue, in the magical Kommetjie Valley, which has featured the Cream of Local Roots Music. (See Cottage Club Page)
Bill Knights Wes- Kus Trilogy , known as Sout & Sand started in 2003, when Bill and his Wife took a trip up the Cape Wes-Kus into Namibia, encountering the Namah, Rehoboth Basters, the Herero, and the Oorlamse – all of whom had that same Desert Spirit in the Land and the People that he experienced in Botswana,
Listen to Bills music at Reverbnation
He has collaborated with a great number of Gifted Local Musicians, Known Associates, and Lurkers with Intent. (See below)
Collaboratiors, Mentors & Known Associates.
- Grahamstown 1975 ; Head Office , Carl Raubenheimer, (Corporal Punishment)
- Cape Town, 1990, the Whale Well, the Sweeties, Innike Van Der Wal & Jinny Sagorin.
- Cape Town1981, Cape Smoke: Richard Tait.
- Stellenbosch, 1983, Libertas Theatre: Lesley-Rae Dowling, Willem Fourie, Caroline Blundell, Terrence Scarr, Richard Tait.
- Cape Town1994, the Skollie Rock Band: Roger Lucey, Caroline Blundell, Terrence Scarr; Dave Ledbetter (Illegal Gathering)
- Cape Town 2002, Rinderpest: Seymour Howe, Raelle Goodman, James Kaye, Gale Mc All, John Gnodde, Kyle Howe, Terxia Chegwidden.
- Cape Town 2007, Sout: Rian Malan Lani Pieters, Willem De Ridder, Guilliaume Chevalier.
- Cape Town 2008. Dorsland: Robin Auld, Cherith Bain, Willem WitBooi.
- Cape Town 2009, Brakwater: Chris Tokalon. Hilton Vermaas.
- Napier 2011, Suntouched Inn, Valiant Swart, Alan Ratcliffe, Erika Gouws, Gale Mc All.
Some of the quotes about Bill from respected critics:
“It is one thing to be clever and oblique and another thing entirely to create such emotionally honest visceral songs that become easily anthemic to the everyman and never sound formulaic or contrived. He is a true storyteller. He has a unique, distinct sound that is a great canvas on which to paint his words. That he is not yet rich and famous is unfathomable”. Glen Wilken
“ Wat ‘n ondekking!!” Die Burger
“Bill Knight is a Genius! I must state this in my Review, I think to myself as I am swept out to sea by one of his Songs on a warm Wednesday night at the Kalk Bay Theatre.” The People’s Post.
“Bill is one of the most down-to-earth, warm, friendly and highly talented song-writers you’ll ever meet…” Tony Cox.
“Bill is just mellowing out into a world class cultural Cape-town icon. Even those (so called) old songs have a new life with him giving a lot more light & shade. Kaapse Draai is one of my 10 favorite South African Songs” Dave Marks, Third Ear Music.
“Bill Knight is a Legend!” Valiant Swart.
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