Gramsci Beat

Gramsci Beat was a political band made up of students at Rhodes University during the late 1980s.

The band was named after the Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci, since most of the band members were sociology students at the time.

They are remembered for their crowd-pleasing rendition of the classic Dollar Brand anthem, ‘Mannenberg’.

The band line-up was: Chris Letcher (guitar and trumpet), Michael Drewett (guitar), Alan Finlay (keyboards), Monty Roodt (bass), The drummer was Thomas Jacobs (drums) and Mary-Anne Naude (vocals).

Thomas died in 2012.

The Leather Omnibus

The Leather Omnibus was a multiracial band comprising students at Rhodes University and residents of Rhini Township outside Grahamstown during the apartheid-era of the late 1980s.

The band played a mixture of covers and original material commenting on the socio-political conditions of the time.

They released one single, ‘Neighbours’ which received airplay on the local campus radio station, ‘RMR’.

The classic line-up was: Leon Lazarus (bass & vocals), Mini Dial (drums & vocals), Brett Lock (guitar), David McCluskey (saxophone), and Nombelelo Futuse (keyboards and backing vocals).

For their final run of gigs in December 1989 at the famous club Jameson’s in Johannesburg, they were augmented by: Chris Letcher (lead guitar), Alan Finlay (keyboards), Vusi Kama (percussion), and Rene Benade (backing vocals).