Neill Solomon & The Uptown Rhythm Dogs

Singer songwriter, guitarist and keyboardist Neil Solomon was born and grew up in Durban where he began his musical career.

He formed the Uptown Rhythm Dogs in 1978 with Tony Hunter (on sax, flute, bass, guitar, percussion, vocals), Dan Chiorboli (percussion, vocals), Gerry Salendis (keyboards) and Greg Georgiades (guitar, bass, vocals). Their debut album, The occupant, was released in 1981 to much critical acclaim, including in Billboard Magazine.

Overseas prospects were blunted by the cultural boycott. Their most successful single was “Junk foods and disposable ladies” off the aforementioned Album.

Kenny Henson (guitar) joined the group in late 1981.

In 1982 the group was selected to support Janis Ian on her tour of South Africa. Just before the tour began Tony Hunter was killed in a car crash.

The band committed to the tour with Mike Faure (sax) and George Wolfaardt (bass) joining as replacements.

After the tour Faure, Wolfaardt and Henson left and a few months later the group broke up.

Syd Kitchen

Durban-based singer-songwriter who began his music career as part of the Kitchen Brothers duo with his brother, Peter. They gained a strong following on the South African folk circuit. When Peter Kitchen decided to drop out of the music scene, Syd began a solo career, for many years carrying on performing on the folk circuit and in clubs and pubs.

In 1987 he released his first solo album Waiting For The Heave, followed by the live cassette release Warts ‘N All (1992), City Child (1995), Amakoologik (1999), Africa’s Not For Sissies (2001), Across (2007) and Fool In A Bubble (2009).

In 2002 Kitchen, Steve Newman, Tony Cox and Greg Georgiades released the album Aquarian Quartet Live. Soon after Syd Kitchen formed Bafo Bafo with Madala Kunene and they toured together, releasing the album What Kind? in 2005. His cover of “Fine Lines” was included on the John Martyn tribute album Johnny Boy Would Love This (2011).

He died of lung cancer in March 2011.

The Passengers

Formed in 1985, developed out of Neill Solomon’s band Bazar with Neill Solomon (guitar, vocals), Greg Georgiades (bass), George Spencer (percussion) and George Voros (drums).

Later versions of the band included Chris Bekker (bass), Stuart Woods (keyboards), George Spencer (drums), Dan Chiorboli (percussion), Thathi Pule (bass), Karriem Daries (drums) and Anthony Stevens (guitar).

The Passengers released the singles “Hold on” in 1987, “Got to get Away” in 1988 and “Honeytown” and “What?” in 1989.

All four were included on their only album Rule Of The Swallow released in 1989.

The band broke up in the early 1990s and Neil Solomon continued with studio, theatre, film and solo work.