Die Lemme

Not officially a group but the name which Gary Herselman gave to the loose affiliation of musicians who contributed to his 2014 solo album, Rigtingbevok.

Contributing artists included Albert Frost, Arno Carstens, Chris Letcher, Paul Riekert, Syd Kitchen, Rian Malan, Warrick Sony, Lloyd Ross, Toast Coetzer, Jannie van Tonder, Willem Moller, Francois van Coke, Valiant Swart, Frank Opperman, Max Mikula, Richard Haslop, Robin Auld, Tonia Selley, Kathy Raven, Sannie Fox, Dave Davies and Jonathan Handley.

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).

Urban Creep

Durban-based group who formed in 1994: Chris Letcher (guitar, keyboard, vocals), Brendan Jury (viola, keyboard, vocals), Simon Pontin (bass) and Ian Jefferys (drums). This line-up released the cassette-only album Live at Jam&Sons (1994).

In 1995 Didier Nobilla replaced Pontin on bass and Ross Campbell replaced Jefferys on drums. The new line up released the albums Sea Level (1995) and Tightroper (1996).

Their most popular song was their first single, “Sea Level” (1995).

They broke up in 1998.


Van der Want/Letcher

A duo formed in Johannesburg in 1997. Matthew van der Want and Chris Letcher were both part of the ’90s Shifty Records stable: Van der Want as a solo artist and Letcher as a member of Urban Creep. Van der Want was an occasional support act for the Urban Creep and the latter appeared on van der Want’s debut album.

After Urban Creep broke up Van der Want/Letcher released the EP EP Tombi in 1997, followed by three albums: Low Riding (1998), Bignity (2002) and Casual Killing (2005). Van der Want/Letcher is a side project with both members of the duo also releasing solo work, and mostly coming together for live performances.