Band wins battle

The Pedestrians are, from left, Simon van Harte, Emilio Buckton, Keanu Harker, Barry Box and Bradley Prince.

Having worked together for just over a year, the members of The Pedestrians, including 22-year-old Bellville jazz student Barry Box, are proud of what they have achieved thus far, which includes winning the Battle of the Bands competition and creating original songs for a theatre production.

The five-member band won the 2016 Quay 4 Battle of the Bands on Tuesday August 30, pocketing R20 000 prize money.

Drummer Emilio Buckton, from Marina Da Gama, says winning the competition was an exciting and rewarding experience.

“Seeing the results of our hard work is a blessing in itself. It has also given us a lot of confidence moving forward since we’re a young band and we’re looking to use this momentum to achieve much more.”

Lead vocalist Keanu Harker from Belhar, echoed Emilio’s sentiments: “Winning is always a great experience and this time was no different. I’m really happy that we won as this opens so many new doors for The Pedestrians. It was nail-biting, but our hard work paid off ,and I’m really excited for what’s to come.”

The Pedestrians were formed in 2013 during the Cape Town Summer Concert Series, when a group of artists came together to perform.

The band had a series of performances following their appearance at the summer series. Over the past few years, there have been several changes within the band as some members went on to pursue solo careers.

The current band members, Emilio, Keanu, Simon van Harte, Bradley Prince and Barry Box, have been working together for the past year. And while some members are studying and others working, they always make time for their music.

“Because some of us don’t study music we find times during the week when all of us are free, usually at night. I study chemical engineering at UCT, so my time is limited. But because I love playing in the band, I don’t mind giving up some of my off-time to rehearse with the guys,” says Simon, who is from Woodstock.

For Barry, the band has helped him in his jazz studies at UCT’s School of Music.

“I’m studying music, so the band and my studies go hand in hand. The band helps to showcase all of the things we practise at university, so it’s definitely beneficial to my studies.”

The band members agree that another highlight was creating original songs for a theatre production, Viva D6 Queens, which was part of this year’s Suidoosterfees.

“We had our own original show, written and directed by Quanita Adams. I also worked alongside Ivan Abrahams, who was the main actor in the production. We composed and performed our own original music for this production, something which was new to us. We really enjoyed it,” says Keanu.

Emilio says the songs helped to bring out the true feelings and emotions of the scenes.

While members would like to continue being part of the band for as long as possible, they all have goals they would like to reach individually.

“I plan to further my music career and to travel the world with my music. After my studies, I will be a qualified music teacher and I plan to teach music,” says Bradley from Ruyterwacht.

Barry hopes to open his own music studio when he completes his studies, while continuing to play with the band, and writing and playing his own music.

“I plan on starting my own music school, but also want to cater for the communities and areas that aren’t really financially stable enough to afford going to a formal music school.

“I am already teaching, so by the time I want to start my school, I’ll have a foot in the door already,” says Keanu.

Visit or follow them on Twitter @pedestrians_cpt for more information or to see what the band is up to.