Bottomless Coffee Band – The Married Multi-Instrumentalists

Married multi-instrumentalists from South Africa: that’s what this folk duo define themselves as and it describes them perfectly. With a whole array of crazy instruments, Bottomless Coffee Band manage to bring the sound of an entire band to the stage in an upbeat mixture of folk and rock, entertaining and energetic the entire way through.

From blues to folk to rock, every song this couple plays has its own original feel, often quirky and always full of energy

Having only been touring as full time musicians for a year, the duo left their musical mark in South Africa with their debut album Room With a View. It gave them enough incentive to give up their corporate jobs and commit themselves to their passions, touring the world now as a married couple.

From blues to folk to rock, every song this couple plays has its own original feel, often quirky and always full of energy.  Esté constantly switches between bass, ukulele and the accordion. Lourens Rabé, on the other hand, boasts some excellent guitar playing as well as providing the beat to the music with his own foot drum. This amazingly clever instrument compresses an entire drum kit into a small box, enabling him to play it with just his feet. And to top it all off, their flawless, country voices, as demonstrated by Esté’s more classic part in their final song, manage bring this set together perfectly.

The main set back with this show isn’t with the band itself but with the staging. Performing in a classical theatre with the audience seated throughout the show, they feel somewhat out of place. When I hear this sort of music, I think of American bars in Tennessee or proper concert venues where the entire crowd is standing, jumping and clapping along to the beat. Multiple times I wanted to jump up and start dancing to the upbeat tempo but looking around at the audience, I seemed to be the only one.

Despite the slightly off-putting venue, this duo succeeded in bringing country and folk music to life for me in the way I’ve always loved it. With their set of classic country songs mixed with some of their originals, the energy and heart they poured into their music had me tapping my feet along for the entire performance. I look forward to seeing these guys at the Edinburgh Fringe festival again next year.

Reviews by Megan Atkins

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The Blurb

South African husband and wife duo, Bottomless Coffee Band, combines a myriad of instruments with mesmerising vocal harmonies to produce the energy and sound of a full band. They skilfully utilise a custom built foot drum, harmonica, acoustic guitar, ukulele, ukulele bass, accordion and other interesting musical and vocal elements (even opera). Their original songs and some spiced up covers (Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan) are communicated through honest chemistry. Their shows aim to leave audiences with inspiration in their hearts and life in their veins. Musical showmanship; guaranteed to leave you speechless!