Great music from Jack Mantis Band

Quite by chance I overheard the Jack Mantis Band setting up for their show at Rock Lily last Friday night and so intrigued was I by their music, I decided to attend the show to hear more. And what a great decision it was for it was a truly an inspirational evening of really good music. All the music was original with not a single cover of a well-known song yet one felt one knew the music, as if the music was on your evergreen favourites list.

Chatting with Jack during a break in the music I was astonished by this disarmingly friendly and obviously intelligent musician. Reading his bio the following day it all came together that Jack is how many would define a true artist “living out his various passions as musician, graffiti artist, adventurer and ultimately soul searcher”.

Apparently his initial aspiration was to be a concert pianist but he went on to study orchestra, percussion and marimba “before finding his calling in the guitar”. Quoting from his bio, “It just felt right to me, it allowed me to play what I really wanted to. Guitar saved my life.”

Jack ‘s early musical influences Tom Waits who he says “fired him into space” and challenged everything that he knew about music with other later influences including Eddie Vedder, Dave Matthews Band, Jeff Buckley and Roger Waters.

Originally from Cape Town Jack says because of their travels they don’t really have a home although they do find refuge in the foothills of the Drakensberg. For St Francis Today readers in Kwazulu-Natal, Jack and his band will be in Lidgetton at Caversham Mill in the midlands on Thursday night 27th October and at Amsterdam in Durban on the 28th. During our chat Jack spoke of how when they play in the KZN Midlands the crowds arrive in hordes and how special these rural audiences are.

Jack Mantis Band at Rock Lily, Cape St Francis

Photo – Andre Hugo

Jack Mantis and Karl Weschta

Adding a little local talent to the evening local flutist Karl Weschta joined Jack on stage for some great music

If you are a discerning music lover The Jack Mantis Band really are worth following and for readers in KZN, Free State and Gauteng here is their itinerary going forward as they tour South Africa.

  • 27 October – Lidgetton at Caversham Mill
  • 28 October – Amsterdam in Durban
  • 5 November – Voetspoor Fees in Bloem
  • 6 November – Sundowners in Alberton
  • 11 November – Railways in Johannesburg
  • 12 November – Goodluck Bar in Jhb – with Prime Circle

Read Jack’s bio


To end off a great musical weekend there was the Oktoberfest and it was great to see the support this new entertainment initiative received from locals and it seems, even quite a few out of towners for the village was unusually busy on Saturday, well busy for this time of year. Well done to the organisers and to Cape St Francis Brewing Company, Legends and Pedal & Spoke who worked together to put on a great evening’s entertainment with some good music and great fun.

Photo’s from the weekend

Scene About 21-22-Oct