Pretoria is gearing up to host one of the most respected hard rock bands in history – performing live in concert to raise money to feed and care for orphaned and injured baby rhinos.
The Straits, boasting key members of Dire Straits the band who gave the world Money for Nothing (and kicks for free) Sultans of Swing, Brothers in Arms and other worldwide hits, will play one sensational concert at the Supersport Park in Centurion on 28 June 2014.
The band will feature South African singer/guitarist Terence Reis who astounded fans on the Straits’ recent tours of the USA, blowing away fans with his Knoplfer-style guitar work.
“I cannot believe how fortunate we are to have this amazing band, who are now on a hugely successful tour in the USA, to play in South Africa”, said Petronel Nieuwoudt founder of Care for Wild Africa (CFW).
The Straits will be supported in their Rock4Rhinos concert by local acts including Freshly Ground, Arno Carstens, ISO, Bedouin Sea, and Matthew Mole.
Care for Wild Africa has set up a rehabilitation centre on a conservancy between Mbombela (formerly Nelspruit) and Barberton In Mpumalanga, near Kruger Park where they care for baby rhinos – and other wildlife- that have been orphaned by poachers or injured and can no longer care for themselves.
“Feeding and caring for these stressed animals is very expensive. So we are extremely grateful to The Straits for offering to play as a fundraiser” said Petronel. “This concert will make the difference between life and death for so many baby rhinos.”
Care for Wild is currently looking after ten orphaned rhinos– a number of them sent to CFW by SanParks rangers, after the slaughter of their mothers in Kruger Park.
The Straits’ Manager Tom Cleary said in an interview from the USA where the band is now touring, that they would consider it a privilege to help raise funds for such a worthy cause.
“The least we can do is to help raise money to feed the orphaned baby rhinos,” he said.
According to Rock4Rhinos facilitator Chris de Bruno Austin, the Straits concert will be the first of Rock4Rhinos concerts to be staged annually.
“We hope to be able to bring more top flight artists to South Africa, including stars such as Eric Clapton and others to raise funds to save orphaned baby rhinos”, he said,
According to Straits saxophone player Chris White, he and Dire Straits’ keyboard player Alan Clark decided to form the Straits after they had been asked to play at a charity show at the Albert Hall in London. “Alan had recently “discovered” South African singer/guitarist Terence Reis who he had heard performing a Dire Straits song at a local gig “, said Chris.
They then recruited guitarist Phil Palmer who’d played on Dire Straits’ On Every Street world tour in ’91/92, and later drummer: Steve Ferrone, who had played with Eric Clapton. “We initially considered using a line-up of all ex Dire Straits players for the band but the opportunity to begin with a “clean sheet”, to hand-pick the absolute best, was too good to miss and so Mickey Feat was recruited on bass”, said Chris.
The final addition to the band was keyboard player Jamie Squire. As a band The Straits have the blessing of Knoplfer who left the band to pursue a solo career and writer of film scores.
* Tickets for the Pretoria concert will go on sale soon. (See webtickets.co.za) Seats are expected to sell for R380 per person for general admission and R650 for the Golden Circle.