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African drumming is not what you'd expect from a guitar-driven rock band, but it's a perfect fit for this weekend crowd. The primal rhythm is working its magic on the punters and the dance floor has turned into quicksand.

The man behind the genre-bending groove is Al Paton, an African born European who has combined his love of African drums with his heritage of Western rock music.

"I remember when Graceland by Paul Simon came out," he told me. "That album was about more than just music in South Africa; it was about building bridges at a time when things were falling apart."

Primarily a songwriter, Paton has seen success with various regional and international music awards, including first place in both NBC's Music Makers Contest and Stage Magazine's Recording Sponsorship.

His song credits include albums, TV series, documentaries, jingles and top 40 charts, and he features in a journal of Prominent Rhodesian-born Men and Women alongside AC/DC producer Mutt Lange.

For the past 10 years he has also taught African drumming and the djembe, performing for the likes of South African president Thabo Mbeki and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

That being said, it's a resume that is lost on this crowd, who have become trapped in the inescapably primeval drumming, given unspoken permission to lose the plot a little.

As the pounding builds and accelerates, the air palpably hotter, arms and voices begin to flail. The finale is a sucker-punch of syncopated wizardry that leaves the fans in cheers, exorcised for another week.

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Credits:

1st Place - Cape Cobras Lyrics with Venom Competition
1st Place - NBC Music Makers Award (with the band Desert Velvet)
1st Place - Stage Magazine Sponsorship (with the band Desert Velvet)
6th, 19th Place - Vivacious Voice Songwriting Competition
#34 on Garageband Pop/Rock Charts with the song 'Matchstick Man'.
#15 Best Lyircs of All Time - 'Matchstick Man' on Garageband.com.



African Drumming

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For the past 10 years Paton has also worked teaching African drumming and djembe, performing for South African president Thabo Mbeki and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Since then he has performed in South Africa, Denmark, England, Estonia, Italy, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Morocco, Namibia, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, USA and Wales.




Buy

Buy Paton's African drumming album on Afrodrumming.com

Explore the rhythms of Africa with an album that ignites the power and irresistible sound of African drumming.

'African Drumming' is an album of 9 songs and rhythms that captures the djembe, bass drums and African voices in fiery displays of talent that will ignite your passion for traditional music.



The video below features an African drumming soundtrack by Al Paton and Rob Paddock (pictured above).




Lyrics


It don't get better than this

There's a dirty bar on the beach in town
We pull in when the sun go down
Plug in and turn it up, crack a cold one

Hey now, how does that song go?
Backbeat to the sound of the bongo
Yeah we're just kicking it out

It's such a sweet sound
It's such a sweet sound, turn it up now

It don't get better than this, no
It don't get better than this
Believe me, it don't get better than this

Ole tequila, when you hit the floor
Get up 'cause you know what I saw
That girl she's checking you out man,
With beer goggles

Hey now, what was my line?
I lost my place in the bassline
Hey dude keep it together

It's such a sweet sound
It's such a sweet sound, turn it up now

It don't get better than this, no
It don't get better than this
It don't get better than this
Believe me baby, it don't get better

Cool it down, burn it up
Cool it down, turn it up, up, up
Turn it up now

It don't get better than this, no
It don't get better than this
It don't get better than this
It don't get better, it don't get better

This one's for the neighbours,
cause I know they hate it
That's why we play it baby,
Yeah we're shaking the vine

This time there's no rest for the wicked
We're gonna kick it, and there's nowhere to hide

Turn it up now (It don't get better than this)
The sweet sound (It don't get better than this)
You know we're leaving the ground (It don't get better than this)
Up, turn it up now (It don't get better)
We're gonna burn it down, burn it down
Turn it up



Matchstick Man

Well she wakes up at 3am to tell me what she's dreaming,
And I love the way she moves her arms,
she's trying to make a picture of her story on the ceiling,
But I don't understand

I was the matchstick man And she was Joan of Arc
In a trailer park in Neverland
Oh, I don't understand why

Well she sleeps into the afternoon,
She says oh my life is a magazine,
And, and, and I'm a superheroine,
The sunlight makes a temple of her body in the bedroom,
And she says, "Hey, I am what I am."

I was the matchstick man
And she was Joan of Arc
In a trailer park in Neverland
Oh, I don't understand

And she says, "Why don't we board a train to India,
We'll touch the shrine and live forever down in India,
And I know Jiva will keep us safe from all of our illusions,
And just for tonight, we'll really be alive."

Well, she wakes up at 3am to tell me what she's dreaming

I was the matchstick man
And she was Joan of Arc
In a trailer park in Neverland
Oh, I don't understand

And she says, "Baby, you can't hide
When superheroes come alive,
I'm looking for the way out,
While you're just looking for the payout baby,

Some things you just can't tell,
Throw a coin in the wishing well,
Time stops for the beautiful girl,
And we dance across the world tonight

She is my Joan of Arc
I'll be her trailer park,
I was the matchstick man
And I said, woh-oh-oh



Peachy

You caught my eye, groovin up slowly
Your half smile sweetly disarmed me
mischeviously charmed me
And I just wanna say, you move in the right way,
in the right way

Summer is rising, engines are firing
And I just wanna say

Everything's peachy
Everything's peachy
So come on and share a little,
share a little,
share a little love tonight

Now I've got a ride, it's nothing amazing,
but it knows where I'm going
And you can come along, yeah groovy

See the world in my mind
and I'll dance with the light in your hair
I think we've got ourselves a moment here

Summer is rising, engines are firing
And I just wanna say

Everything's peachy
Everything's peachy
So come on and share a little,
share a little,
share a little love tonight

This is a calling
Everybody's in now
This is a calling
Everybody's in, let me hear you sing

Everything's peachy
Everything's peachy
So come on and share a little,
share a little,
share a little
Share a little love tonight

Everything's peachy
Share, share a little now
Share a little love tonight



The Pilot

I wanna ride on your magic plane,
Take me up where nothing matters
Aviation fuel, I just can't get enough

I just can't walk away,
And leave these memories,
They're like airport music,
When all you really wanna hear
Is engines in the stratosphere

Aerospace
You've got a whole lot of saving grace

Come around on me
Come around and pull me up
Gravity sure can get you down
So please come around

I wanna ride on your wild black horse
Tame the rouge in you
And let love take course
We'll set the world on fire
'cause you're the moon and my desire aerospace
You've got a whole lot of saving grace

Come around on me
Come around and pull me up
Gravity sure can get you down
So please come around

I'm still waiting
I'm still waiting



Always

My darling, did love come tumbling down?
Did it tear you up inside?
And are you trying to get your life back on the ground?
Its alright, it's alright now

'Cause I've been thinking of you my friend
You've got a pretty face I could never forget,
And your eyes are shining like cool blue water
When everything just gets you down
When all the cars are leaving town
It's alright, it's ok

I will always be there for you
When everything is changing
I will always be there for you
I'm never gonna change my mind

'Cause of all good things I'll keep you in my heart now
Look above there's a full moon baby
And I'm daydreaming of you
I saw your pretty face again
It's alright, it's ok

I will always be there for you
When everything is changing
I will always be there for you
When everything is strange

I will always be there for you
When everything is changing
I will always be there for you



Beautiful Mistake

Well it's hard to make any sense of this world
You're looking for answers
Feeling and falling and fighting your way through the swirl
Just as everything's looking up, you fall back down

And it's hard to reach out and say what you feel
'Cause nothing's good enough, and you've got scars to prove that's real
Every way you turn, you're the wrong way around

My beautiful mistake, you are perfectly misplaced
And when all your best intentions leave you in disgrace
Don't take it hard, we're just shooting stars

And now time has faded dreams that once were strong
Day after day, you're drifting in circles and tracing the lines you've drawn
A ship looking for somewhere to run aground

Don't let them take you for granted, or lie in your face
Don't let them leave you stranded, it's alright

My beautiful mistake, you are perfectly misplaced
And when all your best intentions leave you in disgrace
Don't take it hard, we're just shooting stars

Come on dance



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Music Player

New songs!




Featured Musicians

It Don't Get Better Than This

Click here for lyrics (Scrolls down)
Vocals, electric guitar, bass, keyboard: Al Paton
Drums: Gary Thompson
Recorded & mixed at Urban Mix Studios

Matchstick Man

Click here for lyrics
Vocals, acoustic guitar: Al Paton
Electric Guitars: Yves Dei-Cont
Keyboards: Marcus Bester
Bass: Nick Acker
Produced by Chris Acker at Boomcat Studios
Mixed by Tully McCully at Spaced Out Sound

Drowning (demo)

Vocals, acoustic & electric guitar, bass: Al Paton
Percussion, Backing vocals: Rob Paddock
Recorded at Urban Mix Studios

The Pilot

Click here for lyrics
Vocals, acoustic guitar, bass: Al Paton
Tabla, cajon, backing vocals, percussion: Rob Paddock
Recorded at Urban Mix Studios

Always (with Desert Velvet)

Click here for lyrics
Vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion: Al Paton
Electric guitars, backing vocals: Yves Dei-Cont
Keyboards, backing vocals: Marcus Bester
Bass guitar: Michel Dei-Cont
Drums: Richard Brodrick
Recorded at Paris Studios Cape Town Mastered by Tim Lengfeld at TM Mastering

Beautiful Mistake

Click here for lyrics
Vocals, acoustic guitar, bass: Al Paton
Slide guitars, electric guitars: Yves Dei-Cont
Percussion, backing vocals: Rob Paddock
Produced & Recorded at Urban Mix Studios

Deliver Me (demo)

Written by Al Paton and Michel Dei Cont
Vocals, acoustic guitar, mandolin, bass: Al Paton
Percussion, backing vocals: Rob Paddock
Produced & Recorded at Urban Mix Studios

Peachy

Click here for lyrics
Vocals, acoustic & electric guitar, bass: Al Paton
Percussion, Backing vocals: Rob Paddock
Recorded at Urban Mix Studios
Mixed by Tully McCully at Spaced Out Sound

Ghost in the Ceiling (with Desert Velvet)

Vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion: Al Paton
Electric guitars, backing vocals: Yves Dei-Cont
Keyboards, backing vocals: Marcus Bester
Bass guitar: Michel Dei-Cont
Drums: Richard Brodrick
Recorded at Paris Studios Cape Town Mastered by Tim Lengfeld at TM Mastering

African Drumming

Click here to see the whole album
Djembe, bass drums, percussion: Al Paton
Djembe, bass drums, percussion: Rob Paddock
Produced & Recorded at Urban Mix Studios


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Links & Stuff



Interview

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Where was your first gig?
AL PATON: We played a fresher's gig at our guitarist's university. There were maybe 1000 people there. It was suicide really, because we were complete beginners. Our lead guitarist broke a string on the first chord and soon after that the beer cans started. We played two and a half songs and the organiser said 'Uh, we've gotta shut this down'.

Has it improved?
AP: Absolutely, the beer cans are plastic cups now.

Shame, so how do you write your songs? What comes first, lyrics or melody?
AP: Often it's a guitar riff that you've written that makes the basic framework of the song. Then you throw a hundred melodies at it and see what sticks. The final touch is when you throw out the original guitar riff because you can't stand it anymore.

How do you get ideas for your lyrics?
AP: I buy most of my stuff from Woolies. It's free range and mostly organic.

Nice, and who are some of your favourite bands?
AP: Lately I'm listening to Jason Mraz, Dave Matthews, Reef, Train and some heavier stuff like Breaking Benjamin and 30 Seconds To Mars...

What's right/wrong with the music industry?
AP: What's right is that we're bursting with talent and the musicians are finally taking charge and selling their music independently. What's wrong is that it's taking a long time, and music is still expensive, so we shouldn't really be thinking of the local industries as separate from the rest of the world. You can sell CDs in Mongolia if you want to. Yak soundtracks do well there I hear.

And what message would you like to tell the universe?
AP: Where have all my guitar picks gone? Seriously, where?

Al Paton lives in London and is currently working on a full length album.

Well, hurry up Al, we're waiting!





Discography

  • Just Encasement - East London Sessions (1994)
  • Desert Velvet - The Warehouse (1997)
  • Desert Velvet - Mars Demo (2000)
  • Desert Velvet - Paris Sessions (2002)
  • Desert Velvet - London Connection Sessions (2004)
  • Desert Velvet - Boomcat Sessions (2006)
  • Like Fire, Like Honey (Various Artists) (2007)
  • Pools of Sorrow, Pools of Joy (Various Artists) (2008)
  • African Drumming (2008)
  • Al Paton (2009)


Soundtracks

  • 'Going Nowhere Slowly' (2005)
    Soundtrack to the TV series (Various Artists)
    Song: 'Get Out The Water'

  • 'Voodoo and Vaccines in Benin' (2011)
    Produced by VBS and ONE Campaign
    Song: 'Kwassa'


Videography

  • 'Ghost in the Ceiling'
    Director: Mito Skellern
    Director of Photography: Gerhard Engelbrecht (2002)


Photography by

  • Mike Dei-Cont
    Gerhard Engelbrecht






Influenced by

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  • Dave Matthews
  • Jason Mraz
  • The Fray
  • Better than Ezra
  • Jeff Buckley