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ULTIMATE SPLASHY SONG (article first published : 2008-02-28)

Splashy Fen organisers have found ‘the ultimate song for the ultimate outdoor experience’ – a song that captures perfectly the spirit of South Africa’s longest-running annual music festival held near Underberg (KZN) every Easter.

The search for a new, original anthem attracted almost 50 entries from around the country, and while many were viable contenders and whittling them down to a final five meant sleepless nights for the judges, once they heard Hey-na Splashy it was clear they’d found what they were looking for. As its title gives away, Hey-na Splashy has its verse structure based in the folk and folk-rock of Splashy Fen’s formative years, but the catchy chorus is appropriately flavoured with a distinctly African feel.

This triumphant formula is the brainchild of award-winning and near-legendary figure on the local music scene, Don Clarke, who for more than 25 years has played in significant bands, set up and run the ‘house-of-hits’ C & G Recording Studios in Durban and penned some of this country’s biggest-ever smash songs. Among these was the PJ Powers number one Sanbonani, so it’s not too surprising that Clarke was able to conjure up a crossover melody as anthem-like as Hey-na Splashy.

He explains that he followed a tried and true process to compose the hook-filled song: “I began, as usual, by devising a chord-sequence for the feel I wanted and singing gibberish just to get an idea of how the lyrics would fit and flow. After doing this for a while I started thinking about Splashy – the vibe, the people, the sense of family…all the things that make it so special – and the nonsense-words transformed into what audiences will soon be hearing.”

An “extremely chuffed and proud” Don Clarke will premiere Hey-na Splashy at this year’s festival, running from March 20 to 24. A CD-single version of the song – with design and artwork sponsored by Kablooey Studios – will be re-recorded at Face Studios and will also feature on the limited edition 2008 Splashy Fen compilation album. Other prizes include free website hosting by SAI Futurenet and an R8,000 acoustic guitar sponsored by Yamaha and Music Inc.

Clarke’s winning song will also drive the year-long promotional campaign leading up to Splashy Fen’s massive 20th anniversary celebrations in 2009. Listen out for Hey-na Splashy on East Coast Radio in the next few weeks and be warned, this is a song that’s going to stick in your head for a long time to come!

With less than a month to go, Splashy Fen 2008 – proudly supported by East Coast Radio, Durban's No 1 Hit Music Radio Station – is geared up to offer one of its most diverse line-ups in recent years, showcasing not only the best in folk, blues, rock, indie and electro dance, but also some of the country’s newest going-places acts. Included in the four-day programme of over 80 artists are the likes of Tree63, Goldfish, The Rudimentals, Miriam Backhouse, Dan Patlansky, Plush, Gonzo Republic, Redflecks (USA), Kidofdoom, Southern Gypsey Queen, Syd Kitchen, Avatar, Crossingpoint, Napalma (Brazil), Josie Field, New Loud Rockets, The Arrows and many more.

Tickets are available at selected Game stores (R300), Computicket (R350) and at the festival gate (R400). The price includes camping for the entire long weekend and entrance for children under 12 is free. For more information and the latest festival news, visit www.splashyfen.co.za or contact Pedro at 082 892 6176.




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