In 1994, Brad and Paige Holmes opened a small, live-music venue in the bohemian suburb of Melville in Johannesburg. They called it Bassline, which very soon became synonymous with cigarette smoke, great jazz and nights you wished would never end. They later moved the club to Newtown where it grew in prominence as the ultimate venue for live music, hosting amazing artists like Thandiswa Mazwai, Jimmy Dludlu, Lira, The Soil and Grammy Award-winning group Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
In 2016 word spread like wildfire that everyone’s favourite club was closing its doors forever; this place that held all the promises of a new South Africa, a place where people of all races could come together, share a drink, dance and fall in love was to be no more. But as Bassline starts its new journey with Live @ the Bassline, yet another great story begins with Last Night At The Bassline.
In this book, esteemed music historian Professor David Coplan tells the story of Bassline and the Holmes’s journey in it, thus giving musicians and jazz fans something to hold on to even after its closure. This book is a tangible piece of the magic to take home and savour. And those who were never there will be given a chance to experience this dream.
With more than fifty iconic photographs from Oscar Gutierrez and other great photographers, the book is more than just a memoir. It is a gritty, smoky, passionate slice of time. Bassline will always be a reminder of what it feels like to live the impossible.
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