The Simon van Gend Band are an introspective indie/folk/rock band from Cape Town, South Africa, whose music has been described as a home-grown unique blend of folksie foot-tapping red wine fireside poetry. Simon van Gend plays acoustic guitar, sings and writes the songs, Eric Michot plays bass and Ross Campbell plays drums.
The band has recorded 5 albums of original songs. The 4th album, Blinking and Breathing, was produced by acclaimed Australian producer Ian Pritchett, famed for his work with Angus & Julia Stone and The Beautiful Girls.
Between February 2014 and February 2105 Simon wrote a new song every week and posted it to his blog (www.asongaweek.simonvangend.com). During this time he also did solo tours of the US east coast and Germany. In September 2015, the band released a new album of the best of the songs from the ‘Song a week’ project.
“Muchlike discovering a R50 note in a pair of jeans under your bed, The Simon Van Gend Band is a precious find amongst a scene of samesters, fakesters and wannabes.” Liesl Sadie – Cape Town Live
Praise for “Blinking and Breathing”
“You stumble across one of his delightful pop songs on a friend’s computer and you wonder: why isn’t Simon van Gend better known? This new album is kiffness personified” Toast Coetzer – Rolling Stone
“His songs come in the form of stories which are told with great imagination and poetic lyrics. They are delivered by his unique and instantly recognisable voice which sets him apart from other artists in the same genre in this country” Therese Owen – Argus
“Sentimental, introspective and foot tapping at the same time, Cape Town based Simon & the Bande à Part’s fourth album Blinking and Breathing is a beautifully written, wonderfully executed piece of work juxtaposed with relateable metaphors and dollops of sentimental humor.” Instantfilter
“I was just so amazed! It’s even more than wonderful, wow man!” Xworldmusic
Praise for Guest of my Feelings:
“Guest of my Feelings is a hidden gem of an album, one of those releases that repays attentive and intelligent listening. The musicians are all top notch, bringing an impressive array of talents to the task of expressing Simon van Gend’s introspective songs, and to adding a texture to the sometimes baldly personal bones.” **** Chris Roper, channel24.co.za
“How rare is it that you hear a song for the very first time, and it resonates so sweetly that by the time the second verse rolls around you’re weeping?” salma-gundi.blogspot.com
“Taking up the invitation to be a guest of his feelings, you’ll be captivated by the stories told in the music. And the music itself will make you want to overstay your welcome.” **** Claire Le Grange, iafrica.com
“I can highly recommend Guest Of My Feelings for those moments when you want neither pumping rock nor soppy love songs, but a dose of solid song writing, intelligent lyrics and superb musical delivery.” Mike Smith, LMG
Praise for Pocketsongs:
Big Issue – “You can actually hear this album was recorded at a peaceful, inspiring home, in front of a fire. The distinctive sounds of the violin, accordion, the giggles and mandolin keep on surprising you while gazing into the fire.” review by Veerle Snijders
Femina – “This sterling, indie-folk rock album from local strummer Van Gend is such a great find. Laid-back, harmonious with a twist of melancholia and sentimentality (the good kind), this is music which will slip under the skin and into your heart this winter.”
Pulse Mag – “Bringing new meaning to words lo-fi and minimal, Simon Van Gend and his trusty guitar deliver 13 real-life and very essential acoustic extensions we should all be playing.. for those who dig deeper to discover what’s real”
Marie Claire – “Unashamedly sentimental songs about love, nostalgia and life as a slightly bemused man in Cape Town. The music is beautifully restrained, making Pocketsongs the perfect CD for those introspective, maudlin moments.” review by Chris Roper
Die Burger – “Pocketsongs bevat earlike musiek wat alledaagse voorwerpe, verhoudings en ervarings to smaakvolle kuns verhef” review by Faan Herhold
SL – “It’s light, lazy Sunday afternoon acoustic folk.. There are some genuinely beautiful guitar riffs, vocal harmonies and piano sections on the album.” review by Matthew Freemantle