Thursday, December 09, 2021

A sweet Sunday evening with Stone Jets live at Sofar Sounds

The quiet room filled with anticipation was slickly interrupted by the echo of Given Nkanyane’s vivid voice as he stepped onto the little stage with Manfred Klose in the gothic St Mary Aldermary’s church. “I actually play bass,” said Given to break the ice but as soon as he started to sing, his warm vibrato clearly didn’t need any further support- except for the natural talent of Manfred on the guitar.

They’re called Stone Jets and they melted everybody’s hearts on a cold Sunday evening. The duo has collaborated with Sofar Sounds since their debut in the summer of 2017 when they performed ‘I Can’t Live Without You’ in Sofar’s Cape Town studios.

Later, Given and Manfred performed on Youtube Live Sofar Sounds Amplified Sessions, which is highly recommended if you are either willing to calm your nerves for 20 minutes straight or one of those lucky people who got to see them last Sunday and just want to feel that quality good vibes one more time.    

People surrounded Stone Jets and sat legs crossed upon the glowing altar, others sipped hot coffee in the aisles. Given gently introduced his bandmate who soon began to strum the first chords of ‘I Can’t Live Without You’, fading away Sunday’s blueness from the surprised faces of the attendees.

The Middle’ came next like a sturdy sea breeze that dries your eyes while you take a ‘leave-me-alone’ walk by the beach. The Jets then hit the climax with a touching a cappella version of ‘I Will Rise Again’ followed by five seconds of trembling silence which soon turned out in cheery applause. Given is very talented and has a naturally powerful voice, gracefully touching the highest notes with a contagious smile combined with Manfred’s gentle guitar melodies.

The last song from the setlist was played exclusively during Sofar Sound’s gig and hasn’t been released yet. It has a catchy hook, "tonight I’m going out", and the audience sang along, clapping their hands. It felt like St Mary Aldermary’s choruses from 400 years ago blended with the crowd to reignite the chapel’s medieval atmosphere once again. 

Stone Jets’ music is inclusive and transcends boundaries. The band formed in Cape Town and played major South African music festivals as well as UK’s LakeFest and Beacon Festival. They’ve released three EPs and a multitude of singles available now on Spotify and other music streaming platforms. Hopefully Given and Manfred will continue to uplift our hearts and soon reach the top of the charts since Stone Jets sympathize with people on another level and that’s what makes them so unique.  


Martina Bovetta


Image: Laura McCullagh 

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