Written from the light and safe space of life in Kalk Bay, Watershed’s latest album is called Harbour.
The album’s content is drawn from the ocean and mountain vistas of the False Bay coast.
Lead singer and songwriter, Craig Hinds, met with the False Bay Echo at Lekker coffee shop to discuss what went into their latest release, much of which was achieved even with band members separated by provinces.
Technology, Craig says, is phenomenal for creativity and much of the broader ideas were thrashed out on Skype and other mediums, closing the physical distance. Rehearsals, however, were still in person and the band members took turns flying to one another for this.
Even though he is a great fan, he is old-school in the joy he gets from holding an actual album in his hands.
A real CD, not a download, with lyrics; and artwork crafted from photographs taken at the working harbour just across Main Road, and at the Brass Bell.
The band’s enduring popularity began with songs like Indigo Girl, Fine Way and Letters; but these are likely to be surpassed by their new release, which has a host of fresh material, without losing the signature sound that established fans love; and has bait enough for an entire new following.
Even the cover of The Waterboys’ Fishermen’s Blues is fabulous and made it onto the album in a doff of the hat to the men and women who eke out a living from the oceans, putting fresh fish on tables throughout False Bay.
Craig speaks with deep respect about his fellow band members. His band of brothers includes Howie Combrink on drums and guitar, Gideon Botes on electric guitar, Quintin Askes on bass and Paul Mc Iver on acoustic guitar. Craig lauds their individual talents and their incredible commitment to the band which has ensured an 18-year career in a notoriously fickle industry.
Their albums include In the Meantime in 2002, followed by Wrapped in Stone, Mosaic, Staring at the Ceiling over the years and A Million Faces in 2010.
Watch the Rain in 2015 was the album before their latest, Harbour, which was released in November 2018.
Craig says the new album is a reflection of the place he lives in with his wife; geographically and emotionally.
The couple have assimilated the sea into their lives, they surf, and start most days with a swim.
It is here they have befriended a group of retired women swimmers who in turn, now frequent the band’s gigs.
“It’s a beautiful life here, and somehow the album is a celebration of life: it sort of wrote itself, a theme emerged and we just stayed with it, nurtured it. It’s really important to move on from the negativity we are faced with every day,” he says.
“We can continue to explore cause and effect, but the actual route to a life that’s meaningful and forward moving is to embrace simplicity, and explore the small joys that give us true meaning.”
Life in Kalk Bay and surrounds are explored by the Hinds on a Vespa, and places loved by locals and tourists alike, like Boulders Beach, are mentioned in this reflective album.
He says relationship dynamics do feature on the album – the band is known for relatable lyrics – as do some larger questions about life.
He says Kalk Bay is absolutely ideally situated; ocean view and vibrant creative living within easy reach of the city; he feels the business and the cosmopolitan mix of the inner city are essential to feed creative growth.
Watershed may be well loved locally and faithfully supported at music events and gigs, but they have met equal success overseas. They have toured Europe, performing alongside some of the biggest names in the music world, such as U2, Peter Gabriel, Bob Geldof, The Corrs and The Cranberries.
On Saturday, January 5, the band gave their all to an excited crowd at Cafe Roux in Noordhoek, wrapping up their penultimate gig after a well received, country-wide tour to introduce the new album.
Based on their reception in Noordhoek, it is safe to suggest the new album is already a hit.
For more information about the band visit http://www.watershed.co.za/
Connect with them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/watershedandInstagram