The international group, The Straits, boasting key members of Dire Straits, the band who gave the world Money for Nothing, Sultans of Swing, Brothers in Arms and other worldwide hits, will play one concert at the SuperSport Park in Centurion on 28 June 2014 to support the first Rock4Rhinos event.
The band will feature South African singer/guitarist Terence Reis who astounded fans on the Straits' recent tours of the US, blowing away fans with his Knopfler-style guitar work. The Straits will be supported in their Rock4Rhinos concert by local acts including Freshly Ground, Arno Carstens, ISO, Bedouin Sea and Matthew Mole.
Making a difference
"I cannot believe how fortunate we are to have this band, which is now on a successful tour in the US, to play in South Africa," said Petronel Nieuwoudt founder of Care for Wild Africa (CFW).
CFW has set up a rehabilitation centre on a conservancy between Mbombela (formerly Nelspruit) and Barberton In Mpumalanga, near Kruger Park where it cares for baby rhinos and other wildlife that have been orphaned by poachers or injured and can no longer care for themselves. It is currently looking after ten orphaned rhinos, a number of them sent by SANParks rangers, after the slaughter of their mothers in Kruger Park.
"Feeding and caring for these stressed animals is very expensive. So we are extremely grateful to The Straits for offering to play as a fundraiser. This concert will make the difference between life and death for so many baby rhinos," concludes Nieuwoudt.
New and old Straits
The Straits' manager, Tom Cleary said in an interview from the US where the band is now touring, that they would consider it a privilege to help raise funds for such a worthy cause. "The least we can do is to help raise money to feed the orphaned baby rhinos," he said.
According to Straits saxophone player Chris White, he and Dire Straits' keyboard player Alan Clark decided to form the Straits after they had been asked to play at a charity show at the Albert Hall in London.
"Alan had recently 'discovered' Reis who he had heard performing a Dire Straits song at a local gig." They then recruited guitarist Phil Palmer who had played on Dire Straits' On Every Street world tour in 91/92, and later drummer Steve Ferrone, who had played with Eric Clapton.
According to Rock4Rhinos facilitator, Chris de Bruno Austin, the Straits concert will be the first of Rock4Rhinos concerts to be staged annually. "We hope to be able to bring more top flight artists to South Africa, including stars such as Eric Clapton and others to raise funds to save orphaned baby rhinos."
Tickets for the Pretoria concert will go on sale at www.webtickets.co.za. Seats are expected to sell for R380 per person for general admission and R650 for the Golden Circle.