1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Slow Rain – Celtic Rumours

This Day - Celtic Rumours

This Day – Celtic Rumours

Anyone who has lived on the Highveld of South Africa for most of their life would probably be unfamiliar with something called slow rain. On the Highveld the rain does not hang around. The clouds build, the skies blacken and then there’s a moerse downpour, usually accompanied by hail, thunder and lightning, which makes it nigh on impossible to see more than a metre or 2 in front of you.

But Celtic Rumour hailed (pardon the pun) from Durbs by the sea and there you are more likely to see slow rain. It is rain that soaks in, gets under your skin and replenishes the water table. The song ‘Slow Rain’ starts off with slow drops of bass notes which are quickly added to by splashes of guitar. And then along comes lead singer Kevin van Staaden and he is singing in the rain. But it’s not a Gene Kelly playful tune to dance around to, there is a seriousness and intensity to this love song.

Comparisons were made at the time between Celtic Rumours and Simple Minds and it is not only the similarity of van Staaden’s voice to Simple Minds forntman, Jim Kerr, but the song itself has that same ‘big song’ feel that Simple Minds hits such as ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ and ‘Alive And Kicking’ had. Perhaps it was no coincidence that Simple Minds were a Scottish band and the local act that seemed to have been influenced by the Scots as they called themselves Celtic Rumours.

The band would only make 2 albums (‘This Day’ and ‘Greed’, ‘Slow Rain’ featuring on the former) before calling it a day. Lead singer Kevin van Staaden was just embaking on a solo career when he was sadly killed in a car accident in the December of 1994. But despite their short-lived career and lack of success, they did leave us with one of the great local hits of the 80’s in the form of ‘Slow Rain’ which made it to number 3 on the Radio 5 charts.

Where to find it:
Slow Rain – The Complete Celtic Rumours (2003), Fresh Music, FRESHCD136

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2 thoughts on “Slow Rain – Celtic Rumours

  1. Andrew Pike on said:

    Climate change has brought some ‘slow rain’ experience to us Gautengers lately😁

    Explained.. a Gautenger is one of us folks living in the province of Gauteng.. South Africa’s smallest but most densely populated province consisting mostly of the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria and their adjacent suburbs.

  2. I had to listen (and read…) there were/ are just so many undercurrents… torrents reopened – memories of… I don’t know what, or where – or when. Thanks!

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