1 Comments Cape Town Band Fox Comet Make Semi Finals Of Durex Battle Of The Bands

Article written by the awesome Sean Lloyd on the 18 Feb 2010

fox comet

Fox Comet

Local Cape Town band Fox Comet, alongside Autumn Of  August and Deathlikedaisies are going to be battling it out this Saturday at 43 De Villiers Road in Cape Town AKA Mercury Live.

SLXS Cape Town caught up with Fox Comet frontman Rob Coutts on being the tallest ginger in Cape Town, acting for a living, and sometimes not acting for a living when he turned down a role in History Of America because he would have to cut his ginger locks.

We met up at the hallowed grounds of Kelvin Grove in Newlands for a quick chat ahead of the epic condom and lube sponsored battle of the bands. Hey…this sounds like the place for us! Finally…an event after my heart…

If anything, there is a confidence and easy going nature around Rob that is hard to miss. When he talks he’s animated and loud, and at 6 foot who knows how much, arms motioning all over the place as though he were trying to act out everything he says, Rob is the perfect frontman for a band. The quiet guys play the instruments and the frontmen are there to entertain as much as they are there to play.

He arrives casual, approachable and with the most retro shades in the business.

“Well yeah my background is in acting ‘cos I studied at AFDA, but I’ve always been like this so I wouldn’t say AFDA taught me all this but the studying did help…you know to get those big jobs”

Wait…those shades…

“Ja I picked them up in an 80’s store, because I was going to an 80’s party but they’re quite cool actually so I just wear them”

Fox Comet is an unusual name and as Rob says, the origin of it is a little blurred, but he came up with the name and it sounds really cool, he also mentioned something about a Comet coming towards earth and a fox jumping on it, the story of which lasted an animated 10 minutes.

In between sips of Grapetizer (He’s on medication at the moment), Rob is passionate about keeping the ginger dream alive.

“Ja you know it’s tough being a ginger, and it’s especially difficult when I see a little ginger kid walking around, oblivious to the fact that he still has to make it through school. It’s so cruel! Junior school as a ginger…ah man. But I really think I have a mission here on earth, to keep the ginger dream alive by spreading some ginger love. I guess it’s my mission”

“But with the band it’s actually worked out really well because it’s just one more thing apart from our music that separates us from all the others. You’ve got this 6 foot 6 guy up on stage throwing out a lot of energy and people now recognise us for that. Not to take away from any of the band members as they are all such talented guys, but the whole ginger thing has been a really good point to identify with.”

“It’s weird because we were playing with Hog Hoggidy Hog and Half Price and we were referred to as ‘that bunch of gingers’, but it’s only me that is ginger, and we only have one song that speaks about gingers. But people do recognise us for that”

The band have taking some huge steps in the year since they started playing.

Rob was at school with Nick Catto (Bass), and while they knew each other they weren’t quite high-fiving each other as they walked to classes. A chance encounter last year had them chatting about what had happened since school days (E2003 — Widely known as the greatest E year ever in the history of learning) with Nick chatting about his music and about starting a band, and Rob letting Nick know that he had always wanted to be in a band.

A few practice sessions later and the guys just worked perfectly together. Kyle Gray has been drumming since forever, and being friends with Rob, they pulled him in and the band was complete, well, complete with Stephane Corneloup on guitar.

“I think one of the things we really bring is an amazing energy and I know people always speak loosely about ‘energy’ on stage, but we really do. We get the audience involved and quite pumped. But we also want it to really be about the music, getting a good balance between that and interacting with the crowd. Especially at the battle of the band events now, a lot of judging is based on the size of our fan base and the noise they make and how enthusiastic they are, so this is going to be quite powerful in ensuring we win on Saturday”

Obviously musicians in South Africa tend to struggle money wise, even when they are doing relatively well and playing gigs around town and at festivals, so that is always a concern.

“Well for us it’s a passion, and we’d be doing it either way, money or no money. But it is nice to be paid for something you love and if we could make a living from this it would be rad, but we’ll get there. We’ve only been going a year and getting some good gigs. Great gigs actually.”

Favourite gig

“Definitely Up The Creek. In the local scene, it’s always good to have connections, and when you are set up with something, to really go all out to kick ass. So we managed to score a sort of wild card ticket to Up The Creek which was amazing. We were actually put on a smaller stage at the river and some people would have thought this would be a disadvantage as nearly everyone would be at the main stage, but it worked. The weekend was so hot that a lot of people ended up just chilling in the river, where we were playing. So we were rocking out to about a thousand people, all sitting in the water and this was amazing. I don’t think you’ll get that at too many other places, all your audience sitting in a river.”

“But we are playing another gig at an event called Rock The River at the end of March, that’s on the banks of the Breede River which will be a good party. And being on the river well have that same experience as at Up The Creek”

As with anyone in a band, long hair is nearly a prerequisite, one Rob knows all too well.

“So I have an agent and I do television work, and in the industry it’s all about having a look that is unique and that people can identify with, and my hair is very much a part of that. I also studied acting so that helps but the look is also key, and I was actually offered a job in a series called ‘History Of America’, and it’s…ja just a history of America…shot in South Africa for some reason. Well they wanted me to cut my hair and my agent was against it, and I was too. I could have made some great money, but then with my hair all cut off, you know, maybe I won’t get work until it grows back! Plus I like to rock out on stage and throw the hair around, which is hard to do when it looks like you’ve got a school boy cut. So if people do ask if I’ll cut my hair, the answer is no. Takes a long time to grow”

Recording, music videos?

“Yeah we do book into a studio because it’s important to have time in the studio with the band, it also costs a bit but it’s something that needs to be done. That’s why with any money we make from gigs, we can’t go out spending it because it always needs to be invested back into the band. We want to shoot a music video because they’re so powerful and lately SA bands are making sick music videos and we feel it’s important to pair one of our best songs with a really well produced video. We have some connections though which will help when it comes to filming and editing. It will all come together and we really need to make 2010 a big year because we’ve had such great opportunities in our first year, that we can’t waste them now. We really need to go all out in 2010″

“Ha ha, we used to always play at their house because they know Nick, so we were always hanging out there and having jam sessions. But then I think we got too loud so we had to move on”

Big mentions

“We’ve been getting some good press but a highlight is being noticed by 5FM, by Catherine on the Fresh Drive Show for her gig guide. That was awesome. We were also interviewed by a journalist working on stuff for the FIFA website, you should check that out, I’ll give you the link”

And how is this Saturday going to work

“Okay the main thing is to print out a flyer from our Facebook page, it highlights our name so when you arrive with it, you get in R10 cheaper, but the flyer is collected and then these are counted to see who had the most fans arriving. You need to print one out beforehand from the Fox Comet page, and then we’re ready to win” Alternatively, just print the following flyer:


With that our time was up as Rob had another meeting ahead of Saturday, but we did get some time to snap some photos of the rocker showing off…well…a more sensitive, enigmatic side on the grounds of Kelvin Grove.

robbo rose

robbo sunglasses

robbo statue

That’s grounds for having a Kelvin Grove membership revoked!

Check out the following links ahead of Fox Comets’ performance on Saturday at Mercury Live. The winners go to the finals in Johannesburg, offering a massive opportunity as an up and coming band. We’re behind these guys from Cape Town all the way and we’ll be there on Saturday to support the guys.

The free condoms and lube are just sort of a benefit of Durex sponsoring!

For the Fox Comet website, click HERE.

For their Facebook fan page, click HERE. There you can print out a photo of the flyer that needs to be taken to Saturdays gig.

For their mention on the FIFA website, click HERE.


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Ruffels is rad jesus I remeber him during our cabaret it the quad he was insane!

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