Heady days: Brad Holmes poses at the famous statue of Brenda Fassie in front of the Bassline. Picture: TSHEKO KABASIA David Coplan and Óscar Gutiérrez Jacana Media Struan Douglas Set in the golden era of 1994-2003, the "honeymoon decade" when South Africans united for the first time in centuries, the story is told of the Bassline, one of Johannesburg’s best live music venues at the time. The venue’s founder Brad Holmes had magnetic energy that changed the suburb of Melville. "You were all there," he said at the book launch, referring to the crowds that jam-packed the small Seventh Street venue during its 10-year life span. The Bassline became a home, a fountain of inspiration and site of transformation for musicians, journalists, activists and audiences alike. In the foreword, Sipho Sithole refers to the Bassline as "a chapter at the dawn of a new democratic dispensation", with "a new nation ready to dance to the song of freedom". The decade following 1994 was a time of idealism in which people could wear their hearts on their sleeves and work shoulder to shoulder to build a new and better society. SA was open to the world and there was a […]

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