Apes with Shades 6 Track EP streaming on SoundCloud

The Springbok Nude Girls burst onto South Africa’s indie music scene in the late 90’s and spent the next decade on the road and in the studio.  Between 1995 and 2007 the band had an incredible 15 releases.

This year, Springbok Nude Girls are back with the same electrifying force and energy that first brought them to the public’s attention 16 years ago.  In 1994 the band spent less than a week recording their first release, Neanderthal 1, which includes the cult classics, Bubblegum on my Boots, Stay, Managing Mula, I am Your Friend and I Know what I Want.

Nearly two decades later, they’ve followed the same maniacal formula.  In June this year, the band got together, after a 4 year recording hiatus, on the Isle of Wight, a small island off the coast of England where they spent just a week living together, writing and recording, as part of a music ‘experiment’.

As Arno Carstens says:  The brief was simple: lets get together and see what happens.  If we like what we hear at the end of it, then we can maybe release it.  No pressure, no interference.  So we pushed the boundaries of what’s supposed to be possible and I think the result is interesting.

The result is Apes With Shades, a 6 track EP filled with the same raw power, edgy madness and contradictory genius that has formed the pulse of the Nudies music since their inception.

This limited edition EP is destined to become yet another SNG collectable.  Get your copy on tour, at Look and Listen or online with Nokia Ovi Store


17th Nov: Firkin Pub, Pretoria

18th Nov: Detroit, Port Elizabeth

19th Nov: Aandklas, Stellenbosch

25th Nov: Burn, Durban

26th Nov: Zula Bar, Cape Town

2nd Dec: Arcade Empire, Pretoria

3rd Dec: Tanz Café, Johannesburg


Whilst the music that the Nude Girls create certainly gravitates towards the balls-to-the-wall ‘school of rock’, coming from such a culturally diverse country, it’s inevitable that the many micro-niches of South African musical taste have crept onto the bands palate since their inception.

Standing seamlessly, shoulder to shoulder in the Nudies’ music, one can hear excitable snatches of punk, reggae, scat, metal (and not “hair-metal”, REAL METAL), funk, jazz and psychedelica. All played with some real African-esque punch.

Although, traditionally, scatting ‘whities’ are greeted by critics about as warmly a swift kick in the nuts – in this instance vocalist Arno Carstens’s fizzing calamity of rapid pidgin-English and an array of surreal vocal effects (think of him as a Tom Morello of the microphone) make for a enthralling sight live, and exhilarating listening on record.

“…this band do not bore, due mostly to Carstens’s multi-layered voice. Live they are louder still” Rolling Stone

Making unabashed use of vintage keyboard effects and liberally blasting out funked-up trumpet hooks (both courtesy of multi-instrumentalist Adriaan Brand) has imbued the bands sound with some real, unmistakable character – which means whether they’re playing tongue-in-cheek reggae-dub or thrashing out an all-out rocker, it’s always unmistakeably the Nude Girls.

The backbone of any great band is a solid rhythm section, and drummer Francious Kruger and bassist Arno Blumer more than oblige. Their in-the-pocket grooves have kept the Nudies bringing down the house wherever they play since the band first confused punters by simply not being the expected procession of scantily clad strippers!

Serving as the Nudies’ sonic anchor is SA’s own guitar hero Theo Crous. His killer hooks and ‘like daggers’ sound have ensured that the band have continually enticed, yet defied the custodian gate-keepers of radio play-lists.


Formed in the winemaking town of Stellenbosch, South Africa, the Nude Girls burst onto the indie music scene in the late-90’s championing an eclectic approach to rock music that instantly struck a chord with the University crowd around their hometown. People were soon packing themselves into taverna-like bars to catch the Nudies’ over-the-top performances. Within months, national radio had caught onto the band’s self-released single ‘Bubblegum On My Boots’ – it’s since become a national classic.

The inevitable major label deal was quick in the coming. With Sony as their new parent label, the band recorded some of South Africa’s best-loved singles. No other African rock group can claim to be the soundtrack to so many people’s lives.

On the performance front, the Nude Girls reputation as SA’s dominant live act was driven home with stadium shows alongside Lenny Kravitz, Smashing Pumpkins, INXS, Portishead, Beastie Boys, Goo Goo Dolls and The Cult. Their popularity extended to the shores of Britain many times.

Taking an extended hiatus in 2001, the individual members went on to explore other paths. Some temporarily moving away from music, whilst others, like Arno Carstens and Theo Crous, moved onto flourishing solo careers in their own rights. Carstens, as the country’s premier singer-songwriter and Crous as South Africa’s most in-demand rock producer. In fact, some of the group’s most popular tracks were self-produced, the only outside ‘knob-fiddler’ allowed near the mixing-desk was the legendary Kevin ‘Caveman’ Shirley, who had previously worked with Silverchair, Aerosmith, Iron Maiden, Soul Asylum, The Black Crowes and The Darkness.

“The Nude Girls are of the same calibre as bands like Silverchair, the Stone Temple Pilots, or even a Pearl Jam” Kevin ‘Caveman’ Shirley, Producer

Reformed in 2006, due to popular demand, and with all five original members in tact – the Nude Girls are once again recording and touring as their personal schedules allow. Spearheading this drive was the group’s first studio album in five years – Peace Breaker – released March 2007 along with numerous local and international tour dates.  In 2008 the band released Springbok Nude Girls Live at The Astoria on DVD and went on to headline some of the most reknowned local festivals.

In February 2011 the band supported U2 on the South African leg of their 360Tour performing on literally “the biggest stage in the world” infront of 150 000 in Johannesburg and Cape Town.