The North Coast has its very own, homegrown rock ‘n roll band and they call themselves The Spare Parts. We caught up with them over a cup of coffee in Salt Rock recently.
At first glance, the four men who make up this gritty, North Coast rock ‘n roll band appear to be a little unassuming. Perhaps even a little unlikely.
Put them on a stage with a microphone, a set of drums and a couple of guitars though, and you’ve got an entirely different story. It is here that these old-school rockers show their true colours.
Comprising of Salt Rock locals Steve van der Schyff, Ernie Koopmans, Des Crawford and Shales Berkeley, the members of The Spare Parts band are certainly an unusual bag of mixed characters. All four men, aged between 42 and 60, have ‘day jobs’ and family lives completely separate from their new-found passion and ‘side hustle’ – making rock ‘n roll music together.
What started off with just a couple of guys messing around and keeping themselves entertained during lockdown, has now turned into a pretty serious business, with the band booked for gigs weeks in advance.
Not only that, they also have two of their own original tracks launching on the digital audio streaming app Spotify at the end of this month.
“Just after the hard lockdown, when we were allowed to socialise a little, Ernie began coming around to my place with his son Regan (who plays the guitar) and his drum set. We would have our own little ‘jam session’ while making boerie rolls on my verandah,” says Steve, vocalist and guitar player.
It wasn’t long before the neighbours began responding to the sounds coming from Steve’s garden, often phoning to find out what time they were playing so they could start their own fires and enjoy the live entertainment.
Steve enlisted the services of his bass guitar friend Shales who he had played with previously, and when Regan, who was stuck in SA during lockdown had to return overseas, they went in search of a fourth band member.
“We were doing a gig at Siggies, which is our local watering hole in Salt Rock, and Des came to watch us. Low and behold, the next thing we knew we had one of the best guitarists I’ve ever heard in our band. Seriously, he sounds like Jimi Hendrix,” laughs Steve.
Des, as it turned out, also had a history and background in music and sound engineering, as well as a fully-kitted sound editing studio. And so, The Spare Parts band was born. “It was great. Loads of friends would pitch up at my house and we would have little mini concerts in the garden. We were having so much fun – and we still are.”
Although there are many talented musicians on the North Coast, Steve says, most of them are ‘one-man bands’ and use backing tracks to make music. “We are a fully-fledged four-piece band and every sound you hear from us we are making.”
Now the band does gigs at various venues, as well as private parties, markets and fundraising events. And the type of music they play is the music they love. With a playlist that includes the best rock hits of the 60s, 70s and 80s with hits such as Smoke On The Water and Radar Love and the best of Led Zeppelin, ZZ Top, ACDC and so on, The Spare Parts are one hundred percent pure rock ‘n roll.
“It’s nostalgic music that reminds an entire generation of their youth and significant times in their lives. People identify with this music … and they can sing along, too,” says Ernie, who is also the band manager. And the younger generation enjoys it. “People have access to so much music now with Spotify, and even the youngsters listen to Led Zeppelin and the likes. We also play some contemporary covers such Kings of Leon, but it’s always high tempo and always rock ‘n roll.”
And make no mistake, this is not music you listen to ‘in the background’ and their concerts are never dull! “When you come to see us, you’re going to get a proper show,” says Steve. “We are full of energy and all about having a jol! It’s so amazing to see people getting out, having fun and really enjoying life again and we love being a part of that.”
With plans go on tour soon and hopefully release more of their original tracks in the near future, The Spare Parts are determined to get bigger and better. The band is available for hire for private functions and events and they even have their own range of apparel, including T-shirts and hats!
Details: Find out where The Spare Parts are playing next by following them on