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Biography : The Parlotones

Parlotones singer and songwriter, Kahn Morbee, started learning to play the guitar at the age of 17, where he began a journey into song writing that would eventually end up defining The Parlotones sound. In the summer of 1998, Morbee was introduced to Neil Pauw, a drummer who had attended the same high school as him. On hearing Morbee`s songs, and realising a shared vision for music, the two decided to start a band together.

At university Morbee met guitarist Paul Hodgson. One day after both of them were thrown out of the library for playing guitar, Morbee asked Hodgson to join himself and Pauw for a jam. He came to a practice, liked the songs, and joined.

At the time Hodgson`s younger brother was still in high school and could play guitar, piano and bass, so the band asked him to bring his bass to a band practice. With that the band line up was complete. The Parlotones played as a four-piece for almost three years until July 2002 when they asked John Boyd to join, adding a subtle synth and sound effect element to the band, as well as contributing to the engineering during live shows.

During 2006, The Parlotones earned a number of remarkable praise, the most recent of which is signing a worldwide license deal with the international division of Universal Music. The deal, which covers the territories of France, Japan, Germany, Holland, Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom, was set in motion by their single ‘Beautiful’ being used in the new Fuji Film advert for Ireland. Other international achievements include being play listed on one of Germany’s biggest alternative rock radio stations Motor FM (7.5 million listeners). Their single ‘Overexposed’ has been Gold play listed, which is the highest rotation the station offers.

A sold-out 300-date world tour over the last 18 months has brought The Parlotones to the attention of music fans in Germany, Russia, France, Italy, Spain, Austria and the US and after packing out 1000+ capacity venues in the UK by word of mouth alone, this internationally successful band are now set to mount a serious assault on the UK’s charts.

From their origins in Johannesburg, South Africa, the rock 4-piece have achieved multi-Platinum-selling success in their home country. They are now set to conquer these shores with their darkly romantic lyrics, atmospheric pop structures and ambitious live show which have been earning a rave response from fans and critics alike. Their recent secret warm-up show in Kentish Town, London attracted nearly double the capacity of the venue, forcing the band to access the stage by climbing over the bar.

The band sell-out 15000+ stadium shows in their home country and the band’s profile is such that they were also chosen to play at Live Earth, Africa Day. The subsequent performance was screened to millions all over the world. Their innovative, big-production music videos have been nominated for MTV awards and the band won two awards at the prestigious ISC (International Song Contest), in the US, judged by the likes of Robert Smith, Tom Waits and Rob Thomas.

Music industry showcases at South by South West, MIDEM and Dubai Sound City followed and have firmly established The Parlotones as one of the world’s most exciting new acts. Their success is not limited to their music alone – the band have their own brand of wine ‘Giant Mistake’ which has earned the band a no.1 in the Sunday Times wine list and distribution through major European retailers. Their music has also been made available through Sony Ericisson phones and they have their own branded laptop and a Parlotones meal available from a global food retailer.

In line with the football fever sweeping the UK, the band are currently being played on Sky Sports, and are also talkSPORT’s official ambassadors for the World Cup in the UK. They have recorded incidental music for the station and will be contributing weekly in the run up to the finals in June. In Germany they have been chosen by a major TV network to soundtrack their football coverage.

With a sizeable following and genuine buzz building behind the band, they released the single - “Life Design” - on April 4th in the UK. Followed-up by the release of full-length album “Stardust Galaxies” later in the year, all signs are that in a World Cup year when all eyes are on South Africa, The Parlotones will soon have the world at their feet.

The Parlotones released their latest album, Stardust Galaxies, in South Africa on the 30th of October 2009. The album was released in Europe on the 7th of June 2010.

The band played alongside Black Eyed Peas, Alicia Keys, Shakira, John Legend and other African artists at the official FIFA World-Cup Kick Off celebration at Orlando Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg on June 10th, a day before the World Cup started.

The release of Stardust Galaxies was celebrated by two performances in South Africa, the first at The Grand West Arena in Cape Town and the second at the Coca-Cola Dome in Johannesburg. This was the first time that a South African band had ever headlined at the Coca-Cola Dome, equally making history as this performance drew the bands biggest audience (10,000 people) to date. These shows were closing shows of the bands biggest world tour to date: a 25 city World tour which saw the band perform in the UK, Continental Europe, Russia, Australia and South Africa. Filmed footage from the shows in Cape Town and Johannesburg was taken for the bands 'Live Design' CD and DVD compilation.

Since the release of 'A World Next Door to Yours' in October 2007 The Parlotones have sold over 200,000 albums and 70,000 tickets in South Africa. The Parlotones have been very well received in the USA with an independent release appearing on the CMJ top 200 chart in the USA. ‘Overexposed’ won awards locally and in the USA including 2 awards in The International Song Contest (ISC) which boasts heavyweight judges such as Robert Smith, Tom Waits and Rob Thomas (Matchbox 20)

The Parlotones were one of the many bands participating in the Fifa World Cup 2010 opening ceremony concert.


SAMA Awards 2010 - Best rock album for Stardust Galaxies
SAMA Awards 2010 - Best music video for Push Me to the Floor


On September 16 2009, The Parlotones together with Hands on Wine released a red wine 'Giant Mistake', named after their single from the album A World Next Door to Yours. The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (54%), Shiraz (23%), Pinotage (12%) and Cabernet Franc (11%).

In April 2010, they released a white wine 'Push Me to the Floor', named after their single from the album Stardust Galaxies. The wine is a blend of Chenin blanc (60%), Gewürztraminer (25%), Chardonnay (10%) and Viognier (5%).

Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Parlotones