Like Harry met Sally, Luke meeting Hans, or Jay meeting Silent Bob, Henriel and Marius was meant to meet on that party bus, years ago, travelling to the dusty hills of OppiKoppi. Both having a deep passion for music, it was only a matter of time before this duo started hitting the stages of our local bars, clubs, and cafés. Catching them between performances and everyday activities, I got a chance to know The Fragments.
The Fragments are an acoustic, singer-songwriter band influenced by neo-folk and driven by the lyrical composition and sounds of Ben Folds and Cat Stevens.
Henriël Veldtmann is a proud ‘jack-of-all-trades’ who took the stage and the hearts of South Africa after he won the national talent roadshow, ShowVille in 2016, with an acoustic performance in his hometown Bethulie.
Soon after, Henriel’s music was reaching a point where he was in need of a second guitarist. Marius Els, who one would describe as the passionate dreamer and lover of all kinds of music, weaved through a couple of bands and genres of music, mostly playing rhythm-and-lead guitar in a few local-favourite metal bands. He took the opportunity to join Henriel and together they started to expand their acoustic experience.
Their performances are strong and draws you in to listen to the delightful and melancholic stories they tell through the music. From heartbreaking love poems to a man questioning the ignorance of war and religion. Their storytelling has substance and dives in and out of Afrikaans and English songs.
Peering down the street of 2017 and ’18, the plan is to aim for more festivals around South Africa like White Mountain, as well as compose and record as much as possible.
Catch their next performance on 30 May 2017 at the Zwartkop Country Club, for the Just Music Acoustic Sessions (book tickets online). Or have dinner and a drink at the Hard Rock Café in Sandton on Thursday 1 June 2017, for a special show.
Finally, the most important question I had to ask before I left: “Dog, cat, or dolphin? Which is the best pet to have?”
Marius: “No pets please. Probably because Dolphins always beat me at chess.”
Henriel: “I love them all! But I think dogs win. So loving, loyal, and goofy! Cats are rather low-maintenance though… hmmm…”
The Fragments is a South African acoustic folk band featuring Marius Els, Henriel Veldtmann and the occasional guest such as Rian Britz. For more opportunities to watch them live or keep up to date with new recordings they’re active on the following channels: