As promised, here is the entire 1969 album from South African guitarist and trendsetter, Almon Sandisa Memela. Born in Donnybrook in 1936 Memela was a musician’s musician playing, arranging and composing a diversity of great music from the 1950s through to the 1980s. Amongst many others, he played guitar for Miriam Makeba and the Skylarks in the 1950s and composed the hit song ‘Banoyi’ sung by Letta Mbulu on her 1967 album Free Soul. He went on to become a producer and talent scout in the 1970s.
|Almon Memela, Lemmy Special, Jeremy Taylor jamming|
at Suzie's Shebeen in the early 1960s
from Jim Bailey's African Photo Archive
Soul Bandits is one of those albums that, when played out of context, has confused lovers of 60s northern soul. For example – Canadian blogger Shindiggit gives a pretty snappy description of a Soul Bandit seven-single he dug-up at a record fair in Ontario a few years ago:
Do give this album a listen, it grows on you! If you prefer the more African-jazz oriented stuff, you can hear excerpts of some 78s of Almon Memela from Chris Ballantine’s collection here.
Soul Bandit: A.M. Stragglers