Acoustiq Assassins by Sade Wagner

I’ve missed out on the band, Acoustiq Assassins performance twice thus far, unfortunately and it’s really disappointing. The first time it clashed with my schedule and the second time, well it was in a different city and I was unable to attend. To make up for that, I’ve offered a guest writer, Sade Wagner, that actually attended the gig, the opportunity to share her experience with you. This is her work and I, in no way, claim that it is mine.

Acoustiq Assassins Assassinate at The Dive

Acoustiq Assassins are a contemporary African pop band, born and bred in Pietermaritzburg but looking to play to the ears of the world. The group consists of four members, Siphesihle Bhengu, the band’s lovable slave driver, Gugu Mdladla, the confident- absorbed poet, Noma Khumalo, the fearless note belter and Siphiwe Mazibuko Jnr the deft playing guitarist.


The band performed at the Hexagon Theatre’s basement, the Dive Saturday, 20 February. The band were greeted by an audience of singles and lovers looking to be serenaded and  indulge in the liquor available at the diner theatre. The lights dimmed, the first note was strummed on the guitar producing a mellow, boxy sound and was received with “Hmms” of approval. Acoustiq Assassins plays to its audience like a magic flute charming a cobra. The listeners cling to every note and lyric swaying their heads rhythmically as if hypnotized. The crowd was happy to accept the enchantment cheering, “Encore” before the melody of spells wears off.


The harmonizing of the quartet is a glorious blend to listen to. Mdladla colours the performance with poetry,Khumalo’s sound is a musical cocktail of Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston and Beyoncé as she shows off her vocal range to the accompaniment of Mazibuko’s clean sounds from the acoustic guitar. The band compliment each other with harmonies and clever performances of degrees at which the song is delivered, ranging in pitch. Mazibuko could use his notes to instruct Khumalo to jump and she would respond singing, “How high?”

Bhengu doesn’t go unnoticed in his ability to locate the focus of the band like a fully committed conductor. That’s the impression you get from the quadrant. A Pietermaritzburg resident had been pressured to ask for what then looked liked randoms sporting guitars to perform at her wedding. “We lied to her and pretended we were a band” Mazibuko had confessed. Acoustiq Assassins had made their first debut, after two nights of intense rehearsals. The band is looking to progress everyday in preparation for their dreams of reaching a global audience. “We want to make music that speaks more to the ears than the eyes and create music that people like to listen to. Music that lives longer” said Bhengu

If you’re curious as to what this amazing band sound like, follow these links:


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