Home Music Capital Craft 2019: An Interview with John Leyden from Mango Groove

Capital Craft 2019: An Interview with John Leyden from Mango Groove


Mango Groove are of the epic musical acts who will be performing at Capital Craft Beer Festival in Pretoria this month. They are one of the best live acts in the country and definitely worth watching.

I recently had a chat to John Leyden from Mango Groove about their performance at the festival and a few other things. This is what he had to say.

Mango Groove
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Where did the name “Mango Groove” originate from?

A silly, tropico-sexist pun, really 🙂 Yes, man-go-groove, but equally just wanting to convey a sense of fun, celebration, inclusivity, and (of course) Groove!

What has Mango Groove been up to in 2019 so far?

A significant year for us, actually, as we have been celebrating the 30th anniversary of the release of our very first album, so we are rolling out some big national shows in this regard. Equally, we have been working hard on a few longer term projects that very exciting for us: a stage musical, a movie documentary and down the line a movie musical.

What is your favourite song about beer?

‘’I beg your pardon: I never promised you a beer garden’’…or is that Rose Garden, lol? We also love Chumbawamba’s ‘’Tubthumping’’ (‘’I get knocked down…’’)

What is your favourite beer quote?

‘’I drink beer to improve other people’’

What is the funniest thing that you’ve experienced on tour?

So many, actually, as Mango is such a big group, and full of very interesting characters (to put it mildly)! I do recall a pair of (male) underpants landing on Claire’s head right in the middle of her long note in “Special Star”, lol.

What is your favourite South African drinking song and why?

Hmm…An oldie from Condry Ziqubu? ‘’Via Orlando’’…a brandy, mind you… If you’re in the mood, of course, and the memories are washing over you, any great song can become  a good drinking song!

How has the SA Music Scene changed during the course of your career?

In many ways ( and globally), both music technology and the internet (including social media, of course), have liberated and empowered artists hugely. In SA specifically, the market is full of exciting new artists that continue to inspire us.

In the grander scheme of things, however, we do feel the fundaments of music are timeless: great songs and arrangements that move us and that bring people together, and that ideally have something interesting to say about this complicated world of ours.

What can we expect from Mango Groove at the 2019 edition of Capital Craft Beer Festival?

Very much a party, a celebration, and hopefully lots of familiar Mango memories… All great drinking songs, of course!

I’d like to thank John Leyden and Mango Groove for this interview and I wish them all of the best with their performance at Capital Craft Beer Festival on the 15th of June 2019. If you don’t have tickets yet, get yours HERE.

Watch this space for updates in the Music category on Running Wolf’s Rant.


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