David's Confession – About Time, Chapter 2

Info from www.melbotes.co.za

About Time

The dramatic introduction in “Alpha 1” flows into the riveting song of a flute that suddenly proceeds to a stunning symphony of sounds.

“Change” reveals man’s quest for answers and the ensuing discord if the answers are unsatisfactory. After a tranquil guitar intro follows the somewhat tumultuous “The Horseman”. “Confessions” with its air of eeriness is followed by “Praying hands”, like a sad confession. “The Tavern” brings one back to earth.

The deeply personal and very beautiful lyrics of the symphonic ballad “If” reflect the sadness of lost love while “Sometimes” throbs with raw emotion. “Time”, “Eye” and “The Machine” provide a glimpse of the thoughts and flights of imagination of a very creative writer who struggles, questions and probes deeper than the ordinary.

“Judas”, one of the folk rock songs on the album, is sensitive in its savagery. The lyrics are about betrayal – as the name of the song suggests.

Andries’s distinctive voice crosses all boundaries in the hard-rock compilation “Home St. Pierre”, written by Mel whilst staying in a Christian dormitory for girls in Geneva. It is a rather cynical expression of inner conflict and frustration.

About Time, the second chapter of a four-chapter saga fuses the individual talents of all the band members into a singularly riveting performance. The lyrics are mind-blowing and the acoustics complex. The enigmatic soul of David’s Confession is difficult to define mainly because of the range of musical genres and the unlimited potential.

This music is an exquisite experience. Let it saturate your being …

David’s Confession – About Time


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Right-click on song titles and “Save target as” or “Save link as” to download to your hard-drive.

1. Alpha I (Introduction)
2. Alpha II (Silencing)
3. Change (Intro)
4. Change
5. The Horseman
6. Confessions
7. Praying Hands
8. The Tavern
9. If
10. Sometimes
11. Time
12. Eye
13. The Machine
14. Make Believe
(including excerpts from
Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’ )
15. Judas (Intro)
16. Judas
17. Home St. Pierre
18. Alpha III (The Awakening)


  • Mel Botes: vocals, guitars, harmonica
  • Conrad Botha: backing vocals, bass guitar
  • Andries Botha: vocals, guitars, mandolin
  • Philip Botha: vocals, drums, percussion
  • Andrian Hamilton: piano, keyboards
  • Linette Stulting: additional piano on the Sonata
  • Melissa Wiggins: violin solos
  • Julian Wiggins: Celtic pipes, string arrangements
  • Strings led by Denise Sutton
  • SABC choir led by Simon Lomberg



David’s Confession is a personal tribute to a man’s inner struggle with good and evil. Mel explains: “Why David’s Confession? Initially, David was the central character of a book I deliberated over for 12 years. I never explored the possibility of publishing the book, as it felt too personal. However, David’s character was so strong and compelling that I felt forced to give him a voice – hence, the lyrics are an illustration of David’s journey.

“I travelled extensively abroad and only a fellow backpacker will understand the range of emotions you experience. You meet people who become an integral part of your life yet you leave them behind without a second glance. A backpacker is subjected to hundreds of diverse experiences intertwined with incredible adventures. Travelling reaffirmed my belief that man will always be exposed to temptation, yet goodness will prevail.”

Mel never suspected that he would be a musician. “I thought I’d be a lawyer although after studying I realised that the world of law and stats was too restrictive for me. Music is an expression, not a fact.”

Back in South Africa after 18 months abroad Mel realised that he had the music but nothing else. He drove to Sun City. There he approached Georgia (who at that stage played in Trader Horns in the Entertainment Centre as the resident band) and asked them to become part of his project. They agreed, and thereafter Mel went to Sun City every week to work with them on this album.

At that point Sun International was not involved, and the idea was to record this album afterwards (after Georgia had completed their contract at Trader Horns). The manager at Traders mentioned to Mel that they would need a replacement act and scheduled an audition. Phillip Georgas, CEO at the time, Karen Cutts and Dai Edwards attended the audition. After performing songs by Sting, Eric Clapton and others he was asked to deliver an original tune. The rest is history.

People sometimes ask: “If this idea had been in his head for so long, why didn’t he do something about it earlier?”

“Money and the lack of talent,” he admits. “The other reason was that until I met Georgia and they agreed to work with me, I couldn’t find anyone suitable enough, to play my songs.” Mel regarded them as one of the tightest and most technically adept bands in the country and the raw talent interested him.

Karen Cutts, Entertainment Manager at Sun City, has been at the cutting edge of entertainment in Africa since the heydays of the Market Theatre. Karen joined Sun International in 1996. She walked into Trader Horns during one of their afternoon practice session. “Their raw talent and range astounded me,” she said. “To discover potential in its early stages is a powerful aphrodisiac and we began working together to develop their musical skills and to develop their stage performance.”

Sun City took over the management of David’s Confession and appointed Johan Laas to produce and arrange their demo CD.

Mel and Georgia worked together for almost two years at Sun City. During this period they recorded the complete album at considerable expense in Bob Studios.

Just before they were to leave Sun City after a spectacular launch, Conrad was involved in a serious motorbike accident. Mel, Andries and Philip went on a countrywide tour but it was never the same again.

Today, many years later, people still enquire about this magical album, only to find out that it is not for sale. Mel approached Sun International recently in an effort to regain control of his own work – without success. Sun International owns the master.

Mel then decided to make it available on his website for everyone to download and enjoy. After all, it took him 15 years – only to again loose the opportunity to bring it to people.


Conrad’s initial musical experience was with the tambourine at the age of 10. Not a difficult instrument to master, yet it compels one to be patient. At the age of 12, Conrad learnt to play the bass guitar within a month. “The mystery of Mark King inspired me to develop my own style and to concentrate on the electronic amplification.”

Conrad is sometimes regarded as enigmatic. “I was raised on a farm and the solitude and naturalness of the environment had a positive influence on my character and on my music. The natural rhythms of farm life are portrayed in my comprehension of the music.”

David’s Confession is an experiment with different techniques – to fully extend our range. The songs are seductive and unique and the closeness we shared adds an interesting dimension to our music,” explained Conrad.


As the lead singer of David’s Confession, the ideals of the band and the complexity of the lyrics were his responsibilities. “This knowledge is often stressful, although I believe nothing worthwhile comes easy,” he explained.

Andries believes music is filled with subtle nuances and he continually strives to comprehend the subtleties. “The journey is interesting and challenging, yet I do not believe I will ever attain complete understanding.”


A giant of a man, both in stature and temperament. “He takes care of things,” said the other members of the band. His commitment to the band was reflected in his music.

“‘Change’ is my favourite song as it expresses how I feel about life,” declared Philip. “The rawness of change and the hardship it brings are merely challenges – mountains to ascend rather than to conquer.”

Philip regards Toto and Van Halen as his greatest musical influences. Their originality and unique sound are what he believes David’s Confession strives for. “Our sound has been compared to many other artists yet I believe a new origin will start with us.”


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