Art-Movie-Book recently spent the day in studio with Alastair Thomas, the lead singer of the band ShortStraw. We felt it would be a good idea to feature Alastair, because he seems to be like one of those Russian stacking dolls, the ones that, in this case, reveal another talent hidden beneath every layer.

Most people know him as the super animated, super witty performer with guitar in hand, heading up the shenanigans of this eclectic bunch of guys on stage. However he is also the songwriter behind many of the catchy tunes that have made ShortStraw a fan favourite at any good music festival. He writes about the world around him, love, friendship, having a good time, you know… the stuff that 20 and 30-something life is all about. He jots down the inspiration on his cellphone as it comes, so don’t take offense if he is on his cellphone in your company, you might just have inspired a new hit single.

What everybody doesn’t however know, is that Alastair is also one of the co-owners of a very well respected post-production company in Johannesburg called Mustard Post. Here he has worked with many renowned clients, creating award winning content, including everything from documentaries, music videos, commercials, you name it. He’s a Director and Editor, but let’s rather say that he is a storyteller, who understands the art of drawing people into a narrative. He does this in his directing and editing work as much as he does it through his songwriting.

Alastair is always the coolest guy in the room, but girls don’t be fooled by that sweet Colgate smile. He has quite the artistic temperament and has very definite ideas about what he likes. His admirable business vs. band balance is testament to the fact that Al has a pretty solid plan in mind.

His ability to transform from the cool, calm and collected businessman who is able to make the pitch and get the job, to the crazy no scruples guy on stage, is amusing. A very talented and very cool guy all around… Alastair Thomas… sometimes a poet and sometimes a thunderbolt, but always brilliant.

ShortStraw’s signature feel-good music will have you bouncing around in a flurry of inexplicable ecstasy every single time. They are most definitely one of the funnest live acts around, but if you can’t have them playing in your living room, go out and buy their new album – Youthless – and at least have it playing on your radio. Their happy tunes will make Summer last a little while longer. By the way… the album reached number ONE on iTunes this week, so it is a must have!


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Bibliophile. Logophile. Cinephile. Wife to @Jurgen_marx. Mom to Matteo, Zoë and Phoebe. Habakkuk 2:2 #relativelyontrack

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