When Sean Dienaar left Bloem 13 years ago, there was a lot of live entertainment going on around town. So it was rather surprising for him to land back here last year only to discover that a lot of it had disappeared. Having just left his cushy job in the medical field, travelling the world, dealing with medical equipment and training surgeons on the latest technology, he was ready for a quieter life, away from Joburg where he had settled. Intending only to stay in Bloem for a few days to reconnect with family and reboot on his way down to find a home along the coast, he’s still here a year later! Kitted with his HOT matt black Ovation guitar and carry-on-your-back sound system (he’s keen to go busking around the country), Sean has become Bloemfontein’s most wanted musician (in more ways that one, judging by all the ladies batting their eyelashes at him last night).
Sunday nights are when he takes away the end-of-weekend blues with his beautiful voice at House of Coffees at Preller Square – best enjoyed with a cup of Milo and piece of cheese cake. Wraps, burgers, tramezzinis, savoury pancakes and salads are also on the menu for those wanting to dine to the music, which includes songs such as Snow Patrol’s ‘Chasing Cars’, Creedence Clearwater Revival’s ‘Bad Moon Rising’ and Dozi’s ‘Ou Ryperd’. Last night’s rendition of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ left a sweetly haunting (in a very good way) sound in my ears on the way home. He’s equally good at playing what he calls ‘doef doef Afrikaans songs that people like to sokkie to’.
Sean’s loving the laid-back vibe in Bloemfontein, and is happy to be back in the land of ‘genuine, caring and nurturing people’. He’ll be releasing a CD later in the year with some of his own compositions (he’s into soft rock, in the way of Darius Rucker, lead singer of Hootie & the Blowfish – ‘songs that have nice lyrics and a feeling to them’). Sean’s great sense of humour is evident during his performance, where he jokes with tables having a drink, dedicates songs to people and makes friends during break time.
His father was also a musician, part of a Bloemfontein band called Apple. ‘It’s quite cool,’ says Sean, ‘because I’m now still performing songs that he used to sing 40 years ago.’ Even though Sean didn’t belong to the choir at school – he was told he was too individualistic! – he did already show his singing skill at a young age when a school girlfriend dared him to sing Rick Astley’s ‘When I fall in Love’ at the former Dominos in St Andrews Street, with Manie, a muso who still performs around Bloem. Nowadays, he’s more into singing the Neil Diamond tunes his father introduced him to. ‘I’m so glad I turned out to have the same crackle in my voice as my dad,’ he smiles. ‘It means that Neil Diamnond really suits me.’
You’ll have to visit House of Coffees one Sunday night to listen to Sean perform his hero’s ‘I Am, I Said’ to know that he’s actually quite right. It all suits him very, very nicely indeed!
Sean performs at House of Coffees, Preller Square every Sunday from 4pm-8pm, and also plays at The Windmill Casino, The Office, Craig’s Pub and Camelot, as well as for private functions. The only place where he doesn’t sing is in his shower!
Sean Dienar 078-1334510
House of Coffees, Preller Square 051-4365794