Plush (band)
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Plush Band

OriginCape Town, South Africa
GenresAlternative rock, acoustic rock
LabelsPlush music, Sheer
Rory Eliot and The Reason
MembersRory Eliot, Vocals & Guitar
Emelio Gassibe, Bass
Carl Wegelin, Lead Guitar
with touring members Devin Jones (drums) and Domenico Benigno (keyboard, piano & accordion)
Chas Smit on lead guitar, Dale Orchard, Dez Lewis, Sean Brannigan, Dom Peters, Sean Ou Tim, Ben Peters, Tim Rankin

Plush is a South African alternative rock band formed in 1996 in the city of Cape Town.


Rory Eliot is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist, Emelio Gassibe plays the bass and Carl Wegelin plays the guitar. (Chas Smit - Original member)

Rory Eliot

Rory was born in Durban in 1980 and began singing at age 8. He got his first guitar at 15 and soon created his first song Far Beyond, which is featured on their debut album. Rory went on to study dramatic art in Johannesburg at AFDA.He also received a Masters in Songwriting from the University of Bath. He is since married to his long time girlfriend and has two daughters.

Emelio Gassibe

Emelio Gassibe plays bass and sing backing vocals. He is married and has a daughter Carla-Ann and son Caleb.

Carl Wegelin

Carl Wegelin plays the guitar. Carl grew up on a wine farm outside of Wellington in the Western Cape. Carl pursued music professionally after moving to Cape Town to study engineering.


Performing together since 1996, Plush turned professional in 2000 and in 2002 won the National Battle of the Bands competition, against over 500 bands from across South Africa. The name "Plush" was given to them by Natal south coast fans who thought their performance was plush, a slang word meaning awesome.[1]

Plush first flickered on the national South African music map back in 2003. The song "Tainted" reached number 1 on TuksFM, and "Today" and "My Baby" received regular radio play, the latter getting airtime on MTV.

Together they were described as "so unbelievably tight that they sound as though they are one masterful musician, playing two guitars, with four arms and one almighty voice".[2]

Death of Chas Smit

In September 2005, whilst crossing a street in Pietermaritzburg, Smit was knocked over and killed by a drunk driver.

Eliot was quoted by the Daily News as saying, "He was like a brother to me. I am not sure what the future holds for me, or for the band. I will have to think about it and what Chas would have wanted."[3] Soon after, the Plush website announced that the band would not be continuing. Today, he remembers the time as his darkest season.

Memorial services took place in Pietermaritzburg, Cape Town and London.


Suffering tremendous grief, Eliot took a six-month sabbatical before returning as a solo artist, determined to fulfill a promise he'd made to Smit that they would make it. Soon Peters and Gassibe joined the newly reformed Plush and their loyal fans began to spread the word of a comeback.

The group released their first single in two years, "When Grace Grew Tall" in early 2007 after and they went on their first Gauteng tour since Chas' tragedy. "When Grace Grew Tall" went to number 1 on 5fm's Hi5@5, where it remained for four weeks.

The national effort went global in August 2007 when the band embarked on a tour of the United Kingdom in August 2007. Focusing primarily on London, the band played nine shows in 10 days.

In May 2011, Plush embarked on a nationwide tour, launching their new, self-titled album. Welcomed by full-houses in Grahamstown, Pretoria, Johannesburg, Stellenbosch, and Cape Town, Plush made yet another come-back after 2 years of song-writing and recording behind the scenes of the South African music industry. The Band plans on a second tour in 2011 focusing on Elliot's home province of Kwa-Zulu Natal, as well as other locations around South Africa.


All That Is Should Be (released 9 March 2004)

  • "Trouble"
  • "Today"
  • "Like Planes"
  • "Erla"
  • "Fits of Life"
  • "Tainted"
  • "Iris"
  • "Damn the Fire"
  • "Tata Jozi Tata"
  • "Far Beyond"
  • "My Baby"
  • "Jet Life"

A Few Blinding Views (released 5 August 2005, Us Productions)

  • "Today"
  • "What I'm thinking about"
  • "Wishing Well"
  • "Able"
  • "Postcard"
  • "Impressive Sun"
  • "Ta ta, Jozi, ta ta"
  • "I wonder of you"
  • "My Baby"
  • "Love away the days"
  • "Halo" (live)
  • "Sky Fire" (live, unplugged)

A Few Blinding Views was produced by the Grammy nominated composer, drummer, arranger and producer, Cedric Samson and was engineered by Nic Els and mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound in New York.

The recording features Dominic Peters (bass & keyboards), Sean ou-Tim (drums & bass), Cedric Samson (drums and percussion) Waldo Alexander (violin), Eddie Mclean (cello), Simon Bates (sax), Ross McDonald (trombone) and Lee Thompson (trumpet) with Rory Eliot (lead vocal & rhythm guitar) and Chas Smit (lead guitar & backing vocal).

Rage On (released 29 November 2007)

  • "When Grace Grew Tall"
  • "Freedom Town"
  • "Lucky Fish"
  • "All For the Better"
  • "Warfare"
  • "These Days"
  • "Hope"
  • "Right Here"
  • "Seeking"
  • "Last Breath"
  • "Rage On"

Rage On was produced by Rory Eliot and was engineered and mastered by John Lindemann at JSL Productions in Johannesburg.

The recording features Dominic Peters (keyboard & piano), Justin Taylor (guitars), Josie Piers (backing vocals on selected tracks) and Dale Orchard (bass guitar) with Rory Eliot (lead vocals & guitar), Emelio Gassibe (lead bass guitar), Ben Peters (drums and percussion) and Carl Wegelin (lead guitars on selected tracks). Track 10, "Last breath", was performed and recorded by Chas Smit before his death.

A Deluxe Edition of 'Rage On' was later released that included two bonus tracks "Life" and a full band, electric version of "Halo"


  • "Dancing in a storm"
  • "I am Frank"
  • "What he fancies"
  • "Out of body"
  • "1999"
  • "Carousel"
  • "Always awake"
  • "Alive and well"
  • "Conundrum"
  • "Belong"
  • "You-Boat"

The recording features Domenico Benigno (keyboard, piano & accordion), Devin Jones (drums) with Rory Eliot (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Carl Wegelin (lead guitars and vocals) and Emelio Gassibe (bass and vocals). Plush collaborated with Brian O'Shea (SAMA winning producer) and Sean Gunns (Vuka award winning engineer) to create this album. Contributions were also made by Vance Powell (Grammy winner and engineer, The Raconteurs, Jack White), Neal Snyman (Collective Soul, Crowded House) and Matt Allison (SAMA winner).


External links

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