mardi 27 mars 2018

Spotlight on Luv's former label mates: CLOUT!!!!

Thanks Cindy for your contribution!!!

Last summer, Luv' gave a tremendous performance at the "Yesterdayland" festival which took place at the Bobbejaanland theme park in Lichtaart, Belgium (see news posted on August 28th, 2017). The ladies shared the stage with several iconic singers and bands from the 1970s, including Cindy Alter (lead vocalist of the legendary South African pop-rock group Clout). Cindy and the Luv' ladies even met backstage which brought back good memories from the past. 

Clout in 1979

Shortly after Yesterdayland, I succeeded in getting in touch with Cindy through Facebook and even connected her with José Hoebee. I'm so happy that the ladies communicate with each other again. They have so much in common. Clout's international popularity coincided with Luv's heyday in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The two groups often performed on the same TV shows (including AVRO's TopPop in Holland and Musikladen in Germany) and scored hits on the same charts. They were label mates as their records were distributed by French label Carrere in Europe. 

In June 1978, Luv' and Clout (dressed in colourful jumpsuits) took part in a photo shoot supervised by the renowned photographer Claude Vanheye in Gran Canaria. Luv' pictures were used for the covers of the "You're the Greatest Lover" single and the "With Luv" album. On July 19th, the Dutch viewers could watch this iconic photo session on Veronica TV program "Aan de Grenzen".

Clout & Luv' at the Gran Canaria Airport in June 1978

Like Luv', Clout was formed in 1977. In early 1978, their single "Substitute" (a cover version of a song by The Righteous Brothers) was presented at the MIDEM (the world's largest trade fair for the music industry) in Cannes, France. The record had already been a chart-topper in their homeland. At the MIDEM, South African label Sunshine Records licensed the rights for "Substitute" to Carrere for an international distribution deal. The track became an instant hit (#1 in Germany, Ireland, Zimbabwe and New Zealand, #2 in the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland, #9 in France, #10 in Austria, #12 in Australia, #13 in Sweden, #20 in Finland, #67 in the USA). 

Substitute on "Disco" (ZDF, Germany, 1978)

Other hits followed:

You've Got All Of Me on "Musikladen" (Radio Bremen, Germany) in 1978 - #16 in South Africa, #14 in Germany and Zimbabwe, #17 in France, #25 in Austria, #23 in the Netherlands

Save Me on "AVRO's TopPop", Netherlands in 1979 - cover version of a Clodagh Rodgers track: #1 in Zimbabwe, #7 in South Africa, #4 in Switzerland and Germany, #5 in Belgium, #9 in the Netherlands, #14 in Austria

Let It Grow on "AVRO's TopPop" in 1978 (cover version of an Eric Clapton's song) - #33 in New Zealand

Under Fire on "Musikladen" in 1979 - #6 in Denmark, #7 in Switzerland, #15 in Germany, #36 in the Netherlands, #18 in Belgium, #18 in Zimbabwe and #19 in South Africa

Oowatanite on "Musikladen" in 1979 - #8 in Denmark, #33 in Germany

Portable Radio on "Musikladen" in 1980 - cover version of a Daryl Hall & John Oates song: #7 in Denmark and #54 in Germany 

The Best Of Me on "Musikladen" in 1980: #73 in Germany

Clout disbanded in 1981 (the same year as Luv') after selling ten million records worldwide and earning five Sarie Samas (South African music awards) as well as gold and platinum records. 

In 1992, their greatest hits package was released on CD and it was re-mastered as "The Best of Clout" in 2010.

2005 saw the band reuniting after Cindy Alter returned to South Africa after spending 15 years in Los Angeles, USA. A new album, ‘Since They’ve Been Gone’ was released, which contained reworked versions of four of the band’s hits as well as new material. The album was supported by a 12-month tour across South Africa. The reunion saw all the members join forces apart from Lee Tomlinson (now Guy) and Ron Brettell

In 2015, Cindy and Glenda made a number of guest appearances as a duo and played a number of charity gigs. 2017 saw a full reunion which was performed at a benefit concert in Johannesburg. Due to popular demand, the band, now including Alistair Coakley, but without Sandy, Lee and Jenny, are in the process of planning an international tour to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the release of ‘Substitute’ in 2018. 

On March 31st, Clout will be one the headlining acts at the Lush Festival in Clarens, South Africa. 

Since they’ve been gone… where are they now? 

After Clout broke up in 1981, the members have all pursued other ventures, some in music, some not! 

Cindy Alter started a successful band Zia who toured Europe, opening for the Bee Gees in Paris. After Zia split up, she moved to America. Whilst in the States, she was diagnosed with leukaemia and after a Stem Cell Bone Marrow transplant has been cured. Since returning to South Africa, Cindy has continued to work as a full-time musician and has recorded a number of albums. She published her autobiography ‘No Substitute’ in 2015. 

Interview with Cindy discussing her autobiography

After Clout, Lee Tomlinson (now Lee Guy), quit the music business and moved to Germany. She is a grandmother and lives in England with her husband Barry, who was a former executive at EMI.

Post Clout, Ingrid ‘Ingi’ Herbst (now Ingi Brough) moved to Germany with her husband, where she stayed for 20 years. She continued as a full-time musician and had two sons. After she returned to South Africa, she ventured into the corporate arena and started a media production company with her son. Ingi currently has a successful business in retailing luxury fragrances. 

After Glenda Hyam (now Glenda Sixel) parted ways with the band in 1978. she continued as a musician and played keyboards for a number of extremely successful South African bands. Glenda re-joined the line up in 2005. She now runs a successful events management company with her daughter in Johannesburg. 

Jenni Garson took a break from the music business until the reunion in 2005. She currently resides in Cape Town and makes the occasional guest appearance at Cindy Alter’s shows in that neck of the woods. 

Ron ‘Bones’ Brettell continued as a musician post-Clout and ran a successful studio composing and recording catalogue music. Ron played the keyboard on Cindy’s recent solo album. He sadly passed away in 2016. 

Sandy Robbie moved to Port Elizabeth where he works the music circuit. He was a part of the 2005 reunion album and tour but has opted for a life out of the spotlight. 

After Clout, Gary van Zyl was a founding member of Juluka, who, with Johnny Clegg at the helm had a string of massive hits, touring globally. He joined the band reunion in 2005 and continues to make appearances on the music scene. Gary was involved as a sound engineer in the legendary Johannesburg venue, Tanz Café and works for the top sound-hire company in South Africa.

2018 is the 40th Anniversary of their Number 1 hit, Substitute. Clout is now in the process of filming a documentary to commemorate this epic event, as well as playing at festivals around South Africa, hoping to tour Europe soon.


Cindy Alter: lead vocals, guitar (1977–1981, 2005, 2018)
Lee Tomlinson: bass, vocals (1977–1980)
Ingrid "Ingi" Herbst: drums, vocals (1977–1981, 2005, 2018)
Glenda Hyam: keyboards, vocals (1977; 2005; 2018)
Jenni Garson: guitar, vocals (1977–1981; 2005)
Ron "Bones" Brettell: keyboards, vocals (1978–1981)
 Sandy Robbie: guitar, vocals (1978–1981; 2005)
Gary van Zyl: bass (1980–1981; 2005; 2018)
Alistair Coakley: guitar, vocals (2018)


• 1978: Substitute (aka Clout)
• 1979: Six of the Best
• 1980: A Threat and a Promise
• 1981: 1977 to 1981 (compilation with one new song)
• 1992: Substitute (Dutch compilation)
• 1992: 20 Greatest Hits (compilation)
• 1994: Clout (German compilation)
• 2005: Since We've Been Gone (compilation with 9 new recordings)
• 2010: The Best Of Clout (compilation)


* 1977:

"Since You Been Gone" (Russ Ballard)
• "Substitute"
"You've Got All of Me" (Terry Dempsey)
"Let it Grow" (Eric Clapton)

* 1978:

"Save Me" (Clodagh Rodgers)
"Ms America"
"Under Fire" (B A Robertson)

* 1980:

"Oowatanite" (Miles Goodwyn, Jim Clench)
"Portable Radio" (Hall & Oates)

* 1981: 

"Wish I Were Loving You”


"Tender Love”

Click here to see the complete discography of Clout

Source: Facebook, Cindy Alter,, YouTube,

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