Tag Archives: Live gig Review


Woodstock Mafia’s Album launch 16 Sep, Zula bar, CT

Last night, three local bands that are making waves on the scene at the moment Wolftown, the band of the evening Woodstock Mafia and The Great Apes took the stage upstairs at Zula bar, Long Street.

After some background house tunes and a couple of drinks (it is self-explanatory that those go hand-in-hand) the crowds seeped into the large upstairs venue to get this launch on the road.

Wolftown's Lungs

 Openers for the night, Wolftown, pulled their own crowd who filled up the foot of the stage with bouncing bodies and beer-spillage. Wolftown’s Lungs, Sara Pope absolutely dominated their set. New material is always fun and the crowds were digging it in a big way. Photographers had to fight their way to the front and occasionally got a camera bashed into their eyeballs. It was an energetic performance from the tight trio who managed to effortlessly entice newcomers into the mix of movement with their massive sound.

Woodstock Mafia!

A short change-over and some witty banter later, the much awaited moment arrived for the main okes, Woodstock Mafia, to rock out with their cocks out.  And that they did. Somehow they manage to immerse catchy licks and commercial hooks in this violent post-grunge rock’nroll! It’s sheer energy. They are rocking harder than ever and as a relatively new band, we can definitely expect big things. That place was packed. Elbows flying and bashing around in the middle there, I got a boot in the head!  I was so busy busting moves to notice that gigantic guys were flying off the stage overhead. It was carnage. These guys were rocking on the wild side and the crowd was loving it. “Convicts are the best audience I ever played for” – Johnny Cash. Pumped drumming embellished with melodious vocal lines (and the occasional roar) won every sceptic over and at R30 their four-tracked EP is a total steal. The problem with straight and narrow is that you fall off the sides anyway so Woodstock Mafia showed us how the rocknrollas do it, flailing around with their high energy guitar.         

Woodstock Mafia!

From flailed to derailed. Cape Town’s own bad seeds, The Great Apes wailed in pixie-esque dementia. Lust. They have the X-factor. Ladies and gentlemen the x-factor is sex. 

“The Great Apes? Those guys play like a debauched night in a hotel room, Rocking so hard they get lesbians off.” -Dani

The Great Apes are actually much harder, thrashier, more raw than the pixies. They also have this strong drum driven vibe that got everyone as pumped as the band. The whole atmosphere of the event was a punky fit-in-or-fuck-off attitude. It was a case of embracing the chaos. These guys managed to blow the joint and the electricity. Twice. And still the dance-floor was violent and stayed packed all night till their very last chord.

The Great Apes!!!

I fucking love this loosing of energy ! Riotous rock! Three bands that make you dance and sweat and jump around with manic excitement. What an epic launch event!  Woodstock Mafia know how to put on a show!


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Isochronous Inscape Album Tour, 2Sep, Mercury (CT)

Isochronous (photographed by Laura McCullagh)

Isochronous hit Mercury last weekend with full force and, as promised, it was quite a pimping event. The band that originally hails from Pretoria have a steady and loyal following (mainly from the Northern suburbs interestingly) in the Western Cape who’d mission around to fill the most unusual spots just to get a chance to see these boys take the stage. Luckily for them though, this time it was an epic gig at the old faithful venue, Mercury Live, sporting good sound, good beer, bad wine and bad-asses. All the best ingredients for a great night out!

The line-up also included Red Huxley and The Sleepers. Both bands have got stellar reputations themselves. Red Huxley rocked an entirely danceable set with a kind of old school honkey-tonk swagger. The enthusiasm from the jam-packed masses is a testament to their ability to win over any crowd. With raw guitar grooves and steady drums, Red Huxley had rock’nroll riding on the airwaves.  

The Sleepers' new rocking vocalist, Daniel Photographed by Laura McCullagh

 The Sleepers were up next with their new frontman Dan for the second time ever. They totally killed their set, impressing old fans and new faces alike. The energy! It was pretty epic. Each band member was violently involved in their music and the solidarity of the original quartet; Steve, Chris, Adam & Nicolai, was phenomenal. They torpedoed through complicated time-signature changes, lifting and lowering the mood like practiced puppeteers. Their new vocalist was strong and gave them a far more accessible sound than I’m used to. I am really, really excited to see their next few shows to watch how this awesome mix of thundering post-core Sleepers awaken.

The Sleepers (photo by Laura McCullagh)

Isochronous are by far my favourite alternate pop-rockers. In fact they’re some of the only really poppy music that I truly love. Their music is well-crafted, their CDs are professionally produced and their extraordinarily moving, powerful compositions are captured beautifully on recordings. If you shut your eyes listening to Isochronous the dark you can feel their music bending the world. Their new album is NO exception. Once again they’ve put out brilliant melodies and sing-a-long friendly lyrics.

Richard gets my vote for best female vocals in South Africa.

Isochronous' Richard (photo by Laura McCullagh)

This gig certainly was part of a well- orchestrated tour. They played the entire album and held people’s attention the majority of the time (which is quite a feat with the long, lovely bars taunting their audience). However, after all the expectations (admittedly it’s partially my own fault) I always seem to build them up in my head so much that their live performances disappoint me. They were tight. They were energetic. But they were also so strategic and structured about their choreographies and interactions that it compromised the genuine feeling of the music. The cheesy poses made me feel like I was watching High-School Musical!

Baring that in mind, their particular commercialised version of alternate music is actually rather good. These are quality musicians who love what they do and if High-School Musical can front a billion-dollar empire, then Isochronous might actually be well on the way to their dream of world domination.

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Epic flashback to the 90s

 Hog Hoggidy Hog and The Rudimentals
 The self-proclaimed kings of pork-rock, Hog Hoggidy Hog, got together with Cape-Tonian bred ska band, The Rudimentals to fill Mercury Live with sweat, screams and skanking. The much anticipated event kicked off to a full house with their more hardcore friends, The Summer Underground.

The Summer Underground’s performance can be remembered for one or two winning elements; one deliciously 80s intro, they committed to their energy and were fronted with zeal and they performed another number in a style reminiscent of Motorhead (which is always a good thing to hear). However, this was not the wind-milling crowd, time or place. Not yet anyway. The crowd that later proved to be phenomenally exuberant were unswayed by the performance and clearly had one thing on their minds; Skanking.

The Rudimentals brought their brass ensemble on stage with brass balls. The eight-piece ska/reggae/afro-beat band piled on stage to teach the people life lessons. Politics, social-comment, stereotypes and of coarse, how to dance! Building up and chilling out they led the bobbing, skanking, dancing, singing, hopping, jumping, bumping crowd on the journey through the Rudies set. Teboho Bobo Maidza rocked the mic and got literally everyone hollering back and forth. The rest of his crew joined him with harmonies, and unapologetically fun, African dance moves all while playing their instruments. They’ve got mad skills! They teased the audience with tiny selections of jumpable madness interspersed with their mellow groove sound. The audience, now packed like sardines from the foot of the stage right to the doors, was gagging for a release of this pent-up energy. Knowing that the Hogs were on the way only multiplied the tension.

In true Hog Hoggidy Hog style, the pork-rockers blew the roof off Mercury. Not a single intro was complete before the masses went absolutely mental. From their very first lines to the very last word, the audience sang, screamed and skanked to their tunes… more than the band!

Stage divers took their life into their hands diving (and more frequently drunkenly falling) into the middle of an epic typhoon of thrashing, flailing, falling, maiming, skanking, moshing limbs. Everyone, from the rebel kid that looks like he’s ten to the girls that look like Brenda Star, ladies and gents that haven’t done this in a decade and grey-haireds holding fort for the rockers of ages past, were united in a diabolical tangle of liveliness and sweat.

Beers were spilled, hair was tangled, clothes were ripped and make-up smudged. Heels, nails and ankles were broken. Dignity and faces (and sexy ladies) were busted. All in all, exactly what you’d expect from the Hogs!

What a send-off for Hog Hoggidy Hog who are about to take-on the world on their biggest tour yet.

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Ramfest 2011

CAPE TOWN: Nekkies Holiday Resort, Worcester: 4 – 6 March
One South Africa’s Ultimate Rock Festivals.

The healthy being craves an occasional wildness, a jolt from
normality, a sharpening of the edge of appetite, his own little festival of
Saturnalia, a brief excursion from his way of life.

Robert Maclver quotes

A weekend of REAL ALTERNATE MUSIC! The CT leg of Ramfest V was a monster winner!

Pre-sale people kicked off the killer weekend on Thursday already surrounded by masses of tents, foodstalls, plenty booze, band merch and the lush river-side views and drunk people!

It was the valhalla of festivals from a logistics point of view! One can’t emphasise the excellent organisation enough! For the entire weekend there were clean toilet-paper filled bathrooms with hot and cold water showers. Woop! Woop! Personal favourite: Hydration station! -And the sprinklers at all the bars (where you hardly had to wait to get a drink!)
The stages were ready to roll on Friday afternoon after some refreshing in the river or pool.

The fifth year of RAMfest boasted 3 stages and a bigger dance floor than before. Much talked about were the two international bands: Alkaline Trio (USA) and Funeral for a Friend (UK). Also local legendary acts like Die Antwoord, Van Coke Kartel and Zebra and Giraffe play in all the cities.

Cape Town got the very best Ramfest line-up, made complete by absolutely killer local bands! On the Main Stage Mr Cat and the Jackal and their giant head replicas rocked the party with a carnie folk take on rock. The Great Apes sexily smashed and crashed their way around the mainstage in true rock’nroll style and notably brilliant performances by Not My Dog, Zebra and Giraffe, Isochronous and The Sleepers cemented the idea that local bands this year absolutely thrashed the imported acts. Alkaline Trio was by far the most disappointing act of the festival. There was quite a lot of hype about the two international acts and neither of them blew me away. I did enjoy the Funeral for a Friend set more purely because of their ego and energy.
 Clearly they were digging themselves. (Perhaps a bit more than the crowd who hardly moved (though there was a fair bit of hand-raising near the beginning of their set). Still, they were decent. A very pleasant surprise was how tight Van Coke Kartel were! They really had a great show and the crowds knew it! Die Aantwoord carried on in their own very special way thrilling fans and offending critics like they fokken-terrets-se-poes always do.
The Alternate Stage was contrastingly buzzing with energy. Metal minded musos like Mind Assault, Symphonic Schizophrenia, Juggernaught, Enmity (who threw in a most phenominal cover), and A Walk with the Wicked had the metal tent rocking like a hurricane, windmilling and moshing. Tartan-clad wild-hearts Haggis & Bong had their bagpipes and balls to the wall making some interesting noise. And then there was Sabretooth. One of the clear highlights of the festival. Lightning-fast guitars, drums and keys. Vocalist Mauri Moncada on top form rocked Van Halen’s ‘JUMP! ‘and (after a roaring call for more) a Steel Panther cover! The band had the crowd going mental!
The Pope apparently has not heard of the electro stage. When all the hype and hysteria of the main stage and alternate stage came to an end the Electronic stage kept the dance beats and epillepsie lights pumping right through the wee hours of the morn with winners like Toby2Shoes, Ill Tastic, El Gordo, Haezer, TOM DELUXX (FRA), and more. It was a vibrant space pulling crowds of fucked people towards the lights.
An epic festival! Well organised, well attended, well worth it!
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The most metal gift of all; Disappointment.

 Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts 23 January 2011

 It took me a while to get to writing this review simply because I was trying to avoid it.
Being the awsome fan such as I am, it was a hard knock for me watching the Kirstenbosch concert on Jan 23rd. Dan Patlansky, Farrel Purkis & Inge Beckman.
After much hype (and deserved hype because these muso’s own) the late afternoon gig took the form of 3 songs by each accomplished musician and then a massive collaborative jam! It promised to be a stunning entertainer! I was especiallylookig forward to Ms Beckman’s solo material. Antici… …pation!
However, much like celibacy vows of Hank Moody, it was a promise unkept. FML. I was sorely disappointed by the whole thing. No sooner had the door swung shut on Lark’s tight backside than the former frontwoman’s creme de la crem performance turned sour like week old yoghurt thats been lying in the sun! 
The contorted faces of the disturbed crowd were more distracting than her creepy robes and screechy temple-calls. 3 songs were 3 too many. Sadly, very sadly. We all know she’s capable of awesome shit. Dan the man’s grizzly voice and ballzy guitar playing put the rock back in the gig and got the show rolling again. YAY!

A horrific jam. Shame, nobody sounds great after Dan’s rocked out his deep throated sexiness so Inge stuck to her bizarre personal style (which i totally adore actually, creepy big fan) but it unfortunately failed. Epicly.
They should robably have realised though.
As for Mr Purkis… …he’s decent but it wasn’t anything to write home about.
They are all such phenominal musicians I was hoping for so much more.
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