You know what this one is going to be about! I have just survived, yes survived, yet another RamFest. What follows will be as accurate an account as I am able to filter from my mushy brain porridge. The mushy brain porridge goes with the broken body and the failing intestines.
You could say I had too good a time. I blame beer. And boobs. And stuff.
A prelude to RamFest:
- Excitement! Excitement! The day before I get contacted by Voice Of Rock wanting to know if I still want to interview In Flames. Get up off floor. Dust oneself down. Retain what little dignity you can muster and answer in an almost firm and assured voice that 'yes please, I would love to..."
- Proceed to tell everyone who will listen.
- After a radical party at JDP's celebrating the birthday of TNT, Saturday morning breaks upon us with a hellish fury. And by that I mean, I could already see that the weekend was going to be a scorcher. (Unlike the other, more usual way, when you rely solely on Faeceboob status updates from the legion of Captain Obviouses.)
- Glue Superglue to lips and teeth and tongue. Struggle to explain your dilemma to the Hot Girlfriend. Don't ask...
- Pack car, stop at bottle store and get your arse on over to Tableau Voi.
The Day Of:
- Enter the sandpit and walk for miles lugging all you camping equipment.
- Procrastinate with a well deserved cold beer.
- Finally get tent and blow up mattress sorted and go laugh at Andy in the Metal Tent coz he's wearing Crocs.
- Spend rest of day getting blitzed with a bunch of hairy oiks and eventually pass out on a blow up mattress that has officially given up the ghost.
- Wake up stiffer, more sore and grumpier than usual.
- Refrain from having a nice refreshing early morning beer because, you know, you're interviewing In Flames and would like to maintain at least a modicum of professionalism.
- Pay far too much for the worst cup of coffee ever made.
- Stand around nodding knowingly and making snide remarks as the organisers battle to keep to their time schedule.
- Enter main gate and marvel at the CokeFest-ness of it all. Complain loudly and vociferously about the aural assault the fucking electro stage is inflicting on us. And I'm all for other genres, but special mention must be made of how utterly, unbearable and, well the only word for it has got to be "p**skak" Dubvader is/was/and always will be. I hate ripping off other "artists" but there is sweet fuckall salvageable about this lot.
- Greet ALL your friends and go into an in-depth discussion about how hellishly hot it is with each and every one of them.
- Notice the grammatical errors on the disclaimer sign boards.
- Give in and have a beer.
- Ride the Masturbation Drop Of Death and remark loudly how you can see down the top of all the lovely young ladies walking by underneath.
- Meet more friends and discuss the heat.
- Stand in front of the main stage mesmerized by the In Flames sound techs doing a sound check while Sabretooth are seen prowling around like caged animals at the back of the very impressive stage, raring to go.
- Withstand the heat from the sun and the stage as Sabretooth rip the whole fucking world a new one - seriously folks; mouth-gaping, awestruck, teenage-girl-flashing-her-tits amazed! They were simply on fire and the rest of the crowd most certainly seemed to agree.
- Missed next band to rehydrate.
- On walk Hogg Hoggidy Hogg. At times you could hardly see the band so much dust was created as the crowd simply exploded! It was as unreal a performance as I have had the pleasure and privilege of seeing these boys perform. They rocked the living shit out of the crowd with such consummate ease, it's easy to understand why they have been able to make the transition from local sweethearts to international stars.
- Missed next band to rehydrate.
- Fokofpolisiekar. What can I write that hasn't already been written? Probably nothing. The intensity these lads emanate and the riotous crowd response that verged on the violent should do all the explaining. If you don't already know, then nothing I say will ever educate you.
- Missed next band to rehydrate, although I was aware of some serious crowd action as Taxi Violence was holding court. I just didn't have the strength at that stage.
- And speaking of stages. I went back. As in backstage. All motherfucking Access Pass. After the obligatory hurry up and wait, Frankie Riester, Kathy and I were ushered into a big tent and introduced to Daniel Svensonn, the drummer from In Flames and proceeded to ask him questions, trying not to stutter or make an utter tit of myself. To his eternal credit, he answered all my questions like a true professional, no doubt having heard them all a million times before - what an absolutely cool dude. Laid back and very accommodating - thank you Daniel, it was wonderful having a chat.
- Went straight to beer tent and started the very serious business of catching up on previously missed-out-on rehydration.
In Flames time!!!
Stood with the rest of the restless crowd marvelling at the sound guys redoing soundcheck and having to hear something about a bogus "Health And Safety" check. Took the opportunity to heckle, rather loudly and obnoxiously, anyone and everyone in the general vicinity.
Then the world caved in...
IN FUCKING FLAMES played one of the most awesome sets in the living history of international bands visiting our shores. A perfect mix of new material mixed with highlights from a career of almost 20 years was performed so forcefully, so artfully, so enthusiastically, so so so so... MONSTROUSLY that even the usually apathetic golf-clapping Cape Town crowd LOST...THEIR...FUCKING...MINDS ! ! !
Starting with the uber-anthemic title track off their new album, Sounds Of A Playground Fading, they delivered a mind fuck, not a gig. By the time they bust out crowd pleaser 'Only For The Weak' as just their third of fourth track of the night I was already fucked. Talk about testing one's physical capacity for self destruction. No ways I was going to let all those thousands of people out bounce me! No, Sirree! And bounce I did! Horns in the air and rasping lungs bellowing out every word I could remember from their vast discography, it was a spectacular show, and a night, to remember.
- Utterly spent and high fiving the WORLD, some more rehydration. Then we watched most of the Infected Mushroom show standing in the queue for a schwarma. Not that I was complaining, those schwarmas were so good I'd queue for days to get one. Next time you're at a festival, check out Damascus Food Stall. Unbelievable.
- Saunter off bruised, boozed and broken to the campsite.
- Indulge in more back slapping and warm beer until time to pass out on a flat mattress.
- Wake up to the gaggle of contenders for "Worst dressed" and even worse than that, "Worst spoken" group of idiots at the entire festival. Interesting fact I picked up this year. It is entirely possible to insert the words "bra" and "ou" into every sentence, more than once for preference.
Post post Ramfest:
- Get home, unpack, shower off 2 days of grit and grime.
- Attempt to sleep, but fail miserably in the sticky heat.
- Discuss the heat and those poor bastards who had to be at work.
All in all, despite the misgiving of the many, this was an utterly amazing Ramfest. My heartfelt congratulations to all involved. Now if you'll just let me die in peace...
NGDG: "Not every day does one learn of novel ways to lubricate vaginas. Working with women is like being caught in an outtake of Sex In The City. Still, beats rugby talk."
Spread The Love. Ask A Woman Near You For Advice. Otherwise Shit May Go Up In Flames...