Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Although you may immediately leap to a point which intersects Perry Farrell's anthemic chorus and mild internet outrage, don't beat yourself up. It's my way of getting people to click on provocative headlines so that I can continue to refuse to get paid for the messages of hope, love, peace, understanding, tolerance, boobs, beer, DOOM metal and the occasional rant when it all gets a bit much. But is it? Perhaps I am subtly alluding to a deeper ill in our society...
You have to be THIS tall to be allowed on this ride.
Please disregard all of the above as a clumsy introduction to the latest SONGS WE MADE FAMOUS - ICONIC WOMEN OF THE NINETIES. Another night of wonderful performances by the variety show that comprises Anton Marshall's group of friends. And one which celebrated the impact women have had on the music and the memories of our (not so much) youth, as we navigated our way through torn jeans, ratty jerseys, scuffed Docs and poppers in the smoke machine of whichever shit hole we found ourselves immersed in the aural aura of it all. You know, because it's 16 days of activism against woman and child abuse. And Woman's Month. Or something. How is it not just a continuous conscience? I digress...
Yup, he went and did it again! 2 sets of superbly chosen songs performed by Cape Town's choicest female vocalists. And a bloke. The show kicked off with Mr Daniel Fernandes, an interesting take on femininity, but starting with the plaintive strains of Tracy Chapman, very quickly stamped his musical authority all over everything. An accomplished guitarist and a captivating voice brought new life to great songs that have most certainly laid down a lot of tread over the years.
Following him, the diminutive hippie punk Cami Scoundrel proved (again) that dynamite comes in small packages as she - on tip toes - walloped the audience with a rousing rendition of Meredith Brooks's 'Bitch'. (I was still singing it to myself after I got home.)
Thereafter, the walking talking (trust me on the talking part) embodiment of the typical angelic voice, Rose Thorn strode out to the mic. After a brief introduction that wouldn't be out of place in the beginning of a rom-com about a shy girl overcoming her stage fright, she treated us to a truly special experience as she belted out 3 Cranberries classics with all the aplomb of a seasoned band leader. The truth is that I have been keeping her largely to myself as an integral part of my doom metal band. For now, you may refer to us simply as The World's Best Kept Secret. Let's just say I could not, for love or money, wipe the grin from my face throughout.
I'm not going to go into too many specifics, and detail the evening on a song by song basis, as I feel that the spirit of the evening was more of a complete experience, which also included awesome performances by Thomene Dilley, Amy-Lou Dickinson and the fantastically feminine voice of Anton Marshall, who did Suzanne Vega more than justice. I am, however, going to single out another two performers for special mention. Shannon Devy has the voice and the charisma of a goddess! Fuck me! Talk about being blown away... She did Brian Molko better than Brian Molko could ever hope to. Don't even get me started on the set closer - 4 Non Blondes epic classic 'What's Up?' - it raised the fucking roof! That was one of the best vocal performances I have had the pleasure of watching, hearing and feeling. Someone next to me had the decency to lift my jaw back up and go buy me a beer.
But the evening belonged to one Marisa Salvarto, who had never sung in front on an audience before, never mind in the hallowed arena that is Mercury. I don't know if it was the nerves, or the relief at pulling off such a stellar performance, but congratulations! You will never ever forget this special night - and neither will anyone who was lucky enough to be there - you NAILED it!
Speaking of nailing it, once again kudos to the house band. Stuart, David, Damian and the man himself, Anton - well done on another flawless job. I sincerely hope these evenings become the institution that they are planned to become. I will be at every one of them. (Do not go there... we are NOT talking about the ALTERNATIVE EIGHTIES night.)
Bravo to all of you! And for the sake of full disclosure, here is the list of iconic women and bands that were so brilliantly honoured last night:
The Beautiful South
4 Non Blondes
NGDG: I support President Zuma for a second term. Only this time it should be 25 to life.
Spread The Love. "I Pray Every Single Day For A Revolution"
Friday, November 21, 2014
So the evening came and went and not too much happened to shatter the earth. Rose Thorn and I enjoyed a nice quiet night of reminiscing, watching old live footage and drinking wine. Apparently though, there was quite the kerfuffle online...
The lads at Witchdoctor Productions had been keeping the metalheads of this country waiting for long enough. Speculation has been rife for months as to who would complete the line up for next year's Witchfest. It seems a super efficient method for gathering information on who peoples' favourites are for future reference.
Then, after a few teasing "Tatadah-daaah!"s, they go and drop the bomb of all bombs. Cannibal fucking Corpse. Anyone who is anyone who has ever liked their deaf merrils on the heavy and burtals side had that quiet moment from the movie Green Street Hooligans when West Ham draws Millwall in the cup.
And then motherfuckers lost their minds!
And rightly so. Now let me put this into perspective for you. According to prevailing tastes and cultural notions, I am the furthest thing from a staunch merril head. I'd rather inject puppies with cyanide before subjecting myself to "Hail! Hail! Fail! Chainmail!" songs of slaying dragons and drenching wenches in mead or what the fuck ever. Similarly, I cringe at the thought of Trve Kvlt Blekk Merril with its rather limiting production value of being required to sound like was recorded on a four track Fostex in a jail cell. Don't get me started on the ridiculous face paint and assless leather chaps in the snow. The list of subgenres I don't care for is almost as long as the total list of subgenres. And I fucking hate Iron Maiden. Which should disqualify me altogether...
But I do recognise when something mind blowing is happening. To book the stellar list of local and international bands Shaughn Pieterse and Alec Surridge have managed is nothing short of miraculous and should warrant the eternal gratitude and respect of anyone who has ever found themselves in a moshpit or headbanging along to anything with overdriven guitars in it - regardless of specific style.
For the metal loving public, this could not be any more of a monumental accomplishment and event. For the local bands chosen to play alongside these legends, I can't even begin to imagine...
I'd like to single out a few friends of mine that have truly deserved this honour a thousand times over.
Adam Van Der Riet, Paul Blom, Ronnie Belcher, Adrian Langeveldt, Patrick Davidson, Jacques Hugo, Ian Watson, Bryan Villain and Wallace Warner. I could - and probably should - add names to that list, but I'm trying to keep it as select as it can be - and in so doing to recognise the massive contributions made by these individuals and to lend as much weight to this achievement as it rightfully deserves. Ladies, take a bow.
Also, it creates the illusion that I'm cool by association.
And on that rather manly note, I will leave you with the following thought...
Should the next cover my band does be 'I Wear My Sunglasses At Night' or 'My Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades'? They say there's no such thing as bad publicity.
NGDG: The upside of matitudinal gastric reflux is the super fast Internet. And this. This is funnier than Justin Beiber on fire.
[*Disclaimer: I'm unsure if I've used this quote before, but I'm too lazy to check.]
Spread The Love. Just Don't Use Cannibal Corpse Lyrics As A Handy "How To"...
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...
Through rose tinted shades...
Platitudes which disguise the truth. I hate how art is subjective. Probably because of my barely in-check "self belief" (others call it arrogance and narcissism of worrying proportion). I can understand how something I find unpleasant, aesthetically or aurally, may be appealing to others. In principle. But being the only person I know who knows my tastes, I tend to trust myself above the slack jawed appreciation of the masses.
And that fucking eye sore of an "art" installation on the promenade is just that: a fucking eye sore. Not to mention just another glaring example of a trilby sporting oik with limited talent milking the already far too tarnished legacy of our country's beloved father. What the fuck was he smoking when he came up with that awful piece of brand blandishment? Ray Ban must be laughing all the way to the Banksy.
Anyway, the defiling of this "art", no matter how objectionable I find it, should not be tolerated. Fuck, it shouldn't have been allowed to be planted there in the first place, but as is painfully evident in modern culture, there is sweet fuckall accounting for taste. But to vandalise it was not right - even if it raised a chuckle from those who were offended by the garish grotesquery. Imagine you write what you think is the world's greatest tune, perhaps something somber and, in your mind, emotionally vulnerable. The average pop up collar wearing Edward Street resident would scoff and revert to the tried and trusted compilation of songs used for Castle Lager ads. My parents just sighed and tried prayer. But if someone had run on stage and spray painted my guitar and I whilst [* for Anton] I was playing a 14 minute dirge (and trust me, in hindsight, it was truly a test of most peoples' patience), I'd have lost my shit like a shit collector with amnesia. At the time that stuff meant the world to me.
I suppose the difference is that, in the case of the Wayfarer Whatthefuckery, we can identify a crass collusion with commerce and an even more underhanded attempt at benefiting from the memory of a great man under the guise of magnanimity. If you'll excuse the very strained pun, the people, the vandalists, and everyone outside the Biscuit Mall, saw though it. Whereas pure art, the kind made with no agenda other than the expression of the artist, is personal - and as crap as it can be, is not contrived.
That being said, I fucking hate so much of what's considered artistic. Especially shit like the new bifocal point of the promenade. I thought it was being UPgraded for fuck's sake. Then again, if I was king of the world, only about 200 bands would ever have been allowed to exist and everyone would wear black, so what do I know...
I have on occasion been known to stand in front of a piece of art, in the hushed surrounds of a gallery, thoughtfully stroking my chin, desperately trying not to be caught out as a complete fraud. Perhaps I should try facial hair.
I think William Welfare summed it best when he said: "After UTC guerilla-hipsters in balaclavas and designer hand gloves ironically "defaced " artist Michael Elion's Ray Ban sculpture last night, the ghost of Van Hunks responded by burning down Signal Hill."
Enough of my pointless rambling. Get on with your day. There's cricket on...
NGDG: Look! An immigrant. A politician. It's all good, it's Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Spread The Love. Sex In A Spray Can.
Monday, November 17, 2014
Still a better love story than Paris Hilton.
Wow! What a weekend! I'm so knackered I can hardly keep my shit together as I sit and type this. Luckily I have a fairly functional body and at the very least a tenuous relationship with reality - just enough to keep me upright and pretending to care. Unlike Donita Sparks.
You'll see the connection...
Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, right in the middle of it at Mercury! Despite the weather, the faithful, the subverted and those of a darkly curious nature slowly filled up the venue in anticipation for the big night. Old faces, new faces, faces we hadn't seen in many, many years and a whole variety of make up styles - it was great! First up - and celebrating their 12th birthday - were Terminatryx who, along with the various guest artists enlisted to perform with them, tore the place up! The crowd went nuts as they stormed through their repertoire in some style. They also premiered their new video, 'Gone' which proved a resounding hit.
Then it was SUBVERS's turn to hit the stage. We were playing our last show with our drummer, Double Deebs, as he is emigrating to Germany, so it was a little bittersweet, but he went and made damn sure there wasn't too much dwelling on sentiment as he pounded the living shit out of his kit one last time with us, making it a gig to remember - at least for me personally. And then the drinking started in earnest.
Saturday morning was a little blurry and after depositing one Biggie back at his abandoned vehicle, The Hot Girlfriend and I made our way to her home and waited patiently for Commander Conker and Rose Thorn to pitch up with the truck for the big move. And after I'd finished carrying a bunch of heavy furniture up and down stairs, it was time to carry a bunch of heavy amps back to Bothners. Thanks guys - as always, they sounded awesome!
Anyway, so much for any chance at resting my wicked bones... Yesterday we braaied at the in-laws. I'm still uncomfortable after eating that entire steak - it was out of proportion and out of this world!
And here I am, back at work. With nothing to do but look at your bloody mugs all day, hoping against hope that someone will have enough initiative to say something entertaining on Faeceboobs at some point. So far no deal...
At least I get to go home, have a nice cold beer, ignore the dishes and relive my rock star fantasies as I watch the video footage over and over and over and over...
NGDG: I love each and everyone of you beautiful people. Profound gratitude for filling my day with your thoughts and good wishes. I know i'm not a irredeemably crotchety old fool yet if I can still hoist the damp towel of international friendship with my heart boner.
Spread The Love. Hoist The Washcloth.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Cliches are only cliches because they have been proven to be true...
Tomorrow night, all ye fans of The Addams Family, you should be nowhere else but clicking the fingers of your disembodied hand to the grooving gothy sounds of the Republic Of Cape Town's very own SUBVERS as they bestride the stage in their tight pants and shocking abundance of hair. If you have somehow managed to miss this band up til now then you have an awesome opportunity to infinitely improve your life. Imagine it! Just like in the deodorant ads, all of a sudden half naked women will be swooning all over you, your muscle mass will double overnight and your super powers will save the world. And if you have boobs, you'll stalk around in the highest heels without getting blisters right up until that moment Prince Charming comes trotting nonchalantly up to you and suggests brunch at the Mount Nelson...
Similarly attired, but altogether more smooth, the trench-coated terror of TERMINATRYX will blast through their trademark dark industrial stomp. Celebrating their 12th year as a band, they will be joined by an array of guest artists on the night: Francois Blom (VOD, K.O.B.U.S), Theo Crous (Springbok Nude Girls, K.O.B.U.S), Craig Vee (guitarist and singer/songwriter extraordinaire), Braam Cilliers (Grämlich, Ashes At My Grave), Natalie Lucia (Witness To Wolves, Conduit) and last and most probably least, yours truly, attempting not to balls up enough for anyone to notice...
They'll also be launching the second video off their 'Shadow' album, a song called 'Gone'.
Fuck me! The hits just keep on coming!
In years to come people will still talk of this show. They'll fondly reminisce about who was there and how awesome the bands were and how unforgettable this magical night was. And how drunk that one doos was, staggering around in his leather pant thinking he was cool...
Anyway, without giving too much away, SUBVERS also has a little surprise for you. Well, it is a little surprise, so don't pelt us with rotten tomatoes if we don't go all Oprah on you and start dishing out cars as prizes to everyone. But we're sure you will like it.
So let's see all of you 'darklings' out en masse at tomorrow night's show! You know you want to... And now you have The Addams Family feem toon stuck in your head, don't you?
NGDG: [Ed: It's Neal's birthday today, so he gets the day off. We here at Monster HQ would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone's favourite politically incorrect Hemingway a bleeding fantastic day! The little rascal, we adore him so.]
Spread The Love. Subversion Is The New BDSM...
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Ah, where to begin today? I could offer you some more unwanted insight into the woes of man. Or perhaps a vague review of what ails social media that's too trite to read all the way through. Pop culture? You don't need me to tell you what to consume or which so-called celebritney needs your undivided attention - good or otherwise - on their Twitter feed so that they can buy yet more shit you'll never afford.
Maybe I should stick to being the misanthropic optimist I've always been. When I get to that pot of gold, I'm sure it'll be spray painted a darker hue.
Rather let the experts share their opinions on how excess has ruined a generation. Or at least the privileged fraction. Enter William Welfare, journalist, muso, philosophical philanthropist. He's been around for some time, taking shots at the soft underbelly of a bloated industry for a while now - if you've been paying any attention.
And his band, also called William Welfare, have a new video. Their first English effort, the single '4 Cups Of Dust', is a song I thought warranted much praise as it struck the right kind of chords with me - straightforward, no nonsense rocking out. The next video I saw was the unavoidably enjoyable 'Elephant Man' replete with super sexy nomadic tribeswomen, even sexier tight golden spandex and the flailing fantasy phalli of the Cocktopuss. So the new video, 'Fat People', had quite a lot to live up to...
And it does not disappoint. This "ominous take on the obesity crisis of the Western world mixed with a Southern, deep fried, tongue-in-cheek country shuffle" is the perfect antidote for a world run by fat cats and populated by mindless, bullshit guzzling morons. Documenting the rampantly rotund and the fast food culture, showing clips of tasty super models getting a burger shoved into their perfect mouths (my favourite part for obvious reasons...) and the band themselves rocking out to this well worded slice of sonic satire, like the irrepressible Kyle Gray on drums, it hits the spot. Watch it. Enjoy it.
[*Disclaimer: If you've somehow managed to take offence, then may I suggest that your fuller figure is the least of your problems. It also means you didn't bother to watch the video before hurtling towards righteous indignation like a pie truck with no brakes. Unless you're part of the Super Size Me 'Murican Elite. I which case I don't really give a fuck.]
Ok, you draaaaaaaagged it out of me, so I will let you in on a little secret. Tonight I have my first rehearsal with TERMINATRYX in 4 years. I'm spreading the love and playing a song with them as they celebrate their 12th year of existence with a gig at Mercury on Friday. They'll be playing with SUBVERS, who happen to be such nice blokes that I am allowed to play guitar for them as well. So if you'd like a double dose of delinquent drunken doos, this is your best chance!
NGDG: There are more umbrellas crowding the entrance than in a Hong Kong protest camp.
Spread The Love. Fat People Have Feelings Too.
Monday, November 10, 2014
She's not Buzz Lightyear...
I have no idea how to classify WITH DAWN. Not that I feel one should pigeon hole bands in order to conveniently categorise them for your enjoyment, but it certainly does help to know what one is getting oneself into. Having seen them perform once or twice before, and having checked out a couple of their online offerings, I was fairly excited to attend their album launch on Friday night at Mercury. The closest reference I could muster was a comparison to Deftones. Or something.
Not being a huge fan of whatever genre that is, I have largely ignored it - even flat out dismissing it for the most part. And, as so often has happened in my life, I have been forced to gag on humble pie once again. Not that I'm going to go out and bulk buy any and all [insert whatever sub strain of extreme heavy music this actually is - I still don't know], but suffice it to say that I have found a few appropriate adjectives that I hope will help adequately describe what I witnessed and experience on Friday night.
Massive, gargantuan guitars unleashing a crushing, destructive tone, laced with haunting delicate interludes.
Enormously impressive vocals - a range I haven't often encountered.
Intelligent, emotion-laden lyrics delivered with a terrifying conviction.
A rhythm section that could level mountains - drifting between time signatures with damaging effect.
You get the picture...
WITH DAWN creates soundscapes. They simultaneously wear their raw, ripped-up heartfelt music on their sleeves and allow themselves (and the listener) to become entirely enveloped in the turbulent inner dialogue. It's meant to be taken seriously. This is music which deeply contemplates loss, love and loathing, and does so without resorting to cheap mall-metal eyeliner emo.
And I got the cd. Obviously I was going to buy the cd. I haven't stopped listening to it since. It is everything I was hoping for. The production is immense, allowing the music all the space it needs to captivate the audience with its rollercoaster of bludgeoning barrages and beautiful, moving musings. Kevin displays a breathtaking variety of vocal capabilities, from anguished howls to delicate harmonies; earth shattering roars to piecing screams, it's as chilling as it is cathartic.
Did I mention OHGOD!...? Joining WITH DAWN on the night, they did what they do best: rip us a new one! I marvel equally at their effortless ability to create and deliver some of the most intriguing music being served up right now and the ease with which they mesmerise a crowd. Sometime I don't know who is more entertaining to watch - the band or the hundreds of eyes gawping up in awe. That is, of course, until they get that wonderful rumbling groove kicked in and the crowd goes fucking nuts!
It's always (and truly) a treat - watch out for this amazing band!
And that was my Friday night. On Saturday I found out exactly how hard re-enforced concrete is to drill through in the sun with a hangover. I also went to pick up one of the sexiest guitars ever made - another toy I get to play with when I once more bestride the stage on Friday courtesy of Paul Bothner Music. And then we buggered off to Kommetjie for a much needed evening of R'n'R followed by an epic beach walk the next day surrounded by the sand hippies of Noordhoek.
NGDG: Give a Zet a fish and you'll feed him for a day. Teach a Zet to fish and he'll buy a boat to dump the children in the bayou.
Spread The Love. Mugshots!
Friday, November 7, 2014
That's for not waking me up with some head!
So we've reached the end of yet another taxing week. How is it, that the nearer we get to the end of the year, the further it seems? I can't wait to leave the office behind - and relax in the December fun'n'sun. My partner in crimes against humanity is coming for a visit. It's going to be one of THOSE summers.
Which brings me to my next point. Why do so many South Africans deliberately limit their music tastes. We've all heard of the internet. Here, you can steal any music from anyone and no one bats an eyelid. It's sometimes even actively encouraged by the very people who create the music. It's the only industry in the entire Universe where the manufacturers and visionaries go emotionally and financially broke, wasting years of blood, sweat and tears, alienate friends and family - all in the pursuit of noteworthy nirvana - and then give it away for free.
Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, the great South African tradition of braaing - second only to swearing at the telly when your rugby team under performs and "gehekelde kondome". An event at which you can witness the gathered individuals getting progressively more animated as the effects of the brandy kick in, until Barry's Bok Befok Braaimix for Boets makes it's way onto the stereo, featuring such perennial favourites as:
Bryan Adams - Summer of 69
Bon Jovi - It's My Life
Right Said Fred - I'm Too Sexy
Don McLean - American Pie
Kurt Darren - Kaptein
And the obligatory Jive Bunny Mastermix Medley.
Anyway, as you can see I have a major issue with people and music that suck. Well, not ALL people. And if you're getting dirty thoughts, then perhaps you'd be interested in this little gem I found online. No it's not what you think. Someone linked it on Faeceboobs and I HAD to investigate. Speaking of which, why wasn't J Arthur Brown's trial debacle called that in the tabloids? So ja, I give you The Autoblow 2.0. Kinda makes you want to stay in the weekend, doesn't it?
But you won't. Because of all the things that DON'T suck. Like tonight's highly anticipated album launch by WITH DAWN. They will be releasing their glorious load (of songs) on you this evening at Mercury as they celebrate the official entry into the world of Infinity, a body of work which I am personally getting more and more excited to hear (I've ordered the disc and heard some tracks online). Much like one of their influences (if I had to guess) they have grown on me in the same way Deftones did. The hype, she is big around tonight. Could have something to do with the stellar choice of opening act. OhGod! are something else in every great sense of the word. Their sonic sorcery combined with WITH DAWN's aural avalanche is going to be an experience you do not want to miss. As always, I'll be propping up the bar with my usual studied nonchalance and a nice cold "make a tit of myself" juice in hand. Hope to see ALL of you there.
As with every Friday before, we are obviously celebrating our imminent freedom with a healthy dose of irreverence. Be awesome. Be safe. Betroot. Ooh, yourself!
NGDG: Why are they killing our football players? It's not like they were ever a threat.
Spread The Love. And The Mrs Balls.
Thursday, November 6, 2014
I've had the immense privilege of being invited to play a small part in Anton Marshall's wildly ambitious themed evenings of live entertainment. Now, before you picture me on all fours, in a pink latex 'My Little Pony' outfit surrounded by whip-wielding gimps, it's not those evenings I'm on about...
It's just the normal ones where normal (and not so normal) music lovers come out and enjoy a few sets of well chosen - and beautifully performed - songs. Songs that are so well chosen that everyone is left standing there going "Fuck me! What an inspired choice! How did I not see that one coming? Awesome!" while they tap their feet and struggle unsuccessfully to keep the smirky grin off their face.
Last night was the first in a series of nights like this in which a "house band" performs "SONGS WE MADE FAMOUS" and are joined by an array of wonderful guest artists. Joining Anton are Stuart Scott on guitar, Damian Staz on drums and Dave Muller on bass. These evenings are themed by decade and the songs selected are precisely those that brought the original artists their fame.
I'll give you a clue how it works. You can't do a show featuring showstopping acts from the seventies and not include Iggy Pop. And if you're doing Iggy, you gotta do Lust For Life. Or it could be the other way around. Incidentally this was the song they chose to launch the evening's entertainment and they couldn't have chosen better. Throughout the night the performances were stellar - especially considering the virtually nonexistent rehearsal time allowed to polish up these classics.
Gareth Vorster provided the vocal impetus for Lust For Life and got the festivities off to the perfect start, before Mr Tony Shine smoothed his way onstage and crooned out a wonderful rendition of Queen's Crazy Little Thing Called Love, a delivery only eclipsed by his abrasive version of Bowie's Suffragette City, which closed the first set.
Sandwiched in between all this devilishly handsome swagger, an angel appeared and took my breath away. Tamsyn Leigh has something special. Anyone who can pull off Debbie Harry, Chrissie Hynde and (particularly) Stevie Nicks deserves to be followed around by fawning acolytes spreading rose petals in her path forever. Her gorgeous vocals on Blondie's Heart Of Glass, The Pretenders' Brass In Pocket and Fleetwood Mac's Dreams were indeed heavenly. And I haven't even gotten to the best part yet, never mind the second set.
On saunters Riaan Smit. Off buggers everyone else, leaving him, his guitar, and a simple mouth organ to mesmerize us with Billy Joel's Piano Man. Fuck, this guy has a voice. It's like Jack Daniel's, Cuban cigars and weathered leather. But many of you probably already know that from his regular Bluestown Sessions...
On to the second stanza.
A poignant solo performance of Lou Reed's immortal Perfect Day by Stanley Zive got the rest of the evening going, and heralded a very difficult choice, but ultimate winner for performance of the evening, a raunchy rendition of Don't Fear The Reaper, the Blue Oyster Cult classic, replete with a Bruce Dickinson lookalike leaping about the stage abusing the shit out of a cowbell. True Art.
Another salvo of Riaan Smit's grainy bourbon-soaked vocals graced the haunting Hotel California (Eagles) and the rather more upbeat I Will Survive (Gloria Gaynor), followed by Black Sabbath's seminal stomper Paranoid, with Gareth rocking out on vocals once again.
Then came that guy. That unknown (at least to me) guy that always finds his way onto a bill and pisses you off. You feel like you should just fuck off and start listing your lifetime's worth of collected equipment, dreams, aspirations, blood, sweat and tears on Gumtree and be the fuck done with it all. Ebi Johnson, where the fuck have you been?
For most people, being asked to play and sing anything by Jimi Hendrix would probably leave them a little nauseated, but this guy...
This guy just fucking KILLED IT! Voodoo Chile the way Voodoo Chile DESERVES to be played... I have no more words. Just... fuck.
Most men shy from such a hard act to follow. Not Mr Marshall, no! In his most impressive Morton Harkett falsetto he belted out Led Zeppelin's Rock'n'Roll like he was in the shower without a worry in the world - testament to the man's awesome ability!
And finally, as if all this wasn't enough, we were treated to The Sex Pistols' anti-establishment anthem Anarchy In The UK with Tony Shine adding his own velvety vocal take on Rotten's rabid lyric.
And they managed to do all this without ever slipping into "wedding band" naffness territory.
To Anton - bravo! I hope the 80s and the 90s shows are as brilliant. Can't wait. (Still VERY bummed about the conflict of schedules...)
To all at Mercury, Lisel, Kevin, Lux and Syd, thanks once again for a great night,
NGDG: There may be a million ways to die in the west but there is only one way to prevent me watching it and that varmint Eskom be to blame. Shee-it.
Spread The Love. It Is, After All, The Age Of Aquarius...
Monday, November 3, 2014
There I was. Friday night, and the only one in the club who wasn't dressed for Halloween. I lie, some of the old fart brigade (all very good friends of mine) were also out in their Joe Average outfits. One thing everyone had in common though, was a collective interest in what was going on on the stage.
First up, Junkyard Lipstick playing (what we can only pray) was a once off gig with Cruella deVillain filling in as vocalist. He makes a charming he-she, balloon boobs and all!
But the evening really belonged to Bulletscript, who were celebrating the release of their EP, 'Knotted'.
Ian Watson has something to say. He's pissed off and you WILL hear it. The vicious passion he managed to conjure up makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck, perfectly fitting for Old Hallows Eve. Writhing, spitting, and throwing himself around the stage in various stages of anguished hostility, he is very quickly cementing himself as my favourite frontman to watch live. Part Rollins, part Anselmo and completely committed to the cause, his rabid delivery is the perfect foil to the rugged riffing that backs him up. An absolute powerhouse rhythm section underpins the gargantuan grooves ripping out of the amps as Jacques Hugo and Marcus van der Tuin combine to chug and shred their way through masterfully crafted chaos. Joining them for 'We Owe You' was the legendary Adam van der Riet, who was once again coaxed from vocal retirement to effortlessly show the next generation exactly why us ou ballies consider ourselves the golden generation. Cue Golden Girls comments...
Strident were next up and I had other commitments, so missed most of the spectacle of raised fists and rode off into the sunset to lance my own dragon.
But I had in my grubby little paws a Bulletscript cd. There is almost nothing more exciting than the anticipation of waking up on a Sunday morning, unwrapping a sealed disc, and sitting back to enjoy it through superior stereo equipment. Listening to great music through earbuds conveying the clipped, compressed version is altogether less fulfilling.
So, from live review to a quick look at the 'Knotted' EP. The production is beautiful - combining a crisp, clean finish with the crushing tone of seriously cranked guitars. Add to the perfect mix and the precision playing Ian's previously discussed venomous vocals and you have a product that warrants many, many play-throughs. 'Knotted' pays more respect than a perfunctory passing tip of the hat to bands such as Pantera, Entombed, Meshuggah and a whole host of other extreme acts, even Pothole, but never sounds like any of these. Instead, here is a local band that has managed to melt together all its influences and forge an identity of its own - and a "fuck you awesome" one at that. Well done, guys - I fucking love it!
How many dead children in halloween costumes does it take to change a lightbulb? Not 5. There are five down there already but the basement's still dark.
Spread The Love. Maniacally.