Your LMG 3rd birthday party: The Sleepers, Van Coke Kartel & Foto Na Dans at Mercury

Fri 11 March 2011

It was Friday the 11th and I was really tired and sorely tempted to stay at home and begin the weekend in glorious nothingness. But that couldn’t happen as Your LMG had arranged an awesome show with Foto Na Dans, Van Coke Kartel and The Sleepers to celebrate their 3rd birthday. It was an important night for another reason though – it was The Sleepers’  last performance with their vocalist Simon.

The Sleepers opened the evening and were definitely the overall highlight for me. Every now and then the gaps in between songs were punctuated by screams of ‘Don’t go Simon!’ and ‘Simon, we love you!’ from the crowd. From the band’s side there weren’t any long speeches, just a few heartfelt thanks and a little bit of banter on stage – at one point, one of Simon’s comments prompted guitarist Adam to declare that Simon can’t say things like that and he was officially kicked out of the band. Joking aside, it was obviously a very emotional night for everyone.

The Sleepers The Sleepers

Last year The Sleepers released a live EP, Luminaire One, as a free download. Since I only recently bought their (excellent) album A Signal Path, I’ve always thought of them as a live band so I thoroughly enjoyed the EP. Especially as it contains We hid downwind, my favourite track of theirs. If you haven’t already, go download and enjoy the EP (and the beautiful PDF liner notes) here.

They’ve promised to be back in a little bit, so, while it’s the end of an era it’s definitely not the end of The Sleepers. I look forward to wherever it is they go from here and suggest you do too – watch this space…

Up next were wolf-masked Van Coke Kartel, who live up to their (award-winning) live repution every time I see them. Bassist Wynand Myburgh is undoubtedly one of the most fun musicians around to watch and his highkicks and leaps are pretty much legendary. I confess I was probably watching him for the bulk of their performance, but it’s really hard not to…

I was a little surprised that Foto na Dans were headlining and not VCK, but they’ve had a steady ascent to become pretty high profile since the last time I was at a gig of theirs (which was in 2009 I think). They’re one of those bands that I’m always keen to see live but don’t really listen to their music when I’m at home – I like them and they always put on a great live show, I’m just not that huge a fan, especially of the newer stuff.

Unfortunately the sound wasn’t fantastic, and the vocals were drowned out by the drums and guitars…or maybe my ears had just had enough for the night, either way, it was so bad that when Le Roi announced he’d now be singing a song in English he might as well have been singing in rabbit because I really couldn’t hear his words. The vibe was still great though – urgent and high energy, inciting head-bopping and appreciative cheers from the pumping crowd.

Happy birthday Your LMG, thanks for the great mag and the awesome night.

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Check out Your LMG, The Sleepers, Van Coke Kartel & Foto na Dans on Facebook.

Photos on Facebook over here.

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