RAMFEST: Day 1

Fri 04 March 2011

I love festivals – loads of great musicians at the same place, camping, having fun in the sun – but haven’t been to many at all. This is usually because the line-ups aren’t appealing enough to endure the effort of going. I’ve never been to Ramfest before and the 2011  lineup had me pretty keen but I was still undecided, until I heard Bittereinder would be playing – that news pushed me over the fence and made me utterly determined to go.

So last Friday, after a frantic week of last-minute plan changes, I found myself in Keran’s car along with Mikhaila, on our way to Worcester. We arrived at the height of the midday heat but were lucky to find a great camping spot and some cool neighbours. The obligatory pics-of-us-and-our-tent photoshoot ensued.

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Loyiso, Chad Saaiman & Perfect Score at Kirstenbosch

Sun 27 February 2011

A while back I saw Jack Parow & Van Coke Kartel at Kirstenbosch, and put a few photos up for the competition on the Summer Sunset Concerts’ Facebook group. The group admin was kind enough to give me 2 free tickets to a Feb concert of my choice for this one.

There were a couple of acts I was quite keen to see: Zebra & Giraffe, Isochronous, Jesse Clegg and then there was Loyiso…my mom’s a big fan, I hadn’t heard anything of his before but was curious and got the impression from his Idols appearances that he was a really nice guy – so that was settled.

I hadn’t heard (of) his supporting act Chad Saaiman either, and while it’s not really my favourite type of music, I enjoyed his set and voice in particular.

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The MK Awards 2011

Sat 26 February 2011

I’ve been to two award ceremonies in my life – the 2009 Loeries (and that one time was quite enough, thanks) and the 2011 MK Awards at the CTICC last Friday. I’ve heard a couple of people complain about the lighting, sound and a whole bunch of other things; maybe it’s my lack of award-show-attendance-experience, or the fact that the most recent thing I can compare them to was the predictably abysmal Grammy Awards, but I really enjoyed the MK Awards. I thought the musicians’ performances were good and really entertaining and that Corne and Twakkie made great hosts. Okay, so the models and sportsmen doing the presenting were pretty useless on the whole, but isn’t that kinda inevitable for award shows?

I liked that each of the performances had something unique about them – I mean this literally; first off Taxi Violence & Inge Beckmann opened alongside Bingo’s crazy axe-grinder-ing:

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Rammstein at the Grand Arena

Wed 09 February 2011

Rammstein announced near the end of last year that they’d be coming to SA and I dragged my feet, so that, by the time I decided I wanted to go, it was too late and the concert was sold out. I tried not to dwell on it and just reasoned, ‘oh well, it’s fine, it’s just not meant to be…’

Months elapsed and suddenly it was Wednesday February 9, the day of the Cape Town concert. Having made my peace with not going some while back, it took me a while to react to the news that Big Concerts had released some 60 canceled tickets that morning – but not too long a while. I think the whole procedure that followed took around an hour, but it was both so frantic and intense that it oscillated between feeling quicker and slower; basically there were a lot of panicked and broken (apparently the reception at UCT seriously sucks) phonecalls back and forth until everything was confirmed and 2 of my friends and I were officially off to Rammstein that evening.

It was the first time I’d been to a concert at Grand West Casino’s Grand Arena, and the first ‘proper’ concert I’ve been to too (I mean with designated standing/sitting areas – I’m more used to standing where I like in a dingy club…); the security lady who took our tickets said they were expecting 7000 people, and that some had been waiting at the venue since 11AM…now, I was super excited, but definitely not enough so to camp out 9 hours early.  But this was Rammstein, and they had some diehard fans, which is why I was actually a little disappointed, as I was totally expecting more dressing up than there actually was. Sure, there were a few old-school corset, boots and scary-haired goths but they seemed to be in the minority, at least from what I saw. There were a few weekend goths, who sort of tried a bit too hard and weren’t very convincing, there were even a couple of peak caps and golf shirts, but mostly the crowd seemed to consist of long-haired, jeans and black/band (Rammstein, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin even…) t-shirted metalheads.

Still, we made an effort! (Well, Mikhaila said she’d leave the dressing up to me and Jess, so we had fun with that…)

Jess Jess & me

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Spoek Mathambo & Mshini Wam and the Wild Eyes at the Assembly

Sat 05 February 2011

Last Saturday I saw the Wild Eyes again for the first time since 2005. Last I’d heard they’d broken up some years ago – I was always a fan, so when I heard they were back I was pretty excited, and when they played a set of all-new songs, I was really excited.

Last time I saw them, front-man Nikhil was in a short, hot pink wig; aside from the fact that this time’s wig was platinum blonde, visually they hadn’t changed. Their sound however had changed quite a bit. The new material feels a little less frantic (which isn’t really the word but…) and a little more measured…older and wiser maybe? I dunno, and it doesn’t really matter – the point is they’re back and they’re better than ever:

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