Isochronous, like knives & Saintfearless at Mercury

Sat 18 March 2011

Isochronous were great at Ramfest so I was excited to see them again while they were in Cape Town.  The band announced on Facebook that they were looking for supporting acts and invited people to make suggestions, the outcome of which was that they’d be playing with like knives and Saintfearless.

I’d never heard either so checked them out on Facebook; like knives didn’t have any tracks up [edit: they’ve got 2 tracks up, I apologise and have no explanation for the momentary blindness that caused me to miss that…] but looked promising, Saintfearless had 4 tracks up of which I listened to the first 2 (Stars and aeroplanes and Conventional Love Song)…this turned out to be a mistake. The tracks were pretty bland and I was generally underwhelmed and considering arriving later and giving them a miss; I’m so glad I didn’t.

Saintfearless Saintfearless

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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.

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Bittereinder album launch – Klein Libertas, Stellenbosch

Wed 09 March 2011

Back in October last year I was mindlessly enjoying some terrible videos on MK (a hobby of mine) when a strange, new one came on. The track’s unusual, organic percussion grabbed me immediately and before the video had gotten halfway I’d already decided that I needed to buy Bittereinder’s album ‘n Ware Verhaal.

Fast forward to the present and the band have really begun making a name for themselves. As their hometown of Pretoria is pretty far away, I was really excited when I heard their Bitter Begin Toer included a few venues in Cape Town. The first was Ramfest – as I mentioned previously, it really wasn’t a great timeslot and generally didn’t feel like it was being taken too seriously as the band were putting a lot more emphasis on their second CT gig, their album launch happening that Wednesday in Stellenbosch.

Bittereinder

Bittereinder at Ramfest 2011

Die Klein Libertas Teater is a really cool venue, I hadn’t been there before but it’s the kind of place I’d gladly go back to if it wasn’t so far away…Happily, the locals came out in their droves for a much better crowd than at Ramfest. But that was to be expected – it was Bittereinder’s night and the people who were there had come for them.

In the Klein Libertas Teater In the Klein Libertas Teater

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RAMFEST: Day 3

Sun 06 March 2011

Sunday morning started off a bit like Saturday morning: I awoke to the never-ending thud of the electro pyramid and the sleepy mumblings of Mikhaila as she stumbled out the tent, declaring that it was too hot and she was going to sleep outside.

Some hours later, the sun was properly up and so were we. Jess and I went in search of breakfast, which ended up being pizza (another reason I love festivals). She then left, along with the majority of the festival-goers, to make the long journey back to home and reality.

Somewhere after 10 I caught the last few songs from one-man-band Lonesome Dave Ferguson. I’d seen him once previously at the Granddaddy Hotel and really enjoyed his stuff; the ‘crowd’ was pretty non-existent, but those who were there seemed to enoy him too.

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RAMFEST: Day 2

Sat 05 March 2011

I woke up round 5:30 on Saturday morning, or rather, I was woken by Jess, who was leaving early for a dancing competition and then returning again around lunchtime. I thought she was crazy, but was in awe of her dedication at the same time. These thoughts weren’t the main ones in my head as she left though, rather I was marveling at how the electro was still pumping, and how there were, undoubtedly, still people dancing to it. I went back to sleep, until around 6:30, when I was woken by Mikhaila, returning from a long night.

I went out for a little while, long enough to see and appreciate the sunrise and blissful temperature outside. It was going to be another scorcher, best sleep in the cool for as long as possible…

sunrise

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