Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Beams and Rockets Assemble

“Get on your dancing shoes. There’s one thing on your mind.” – Arctic Monkeys. That “one thing” was to squeak some K–Takkie rubber to the sounds of some of Cape Town’s premier acts. 24 May, Saturday, The Assembly, with a stellar line up of bright movers and shakers, physics defying moves and rock star personas…The Beams, New Loud Rockets and spinning the turntables, Orlando Doom and the Hipless couples (Daydream Nation Djs).

Note: There was a refreshing transmutation from The Assembly with the large stages and wide open spaces to The Assembly with a small stage and main bar for an intimate, cosy atmosphere where playing even a simple game of foosball became a challenge.

Doors opened at nine and people were filling up the room rapidly. The buzzing of voices and laughter contributed to the growing excitement for the show to begin…And what a show it was indeed!

The evening kicked off with a warm up set of electronic sounds and beats from Orlando Doom and the Hipless couples.

The Beams were on fire. Their music has grown and multiplied in its awesomeness and maturity since their primitive beginnings in 2006. They have developed and moved away from their Curish sounds towards something of their own. As always, Paul’s epileptic dance moves were expected, Jay’s insane drumming and Bosko’s grizzly guitar commanded respect while Amrik’s smooth bass kept things in check. With influences (arguably) from early Bloc Party (the Silent Alarm album), Chris Chameleon’s Boom album and the Cure, the Beams make one wanna dance until something breaks. The Beams are easily one of the most charismatic and energetic stage acts around in Cape Town. Total crowd get-goers.

Next up was Smack Talk’s most blogged band, the New Loud Rockets who performed their last gig for the next two months! With the ever looming midyear exams and with three of the five going to the UK on holiday, it makes sense that they take a break. The lads trickled onto stage with their SCAR sponsored hair styles and John, Dave and Steve sporting semi-formal outfits. The poetic quality of their lyrics inspires sing-a-longs, especially when Bleeding in a Cab starts to blare through the speakers. Their music electrifies all around and infects the body with a need to dance. As usual, the capacity Cape Town crowd enjoyed.

Exciting news: When the NLR do return they are promising, “that (they’ll) return with a new approach to (their) music and outlook.” Their words, truly.

To close off the evening, Orlando Doom and Hipless Couples returned to their desks inan attempt to keep the takkies squeaking. We got no rest.

- Kate Roux
[Photos from Zahra Robertson]

Monday, May 26, 2008

Question: How important are Band names?

So this is it; I was chatting earlier this evening to my good friend Steve and discussing the importance of band names. How important is the name of a band?

My thoughts are that band names are only important when you are hearing about the band for the first time. After the jokes are put aside, the name means little more than a referencing tool. Look, for example at the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. If you want to talk about terrible names, there's one. But because they are famous, the name means very little.

Those are my thoughts, briefly. What are yours? Comment below.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Rocking under The Beams

This wintry Saturday night (24 May) sees a match up that is certainly not an unfamiliar one. New Loud Rockets share The Assembly stage with the young exciting talent that is The Beams. Both bands have risen in popularity with their super stage presence, awesome off stage personalities and of course, their music. The last time New Loud Rockets performed at The Assembly was for their video launch. What a night.

The Beams is a band that is at home in the indie-electro scene but doesn't for a minute fit the mold. They are made up of interesting characters from as far as Durban and East London, they all study at UCT, specialising in a variety of courses. The Beams aim to have a good time and celebrate the music, plain and simple. If you are keen for some fun and dancing before exams, brave the cold and come on down to The Assembly on Saturday night. You won't be disappointed and what's more, it'll be the last time New Loud Rockets will be performing for about two months!

[Photo by WAA]
See you there Cape Town...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


This Saturday marks the 7th exciting episode in the highly successful life that has become Arcade. Since that stupendous night when South Africa won the Rugby World Cup in 2007 and Tyron and his team launched Arcade, things have only gone one direction.

Striving for originality with every party, Arcade brings together the popular and underground music culture that Cape Town has adopted as her own. This next installment promises to be no different. THE TRAVELING CIRCUS TROOP is the name and theme for Saturday's premiere party at Mercury Live boasting a lineup of experienced and well known DJ's.

Sources say that one should expect "live wanki donki electronica" to get things started, courtesy of P.H.Fat. This will be followed by some (of my favourite) indie electro from Lapse. The evening is expected to progress and intensify with Codec vs The Sound, Bruce Willis?? and many others. German super star David Da'zure will wrap things up with a no doubt clinical set of mind blowing mixes.

Expect much in the way of visuals thanks to legends, GoGo video and Diamond Ray.

To make this evening all that it should be, dress as if you were an act at a carnival.

See you there Cape Town... Launch

It’s a Friday night. We’ve been slaving for the man all week long, it’s now time to let the hair down, have a drink and get your groove on.

The location (the only place to be these days), The Assembly.

A stellar event from one of the countries most loved pop culture magazines filled with the up-to-date culture we need to know each month to nurture and inform us on what to listen to and who to look out for.

Onesmallseed magazine launched the release of at Celebrate this.too.

“This much anticipated online content streaming platform takes an intimate peak at the musicians and artists behind their artistic creation, their live performances, interviews and their backstage antics and is a true showcase of the South African creative spirit.”

On arrival the electronic toe-tapping mixes from DJ Charles Large warm you up from the bitterly cold outside world and create an excitement and anticipation for the evening's events. As I’m swamped with many familiar faces screaming “I can’t wait for aKing to play!”, it becomes very clear why everyone is here. Not only to have a good time and relax but to have a good time and relax whilst listening and rocking out to great music. The line up could make any decent music fan cry with joy.

Phoenix Kayode, UK born soul singer and songwriter gave a nice contrast to the rock acts that preceded him. Kayode blends smooth vocals with rhythmic guitar, his performance created a new dynamic to the evening’s line up.

Next up was the much anticipated Durban band, City Bowl Mizers, who blew Cape Towns socks off. These guys know exactly what their doing, an energetic stage presence that penetrated even the most miserable people there and got them dancing along. On an occasion or two, people were encouraged to come on stage and stage dive. It must be a Durban thing. What a legendary bunch of okes though. They interacted with the audience and let rip for a great time. Their sound mixes a 1950s poprock (think Elvis but harder), with early Smiths and is rounded off with some Strokes-y kind of bass. Some say the lead singer has an irritating voice others say that they are happy-go-lucky but whether in denial or not, I say embrace the music. The lyrics deal with partying, great friendships, great nights and girls. Theses guys are a refreshing change from the Nu Rave/indie scene that dominates music venues in Cape Town nowadays.

Finally, the moment the whole of Assembly had been waiting for. The rock gods of Cape Town descended to grace the mortals. Yes, it was time for aKing. Opening up with a rather deep song, Decomposing Lullaby, the whole club started singing along. Not the usual beginning to a set, but then again, when did aKing fit the mould? With their hard hitting guitaring and Snake behind the drums looking as if he is about to break holes in them, Laudo’s voice guided us through the journey of their music safely until we arrived at the end of the tunnel with their catchy body shaking, heart pumping, The Dance. What more can be said about this song? If you don’t know it, find it, listen to it and love it. aKing are not one of Cape Town’s favourites for nothing. They have been playing music since earth’s inception (or so it seems). When your at one of their gigs the music picks you up, envelopes you and destroys all else around, leaving you with only the pure ecstasy and pleasure to freely enjoy their music. With wickedly tantalising, hip shaking guitar solos (one songs sound is synonymous to Muse’s Knights of Cydonia.) aKing are as “guilty as sin” for giving me whiplash from dancing. They defiantly “light my eyes on fire”.

After their set, and after I had calmed down and managed to breathe again, I got a fresh drink and socialized.

I think everyone should spend their Friday night like I did mine. Wow.

- Kate Roux

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Fire up the Rockets

Saturday night saw New Loud Rockets and Fire Through The Window rock out Zula Bar in Long Street, Cape Town.

The evening started like any other at Zula Bar. The pre-band, background music was awful, but the vibe was expectant.

The bands were excited and busy. As things got under way, Fire through the Window warmed the jam packed Zula Bar venue. Sweat poured as people squished closer to one another in the hope of getting just a little nearer the front. They played a tight set musically. Between songs they were at a bit of a loss at what to do. They spoke to the crowd in muffled (too close to the mic) tones and cracked private jokes on stage. They were a good warm up for what was to come from Cape Town’s fondest children.

New Loud Rockets burst on stage with two new songs (Thank God!!). The first was an instrumental “Kidofdoom” type mix. Fantastic! Then, there was a new song with lyrics which is called Curtis. It pretty much kicked! We danced. Things continued the usual, awesome NLR way as they threw out all the classics. It might be safe to say that fans know Bleeding in a Cab better than John Seth does.

For more NLR check them out in Stellenbosch. They will be playing on Thursday night at The Mystic Boer. Go and support. Its well worth the trip and the entrance!

But!! What ever you do, don't play foosball with Stephen!

See you around….