Review by Karl Kemp
Photography by Nadine Aucamp Photography
This isn’t a review – this is my text-based marriage proposal to Inge Beckmann. God, the gyration, the gyration…everyone’s thinking it, everyone’s wondering – ‘does she kiss like she sings? Does she sleep in Sodom, commute to Gomorrah?’ Most sacred of sacraments, what is sacred if not the blues, and what is Gomorrah if not the Hebrew name for the hellhole crudeness of a privileged 20-something’s authority-less playground?
Acrid winds of change sweep the plains of sweet sweet Stellenbosch and send some scurrying to the neon and the plastic and the bump-bump-bump and the unholy smells of a urinal that’s been made subject to unimaginable aim. The hurricane misses Klein Libertas theatre but the after-effect is shocking – the sun does not set on us, no the evening does not begin, yet the music does, and the gap between us and the cool kids grows ever wider, as does the gap between us and the stage. There were few of us at genesis, vision muddied up by shades and if we were true, true to ourselves, we might have consoled the organisers somewhat by drinking the equivalent of three times this crowd. Which we proceeded to do. Jagermeister presents…what exactly? A mirror for us to reflect on the fact that Christian rock is now where it’s at? Are these acts taking from the door or themselves? Who’s paying for this? And why are we in this mess to begin with? Riddle me this – since when does a blues act need you to envelope yourself in a shell of self-conscious image-mongering? It’s soulful, man, it’s honest. Don’t you dare pretend like the light is too bright.
Anyway, Inge, where was I? We walk around town, walk around town (I. WALK. IN. TOWN) and all I see are the hardcore Christian skynhuilers faithful, flatcap Stellies kids or a combination of the two. You weave such a wonderful tapestry – in my mind, you’re two seats down the bar holding a sulphurous candle whilst a Noisia remix of ‘Ramble On’ has a seizure in the background.
Your co-pilot, ol’ George van der Spuy and his gang of cock-rocking vagabonds, bursts through the mahogany double doors and sticks a revolver down my oesophagus, screaming about his loveless childhood. He points the weapon to the floor and screams “I’M NOT GONNA TAKE IT”, popping off rounds, so I start tap-dancing like only a drunk kid with hundies to blow on blow can. I need you to see me like this, all of us do. We’re still here, we’ve still got something to do and someone to support because truly, desperately, this town still has talent. Where are those organisers? And does that new track not just sound exactly like the dubstep we’re fleeing from? Or was that extinction, or the fear thereof? All is forgiven – the respite is real and for that we are eternally grateful, all of us, your succubi and reverse taskmasters, your legion and your drones. We bask in your psychosis, glory in Wembley’s restless showmanship and forget about the true hero of the night – The Violent Free Peace’s drummer, the only among us who’s been sincerely and heartrendingly oblivious to the fact that he is a dying breed.
What a grope in the dark. What a hole in my heart. What a night for you to ignore me. We’ll build a home away from all of this, away from the clubs and the dregs and the molly and the children and the louts; away from gaps, away from cool kids and pool parties and zealots. A traditional Afrikaans wedding; we’ll invite Goodnight Wembley and Basson Laubscher as well. Shit, we’ll invite our entire shrinking, gasping industry and we’ll pay them in ‘exposure.’
Fade out, exit, stage left, it’s only 23:00 and this town is hardly hot enough for hell. I didn’t see you stay for the final act. Maybe it was too much. Call me?