In Review: Malkop Rock Festival

We hurtled along the strandveld of the N7 for four hours to the Malkop soutpan and the heat became increasingly relentless with every kilometre we ate up. Like lurkers at the edge of a circle of scummy, smoky light pulsating to LCD strobe-stroke EDM, we’d hunkered in the dark long enough for someone to take note – they were waiting for us at the entrance. They were Christ-figures with tattoos. They were dishevelled and disorganized and amazing. They were offering themselves to us, the last of the takhare. It was a sparse crowd, a sparse field, a sparse surrounding redolent with rooinaeltjies and the smell of the ocean and ample space for a lot of fokol to grow in. The pan was a frying pan and we flew up amongst the heatwaves radiating from it, navigating pockets of hitte from shade to shade like scuttling lizards. With us were the very old and the very young, the very high and the very sober, the bric-a-brac of Cape Town, the Wes-Kus locals with nothing better to do, the giants of genuine, great, authentic South African rock ‘n roll. There was Koos Kombuis, who played 2 sets, and there was Valiant Swart, the Mystic Boer himself. There was Piet Botha in his various incarnations and there was Jan Blohm, the addict-turned-troubadour tortured soul left out in the cold by the death of MK. There was Sons of Trout, a 90’s nu-grunge band come together for a reunion show. There was Gerald Clark and Arno Carstens and The Young Folks and The Plastics. And then there were some of the best of Cape Town’s burgeoning push for real, raw, radio-less music – Retro Dizzy, Black Lung, The Valleys, and Beast, the inheritors of the torch, the reluctant – or unwitting – flame-bearers of substance and authenticity in Saffa music. It was, all things considered, very much a tale of two times set in one country, united by lust and a need for everything to stay the same and also change unrecognisably and as quickly as possible.

People were talking, whispering, that this festival was exactly like the ones they held a decade or so ago. Certainly there were no boets, beach bars or bouncing balls. It was dry, deserted, poorly attended, bursting with a kind of delicious, misguided nostalgia that had everyone reflect at least once on how bad things had become for us to be forced up the West Coast to see music that doesn’t require vast quantities of MDMA to digest. The sun circled the pan like a halo hovering over Christ’s head on the cross, and most every set was better than the last. We were the sacrifices and the die-hards and the bittereinders. It was like the organizers had brought along the Cape Town bands in the hope of instilling some kind of work ethic in them that extended beyond niche fame and underground cult status if only to make some kind of break and get the fuck out of the Dodge that the lifestyle fests had become. Break down, build back up again. Like a crop cycle, we were sprouting, hardened by hopelessness, alwyne breaking through the crust of an earth that’s been stomped flat and lifeless by millions of wifebeater-wearing wankers. It was at times old, bone-dry, a crackle from the past over a draadloos – Valiant performed solo, as did Blohm, in his now trademark two-man band act, and although the class was there, the message has become scratched and faded over the years – great for greatness’ sake, but no longer vital or capable of driving anything forward other than booze down throats. And yet, bands like Beast and Black Lung yanked us straight back into the now and did so dancing on feet with blood in the cracks from making the journey, waving at the old-guard as they did so. It’s fresh, fast, furious, but missing the essential politicism of the Voelvry brigade. Yet here, in the dusty arena, in the face of 30 kids screaming themselves hoarse for more vitriol, more fire, there is some kind of baptism. The old becomes the new, and the seed is sown, and so the cycle continues, and the essentialism of it all might look different, but as long as it’s not measured in BPM or amount of women harassed during, by god we’ll take it. Even if we have to hang ourselves on a cross of heat in the desert to do so.


Shadows in the night : Psych Night & Vans Present – Night Beats (USA)

Written by : Danielle Alasca Olivier

Photography by : Pierre Rommelaere (@PierreRomPhoto)

A rhythm is pulsating through the city. It electrifies. It hypnotizes. It sticks in a hot sweat on a summer night. It runs its talons down your spine. It gives you the chills but keeps you in its other worldly web. Suddenly you’re standing at its door finding yourself in perdition begging for more.

Continue reading Shadows in the night : Psych Night & Vans Present – Night Beats (USA)

Journey Into A Psychedelic Haze: Psych Night – Spirit Medicine

Written by Barry de Villiers aka Roundabout Films

Photography by Pierre Romelaere Photography


Crossing Over

The gates are guarded by sentinels in black. They watch you closely as you pass through, and down a dark tunnel where you pay the toll to cross over. You climb the black staircase and into a new world of lights and wondrous sounds, apart from the one you have left behind. This place is called The Assembly and tonight is Psych Night. Continue reading Journey Into A Psychedelic Haze: Psych Night – Spirit Medicine

The Language of Cigarettes

Black Lung, Dollfins, The Future Primitives and Makeovers at Carnival Court. 29/06/2013

Written by: Stian Maritz

Photography by Pierre Rommelaere Photography & Colectiveeyes

A spontaneous army of androgynous miscreants formed at carnival court on Saturday for the consumption of various breeds of garage rock. Punks, playwrights and other miscellaneous vagabonds were squeezed in. Kraken Rum was an appropriately chosen sponsor for the evening; the crowd took after the liquor design like faithful mascots, uniting as one giant thrashing rum-swaddled seabeast. Moshpits formed at the slightest provocation. It was brutal fun.  Continue reading The Language of Cigarettes

Black Lung – Beliefs music video released!

Written by Charlie Brown (@Charlie_BrownSA)

Images: Sourced off the net.


Garage rock and roll band BlackLung release their  video for “Beliefs” from the upcoming album Blame BlackLung out on Angry Africa Records.

The 3-piece consists of Dylan Rooibokkie (guitar and vocals), Justus Kotzé (harmonica and tambourine) and Melissa Williams (drums). The band is inspired by all great rock ‘n roll, punk, folk and blues classics and they mash together these influences as loudly and recklessly as possible.  Continue reading Black Lung – Beliefs music video released!

Psych Night, Golden Dawn at Assembly

Psych Night: Golden Dawn at Assembly ft. Black Lung, the Dollfins, Wild Eastern Arches, Holiday Murray and .

By Kaylene Overall @kayoverall


I arrived on Saturday evening at Assembly’s first ever Psych Night about half an hour late. As someone who has absolutely no understanding of different genres and basically lumps music into broad, general categories, I wasn’t sure what to expect. All I knew was that the line-up looked spectacular. Continue reading Psych Night, Golden Dawn at Assembly

Earkiller at Mercury: featuring Sonja Myburgh, Shaman, Black Lung, Tanhauser Gate & The Ants

By Kaylene Overall @kayoverall

Photography by: Laura McCullagh


“Dude, the people in front of me are dirty-dancing. There’s something up with this band; it’s making people act weird. And more than half of the crowd is made up of musicians. There is a lot of hair.”

That was the message I sent to my friend on the night of the 18th. I was at Mercury for the Earkiller event and was standing next to the stage, phone in hand, staring at the spectacle before me. Continue reading Earkiller at Mercury: featuring Sonja Myburgh, Shaman, Black Lung, Tanhauser Gate & The Ants

EARKILLER Ft Shaman, Black Lung, The Ants & more at Mercury

This year there will be one show you’ll have on your calendar. EARKILLER. Bringing you the best of
the punk alternative underground – one Saturday of every month for THE WHOLE YEAR.

Our launch kicks off with the following acts… Continue reading EARKILLER Ft Shaman, Black Lung, The Ants & more at Mercury