IN REVIEW: Mother City Live

Photos and words by Cathelynne Walker

From the Old Biscuit Mill to the Old Castle Brewery, Woodstock is a suburb never seen without bustle on a bright Saturday afternoon. It was, therefore, surprising that what should have been a day out for the whole of Cape Town’s summer-body populace was instead a poorly attended showcase of brilliant artists without a muse.

Mother City Live was held on the 26th of November at Trafalgar Park in Woodstock, or so it seemed. Despite the well-organized and enthusiastic event staff, the largest audience that this event would see was only around one hundred people strong – and that was nearly midnight. This lack of numbers was amplified by the fact that the venue was simply miles too big for the turnout.


Carrying the burden of this slow start, The Liminals were keen to unite the drips and drabs of scattered festival-goers in their bass-heavy, moody funk – and they were taking no prisoners. The talented front-man and backup vocals contributed seamlessly to the synergy of blues, bringing with it a wave of sound best suited to sunset. It was only a pity, then, that their set was scheduled so early, so as to fade away against the background of the blazing heat and a small crowd of ten.

Good music and good food are often coupled together, and in the mother city, this should be no exception. Unfortunately, Mother City Live fell short here again, offering very few food choices and all very far-removed from the main festival area.  The bar area, small and poorly cordoned-off, was similarly not suited to accommodate for crowds, and it is with this information that one wonders whether or not the organisers anticipated many attendees or not. In between the food court and music area were the lonely tables of two to three artists, whose works, undoubtedly beautiful, would mingle only with one another for lack of new discourse. While these factors cannot solely be blamed for the overall poor turnout, they must nonetheless be taken into account. Warm beer never made a happy hipster.


Where other features failed, music came to the rescue. With sounds like Janice and Lana Crowster mixing in with Opposite the Other, good energy and variety were the words of the day. When it comes to attracting the largest crowd, the likes of Tehn Diamond must be accredited with the opening of the faucet. Introducing a sound that was pure energy and shamelessly black, the trio succeeded in opening the floodgates to what seemed like the beginning of the event. It is a great task that stands before any band that must open for the main act, and Tehn Diamond did not hold back in ticking any of the boxes. It was by the end of this performance that the MCs handed over the audience, whose eyes glittered with the colours of Africa, to Jimmy Nevis.

It is one thing to be introduced as constituting the main act, and another entirely to act as such. Jimmy Nevis succeeded in laying the lights for his own runway, guiding the plane safely and taking off into the air with splendour, energy and poise. A performer at heart, Jimmy succeeded in capturing the audience as if each individually by the hand, whispering sweet nothings into their ear and allowing them the favour of calling his name into the night.


It was therefore with a heavy heart that the talented and upbeat Grassy Spark saw only half of the audience remain for their performance. Diverse in sound and teaming with eclectic energy, the two front-men took no notice of this slight and continued to entertain, with the comfortability and ease of a band practice in the garage.

The night was still far from over, and many more artists such as Phresh Clique and Simmysimmynya graced the stage, regrouping the audience for the final few acts, ended with a bang by DJ Diggy Bongz. Even this was not enough, and it was with light feet and bright eyes that festival-goers skipped their way into town to various unofficial and official after parties.


There are rough patches – plenty of them. The venue needed some second thought; the food needed a major boost and the bar: some market research. Improvement in these areas is sorely needed, but with those few changes, I am confident that this festival will go to new heights to unite and showcase great African talent. While it can definitely not be called an Arts festival at this stage, Mother City Live 2016 was a big reminder to all that as long as the music is good, everything else can be excused.

The Liminals: Come Closer EP

A band with a crispy fresh South African sound and the satisfaction of subtle but surprising elements, every other second of each song. The Liminals put a tasteful spin on relevant music today, and it is incredibly prominent in their EP Come Closer. They have a unique sound that cannot be confused with any other. Guitar riffs in the song “Lay You Down” brings every string in your heart to a harmonious hum and gives a tingling feeling in your hands and feet.

Very light melodies and cheeky, fun lyrics along with the sweet taste of diversity deserves a spot on any radio station in the country. “Snarl up” however, takes a slightly more punk rock element and makes it unique to the band’s indie rock and African-influenced sound. From melodies to sway to, to tunes that will make it hard to restrain your will to dance along, this EP is a success in many forms and marks their unique style of indie rock. This album includes the successful single, “Indigo”, which they released in December last year. The Liminals have also been known to kill it on big stages at Rocking the Daisies and Oppikoppi.

Catchy but interesting and appealing to sing along to, rather than being annoyed at the song stuck in your head, you belt it out and dance like a lunatic to the rhythm in your head. Each song brings its own unique elements to the complete theme of the EP, and there is just no dull moment throughout the entire journey. There is a noticeable amount of thought behind the perfection of the sound and feel of the EP, and each member of The Liminals shine through to make a unity.


Win Tickets To Woodstock Live

Woodstock has always been regarded as one of the cultural centres of Cape Town. It is a vibrant hub of multiculturism from which the very essence of Cape Town’s urban lifestyle spills. It is populated by a multifaceted group of individuals from bohemian hipsters to energetic modern professionals. It is hard to throw a stone in Woodstock without hitting somebody who attaches a label to themselves.

It makes sense as to why The Kaggen Music and Film Trust are launching a series of diverse, multifaceted events with Woodstock Live – a multigenre music event that really reflects the kind of music that makes Cape Town’s musical heartbeat. Woodstock Live is about establishing an environment of creative expression and engagement through spontaneous and meaningful cultural conversations and innovative ideas to promote artistic integrity and fearlessness.

The show, taking place in Trafalgar Path on Sunday shall play host to Goodluck, Das Kapital, Tresor, Mix n Blend, Los Tacos, DJ InviZAble feat. Computer General Manny Walters, Ben Dey & the Concrete Lions and The Liminals. Various socially-focused music events consisting of a series of multi genre park festivals,a tea party for the elderly and a music festival for children will be staged at Trafalgar Park, District 6, Woodstock, throughout the year. The Woodstock Live brand is inviting Cape Town communities and neighbourhoods to connect with each other through these events.

South African Music Scene are giving away a set of double tickets so that people can forth and connect with one another. All you have to do is comment below with your favourite thing about Woodstock or Cape Town.

WIN: Mumford & Sons DJ Set with The Very Best (UK) & friends at The Assembly

The R.C.M has teamed up with YOH! and Starving Artists to present The Very Best (UK), Baaba Maal (Senegal), Winston Marshall (Mumford & Sons) DJ Set with local artists The Aztec Sapphire, The Liminals, ORACLES and Maxime Alexander! Continue reading WIN: Mumford & Sons DJ Set with The Very Best (UK) & friends at The Assembly

Rocking The Daisies 2015: A Suspension Of Disbelief

The problem with being a music journalist is that once the dust of a festival has settled you’re often left with the tough job of cramming a multitude of experiences into a neat little article that doesn’t stray too far past the maximum word count. It becomes incredibly difficult because somehow you have to find a way to describe an incredibly personal experience in a fashion that is accessible to those that did not have the tremendous pleasure of attending Rocking the Daisies. It may seem like a simple task from the outside, but have you ever tried to explain to someone exactly how a concert or festival was without descending into deranged mumbles and hysterical laughter as you have flashbacks to memories that would be labelled as “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”. Continue reading Rocking The Daisies 2015: A Suspension Of Disbelief


After a mere three months as a fully formed band, The Liminals won The Assembly’s Band of Choice Competition, granting them the opportunity to open Rocking the Daises’ main stage in 2013. Two years down the line and they are taking the Cape Town live music scene by storm. In addition to having just played a sold out gig along with Al Bairre, The Nomadic Orchestra and The Plastics last Friday, the four-piece are once again on the main stage line up of Rocking the Daisies 2015, as well as having nabbed a main stage slot at Oppikoppi in 2014.

Comprising of the wildly energized front man, Aviwe Sikile, Dylan Fine on lead guitar, Angus Hardcastle on bass and Mitchell Davies on drums, the band are wildly known for their excellently orchestrated live performances, combining their dynamic stage presence and funky tunes to create an effortlessly memorable gig.

True to their eclectic roots and unusual name, The Liminals combine a medley of different genres in their music. Funk, indie-rock, jazz, blues and even the occasional African-influence coalesce to create the band’s signature sound. Unpredictable, strangely pleasing discordant moments intersperse smoothly grooving, ska-influenced tunes. Their overall sound is clean-cut and clarified, and jangling guitar and full, smoothly rolling vocals contribute a decidedly eloquent feel to their music as a whole.

Currently working on their first EP, said to be released later this year, The Liminals are on the top of their game to get their music out there. Keep an eye out for this local gem in Cape Town and surrounds, and if you’re headed to Rocking the Daisies’ tenth birthday in a couple of weeks, make sure to find time to catch them and their foot-tapping tunes.

Find them on:

The Jumping Guns To Release New Single “Masses”

Stellenbosch-based indie rock band The Jumping Guns have quite successfully made a name for themselves in the Stellenbosch live music circuit with frequent performances at Aandklas, and subsequently worming their way into the hearts of many students with their heart-warming and upbeat musical styling. This Satatuday, 29 August. The Jumping Guns shall be debuting their new single “Masses” at Aandklas alongside Grassy Spark, The Young Folks and The Liminals. South African Music Scene is giving one lucky reader the chance to win four tickets and a R300 bar tab. All you have to do is comment below with which band you want to see, and it could all be yours.

Winners to be announced 28 August.

Zula Bar – The Last Dance

By : Ezelle Louw (@lupaphoto)

The sad news of another live music venue closing hit us this past week. Zula Bar has been home to some of our industry’s most prominent artist and also provided unknown bands an opportunity to showcase their music to the public. After 9 years of providing us with music and talent, Zula Bar is closing its doors on us. This weekend is the last festival of music happening , so please make sure you make extra effort to go say your goodbyes. Here we have the line up for you! Bands not listed in any particular order of performance.  Continue reading Zula Bar – The Last Dance