You know that old saying, ‘Better the devil you know, than the one you don’t?’ Well, even the devil can get dull when you know where to find him every time you get the craving for some excitement. You don’t know Durban and we’re right here, sitting on your shoulder.
Cape Town and Jozi are busting with musicians who are hi-fiving each other on the way past, as they criss-cross between their cities, touring, gigging and getting to know each other. A problem in previous years when it came to bands including Durban in their expeditions was lack of venue and not knowing who would fit the bill in terms of genre.
With the brand new venue called, erm… Live The Venue ‘up and adam,’ bands coming here may rest assured that they will be well catered to in terms of sound, setup and turnout. James of Fruits & Veggies points out, “we now have a great venue for live music. The downfall is that the drum and bass/Dubstep kids are trying to take over live venues and play music which sounds like you’re at the dentist.” Also worth checking out is the newly revamped Willowvale, now dank with cool vibes and who can forget The Winston?
We took four hot-shit bands that everyone in South Africa should know about and asked them about themselves. Come walk on the wild side and see what Durban has to offer.
Fruits & Veggies are without question, one of the best bands in South Africa. They’ve dragged up a totally unique sound that is based in roots music like gypsy and ska and then snagged the whole composition on punk. It’s raw, rebellious and really well written.
Loopy, the bassist goes down in SA music history as being a character we’ll never forget. As do the rest of the band. James is a reputable song writer and guitarist, Hezron adds Balkan flavour on violin with a solid backdrop from Justin the drummer. Purity is the coolest front woman of the moment and recent addition, Cam annihilates on guitar.
They have a bit of a rep for being the wild kids at the party, not just on stage and Cam gives an interesting observation being the newcomer, “I love the way everyone in the band are such different characters from one another, not only in personality but in appearance and musical style as well. We sort of fit together like a puzzle to make something rad but unique. I also love how hilarious it can be spending time with the band, humour is frequently expressed and I spend most of the time laughing.”
Yeah, they’re all pretty different but when it comes to what they want for Durban’s music scene, the answers are similar. Purity, who is sincerely her own invention, digs the vibe because as she rightly says, “I love 031 because it’s the only place you get away with being absolutely yourself.”
When Cam’s not with his mistress, F&V, he’s proving to be one of the best guitar players around with Black Math, the proggy rock band that has everyone talking.
Speaking on their behalf, when asked what he’d like to happen for Durban’s music scene, he states, “Well, if good international bands decided to come to Durban more often and even possibly play at places like Live, that would be awesome, but people say that could never happen although we like to think that it’s possible…”
Truth is, when you hear Black Math play and you see the turn out they get, there is no reason to get shunned when the big guys come to SA
The same goes for E.X.P.L.O.S.I.O.N who sing a similar song when asked about the Durban scene, “For starters we’d like to see more venues, and for even more Durban folk to come and support. We’d also like to see more real Rock ‘n Roll bands on the scene. It would be cool if there were more big stadium shows with international bands and local bands opening for them. Durban bands have awesome talent and it would be great exposure to have chances like that. It would also be cool if there were more festivals like the old Uprising Fest. And lastly cheaper drinks!”
E.X.P.L.O.S.I.O.N recently got back from their first tour to Jozi. I doubt that city is the same after that week because there hasn’t been a more rock ‘n roll band in ages, who not only embrace the hedonistic pleasures of the genre, but also live up to the name. Heavily influenced by AC/DC, Zeppelin and that era does by no means, mean they are into mimicking. Rather, this band takes what it knows and loves and then does it in their own way, then another way and each time is perfect.
K.P is a talented, classically trained vocalist who triumphs at epic, soaring rock vox. Wes, the guitarist and songwriter is outstanding and creates a genius toolkit for Kyle the drummer, and Roadie the bassist, who are both damn good, to work with in conjunction to himself and K.P.
STRAGE are an instrumental setup of Brandon on guitar, Jono on bass and Matt on drums. The three-piece are self-proclaimed gear-heads who dig each other because as they say, “We take a lot of pride in our individual instruments, gear and tone. We each work hard in this area!” Think heavy, layered, full sound that makes you mindful of Explosions In the Sky and Laura. For guys who are serious musicians it’s tough when Durban gets taken for a ride and they explain that they wish, “bands and event organisers would take themselves more seriously. Step up professionalism in everything from gear, to performance and punctuality…” Fair enough. [A problem countrywide it seems, Ed]. What everyone I spoke to agreed on was that the cool thing about ‘031’ is how chilled and easy everyone is, making it that much more fun to party and be together. For those of you who don’t know us, come on down and check out the ‘031.’ I hit the band members up with a couple of questions… for fun.
If you could jam with anyone in SA, who would it be?
Fruits & Veggies: Your mom (thanks Loopy), Fokofpolisiekar, P.H.fat, Tidal Waves, Die Antwoord, Captain Stu.
Black Math: Definitely The Dirty Skirts!
E.X.P.L.O.S.I.O.N: Dan Patlansky, L.A Cobra ‘cause they’re so rock ‘n roll and Fokofpolisiekar ‘cos they’re such a party!
STRAGE: It would be nice to do a show with Lark or Inge’s new band, Beast who look quite interesting.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
KP: I’d be doing my day job as an electrician.
Kyle: I’d probably be a professional ballroom dancer.
Wes: I’d probably try my hand (and other things) in the porn industry. Have you seen this moustache?
Roadie: I’d probably be a herbalist of sorts…
Fruits & Veggies:
Purity: Acting/contemporary dancing.
Loopy: Stand up/film.
Hezron: Working at McDonalds.
James: Working with Hez at McDonalds.
We have nothing else to do really, but if so, probably something artistic.
Organising and booking shows for other bands