My annual round-up of ups and downs from the year that was and what I hope for 2016.
Another year, another birthday. This time I celebrated with a picnic in my garden, despite it being the rainiest month of the year.
Take a look!
The start of something epic…
Get in here!
My new favourite gig with one of my new favourite Durban duos.
Get in on it here…
When my not so little brother told me he was “a screamer” in a band, I really didn’t know what to expect.
You’d think I’d be automatically bias towards anything my little brother did, but to hear he’d suddenly procured this hidden singing talent made me worry that I’d have to be the one thinking “Steve, no, not happening son.” It’s not that I am the world’s worst sister, I suppose just a protective one who’s used to her brother’s crazy ass ideas. But at the end of the day, I’m always amped for fresh blood just getting out there to make some music so I packed up my notebook and camera and headed out to Drummond. I had to go check out what Steve had been raving about for the past few months, since him and two of the other members met at a house party and decided to put a band together. As you do.
I arrived at an old-school garage band setup and was
immediately blown away by this five piece set. It was pretty epic to see these
young teens, most of whom are busy with Matric this year, just making some goddamn
good music while their “stekkies” sat around looking nonplussed, playing with a
pet snake. It was like the seventies in there and it only got better as they started
Look, they’ve only been at it for a few weeks and are still
figuring their shit out but I was blown away by the skill these punks had and
their ability to mix up a few different genres of music to create a unique
style. They’re currently playing around with covers, mixing up some hip-hop
into metal and putting together a few songs of their own and it’s sounding
pretty fucking rad already – I couldn’t have been prouder to be honest.
Brought By Rain consists of Thatu (17) on bass, Kewin (17) guitar
and back up vocals, Keegan (17) guitar, Steven (19) lead vocals and Zac (19) on
drums. They cite Asking Alexandria and Of Mice and Men as their main
inspiration but aim to add a little Papa Roach and Billy Talent into the mix,
while classifying their overall style as alternative rock. They all have big
dreams outside of the band, don’t rate themselves too school for cool and seem
to have their heads screwed on which I find refreshing. I asked them what they’d
really like people to know about their band from the get go – “We’re all pretty
sexy and some of us are even single.“
There you have it, you heard it here first.
I first laid eyes on this breath of fresh sub-culture air at Oppikoppi, in August this year.
After watching her effervescent performance alongside P.H Fat on their crack track (my new term for addictive beats) “Lights Out”, I simply had to get more of this SA local with a soulful voice and wicked rhymes.
With a sound and (deep) lyrics as soothingly philosophical as her stage name, it’s no wonder I got roped into her cheeky verses and throwback-esque musical stylings. She also sites some of my favourite African talent as her sources of inspiration, making my connection to her music all the more obvi.
She’s definitely her own brand of cool and the sort of effortless local talent that makes my heart beat all kinds of excitement. I pretty much pushed play on her Soundcloud and haven’t looked back since. Nor removed my headphones.
Nonku Phiri aka JungFreud is the kind of artist Redbull wants to fvck with, and the kind of girl C-HEADS magazine wants to profile. She’s also South African music royalty, with her pops being acclaimed jazz muso, Ray Phiri.
I can’t get enough of her music, her voice, her style – so check her out, mayn.
Recently I noticed these rather beautiful pieces of art going up and around Durbs. I decided to contact the artist behind them to get a little more insight into these fleeting art exhibitions going up on random walls around town.
You know I get stoked when someone takes the time to do cool shit around my city – so here’s the backstory to these wheat-paste artworks you might have also seen out and about, before they were ripped down by morons. And don’t come at me with issues of this being graffiti or vandalism because all it is, is beautiful design.
Meet Gypsy Rose:
Hi i’m Gypsy Rose. Second year Vega student. 20 years old. Tattoo apprentice.
My first year outta school I dropped out of art college and tattooed and traveled Europe. When I was in Paris I saw wheat-pasting everywhere and that is when I got the idea to do it in SA.
I am inspired by traditional tattoos, death, taxidermy/oddities, dark lips, the female form, Led Zeppelin and rock ‘n roll.
I have a weird fascination with siamese twins, whether it be animals or humans. I just think that the creepier/abnormal thing are, the better. I love the female form, so all my wheat-pastes are of gothic females with rocking bodies, dark lips and traditional tattoos. These rock ‘n roll siamese twins were put up a month back at Amsterdam Bar in Durban. Unfortunately drunk idiots thought it was a good idea to start picking at it and this eventually ended up in it being taken down altogether. But that’s the beauty of wheat-pastes – they’re not meant to be forever. And I kinda like that.
I put my DeathLady up in the Stellawood Cemetery on Mother’s Day in 2013. In the background is a Grimes print and the big paste is my original illustration. I use to hang out in the cemetery most Sundays to watch friends skate and I fell INLOVE with the space. It was quiet, huge and just had a lot of walls that were great to paste on, so I decided to draw up a lady that looked deathly (visible ribs and Day of the Dead vibe) and paste it there. There’s no real meaning behind this piece. I just wanted to add something aesthetically pleasing to an area that is generally associated with sadness.
I put my DeathLady2 up in the tattoo studio, I Art Ink in Corner Cafe, Glenwood where I worked as a tattoo apprentice under the lovely Nicole. I decided to make the DeathLady girls a series of two. I put up this exact paste up on Windemere Road across from the bar New York. I did this one night while I was very intoxicated and got stopped by a cop. He asked me what I was doing to which I responded something so dumb and dorky and I seemed to get my way out of a stick situation. A few days later it was torn down but the background is still there so I am going to repaste my DeathLady there again
I did this smaller drawing paste on the back of all the doors at Live but they got taken off within 30 minutes but that comes with wheat-pasting.
As you can see this chick is bad as fuck and it’s worth giving her a follow on Instagram, in hopes that some of her coolness and innovate creativity will rub off on you. Clicketh hereth.
I tend to jump on trains, a million miles after they left the station. It’s ok, I don’t mind being uncool and a little late on the uptake. I do mind however that no-one told me about female-fronted retro-punk band, The Dollfins, until I watched them play at Live in December .
My god. Is there a superlative for obsessed? Oh yeah, it’s stalker. Which is exactly what I looked like after I drunkenly cornered their bassist after the gig to fangirl a bit.
They’re all freaking hot. And punk-rock as fuck. And a little bit old-school. And I would be lying if I didn’t draw the obvious comparison to the lead’s vocal and personal style, to that of Alison Mosshart. Or maybe, I don’t have a refined enough palette to be making these wild statements, which is all the more reason for you to check them out and decide for yourself.
The three-piece set has been rocking and rolling around SA for quite a few years now and this review by Roger Young for Rolling Stone, pretty much says what I wish I could have articulated sooner.
In the spirit of anarchy and general bad-assness,I stole all these pics from their Facebook page so you should check that shit OUT.
And also their SoundCloud.
And this video.
When I first heard Red Huxley, I got that same feeling I get when I listen to Hendrix or The Black Keys. The feeling where I just want to do something recklessly rock ‘n roll like jump in my car, light up a smoke, fall in love with a stranger or drive into the night without paying my library fines.
I got even more excited to find out that these boys hailed from the Mother City. Their sound is rather unique to the SA music scene, making these soulful rock ‘n rollers a pleasure to hear at local gigs.
The band is made up of Dylan Jones on guitar, Matthew Pullen on bass and Murray Stephenson on drums and these boys have been melting faces as well as hearts since 2010.
Naturally, I was in my eli when I heard that these kids would be shaking up my home town for the very first time. This would also be the only chance I’ve had since Splashy Fen this year, to see these guys live in action. This is a band and they make me dance, ok?!
I caught up with Red Huxley, to ask them a few questions, so that us Durbanites, know what to expect this weekend.
Red Huxley Is …
A rock band from Cape Town, who have just released their debut album recorded with Eagles of Death Metals’ guitarist, Dave Catching, in his studio in Joshua Tree, California.
We’re amped to play Durban because…
We are yet to play a show there. We had one of our best jams at Splashy Fen at the beginning of this year, just a taste of what KZN has to offer.
We’ve heard Durban women are…
Crazy and that they love stampeding rock gigs straight from the beach in their bikinis.
The craziest band member is…
All of us actually, because we tend to go mental depending on the time of year and the amount of Jagermeister there is in the atmosphere.
Our music sounds like …
Loud jamming rock music mixed with chilled bluesy soul with a drop of old school rock and roll.
Don’t come to our gig without…
Your party pants on.
Our biggest secret is that…
We’re planning to make our way into the eardrums of everyone in the world!
The worst music artist out right now is…
Anyone that is chasing dolla and surfing trends instead of being awesome!
You can catch these talented rockstahs at The Winston this Friday or at Live on Saturday night.
You can also get the lowdown on Red Huxley here.