Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A taste of Ramfest!

Ramfest DVD Launch at Klein Libertas Theatre 24 October 2008
Ramfest is one of SA’s biggest festivals of rock, and the hype around it is growing by the second. Many of the performing bands at Ramfest are not necessarily the mainstream, commercial bands that have made it big amongst the masses who know precious little about good music. And next year’s line-up rumours promise for a festival that will be hard to forget! Friday night saw the launch of the Ramfest DVD, hosted by Klein Libertas Theatre, just to give us all a little taste of what we can expect for next year. And oh, it is exciting indeed! The night was an exciting one for all involved in Ramfest, and the guys from KLT pulled out all the stops. The setup was great [and I’m guessing fairly expensive], with impressive outdoor lighting and screening of the actual DVD. Pity the wind wouldn’t play along, but these things cannot be helped. The DVD features a number of Ramfest bands, including Taxi Violence, Foto Na Dans and the legendary Lark. Decent quality for South African filming and budget, I guess, this little sample is sure to get you excited about next year’s Ramfest. aKing was one half of the live acts for the night and, well, what can I say? Always the same, but always good. With plenty musical talent and lyrics that seem almost too poetic to be songs, these guys never ever disappoint. Having seen them live, unplugged, big stage, small stage, technical difficulties or not, I have yet to walk away from an aKing gig with a frown. Kudos for consistency, though perhaps some new material is in order? And then there was Battery 9. A little before my time, but there are few South Africans who can say they’ve never heard of these guys. With an enormous following once upon a time, they certainly made it as big as one can in the South African music industry. And the Ooms are back! But I confess I expected a bit more. Though the performance was good, it lacked the overwhelming power and electricity with which they used to perform. It was easy to spot their fans in the crowd, but then again there weren’t all that many. As for the new album, Galbraak, I am impressed. It is marginally easier on the ear than some of their old stuff and far more varied. I would suggest getting your paws on this one, it’s pretty cool. Overall, it was a great launch. Ramfest 2009 is going to be super. Fact. See you there.

Monday, October 27, 2008

SA's Tops

FYI. I'm not going to comment on this, although I have much to say. I'm just divulding this information. As polled by Mfm, the following were voted SA's Top 10 Artists 2008:

1. aKing

2. Goldfish

3. Seether

4. Zebra & Giraffe

5. The Parlotones

6. Jax Panik

7. Prime Circle

8. Freshlyground

9. Straatligkinders

10. The Dirty Skirts

And the Top 10 Local Albums: 1. "Dutch Courage" by aKing

2. “Collected Memories” by Zebra & Giraffe

3. "Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces" by Seether

4. “Perceptions of Pacha” by Goldfish

5. “Daddy Don’t Disco” by The Dirty Skirts

6. "All Or Nothing" by Prime Circle

7. “Musiek Uit Die Geraas” by Zinkplaat

8. “Net Om Die Geraas In te Asem” by Ef-El

9. "Pantomieme Op Herwinbare Klanke” by Foto Na Dans

10. “Staring at the Ceiling” by Watershed

Ok, so this little rugrat needs some educating [look, 7th Son isn't bad, but your favourite?! Really?!] but other than that this is pretty darn cute! Daisies = True love forever.

Party Hard, Tread Lightly

Rocking the Daisies goes green and does good What began a few years ago as just another music festival in South Africa has evolved into something pretty damn huge. And this year, Rocking the Daisies totally outdid itself, more than doubling turnout from last year to over 10 000 people! With 26 great musical acts, 22 DJs and a number of comedians, everyone there was kept more than entertained for the duration of this three day marathon of rocking madness! Rocking the Daisies was held at Cloof Wine Estate near darling from 3-5 October. Three days of squeaking some serious takkie, singing along shamelessly to some of South Africa’s top musicians and trudging through ankle-deep mud in oversized Wellies we returned to the real world, still enveloped in a surreal cloud of euphoria… And oh, did we rock the socks off those daisies! It seems the world is slowly cottoning onto the fact that the planet is suffering from our very industrial lifestyles, with a gradually increasing number of people ‘going green’ as best they can. And Rocking the Daisies has joined this revolution: on top of offering a weekend that was impossible for anyone to forget, the festival adds an eco-friendly pitch, with this year’s catchphrase reading ‘Play hard, tread lightly’. A myriad of initiatives were employed to keep the event environmentally aware, with Rocking the Daisies being South Africa’s very first music festival that is carbon-neutral. Waste was recycled and everything, from the soaps and shampoos to the food packaging, was bio-degradable. Friday kicked off with the Redbull Radar competition, with Cape Town’s groovy experimental rockers The Plastics walking away victorious. And it only got better from there! With a line-up including everything to Eagle Eye Cherry to Etc Crew, Fire Through the Window to Farryl Purkiss, New Loud Rockets to Nepalma, there was something for everyone to enjoy. And enjoy they did- the crowd was spectacular and even Tidal Waves, the weekend’s very last performance, had ample watchers jamming to their reggae-infused blues. Other aspects of the festival were of an equally high standard, with ample merchandise, food [including healthy meals that made a nice change from the usual menu encompassing no more than boerie rolls and burgers] and booze, though this queue was almost as shocking as the one outside the entrance! Minus the fool who so boldly welcomed ‘350ml’ to the stage, the comic masters of ceremony were well-entertaining throughout the bands’ sound checks which, loaded with such anticipation, can become somewhat tedious. The band members themselves had a stellar time, with most of them hailing Rocking the Daisies their undisputed favourite music festival in South Africa. Having not stumbled across a single festival-go-er not enjoying this shindig to the max, the general feedback bodes well for 2009, and we shall await next year’s festival with baited breath, eager for yet another weekend jam-packed full of awesomeness that will go down in every music fan’s books as one to remember.