Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Zebra & Giraffe at Kirstenbosch Gardens

23 November 2008 So here’s a new venue I have not yet ranted about, good or bad. And this one will be an all-positive assessment session. Yes, the sound was good, the technicalities were all there. But for a second, abandon your obsession with detail and let’s just say that the Kirstenbosch amphitheatre is stunning. And with all the happy hippies and indie kids running around, drinking wine and generally being merry, the vibe is pretty damn perfect. Now, onto the music itself. Zebra and Giraffe. What can we say? Well, this band burst onto the scene from nowhere. Even before they had ever played live, their single The Knife was at the top of just about every chart in the country, from community radio stations like Mfm to the big boys up at 5 and even MK, the band was everywhere you turned. And their first ever live performance was at this year’s Oppikoppi in August. How many bands can boast that? And there is no indication that this brand spanking new Johannesburg-spawned act is slowing down. Their performance, I must admit, is lacking just ever so slightly. Then again, they have only been together for a few months and so I have every faith that they will grow together as a musical act. A little more energy, a little more interaction, but I can not deny how at ease they appear on stage. Another note is a minor lack of variation. Though their individual songs are mind-blowing, there is little inter-song distinction and I got the sense that all of their songs kind of merged into one. Kudos for keeping the flow going though, I guess! Lastly the performance was fairly short. But as I’ve said before, this is not a criticism so much as an appeal for more, more, more! I refused to believe that their final song was the last, and spent some time sulking into my glass of red wine thereafter… A quick rant about frontman Greg Carlin. Did you know that he produced all the music on the album, but for some of the tracks’ drums? Yes, very impressive. All the brains behind a band with a standard that could leave the international music industry speechless, this guy blows my mind every time I hear Zebra and Giraffe. But he has a girlfriend, or so we hear. So, sorry to all the shrieking groupies. You may have to wait for another century or seven before we find another one like this!

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