Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ashtray Electric and Box Office at Aandklas

28 March
We had just done our part for Earth Hour, with no more than candlelight, coffee and conversation, and it felt so alien doing something good that we simply had to go out and be environmental disasters again. Lightbulbs went on- what better way to do this than to drive to a gig where there are lights and cigarettes in abundance, with some Ashtray Electric? Sound like plan? Let’s go do some damage… Getting dressed and ready in the dark turns out to take quite a lot of time. Regrettably we missed most of Box Office’s set, though I daresay we did not miss much. While they are not half bad, they did not drive home an overwhelming impression. I would like to hear more and give them another chance, but what I heard was an averagely able voice singing nothing we have not yet heard. While there is no denying a fairly good, melodic rock ‘n roll sound, it is generic and I spent this time catching up with friends rather than breaking my neck to get a good glimpse of Box Office. Maybe next time… Ashtray Electric is on everyone’s radar at the moment! The new material sounds very promising and I wait impatiently to get my eager claws on the new album the secong it comes out. Be sure to keep an ear on the ground for that release, and check out the newly-released video for Quite Overstared. They also recently won an MK Award for Beste Nuweling, and after being in Johannesburg for some shows up North they have returned home to the open arms of their adoring local fans. The turnout was average [I blame Earth Hour for making screwing around everyone’s nocturnal tendencies] but the band played a brilliant show! How refreshing to see a band where every single member looks to be having a blast on stage. Each of these guys has all the energy, all the palpable love for music, all the talent that makes them what they are. They fill the stage with presence, while remaining human enough to make you want to get to know them all. Opening with something a little slower, frontman AndrĂ© Pienaar’s alluring voice had everyone’s attention right where it was supposed to be: on the band. From there the energy ascended to a staggering pinnacle, climbing up our spines with old stuff, new stuff, stuff that made us move our feet and stuff that made us sing out loud, stuff that made us very satisfied fans. AndrĂ© ended it all with a lingering solo that concluded the evening with perfection. No, wait… We ended the evening perfectly after spending the rest of the night with these lads, and passing out after 6am. I can barely choose whether I like them the most, or their music…

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