Saturday, April 4, 2009

Re-Looking Pretoria

Taxi Violence and Isochronous at Tings 02 April 2009
I flew up to Johannesburg, as I do every four weeks, for work: Studio1 and MK Live once a month. I am not wild about Gauteng, but imagine my joy at finding out that Taxi Violence would be joining me in studio for the launch of Studio1’s new look? Sweet! And the new look is hot! Not majorly different, but the red and black has taken on a slightly more mature look that has Baroque ‘n roll written across it.
Taxi violence played a great couple of songs on Studio1, their acoustic vibe once again making me sit up and pay attention to just how talented they are. It becomes palpable when George is not distracting you with his mastery of being a rockstar on stage. It sounds like the new album will focus on the acoustic stuff more, which is great news- definitely the best of both worlds. After Studio1 I stopped at home quickly. This is the conversation my father and I had when he saw me:
Father: ‘What are you doing here?’ Lize: ‘Erm... I flew up this morning...’ Father: ‘But why?’ Lize: ‘Erm... For MK. Like I do every four weeks...’ Father: ‘Oh... You got another speeding fine!’
Jeez, glad to see you too.
Anyway so off I went to Tings, possibly my favourite venue in the country. [Yes, it even beats my beloved Cape Town venues!] It is home to the best of the Pretoria music crowd, and as much as I would have sex with Cape Town if it were a person, the prevailing pretence I have become immune to takes a leave of absence in Pretoria. It’s all very ‘come as you are’.
Isochronous played an epic set. I have always been left in awe post-Isochronous set, but this was on a whole other level. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that this is their home, and everyone adores them. Whatever the reason, the entire crowd [which had Tings full-up] went wild. And I certainly saw a far more energetic set from the Isochronous boys. For once, it was not only dynamite keyboardist Alex Parker keeping the liveliness going. It was astonishing, and it’s no wonder they were so coercively coaxed into an encore.
The crowd dispersed notably when Taxi Violence took the stage. Again, I blame the fact that they are not from Gauteng. But what was left of the crowd more than made up for having slightly fewer people. I and my camera nearly got taken out, but it was great to see such a fiercely enthusiastic response to what I still term one of the country’s best live acts. I think I speak for everyone when I say the new album is much appreciated.
Now, it was a memorable night and I have reviewed these two bands to death... So, a quick personal rant. Both Isochronous and Taxi Violence are made up of great guys, always good for a chat and a party. But this was also the night I met Liam Lynch properly. We have spoken on Facebook and, as it turns out, he reads my blog. [Do you feel cool now?] But we had never spoken in person. I very easily walked up to him, hands were extended and we were acquainted. Just like that!
We talked in Tings until we were the only ones left, and even the bar staff were fading away. Thereafter, I got lost [what’s new], after which we decided to go get some coffee. And so we sat outside Sasol, drinking takeaway coffee, listening to The Constantines and talking about everything from music to mathematics.
Besides being in perpetual wonderment of his work, I am now a fan of the man himself. I can think of few things better than meeting people in the arts-, music- and entertainment circles that rekindle your belief, not only in the industry, but mankind itself.

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