Wrestlerish at Mercury, Friday 17 July
From the endless raving I had heard about Wrestlerish, I knew I had to check them out, and soon! Alas between Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town I managed to drop the Wrestlerish ball a few times as I attempted to juggle so many things at once. And then, finally, they missioned down to Cape Town for a two-show debut.
After pink wine and catch-up time at The Bellville House, we headed off to Mercury, apparently far too early- we were some of very few people inside. The place filled up more soon, though the turnout was disappointing. Taking into account the myriad of gigs happening all over Cape Town, the fact that many students are still on holiday, the cold and the fact that, hailing from Pretoria, Wrestlerish has yet to gain a big Cape Town following, it was to be expected.
First up was AB Turbo, and last up Tonight We Die. Pardon me, but I don’t care to write about them so my review of these can be summed up with ‘whatever’. I was there to see Wrestlerish.
The band came about thanks to frontman Werner Olckers , former member of SHU. What started as bedroom recordings of some chilled acoustic vibes became a full-time endeavour, when Werner’s free downloads had listeners demanding more. Now, Wrestlerish boasts performances alongside kidofdoom and Desmond and the Tutus, Ashtray Electric, as well as a slot at Oppikoppi Smoorverlief in August.
Werner manages to turn a performance at a half-full, dim, cement-floor club into something intimate. He is typically Pretoria- all music, no scene. The music itself is beautiful, with stunning lyrics that make you stop in your tracks and really listen. It’s the kind of thing you could play over and over and again whilst chilling at home with friends or sitting alone in the spaces of your mind. But it is definitely a performance worth experiencing live. Other musicians sing their praises, and it’s easy to see why. These guys are talented and they’ve created a vibe that suits them perfectly, and apparently their audience too.I look forward to hearing more from these guys, with confidence they will be a name on everyone’s lips soon.
18 July - Tableview Stones with Tonightwedie and AB turbo - Cape Town
30 July - Tings an Times - Desmond and the Tutus EP Launch - Pretoria
31 July - Big Gig! with Yesterdays Pupil, Fruit n Veg, Dr Fly & The Nurses - Durban
1 August - Willowvale Hotel with Fire Through The Window - Durban
7-9 Aug Oppikoppi 15: Smoorverlief - Northam
29 Aug - Joburg Burning - Johannesburg
3 Oct - Aardklop - Potchefstroom