06
Mar
12

Slicky-T Hits Up The 5Gum Experience, Has Face Melted Off

5GumThere are going to be a couple of these 5Gum posts sprouting up all over the interwebs and rightly so because the 5Gum Experience on Saturday was a textbook example of how to throw a KILLER party.

I only got back from Thailand last week and have a lot of shit occupying my soupy Tiger-brain at the moment, so I’d all but forgotten about the gig until Saturday morning.

I love surprises. Always have, always will. So I was totally fine with the venue for the gig being a big secret but holy shit, NOTHING could have prepared me for what the legends at 5Gum had organised for us.

But let’s start from the top shall we? Rewind to the Wednesday before I left for Thailand and my main man Mike SharMAEN comes ambling into our offices with a whole bunch of BELTER dancers who start doing the exact routine the dancers in the Two Door Cinema Club do in the “What You Know” video.

 

 

After that, he drops off a pair of SICK Skullcandy headphones along with every imaginable flavour of 5Gum (which is a great substitute for actual toothpaste if say you’re stuck on a long-haul flight to Bangkok and you packed your toiletries in your hold luggage like a douche) and tickets to watch Two Door Cinema Club play at a secret venue.

Fast forward to Saturday night and J-Rab and I are boarding a bus at the overflow parking next to Cape Town International and heading directly into the heart of what I’m pretty sure is Nyanga.

I pack a hip flask with scotch for occasions like these on the off chance that instead of the big surprise blowing my mind with atomic force, it makes a sound like a turtle farting and bashfully shuffles off in shame while I drink the place interesting.

No need for that though. Shit was about to melt faces.

We pull up to what looks like a derelict prison / abandoned textile factory in an area where I’m pretty sure people get stabbed with rusty screwdrivers for their shoes and everyone in the bus is saying the same thing: “No wonder they kept it a secret. No one would come otherwise.”

 

 

But deep down we were all intrigued and the minute we’d all stepped out the bus and were able to take our surroundings in properly, we quickly realised that the venue was like NOTHING we’d ever seen before.

I was lucky enough to attend the press conference before the show and the band straight up said they don’t think they’ll EVER play a venue like this again, which I thought was a nice thing to say, but probably total bullshit.

 

 

I now know that it was the honest-to-God truth.

I’ll be VERY surprised if they play a venue this sick again and I don’t mean that to sound like a slight to the band at all – it’s a compliment to the event organisers who deserve some kind of fucking trophy or something for finding that venue.

We arrived just before sunset, grabbed a couple of beers and headed to the stage where we were totally blown away by both the setup and the sound, which rang out clear as a bell in the awesome natural acoustics of what looked like an old warehouse.

 

 

The Plastics were the first band to take to the stage, a band I’ve only seen play live once before (that I can remember) but even that one time, I remember being seriously impressed by their performance.

Their set on Saturday was nothing short of brilliant. They’re like a re-imagined version of early Arctic Monkeys meets The Kooks with enough of their own flavour to keep things interesting.

I dig the way they switch tempos effortlessly mid-song, rocking the indie / stoner rock vibes like a buncha pros.

I’ll definitely keep an eye out for them in future, I’m fucking ashamed I haven’t latched onto them sooner. Christ what an asshole.

After that I hit up the VIP tent with The MAEN, slammed some tequila and avoided security at all costs because The MAEN snuck me in there and they were eyeing me like they were measuring me for a coffin.

 

 

After that we hit a bit of a low-point, the only one of the entire evening.

J-Rab started feeling hungry. So we found the only place selling food, a tiny pizza caravan, and joined the back of the queue.

Two minutes passed and we didn’t move an inch, which was about all the patience I had at that point. I took a sneaky stroll right to the front of the queue, conveniently ran into a friend of mine waiting there and slipped in.

Before the people who were waiting in that queue go hating on me because I did what all of you wanted to, I’d like to point out that even though I did that, I still missed pretty much an hour of the show and didn’t see Ashtray Electric at all.

So I suffered too, ok? Although the rumours going around were that some people waited for 3 hours in that same queue.

What the fuck guys. Never wait for that long in a queue for ANYTHING. You’re better than that. Just brave the dirty looks and make a bee-line for the front. We aren’t cattle fer chrissake!

We ate our pizza just in time to get back to the main stage for Two Door Cinema Club’s set and all I can say is wow. I honestly never thought it was possible for a band to breathe that much life and fucking energy into a live performance.

 

 

Their album is good (Tourist History), it’s got some great hooks and is solid, dancey indie that has just enough substance to stay fresh a good couple of listens down the line.

But when that band takes that material to the stage all of a sudden the album starts to come alive in ways you could never imagine.

The chorous of “Come Back Home Home” hit like a haymaker, the crowd swelled and surged like an ocean during “Undercover Martyn” as we all screamed “To the basement people! To the basement!” and when they unleashed “I Can Talk” during the encore, the raw energy all around us reverberated through the busted concrete factory with the kind of intensity that would have brought the walls down if they were still standing.

 

 

What was also so great was how humble the band was throughout. Frontman Alex Trimble seemed genuinely happy to be there and was loving every second of the gig which I think was a refreshing change from other international acts that have played in front of SA audiences looking bored to tears.

When it was all over, I staggered outta that ruined factory feeling pretty ruined myself. I was totally spent, my muscles aching from how crazy I went during the show, my veins pumping cheap whisky and burned out adrenaline and my mind retreating into a warm, contented fog, satisfied that the evening couldn’t possibly have ended any better.

 

 

To Mike SharMAEN and the gang at 5Gum, I salute you. It’s gonna take one helluva event to top that show and I will personally chew my way through 100 miles of your gum for another experience like that.

Group hug.

-ST


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