Posts Tagged ‘rocking the daisies


The Tiger Talks Shit With Joe Theron, Singer For Woodstock Mafia

Woodstock-MafiaWe’re trying a new thing on the site today kids, so don’t freak out ok? Today we’re inviting someone who isn’t me onto the site to chat to ya’ll in what us gonzo journalist types like to call “an interview”.

I hope to do a whole bunch of these “interviews” on the site with different people that are rad and who deserve all the love and respect the interwebs can muster.

So here’s an interview I conducted over a month ago with Joe Theron from Woodstock Mafia who is a not only a stand-up guy, but is also a very patient man for waiting this long for your Tiger Pal to actually post this interview.

By way of introduction, this is the first episode of the Tiger talks shit. I’m sitting here today with Joe Theron, frontman and vocalist for Woodstock Mafia. Exciting times for you guys, we have just been talking about the album launch which took place on Friday at Mercury and you were telling me it was an absolutely killer, killer night.

Yeah, it was the most packed that I’ve ever seen the Mercury, everyone was paying attention and everyone was listening to us, they were there for us, it was cool.

That’s quite a rare thing to see, everyone at Mercury listening to the band. The best I’ve ever seen was maybe an 80/20 ratio of people listening vs people talking shit at the bar. What do you guys attribute that attention to – have you noticed a strong following developing for Woodstock Mafia, are there some regulars you’ve noticed at your gigs?

Yeah, there are definitely a couple of regulars we’ve noticed at the shows. I mean, we’ve based ourselves in Cape Town from the start and pushed as hard as we could right from the beginning. It really all started gaining momentum when we sent our first single “Electric Light” to 5FM last April, which is still playing on 5FM. That was really the lift-off for the band. It was an awesome feeling to have your friends call you up and be like, “You guys are playing on 5FM!” I even had buddies from my hometown Mossel Bay call me up and go crazy about it, so that’s when we knew we were starting to take off.



Look, even I’ve heard the track play at least six or seven times on 5FM and I hardly listen to the station at all, so that’s a huge positive for the band. Let’s shift the focus toward you as a vocalist and a performer. What was the first album that you heard when you were a kid or a young teenager that blew your mind and turned you onto music?

As a vocalist I really appreciate the way Brandon Boyd sings from Incubus. The album Morning View was one of my favourite albums of all time back when I was in Standard six. That album blew me away, but I’ve been singing ever since I was seven years old. I started playing guitar because my dad’s also a musician. He taught me how to play guitar and I started singing as well and when I realised, “Ok, I can actually sing” I decided to focus on that.

But going back to Incubus, I just really enjoyed Brandon’s tone when he sings and the melodies he comes up with. He’s a very, very good vocalist and for me that’s key. The vocalist in a band has to be good, because even if the music’s brilliant, if the vocalist is crap then what’s the use of having an awesome band?

Tru dat. So how long did you live in Mossel Bay for?

Well, I actually lived in Oudshoorn first and went to Mossel Bay in highschool. Then after that I went to London for two years on a working holiday type vibe. So I stayed there for two years, did some travelling then came back, started studying and then after that I started a band basically.

What did you study?

Sound Engineering. I’m a qualified sound engineer.

Do you find that being a sound engineer makes you overly critical of your work in studio?

Well, I still listen to the album and think we should have done this or that differently because I’m quite a perfectionist when it comes to recording, but overall I’m really happy with the way the album came out.

The one part of being a sound engineer and being in a band that is difficult though are the working hours. As a sound engineer I’m usually working at nights and on weekends so sometimes I have to cancel gigs and stuff like that, but I enjoy what I do and am getting good at what I do, mixing and recording bands.

Out of interest, which bands are you working with at the moment?

Well I’m not specifically working for any bands but I did sound for Freshly Ground the other day, Toya De Lazy is also in our department, my boss actually does the sound for her, but I help out every once in awhile.

She’s a rare example of an SA artist writing pretty decent pop at the moment and I think there’s a lot to be said for that because call me a cynic but pop for me is too easy.

Yeah, I’m not a pop fan. It’s written for the masses. It’s feel-good music.

But you play guitar as well?




Did you throw a few riffs into the mix while you guys were writing and recording your first album Defiance?

Yeah, there’s a song on the album called “Fade Out Night” which I contributed some guitar parts to.

Hectic, I’d actually made a note to ask you about that song because for me, that song and “Electric Light” are the two best on the album.

Nick, the guitarist, is usually the one who writes the songs, but for that one I’d started writing the verse, then Nick took it from there and fleshed it out into a finished track. But he basically took some of the ideas I had and exploded it into a song.

That’s a great choice of words for describing a guitarist like Nick – “exploded” – because he has this fucking crazy energy when he plays, he’s like a force of nature.

I think he has a very original stage personality, the way he plays live. He really jams it out. He doesn’t like to get distracted, as we noticed the other day cause there were a bunch of people jumping onstage and he wasn’t happy about that.

This is my space! Get the hell outta here!

Yeah, I mean he’s got a lot of pedals to work when he plays, a lot of distortion pedals and stuff so it’s understandable.

Yeah that makes sense. But it’s insane because his energy even on the album is infectious.

He’s very good at what he does.

For sure. I mean for me, Defiance is one of those album that when you get to the end of it you exhale and try to get your shit back together because it’s a pretty wild ride. There are only really two tracks on the album that are acoustic one of which, “Ghost”, which is also the album closer I thought was a an awesome stand-out track.

Yeah, with Ghost we actually recorded that track without click track because we wanted it to have a more natural feel, the others we recorded with a click so they are very, very tight.

For the most part on the album though, you guys throw down some seriously explosive, seriously high-energy rock music. What I like about your style is you guys aren’t big into wanky solos. Instead there seems to be quite an emphasis on awesome build ups and pretty solid bridges as well. Is that also Nick’s influence?

Yeah, it’s mainly Nick’s songwriting, but we all work together to create the product that we want to create. Like if I’m not happy with something or Ryan isn’t happy with something, we say it in the rehearsal room and just change whatever it is that doesn’t work so that the end result is the best it can possibly be. We also try to work on our dynamics quite a lot so that our songs aren’t just on one level.

And it’s also not just one tone that you guys use, I also noticed you guys experiment quite a bit with different guitar sounds and tones on the album.

Yeah we used a couple of amps and different guitars from Marshall Music because it’s exactly that, we didn’t want every song to sound the same. We wanted to create something different, something unique on every song so that every song can stand on its own.



And I know it’s early days, but have you got anything planned for the next album?

Well yeah, it’s awesome to actually think about how we are going to create the next album because it’s never-ending, y’know? Everything is going to be recreated and after Rocking The Daisies we are actually going to start creating the next album.

Do you guys have anything kicking around at the moment in terms of songs or ideas for songs or are you literally going to start fresh with the new album?

Nick has two ideas for songs at the moment but otherwise yeah, we will be pretty much starting from fresh.

Let’s chat a little about Daisies because last year you guys had a slot as well on the Thursday night if I’m not mistaken?

Yeah, we played on the Black Label stage, the Campsite Stage and there were quite a few people there, all the early birds came to the stage and it was quite big, it was quite packed. I think we were the band that started the festival, we kicked things into first gear. It was a good gig, I can remember people going off.

But now, exactly one year later, you guys have arguably a much better slot.

We’re playing at 3.30 on the Saturday afternoon on the main stage so it’s a good slot. People are starting to get amped for the night. It’s quite crazy to think how far we’ve come in a year because as a South African band, you have to start from the bottom up, work your way up and see what happens.

Who are some of the other South African bands that you guys enjoy?

I’ve been playing with a band called Stoker, I used to play drums for them when they started out, that’s a band that I really love. I heard them live recently and they are sounding amazing. The songs are brilliantly written, they have a lot of dynamics, a lot of stop / starts. It’s grungy rock, so I really dig it.

Another band that I really look up to and enjoy their music is Taxi Violence. There’s just a lot of swag, a lot of sass in their music.

There’s also another band, they have more of a funky vibe – New Academics from Joburg. I think they might have broken up now but they had a really cool sound.

It’s pretty tragic isn’t it? I think there are a lot of South African bands that go that route, that have an awesome sound that could even get international recognition but unfortunately end up calling it a day before they can realise their full potential.

It’s mainly a money issue. That’s why we went the whole route of pre-selling the album. We never had enough money to record the album so we started a crowd sourcing campaign and asked people to buy the album and then we got the money from that to start recording it. It was a bold decision, but it worked out for us.

That’s why I had that form I was working with when you arrived earlier, I was marking off the albums that I posted this morning. I’m posting them to people all over the world that helped fund the album. We’re happy to do it and in some cases if the people are in Cape Town we actually go and visit them and drop off the album in person and we listen to the album with them and ask them what they think. It’s just a nice way to repay the people who have been waiting so long for this album.

What is the next big step for Woodstock Mafia?

Yeah, we’ve always set ourselves goals, I mean Ryan (the bassist) is the manager of the band, but we work together with him to set ourselves goals to try and achieve within a certain timeframe so we always have something to work towards. So the next thing, which we discussed the other day, is getting a record deal with Sony or EMI to get the album out there. So that’s the next step, to get the album out there, get it into shops, get it onto iTunes, work on album no. 2 in the meantime and try to get better slots at festivals.



Here’s a crazy one – let’s say we had to go through the band and describe each different band member as an animal, what would they be?

Nick would be a deer. He’s eating grass and he’s chilled, but he’s also fast, he can get away from his prey, he’s adaptable. Ryan the bassist, he’s like a hippo, but hippos are not angry so…

Yeah, but more people are killed by hippos in Africa every year than any other animal.

(Laughs) Yeah, well then he’s DEFINITELY a hippo. Owen is a giraffe because he’s so tall, but also a really intelligent guy, always on the ball, he knows exactly what he’s doing.

Shit, we’re nearly at the end of the interview and I haven’t even asked the obvious question of “How did you guys start out?” so yeah. How did you guys start out?

I was playing guitar and singing backing vocals for another band, I don’t know if you know a singer called Tailor, she recently recorded an album called Dark Horse and I was singing for her onstage and then Ryan came in to play bass, but unfortunately that band broke up and Ryan asked me to do vocals for his new band which didn’t have a name back then.

I went to Nick’s house in Green Point, did an audition and they said, “Cool, let’s start a band. Let’s do it.”

It’s been cool to see the friendships grow in the band since that point. I mean Ryan and Nick were already friends but the rest of the band has bonded a lot more now that we’ve tasted some success. I mean recording this album has been a big thing in all our lives.

Yeah, I mean how many people can you say you’ve shared that experience with?

Exactly. It’s actually unreal how the big dream is to be a successful musician in South Africa, then all of a sudden it happens and you’re like, “Ok cool, what’s the next thing that’s going to happen?” You’re always thinking about what comes after that, you step up the game a little more. That’s how life goes, you just go up and up and up until you can’t, until you explode.

And then you’re Miley Cyrus naked on a wrecking ball. Promise me you’ll never do that.

(Laughs) No I won’t. I’ll never be naked on a wrecking ball, I promise.



The Tiger Rocks The Daisies Chapter 3: The Saturday, The End

IMG_2257Phew! What an epic festival review hey Party People? Christ, feels like all I’ve been posting for the last two weeks is Daisiesdaisiesdaisiesdaisies.

Time to wrap it all up with my Saturday post and then I promise you’ll not hear anything more about this festival until next year rolls around.

Like the day before it, Saturday morning was a hoot. Myself, Peggles, Barbarian and Spu spent it all chilling together while the girls hit the Daisy Den which took at least about two hours, just enough time for us to smash a couple beers and ease ourselves into the day.

From there everyone got all Tiger-striped up and we went to actually explore the festival and try to catch some bands.



We started by checking out the Hemporium stage where Little Kings were playing the most chilled out set you could ever imagine. I liked this band a lot, they just had this great vibe about them, very loose and easy breezy but great songwriters and performers, all of them.

This is what that looked like:



After that we met PURPLE MAN! Well, if by met PURPLE MAN I actually mean watch a man in a purple morph suit walk casually into the dam, then ya.




Once we’d finished laughing and taking pics of PURPLE MAN, I finally hit the media lounge for the first time at the festival where I had an ice cold Red Bull, ate some kind of cranberry / cereal snack thing and contemplated using one of the laptops there.

Next time. I swear I’m blogging from Daisies next time…

Next stop was the beach bar, which was PUMPING! On the way I ran into some proper BOYCHAYS and this happened:



I don’t remember how long we stayed there, but eventually we decided to hit the road when the people there started tweaking out and tried to fingerbang each other’s nostrils.



At the main stage we half-heartedly watched a band before deciding to wander over to the lemon tree theatre where we caught our good buddy Dylan Skew’s set which, again, had all of us literally in tears.

That guy is my favourite South African comedian, hands down. I swear, it’s like he’s read my mind, found the funniest, most random thoughts and made stand up out of it.

Hats off to that man. His material is seriously amazing.

Then we met these guys in lumo vests with camel packs who, judging from this picture, loved the shit out of me.



After that, we went back to the main stage to listen to some more bands I don’t remember and J-Rab met Bob, who she instantly fell in love with.



The temperature started plummeting pretty soon after that so we went back to The Mushroom and suited up for the evening. I had some jelly tots that a buddy had spare and wandered out into the night like some high-powered mutant.

God’s own prototype Winking smile



Among other things we checked out the New World Beat Barn and I instantly regretted the fact that I hadn’t discovered it sooner in the festival. It was like some kind of crazy carnival in there, good times as far as the eye could see.

We also posed for a pic with this skeleton who was in a bath tub:



Above us there was this long string of balloons and lights that must have been at least 300 meters long. It floated like this long, luminescent string of glowing blue dental floss against the night sky. Like a lot of things I saw that night, it inspired awe and child-like wander in me and I knew things were going to be ok.

Believe it or not we actually stayed for the end of Arno Carstens’ set so we’d have a good spot for Shadowclub when they came on and Jacques and the boys did NOT disappoint.

I made a mental note to watch them live more and actually support this band. Their set was super-slick without losing its badass bluesy-rock edginess.



Which left only one main stage act left. The reason a lot of people were there in the first place. The band that inspired a million million bands to pick up guitars and write dancey indie rock.

Bloc Party. And man-o-man did their first three songs suck.

The sound was shocking which was sad because it had nothing to do with the band, but all their levels sounded way out with the vocals drowning everything out completely and the bass being almost non-existent.

Things quickly improved though and the crowd started losing their minds to this awesome band.



At some stage in Bloc Party’s set they let the balloons go. Actually, it could have been before, I’m not too sure, but watching them drift away, I felt a profound sense of loss, like the very stitching that held the festival together was coming undone.

And the truth is, it was.

I loved Bloc Party’s set but festival fatigue was kicking in and when they launched a barrage of fractal-patterned fireworks after it was all done, I felt totally satisfied in every conceivable way and ready to call it a day.

It was a great Daisies, no doubt. One that will live on in our minds as long as this post lives on, rattling in this junkyard site that I call home.



Here’s to Daisies ‘13!

See you crazy fuckers there Winking smile



The Tiger Rocks The Daisies Chapter 1: Thursday Rocket Fuel

altb61dcd58d1f012888162b07b13e525efThere were animals everywhere in furry onesies or in animal hats and I was one of them, rocking a tiger head hat rented from a costume shop for six-year old kids.

The baddest cat in the jungle, grinning like a maniac from ear to ear and laughing, just laughing my ass off the entire weekend.

Truth be told, from Thursday to Sunday, way too much awesomeness happened for one post.

The last thing I want to do is ram a 10 000 word piece down everyone’s throats that no one reads so instead I’m breaking this down day by day and hitting you guys with only the good stuff, that infectious craziness that makes festivals like Rocking The Daisies so awesome because that’s all anyone really cares about in the end.

Good times. Sunshine. Good people. We had it all. What a fucking amazing weekend…

Well, except for leaving on Thursday. J-Rab and I were both frazzled from the week we’d had and were keen to just head on through, get our shit sorted, crack open that first icy beer and start partying our asses off.



Obviously we took a wrong turn going there though and ended up taking the dirt road shortcut to the Darling Cellars turn-off. I was fuming by that point because I was trying to get through before sunset but by the time we actually arrived it was already 8.30pm.

Luckily our friends had taken our tent earlier and set up camp for us literally 5 meters from the main entrance. Chrissie, Pamela, Cat, you guys are fucking LEGENDS.

Thirty minutes later we were finally setup and smashing our first drink of the festival. We went the vodka / cranberry route which I mixed in almost equal proportions.

Yeah. It was basically rocket fuel.

Armed with that we moseyed on over to the Thursday night campsight stage and caught Future Primitives and Goodnight Wembley.



It was sad we missed the other Thursday night bands but lemme tell you, Future Primitives put on such a solid performance, I actually didn’t mind.

It was high-energy surf / stoner rock at its absolute best. The buzz in the small crowd gathered there was fucking electric. I felt all the tension from my shitty week come flowing out as my limbs loosened up and my mind unwound one gulp of rocket fuel at a time.

We went to sort out a refill before Goodnight Wembley got onstage and after that things got a little blurry.

I wasn’t in the best shape to review Goodnight Wembley in any way, but I just remember feeling that while they are a great and seriously talented group of musicians, their material is nothing we haven’t all heard before.



They do it flawlessly, but I don’t remember hearing any tracks that got me as pumped as Future Primitives did.

Also, at that stage some young 16 year old guy was trying his luck with our friend who had been sippin on the rocket fuel so I had to step in there and tell him on no uncertain terms that he needed to back off or the next time he touched her, he’d draw back a bloody stump.

After Goodnight Wembley all I got is flashes of lucidity. J-Rab went to the toilets and came back to find me orchestrating an entire group of people that I’d managed to convince there was a trip-wire between these two wooden posts in the main pathway.

Hilariously we got people either jumping over the imaginary trip-wire or doing the limbo between the posts. I tried to take some pics of it but man-o-man they came out badly.



The last part of the evening was spent back at Chrissie’s tent at Camp Tiger where we jammed some sick choons and carried on smashing the voddies, just laughing and having a killer time.

It was basically the best end to the first night I could have hoped for. Check it:



Obviously I have no recollection of actually going to sleep after that, but I imagine when I did, it was with a huge-ass smile on my face because I was here, I’d arrived, it had been a fucking amazing night and my Daisies experience was only just beginning.

The perfect start to what was going to be an epic weekend.

Stay tuned for my Friday round-up tomorrow Winking smile



Rocking The Daisies Must-See Bands (Part 3)

bloc-party-050629-799747Excitement for this year’s Rocking The Daisies 2012 is mounting party people! Three sleeps and I’ll be there, cracking open a cold one at Camp Tiger and letting the good times roll.

So in this, the last instalment of my must-see bands, I am going to be tackling the bands you can’t miss on the main stage on Saturday.

Sure, there are other stages and other bands I could be covering, but as mentioned before, I can’t research every band at the festival so if there are other acts you think deserve some love, hit me up in the comments section.

If you’re also in this for the long haul from Thursday to Sunday, then Saturday is either going to make or break the festival for you.

Thursday night you’re probably gonna go balls to the wall and the same goes for the entire day on Friday so by the time Saturday rolls around you’re going to feel like you need a blood transfusion to boost the level of blood in your alcoholstream.



The trick to getting Saturday right will be to take it as super easy as possible during the day. Go for a dip in the dam if you’re feeling brave, indulge in a hot Woshbox shower, get a hearty breakfast in you and down at least a litre or two of orange juice and as much water as you can handle.

Flush your system out, rest up as much as possible and don’t even think about hitting the sauce until at least 4 or 5 in the afternoon because it’s gonna be a looooooooooooooong night and you want to be as fresh as possible when the big acts of RTD12 take to the stage to melt faces.

Though the main stage kicks off at 10am, I’m probably only going to mosey on over there at 12.10pm to catch Southern Gypsey Queen (featuring Al Frost).

It’ll be a bit like holding a defibrillator to my chest, cranking it to 11 and hitting the “charge” button (watch the video below and you’ll see why), but I do love me some loud, bluesey rock and roll.

This is the band sans Mr Frost – throw him in there and you’ve got a guaranteed recipe for face-melting good times.



Dig that drummer. What a flippin boychay.

After that it’ll be time to grab a bite and head back to your campsite for some R&R in the shade. Or go have a float in the dam (inflatable lilos are a must. Or you could go the Tiger route and take an entire inflatable BOAT. Bada-BANG!).

At 2.20pm Moving House are lighting up the main stage, a supergroup of sorts consisting of Andre Pienaar (Ashtray Electric) and Rob Davidson (ex Zebra & Giraffe).

I haven’t been able to find any of their material, but if I can summon the strength, I’ll definitely go check them out just based on the merit of their two previous bands.

The next band to watch out for will be Jeremy Loops at 6.05pm, who is one seriously talented guitarist and songwriter.

As the name suggests, this guy’s loop pedal skills have to be seen to be believed. One man. One guitar. And here’s what he’s capable of:



Insane sheeit right?! People who use loop pedals like that fascinate me because if they fuck up one of the loops, the whole song falls apart. So yeah. No pressure.

After that it’s Desmond And The Tutus on the main stage, but I’m gonna leave that one totally up to you guys.

The new single (“Zim Zala Bim”) has been murdered on local radio to the point where when it came on 5FM the other day the guy in the lane next to me deliberately swerved into oncoming traffic.

But let’s not forget what these guys are capable of. Here’s “Tattoo” off their most recent album Mnusic in case you need some reminding:



After that, run away.

Arno Carstens is up next and he’s probably going to play material off his new album, Atari Gala which, if the first video “Two Dogs” is anything to go by, could very well send you spiralling into a post-90s, ballad-rock depression guaranteed to kill whatever buzz you might have been feeling up until that point.

My advice would be to go line your stomach and start drinking heavily. It’s time to up your game, once Arno clears out it’s going to be two and a half hours of bone-rattling badassery, starting with Shadowclub, the made-in-SA version of The Strokes.



Funny story is I interviewed these guys back in ‘08 before they skyrocketed to fame. I used to do this fucked up show on UJFM called The Tuesday Night Bandslam With Rick Hunter And Al Burton (I was Al Burton).

Myself and Graumpot would go around with a roving mic and arrange to interview bands in weird places like bowling alleys, the Zoo Lake, the planetarium and in the case of Shadowclub, the putt-putt course at Fourways.

Our sound equipment kept fucking out and Jacques from Shadowclub (frontman) had this look like he was smelling a fart throughout the interview.

Then we started playing putt-putt so we could record some funny, random shit like we did for all our shows but Jacques was so over it by that stage he just walked from one course to the next hitting his ball into the water, kicking it around and generally just making it known that he thought the whole thing was a load of shit.



We ended up throwing the interview in the bin. The bassist at the time (forget his name) felt bad and suggested we try again when Jacques was in a better mood.

Second time around, we just interviewed them at Fuel Bar one night before they got onstage to play a gig at Carfax. The interview went a lot better and Jacques seemed to be much more chilled until about 30mins in when he started laughing in this really creepy way and told us he’d taken a large quantity of acid before the interview that felt like it was kicking in.

Crazy cat that guy. In my experience a bit of a douche, but I can’t fault the band, especially not Isaac the drummer, he’s a real stand-up guy and one of the best drummers in the business.



After that, it’s time.

Get your head in the game, smash a tequila or three, go take a long pee, fight for a spot nice and close to the stage and steel yourself.

Bloc Party, this year’s headline act are up at 11.20pm and trust me, you are not gonna want to miss this one.

This band was instrumental in kick-starting the indie movement that’s been rolling out in its various guises over the last decade.

Here’s their best track, “Banquet” which I’ll be losing my goddamned mind to when they rock it live:



So those are my must-see bands on the main stage on Saturday, like I said before, holler if you think any other bands deserve a mention and I’ll gladly show them some love.

Otherwise I’ll try have a review up by Monday / Tuesday after the festival has ended, so watch this space because I have a feeling Daisies is going to be pretty damn epic this year.

You can still get tickets from so get on that if you haven’t already.

Oh, and if you see a guy with a Tiger on his head missioning around, don’t be a stranger Winking smile



Rocking The Daisies – A Photo Journey


“Yes, hi…?”

“Hi, we’ve just arrived so um, where can I pick up my ticket?”

“Come meet us at the Nokia tent, we’ve managed to get you media accreditation, so you just need to head over to the tent and we’ll meet you there.”

“Ok, cool. But, um, how do I get in?”


“I mean, do they have my name at the gate or something?”

“No, your ticket was –“

“In the mail Olga sent me? Yeah, I printed it out but left it on my desk, total fuck-up.”

“Ohh… kaaayy…”

“Can we make some kind of plan?”

And BAM, there we were, 20 minutes later with Sarah slipping me a media band and me walking through the glass-Nazi security check-point and straight into Rocking The Daisies at around 12 midday on the sunniest Saturday you ever did see.



Thank you Nokia, seriously. You guys are the shit – bailing me out when I forgot to take my ticket with, fuck yeah. You guys made my festival possible.

As for the festival itself, fahk, where do I start? I was seriously impressed.

From the outset, I could see we were dealing with a different kind of festival, one where they take care of the details. It was everything from guys with wheelbarrows helping you lug your shit around, to the heavy emphasis on environmental friendliness and recycling and even something as simple as the exclusive loos (we never used any, but I’m sure they were a huge relief to people who didn’t want to face the possibility of opening a porta-loo door and finding… AN ANACONDA!).

We set up our tent in an area that soon became overrun with shirtless charnas, about 6 or 7  in total, who had the most hilarious collection of crusty old tents J-Rab and I had ever seen. They were actually pretty funny fuckers, but J-Rab and I didn’t really hang around much after we’d set up camp, it was like a sauna in our tent, the kind of day where the horizon shimmers and all you want to do is find a giant body of water and float in it with a bottle of cold beer.

We hopped from one island of shade to the next, people-watching and sipping on the waterbottle full of ice-cold vodka and lime we snuck into the main arena.



We caught a few New Holland tracks which I remember thinking sounded pretty cool, but we didn’t stay for long enough for me to give them a decent write-up. We were more focussed on beer at this stage, that and tracking down the Captain Morgan people who were filling up our now-empty “water-bottle” with free premixed Captain and coke.

I remember swimming in the dam.



I remember J-Rab and me heading back to our campsite, dragging our mattress out the tent and under the shade-cloth the charnas had set up, staring at a blue, blue sky. Giant love affair…



We drank a lot of beer just lying there and ended up napping in the sun before heading back to the mainstage later that evening to catch Boo! who played a killer set.

Chris Chameleon’s vocals were clear as a bell, and, dressed like the Wicked Witch of the West, he rocked out onstage with a mike headset while banging out the basslines to songs like “Lucky” and “Champion” and getting the crowd jumping and rocking out.

Ampie was his usual, clownish self, thanking everyone like a kid in a highschool who’s buddies have all showed up to the garage gig he’s hooked up because his parents are away.

Him and Chameleon still have the same, infectious chemistry they always did, but Ampie did seem to be struggling to hold some notes on the trumpet and looked a little flustered sometimes. They’re not the 20-something punks they were when they first started, but they did an impressive job of rocking out like they were.



As for the Nudies, it was an interesting set.

They played all the Nude Girls’ classics like “Blue Eyes”, “Giant Love Affair”, “What Would You Say?” and the ever-popular grunge / alternative rock anthem “Bubblegum On My Boots” and for the most part, they almost sounded like the ground-breaking, energetic and charismatic SA rock band they were back in the late nineties.

Theo rocked out like a metal stalwart. He looks meaner than I remember him, meatier, like a man who’s seen and done a lot because, well, he is.

Arno looks like an only slightly aged carbon copy of his younger self. He looks like he’s taken pretty good care of himself, must be the Top Billing-type lifestyle he’s been living for the last 8-odd years.

As for his vocals, they were hit and miss. The man’s got a great scream, he always has, and when he unleashes it the earth itself shakes and it’s still as spine-shivering now as it ever was.

But it sounded like he missed more than a couple of queues and at times was missing notes completely, but I think people forget, especially South African audiences, is when you pay to see a band play live, you pay to watch their mistakes as much as you pay to hear the moments when everything comes together, the band explodes with energy and the crowd absorbs that explosion, amplifies it and feeds it straight back.



MASSIVE FAIL for bringing Jeannie D onstage while the band sung “Jeanie” though, that was a gag-inducing moment if I ever saw one.

The dfnniest part was right at the end when they invited ‘Sailor Jim” to join them onstage.

“Sailor Jim” wore a sailing hat and some kind of brown coat (if I remember correctly…?) and was a podgey, happy-looking kind of chap.

“Who’s that?” I remember J-Rab asking.

“Why, I have no idea… but judging by the hat, I’d say this is Sailor Jim.”

It was only ten minutes later, when he took his hat off, that I realised it was Ard from Just Jinja.

If I could have done anything different, it would have been to stay for Taxi Violence after the Nudies, but in truth my skull felt like it was going to split open at that stage, and we had no painkillers.

We passed out listening to the drunken revelry of the campers around us and their hilarious stories about running into barbed wire fences and finding strangers passed out in their tents.

There’s a lesson here kids, if you’re rocking a music festival, take a LOCK.

The next day this apocalyptic wind was blowing the walls of our tent in and out like a sails. We poked our heads out to see hordes of people packing up their tents while the sky got blacker and blacker and the wind blew all their trash around.



We stayed to check out Checked Zebra who were really good. Imagine Chili Peppers meets Boo! meets a punk / ska band (maybe like Sublime) and you get Checked Zebra.



We would have rocked out to their whole set, but the wind was blowing so hard it felt like we were in a cyclone, so we eventually headed back to camp, packed up and headed home.



The best part of any festival is the first shower you have back at home and the afternoon nap that inevitably follows.

You drift off to sleep, thankful for the little things in life like clean linen and a comfortable bed, and don’t surface until you’ve nailed at least a solid 2 hours, warm and safe while the clouds gather and rain down on the roof above you and the wind whips tree branches and kicks up clouds of swirling dust devils outside.

Rocking The Daisies was an amazing festival. A special mention goes to the guys handling the AV for the main stage gigs on the Saturday night. The camera work and visuals were professionally executed and looked pretty fucking amazing.



Next year I’ll definitely try get their on the Friday though, it all went by too damn fast.

You gotta do the whole hog if you want to truly experience a festival, next time I’m taking the leave and doing shit right, going with a huge group of friends, packing a LOT of tequila and possibly even hanging out with the bands.

Sky’s the limit I tell ya 😉



Rocking The Daisies: Prelude

The National plays while we pack. Tomorrow’s an early start before the madness begins.

We’ve got everything covered. The fine balance between taking too much shit and taking too little.

J-Rab sits curled in the couch opposite me, looking through the pictures on her phone while I bang this out, , both of us tired from a long week and looking forward to that sublime moment when we hit the lights, curl up and sleep like the dead.

In the beaches of our dreams, the days are always sunny and clear and the water’s always fine. We meet there sometimes and watch tropical birds fly overhead and listen to the lazy sound of the ocean lapping the shore.

Good times 😉