Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Campus Invasion [5 February 2011]

I don't know what the problem with Klein Libertas gigs are... There never seems to be a decent crowd, except, of course when Fokofpolisiekar plays, then the outdoor theatre bursts with more than 1400 people. Hoping that by the odd chance of a pretty decent line up playing at Klein Lib, [The Revelators, Stepdog, New Holland, Ashtray Electric and Foto Na Dans] the turnout would be at least 250 people. I realise the cover charge is steep for the average student, but there’s rarely a line up like this in your back yard! You have to admit the vibe is totally worth the two drinks you will have less than usual. One thing is for sure, the people that come to these gigs are the diehard fans.
That said, I was slightly baffled when the 40 plus people at Campus Invasion didn’t make their money worthwhile and start grooving to the melodic sounds of Stepdog. It was a sad moment when the band took the stage while there were only 5 fans standing, the rest were lounging around, not seeming interested in what’s happening on stage [more preoccupied with the ping-pong tournament happening at the back]. Realising Stepdog is a relatively new band and few people outside of the ‘inner circle’ know about them, I still feel slightly disappointed in my fellow music lovers for not welcoming them to the stage.
I thoroughly enjoy the sounds of Stepdog, probably because it goes back to the basics of uncomplicated country folk, that makes your heels tap like a hillbilly*. I simply love Jonathan Velthuysen’s velvet voice. There’s a Kings of Leon influence I cannot seem to place, but it’s there. Since their debut E.P was still to be released at the time of Campus invasion, I didn’t know the titles of the songs, however I can tell you that the third song they played had a great intro, sounding a bit like Bon Iver and then somewhere out of nowhere appears this beat that fucks you over. Fantastic. The next song was a slow tune with a Placebo sound. I particularly liked it, and don’t why it didn’t make the cut onto their E.P. Later they also played their two, previously released, singles ‘Lauren’ and ‘Angie’, which always has me moving. I’m extremely excited for the release of their E.P!
You can find out more about Stepdog on good old Facebook: or their brand new webpage: [where you can now also download their E.P, if you haven’t yet. While we’re on this note, my favourite song from Amy after Dark is, Castra! Give it a listen.]
Next up was New Holland. What can I say about them? I have had a love affair with this band, since the very first time I heard them play ‘I want you my Baby’. I mean, is their seriously something New Holland can do wrong? Except for the funky knitwear and crazy haircuts, I believe not. The 4 piece knows how to get even the smallest of lame crowds to their feet stomping and going absolutely crazy for more! [Some fans have even started undressing on stage at the album launch for Exploded Views] I have to admit that Saturday’s show was one of the few shows they were sober, proving that these okes can give an excellent performance, in either state of mind.
I love how they always get it right. There’s not much more to say on them, I love their music, the performance and how can one not love the four lovely individuals that is New Holland. You can prey on my weekend anytime.
The wine truly tastes sweeter with you! Even though I’m not an avid listener of Ashtray Electric, and I don't know all of their songs, I still enjoy their shows just as much as I would enjoy New Holland or even aKING. This is purely because their set is so tight, they know what they’re doing, what they want to accomplish and they go in for the kill. And the crowd follows willingly. Very few bands can play a soft tune like ‘Heart Beat’ and still keep the audience attention, not a soul drifting to the bar for their next drink...I love it when Ashtray Electric plays ‘When Sex Becomes a Sport’. Their lead vocalist basically makes love to his keyboard with some very dangerous pelvic thrusts. The crowd becomes calm, move to the soft sounds of the vocals, feeling the music…
The band looks well put together, not like they are trying to fit into the indie vibe, after all they are one of the original local indie bands, from Cape Town. They set the standard and it seems to me that no other band can measure up. Most other bands just look terribly uncomfortable in their skinny jeans and long hair.

I cannot remember the last time I saw Foto Na Dans and I cannot describe the excitement I felt during their sound check...anticipation...
Alex Fourie is an interesting fellow, most females and a certain percentage of the male population goes absolutely crazy for him, yet I cannot distinguish what exactly it is we’re after. I’m starting to think that it’s something more sexual. I don’t know how we identify what we find sexually attractive and what not, but one thing is sure, Alex Fourie posses that trait. Having sex with Alex Fourie should be a crime of bestiality.
I realise the Pendulum cover is old news by now, but these guys do it better than Pendulum themselves. They should buy the rights to record this for their next album! Foto Na Dans cannot disappoint, as always their set was amazing. If you’ve been to one of their live performances you’ll know what I’m talking about.

You have not experienced Klein Libertas Theatre, without smelling like a Kayamandi brewery of Black Label, sweat and have muddy feet, when leaving. And I love it.