The 6000 miles My CokeFest 2008 review

Snappy title, eh?

Once again, I was blown away by the differences between UK and South African concerts. People here are so conservative. To be honest, I’m glad I did things this way around. I’d be bloody terrified if I found myself down at the front at Glastonbury if I’d only ever done SA gigs before. There’d be other people around for starters. Within touching distance and everything.

So yes – things started a little quietly, despite the promised 100,000 watts of music power.

First up, local boys Shy Guevaras. Great start. If you’re looking for a good example of their work, try Little Suzie, which you can download for free – gratis! – here. And I advise that you do exactly that.

Next: Van Coke Kartel. Bloody dreadful. High point of their shouty, amateur performance was some pelicans flying overhead. Never seen that at a rock concert before.

Thankfully, Prime Circle reaffirmed our faith in South African bands. Given the honour of being to only SA band to perform at both MCF gigs, they did a tidy, if unspectacular, run through of all their favourites, finishing with a big performance of Live This Life.

And then the much vaunted international acts. Starting with Jared Leto and 30 Seconds to Mars. Now here, I had a bit of an issue. I’m not a huge fan of the music and I am not a huge fan of the hype surrounding Mr Leto.
I so wanted to hate them.
But I was actually very impressed. Sickeningly impressed. Grr.

Without a doubt, 30STM (or more particularly, Jared) took the award for Best Showmanship of the Day. There were more F-words than in Chapter 6 of the Oxford English Dictionary, plenty of utterly outrageous posturing, heaps of repeated praise for “this beautiful country” and even a climb to the stage roof about 25 metres up.

30 Seconds to Mars      Up there! Stage left!
30 Seconds to Mars. Can you spot monkey boy in the second pic?

With my first unforeseen highlight still sinking in, on came Kaiser Chiefs. I was very concerned that they would bomb completely – when you look at the the line up, they stuck out like a pale face in Uganda.
But maybe the heavy rockers needed a break. A bit of fun. Some choons. Maybe their infectious energy spilled out over the crowd, still a little overwhelmed from being called “Mutha******s” eleven times in a single sentence. Whatever the reason, Ricky Wilson soon had them won over and, despite almost killing himself with an impromptu race around the Golden Circle, he came a close second to Leto for sheer audacity.

Ricky Wilson      Sing!
Kaiser Chiefs’ Ricky Wilson having it large – ambidextrously

Look, I’m not going to lie to you here. We watched Good Charlotte and Chris Cornell from a distance. I was in need of food, the wife suddenly remembered that she was 5 months pregnant and needed a break and Good Charlotte are not only gruellingly commercial to listen to, but are also pretty unpleasant to look at as well. Especially if, like me, you have a mild aversion to tattoos.

Chris Cornell played at dusk and was all atmospheric, polite, steady and professional. He did his Bond theme, he did some Audioslave stuff, he did Black Hole Sun. There was a distinct lack of excitement though, but hey, the guy is 43 years old. Bless.

And then. Muse. Had I built them up too much?  I almost did that with REM. But no. They were everything I expected and a whole lot heavier on top. It was an hour long set and it went by in 5 minutes. That’s how good it was.
And the crowd went wild. For a band that get very limited airplay over here, they certainly have a big following.

Muse      Matt Bellamy 
Muse. Wow.

Musically, it was impressive too. I don’t want to come over all knowledgeable like some sort of sycophantic expert muso (geddit?!?) or anything, but jislaaik! Matt Bellamy knows what he’s doing with a guitar. And a piano. Awesome.

And then we left the gig with several thousand others (I did warn you that would happen) and listened to Korn from the house. Which was still a bit too close really.

All in all, a great experience. Some disappointing bits, but with 9 bands on the bill, you’re going to be lucky to like them all. 5/9 was a pretty acceptable result and the 5 in question were particularly impressive.

Photos are on flickr, as I hinted earlier and as several hundred people have already worked out. Enjoy.

My CokeFest 2008 Pictures

…and my mini review will follow on this blog a little later today once my recovery is at least semi complete.

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Now. Back to bed and dreams of Matt Bellamy.
(Not like that – get your minds out of the gutter)

EDIT: Now you can look at the pictures and read the review.

A reminder

We had a minor break-in at our house on Thursday, which capped a completely crap week off just perfectly (hence the lack of blogging). I don’t really want to go into it, but suffice to say that it really was the final icing on the coffin which broke the camels back.

So it was nice to take advantage of the stunning weekend weather to take the boy up for a run on the local school field. We sat there for a while, enjoying the view and eating jelly and custard in somewhat sombre introspection*.
Then the sprinklers came on and he made a dash for it.


Click here for bigger version

20 minutes later we returned home, both soaking wet but still somehow covered in an implausible amount of custard.

It’s amazing how one little thing can swing your whole mood around. It was a reminder that whatever bad things life throws at you, watching your 2 year old son giggling uncontrollably as you both succumb to several hundred litres of high pressure water can sort all your woes out…

 * I did anyway. He sat there eating jelly and custard via osmosis.

 

CTICC signwriters demand increase

And who can blame them?

Cape Town welcomes The World Congress


Link

A conference so dull, it’s guaranteed to put you to sleep. But at least that’s the idea, so it’s still one up on accountancy.

More diary entries please

Actually, there wasn’t a “please”.

I may be 34 years old, but despite my distance (both physical and chronological) from the family nest, the voice of my mum (now often experienced via email) still carries that air of authority. Apparently, there aren’t enough “diary entries” on 6000 miles… Nor should I be drinking beer during Lent. This despite the fact that both my mother and I are committed atheists and drunkards.

So. Diary entries.
Well, this evening, we attended the Summer Sunset Concert at Kirstenbosch Gardens under threatening, but lenient skies. Arno Carstens was performing, and any South African will tell you that you can’t miss Arno.
Once again, he performed some of his great music and totally failed to connect with the audience. Except for that expletive when he got a blast of feedback, which sent several old people home in disgust. Probably mostly retired mixing desk technicians.

I’ve uploaded a few pics from the concert. I’ve got to be honest: once again, it was primarily about the people watching and less about the music. Don’t get me wrong – the music was excellent – but the opportunity to gaze at and comment upon the population of Cape Town’s southern suburbs is not one that can easily be passed up.

   
Click for bigger versions of each pic

First up, we have a lady who we know, but we don’t. Yes, that friend of a friend thing strikes again. If the wife wasn’t pregnant and had a brain consisting mainly of freshly boiled porridge oats and if I hadn’t had a skinful of Castle Milk Stout, we would remember you. Sorry. I feel that I should offer some sort of reward for your name. I’m thinking “Dave”, but that just doesn’t sound right.

Secondly, an aggravating old bloke who wanted to stalk watch Arno with binoculars the whole time. Creepy. He kept getting irritated with people for standing up and blocking his perving.
Fancy. Standing up at a music concert. Whatever next?
His lady* friend went on to ignore the no smoking signs and exhaled her fumes all over my pregnant wife. Bitch.

Lastly, a shot of Arno on stage, doing his thing. I may have got a bit of my beer bottle in shot. Sorry about that. Photography isn’t my strong point. Drinking is though and one out of two ain’t bad.

So, Mum; I hope this pacifies you a little. I sat next to a really iritating bloke and his filthy missus just so that I had some stuff to tell the world about.
It was worth it though: as I lay back with my 5th bottle of beer and gazed up at the lack of mountain, Arno did his best to sum it all up:

Can you feel it?
Can you feel it?
It is heaven on earth

Well, Arno – perhaps for you.
Personally, I was missing the naked dancing girls, the masseuse, a Debonairs pizza and some sunshine.
I guess you just set your standards a little lower than I do.
I’m surprised. You always struck me as the naked dancing girl type as well.

* It might have been female, anyway.