Do you remember Thrashers?
The first ever live performance that I watched was at Thrashers back in ’05. I remember that the skater girls made me nervous (I wasn’t very cool back then), while their jock boyfriends looked absolutely terrified to be there.
I remember the police raid, and the absolute panic that the jocks went into, realising that the skater girls they were ogling might just get them kicked off of the rugby team. I remember laughing myself into a stupor at the stoners rushing to get rid of any bankies that they may (or may not) have had with them.
Mostly, however, I remember the moment I heard The Narrow live for the first time. I remember being the shortest kid in the crowd in a stuffy little gig area, and trying my best to get to the front of the stage. I remember Hanu’s voice when he sang the first line of Lonely-Lonely.
Thursday 10 December, I got to relive that beautiful moment that solidified my love of South African Rock music. Aandklas Hatfield played host to The Narrow and The Barbosa Experience. As always, Aandklas did a fantastic job, ensuring that everyone was welcomed with a smile and that the venue did not burst at the seams.
We arrived earlyish, at 20:00, with Pedro Barbosa and the gang kicking off the Rock at 21:00. Pedro, whom I have the pleasure of having known for a couple of years, is by far one of the most entertaining frontmen that has ever graced a South African stage. Back in the day he was lead singer for a little-known band called Mrs. B. He has a way of entertaining everyone that sees him perform, even old Indian ladies at a very traditional Indian wedding (even though his lyrics are borderline perverse and his mannerisms on stage are somewhat provocative).
When The Narrow took to the stage, I was still outside having one of those DMC’s with my best mate that happen when you are newly single and he knows you have a penchant for making trouble when there is no-one keeping you reigned in, so I ended up being at the back of the gig area when we went inside for the show. This, however, was not an issue, as I did not need to fight my way to the bar for a drink.
The guys from The Narrow had total control over the stage, making it easy to still be the shortest guy in the crowd. I had the momentary insanity of headbanging to Travellers and Lonely-Lonely again after ten years. My body isn’t what it used to be though, so the recovery took a little longer than it did after that first gig at Thrashers. And, as with that first gig, there were a couple of people that had taken their enjoyment of the evening a little too far.
Public Service Announcement: Do not take in anything other than alcohol, in decent amounts, or cigarettes when going out in public. Stay safe kids.
Now this is where the honourable mention to Hanu De Jong comes in. After being lovingly embraced by a girl who may have had a little bit of difficulty standing on her own, he did not (as many acts might have done) end the show or throw a hissy fit. He ensured that she was okay, making sure that she got off of the stage safely (with some help from Baas de Beer, who seems to magically appear wherever he is needed) without falling and getting hurt. I believe that the girl is okay, she may just have had to nurse a hangover from hell.
So all in all, my nostalgic trip down memory lane with the soundtrack supplied by one of my favourite South African acts was one for the books. I got to relive my glory days, realising that I will never again have the energy of a 15-year-old, and having another unforgettable evening with some of my best friends at one of my favourite places.
Post by Michael King, who occasionally finds time to write stuff in between being pretty and rocking the marketing world.