It was cold, ironically so. This was after all, a celebration to herald in the time of flowers and sun and swimming and love…
Yup, Lentelawaai, one of the festivals very close to my heart, not only for welcoming spring, but also because they consistently have a really good line-up, and now in it’s 3rd year running, they have still not broken that tradition. It was a great party, with an awesome line-up. They also have an absolutely awesome MC, but I’m not allowed to say that (seeing as that MC was me, hehe).
To take you through the bands in a minute or two, here’s the lowdown:
- Loki Rothman – Have you seen him perform before? If you have seen Jack Parow perform live, you have (Loki is Parow’s guitarist)… but as a solo artist he really has the potential to be one of the most prolific acoustic entertainers in South Africa. With a good dollop of Spanish influences and good old South African humour with references to popular tunes and a few brilliant originals, one cannot help but be enthralled by this man.
- Lesse op Vrydae – A brand new Afrikaans rock band. Generally speaking, they were not brilliant. Not terrible, meaning that yes, they do have a LOT of potential. You can hear that as individual artists, none of them suck. In fact, I would LOVE to see them again in a few months, as I do believe that if they apply themselves, work hard and discover their sound, they can very well be an entertaining act. I have great appreciation for the fact that Lentelawaai provides upcoming artists with the opportunity to experience a bigger stage than they might have ever played. Just goes to show that they are not only in it for the money, but for the love of SA music.
- Naas Veld – What is there to say about this man that any sensible music lover hasn’t said before? Words/phrases like “brilliant”, “amazing” and a “major role-player in the future of South African music” come to mind. I got my hands on his album, and will be writing about that shortly.
- Die Tuindwergies – Playing a variety of their songs from the older ones till now, the solid combo of some of the nicest musicians in South Africa took the party up to the next level. With the Kopskudkinners singing along and front-man Pieter losing his shirt in spite of the fading sunlight, Die Tuindwergies led us into the 2nd half of the event.
- December Streets – Tristan (the front-man) is getting even blonder, the band’s getting even tighter and the crowds are falling more and more in love with this Pretoria based band. Personally, I appreciate their artistry even though the music is a bit too girly for me. I would rather sit and watch the crowd than jump up and down to their catchy tunes… If these guys make a point of growing with their fans, they are going to be on the scene for a long time to come.
- Van Coke Kartel – These guys deserve all the honour they get. Professional from the word go, no bullshit during sound check, no ifs ands or buts… they know that when they walk on stage, they will give their all, and deliver a great show. They had the masses in the palms of their hands, and nobody complained.
- Jack Parow – With DJ Naeldekoker pumping the beats, and Loki Rothman (remember him from earlier?) rocking out on the guitar, Parow proved yet again that he is the king of Afrikaans rap. Sadly, the cold started taking its toll causing the crowd to thin out a bit. This did not phase Mr Parow for a second, and the show went 100% until the end.
All in all, this was a thoroughly proper organised festival. The sound was good, the security was professional, access control was effective, bars did what they needed to do and the line-up (as you can see above) was top notch. Now, this begs the question: Why weren’t there more people? Honestly, I expected at least twice the crowd. The marketing was done, the social media and traditional exposure was effective. Where did all the people go?
I can usually point out with relative ease where an event went wrong. Be it the sound, marketing, line-up, timing or what have you… Here, the cold was a factor and the fact that there was another event on the other side of Pretoria are obviously both contributing factors. They are however, not nearly big enough factors to diminish a crowd size to such an extent. If you weren’t there, please comment and let me know why not. I would love to know.
In summary, it was a brilliant day of music, fun and lovely people. You should have been there…
All photos courtesy of Jacques Coetzer. See more Lentelawaai pics on the Zeplin Music blog