Tag Archives: Henno Kruger

P.M.D.S. [Mr King’s Mieliepop Post]

16 Apr

I have a hollow feeling in my heart. It is a feeling I’ve only experienced once or twice in my life, but never before to this extent. I know what this feeling is called, but I still don’t know how to get rid of it. People who have never experienced this feeling will go out of their way to convince you that it’s not real, or that it is all in your mind…

I am suffering from Post Festival Depression. More specifically, Post Mieliepop Depression.

I went to Mieliepop 2016 with my own set of expectations, based on what I’d heard from others, and what I’d read and seen online. None of that could prepare me for what I was about to experience. This was by far one of the best weekends of my near-26-years of existence.

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The drive to Lothair, in Mpumalanga, had turned into an epic road trip for two, after we had to make two U-turns (forgetting your own bed is a definite no-no for a festival). I had the privilege of sharing my ride with Christo Baas de Beer, a festival veteran who knows the roads like the back of his hand. There were sing-alongs to Phantom of the Opera, random videos being made, and one very serious discussion regarding going back to Delmas and saving a beautiful girl from spending the rest of her life there.

Admittedly, the best part of the drive was when we got to the gates of the Tolderia Resort, where we would spend the weekend. Upon arrival we were greeted by a couple of guys who had the immensely tough job of working the gate at the festival, without leaving their posts other than going to sleep for four hours. We got our wristbands and directions to our camp, the road to which was very well laid out, with clear indications of the best places to drive in order to avoid any nasty surprises.

When we got to our camp we were greeted by familiar faces; friends who had arrived before us and had set up camp already. Baas and I quickly got our tents pitched and settled in for our first beers of the weekend, watching the campsite on the other side of the river slowly filling up with eager festival goers.  There were already floating devices of every imaginable shape and size in the river, supporting jovial individuals, not yet sunburnt and still relatively sober.

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Close by, there was the Sun Bear Yoga tent, where peace and tranquillity was the order of the day. I have never seen anyone as relaxed as the individuals who were in that tent. Personally, I wanted to try the paddle board yoga, but after seeing how these yogi managed to contort their bodies on flat ground, I knew I had absolutely no chance of staying afloat on a paddle board while trying to touch my nose with my left pinky toe.

After a couple of drinks, and the resting of tired bones from the trip, we headed out for a bit of a walk-around. The food stalls outside our camp were amazing. Every flavour that you could imagine was represented at Mieliepop. From the Vegetarian stand at the Willow Tree Stage to the meat-packed sandwiches for which Braai Boy has become so well-known at Park Acoustics, there was something for everyone. The main bar was also well placed, next to the food stalls but still close enough to both stages to be able to navigate your way to either one without hassle.

From the main bar it was a straight shot through to the Main Stage, where the magic happened throughout the weekend. Unfortunately I missed the first three bands to play, so the first act I got to see there was Gerald Clark, whom I hadn’t seen before. The band owned the stage, marking the beginning of an epic weekend of music.

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One of my favourite acts for the weekend was The Shabeen. They came all the way from Cape Town to deliver their quirky style of music in such a way that they were almost having a conversation with their audience at the Willow Tree Stage. As I was sitting on the stoep at the Media House, I watched these guys performing, and thought to myself that this is what made South Africa great; we had musicians from Cape Town entertaining an audience from Gauteng in Mpumalanga.

As a matter of fact, the whole of Sunday’s line-up was what I had been waiting for since I saw the bands that were performing. Adele Nqeto‘s cover of Gangsta’s Paradise was my personal favourite moment of the festival. She put a completely new spin on a classic and made the song her own. After Adele, there was The Lectric Monks on the main stage. The love I have for this band is impossible to describe. The first piece I wrote on this site was for their first live show at Rafters in Pretoria, and they have grown immensely since then.

The rest of the afternoon and into the evening we were treated to amazing artists like Coelacanth, George Town, Blomtrein, Albert Frost, The Black Cat Bones, Art Snakes and of course The Oh So Serious. George Town served as quite a pleasant surprise. I did not expect to see someone play a washboard at the festival! Another band that impressed was Art Snakes. If their style is anything to go by, South African music is heading in the right direction.

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Special mention goes to Mr Cat & the Jackal for the way they closed the main stage for the festival. They have an amazing sound that captivates anyone who is close enough to hear, while also being some of the most humble musicians that you will ever have the pleasure of meeting.

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Mieliepop is an amazing experience, even for those who do not necessarily like going to festivals for fear of dust and dodgy showers. Tolderia Resort is a beautiful green valley, completely equipped with warm showers and proper ablution facilities. There are swimming pools and a river/dam to cool down in when the days get too hot. There was some mud, but with some careful navigation it was never a problem. All in all the best festival weekend I have had in a very long time. Well done to the new management for keeping the festival clean, safe and awesome!

 

Written by: Michael King

Photos courtesy of Henno Kruger Photography

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Throwback To Thrashers with The Narrow at Aandklas

21 Dec

Do you remember Thrashers?
I do.

IMG_6658The 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.

IMG_6627Thursday 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 IMG_6546ever 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.

IMG_6610The 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.

IMG_6673Now 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.

All photos courtesy of Henno Kruger Photography. Also check out his awesome blog, Running Wolf’s Rant

[Baas]

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Eating at Oppikoppi

4 Aug

Oppikoppi by Henno KrugerHave you ever tried to hold some pastrami, pickles, cheese and mustard between two slices of Amstel?
It doesn’t work.
Beer is not really like bread.

Another lie we need to get out of the way sommer right now, is that eating is cheating.

It keeps you going for longer. This is a marathon, not a sprint (and yes, I realise the slight irony of using a fitness analogy in a post dedicated to mostly unhealthy things).

Therefore, eating at Oppikoppi deserves a special mention. It is, after all, important.

Oppikoppi KampvuurAs someone that looks like the perpetual before-picture in a gym testimonial, I see myself as a bit of an expert when it comes to the whole eating thing. I also don’t like effort, especially at an event like Oppikoppi. So herewith, do peruse my list of food-related tips before heading off to that awesome bit of chaotic heaven near Northam:

  • Braai – Especially if you’re going before Wednesday. Freeze your meat, take a small braaier, remember wood, lighters, bread, salt and some form of sauce. (Keep it basic)
  • Bacon – Buy in 500g packs. Freeze. Pan on gas it in the morning.
  • Chips/Crisps – work on 2 bags per person per day. You won’t eat it all, but sharing is caring.
  • Canned stuff – Some like it more than others, but face it, a can of sweetcorn or spaghetti & mince is an easy, quick meal.
  • 1kg Viennas and 24 rolls.  Use sauce from braai-bullet. Might add bowl of pre-grated cheese.
  • Marshmallows – Take two big bags. You’ll end up eating one coz you’ve got the munchies, and the other you can braai Voortrekker-kamp style. Do take sosatie sticks. The branch you break off was a latrine 10 minutes ago.
  • Oppikoppi CampingCoffee – The coffee bags that look like tea are perfect. Also, kettle that can go on fire/gas, and some long-life milk.
  • Rusks.
  • Paper-plates, plastic cutlery and a pocket-knife/multi-tool, braai tongs and some tin mugs for the coffee.
  • Braai-grid, spade and some form of  table might come in handy.
  • Drink WATER (so TAKE water).
  • If you are in a bind, there are some lekker people missioning around the camping area handing out pancakes. Ask around, you’ll find them.

You might notice that the above could potentially cater for pre-Koppi, quick snacks and light eating. That is because you need to get your main sustenance at some of the legendary food stalls near the stages. It is how you do Koppi. Stop trying to think of an argument.

Stalls you MUST visit:

BraaiBoy en Borries

  • BraaiBoy – He will be there in full force with his mate Borries, serving up tons of pulled pork burgers and kilometers of BraaiBoy’s signature boerewors. Grab a boerie, they’re awesome. BraaiBoy has also graciously agreed to play host to our annual #KoppiTweetup, so tweeps will meet there. The bonus of BraaiBoy at Koppi, is that he is not just a food stall, but a party-destination in itself.

Burger Express

  • Burger Express – At least once at Koppi, have a legend burger. 500 grams of bacon stuffed onto a massive burger patty grilled to perfection. Add onions, mayo and some other stuff, and you have the makings of a true legend. And remember, a fest is not a fest without Burger Express.

Kobus se Gat

  • Kobus se Gat – I hope they will be there this year. They should be. Kobus saved my life one night. Stumbling tent-ward and hungry as fuck (I didn’t have someone write a nice post like this before I went to my first Koppi). I had fokkol geld, fokkol energy, fokkol fokkol, and they gave me the last bit of boerewors they had left after closing. Check them out for moerlekker spare ribs and legendary roosterkoeke.

Oppikoppi Camp kuiersIf, between the 3 up here and the plethora other food stalls on the farm, you cannot find something to tickle your taste-buds and sustain you through the awesomeness, you are full of shit and don’t belong at Oppikoppi.

Now, I have to go and stock up for my Koppi experience.
See you in the dust!

 

By the way, if you want a list of bands I feel you should go see, take a look at this post Henno Kruger did on Running Wolf’s Rant.
Ed England also asked me a few Oppikoppi questions for his blog, Why-Ed

 

 

 

 

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