Tag Archives: Hilltop Live

Oppikoppi 2014 – The Baas Awards

11 Aug

Oppikoppi CrowdOppikoppi is over, and before the last of the dust is coughed from your dusty lungs, allow me to present to you my version of a post-Oppikoppi post…

I present to you *insert drum roll here*
The Oppikoppi 2014 Baas Awards

I will attempt to dish out some awards based on what I experienced at the 20th anniversary of South Africa’s most renown (notorious?) music festival. I am, in spite of evidence to the contrary, a mere human. Therefore I did miss some elements, and some awesome ones at that.
Enough of the blah blah, here… have some awards:

Oppikoppi Wesley'ss Dome - A fan's PerspectiveStage
Wesley’s Dome

Visually attractive, best sound, best managed stage and well-kept terrain in front of the stage. Although my favourite stage at the festival will always be the small stage at the top bar, the dome takes the award for best stage not only because it was the main main stage, but simply because everything was awesome *insert Lego movie reference here*

 

Oppikoppi BraaiBoyFood
BraaiBoy
Call me biassed, but my mates BraaiBoy and Borries deserve this award for a few reasons. It was the first time they had the stall at the festival, and they were constantly busy. I heard from several random people that the free pork crackling with Jimmy’s Sauce they had there, saved lives. The pulled pork burgers, babbelas breakfast and BraaiBoy boeries proved to be a firm crowd favourite.

 

Oppikoppi Texty Benches Texty BenchesNew Feature
Texty Benches
Every year, the ridiculously creative folks at Hilltop introduce some funky new little feature. This year a trojan horse infiltrated District 9, gods and goddesses were dressed up and much, much more. But my award goes to those benches that looked like bus-stops, with awesome quotes written on them. Not only did they provide much needed seating for weary travellers, but also great conversation pieces.

 

Tom not at OppikoppiCraziest Person
Tom da Silva

The Australian dude with dreadlocks and snake-experience was everywhere. And batshit crazy. From his experiences with dubious elements, to doing the Naked Run and everything else, this is one crazy mofo. I mean, when 3 random people (including some people who worked in the production office) tell you that this was the craziest of crazy, you believe them. When I bumped into him at KFC afterwards, he proved to be a real nice dude. Still, insane.

 

Oppikoppi Bar staffBar
Windhoek Bar

Quick service, cold beer, good seating, well placed (could sit there and experience the action on the Wesley’s Dome stage, or just pop around to Skellum) and overall a good festival bar experience.
Kudo’s to the guys from Aandklas who ran it so well…

 

 

 

 

 

Now, let’s get to the only thing that really matters. The Music.

Oppikoppi BandoleroCollaboration
Bandolero
Musicians play together, that’s what they do. These guys just took it to the next level. Andé Kriel (Black Cat Bones), Gareth Wilson & Tammy Wilson (Southern Gypsy Queen), Jaco Mans (Die See), Albert Frost, Chris TunderVolt (Black Cat Bones, Boargazm), David Beretta Owens (Lithium), Chris Kreef (yes, the Kreef hotel guy), Jonathan Peyper, Greg & Dave Georgiades… Can you say ohmyfuckthatisinsaneWOW!?
Quite a few collabs happened at Koppi. Special mention has to go to Dan Patlansky and Albert Frost, as well as the early morning surprise by Valiant Swart, Albert Frost, Schalk Joubert, Vernon Swart & Simon Orange and the Wolfmother dude (see William Welfare’s video here).

 

Stoker while cleanerNew Discovery
Stoker

Before Oppikoppi, Gareth Wilson told me to keep an eye out for these guys.. and boy, was he right!? They absolutely blew my mind. Energetic, fresh, professional and musically exceptional. These guys will go far.
Special mention has to go to The Sextons. I really liked their tunes (and they laughed when I made the obligatory “ton of sex” joke, so they’re nice too).

 

Oppikoppi Jonathan PeyperFresh Talent
Jonathan Peyper
Not to be confused with the new discovery award, which goes to a band/artist I saw for the first time, this award goes to the fresh talent that impressed me most. Jonathan is an extremely diverse, young, super talented and driven artist. His amazing vocals are second only to his insane guitar skills. This guy plays the electric the way it’s supposed to be done: With feel.
If you need a reason to like me more, take my suggestion to heart and go see one of his shows.

 

Conrad Jamneck of  The Fake Leather Blues BandParty Band
Fake Leather Blues
By no means does this award mean that they are just a cover band doing feel-good songs. Fake Leather is a seriously brilliant ensemble of seriously talented musicians making seriously awesome music… they just happen to be seriously hilarious too, and this makes for a seriously enjoyable experience. From front-man Conrad Jamneck’s costumes, quips and shenanigans through to the electric chemistry between the entire band, this is the full band package. If it’s a party you’re after, look no further.

 

Squeal long agoGlorious Return
Squeal
To celebrate the 20th birthday of Oppikoppi, they blessed us by bringing  back (from the dead, one is tempted to say) a few of the bands who made a massive splash all those years ago. Springbok Nude Girls and Urban Creep also did a good job of kicking you hard in the nostalgias, but Squeal managed to knock you unconscious, and wake you up somewhere in the early 90’s.

 

Sarah BlaskoFrom the overseas
Sarah Blasko
*gasp* Shock and horror… surprise! I did not pick Wolfmother (who I thoroughly enjoyed).
After a LOT of thinking, a few drinks, and some more thinking, I decided that Sarah earns this award. Wolfmother rocked my world, Rival Sons has one the best front-men in the world (too bad the rest of the band bored me), Willy Mason was right up there but my personal experience made that I couldn’t hear/see/enjoy his show as much as I would have liked to.
Sarah was just the perfect artist for the perfect moment, and she is bloody brilliant. She is so good musically, that I don’t even have to mention her exquisite beauty. And she digs good poetry.
Now if I could only teach her how to make braai-broodjies…

 

Van Coke Kartel at Oppikoppi.  Photo by Sean BrandThe obvious South African Band
Van Coke Kartel
This category is for the well-known big guns. Other strong contenders for this award included the likes of Bittereinder, Taxi Violence etc. You know, the guys who always in all the awards. It just so happens that Francois-and-co outperformed them all. They threw in some brand spanking new tunes, and rocked the well-known hits. 

 

The ultimate award
Man as Machine
This category ignores the obvious bands (see above) to focus on the horde of other awesome bands/artists that are sometimes overlooked, yet are all brilliant and just need that push to make it big. Bands like Boargazm, Nomadic Orchestra, Jonathan Peyper, Fake Leather Blues and more were considered.
Man as Machine absolutely deserve this. Not only did they kick several sorts of ass during their show, but their constant and seemingly unstoppable growth of the last few years proves that they are to be taken seriously. In my mind, they are one hit-song away from being the next BIG band in South Africa.
Take a look at Man as Machine’s latest music video:

 

There you go. Do you agree with me, or would you dish out the awards to other players?
Also, did I miss any award categories?
Let me know, and while you’re at it, be a sweetie and let these bands know that I owe them all high 5’s.

Oppikoppi Sparta Oppikoppi No Dust Oppikoppi Faces Oppikoppi Friends make Everything Accessable

Thank you Hilltop, Oppikoppi, vendors, bands, friends, randoms, gorgeous ladies, cleaning staff and everyone involved in making my festival experience awesome. I trust you all enjoyed it too. Except the cleaners, I can’t imagine how you could possibly enjoy it… but we love you.

 

(Photo Credit: I took all these pictures. As in, I took them directly from Oppikoppi’s Facebook page. I also raided the bands’ own Facebook pages. Go check it out, there’s a lot more. If you see any pics that you think I should not be allowed to put on here, suck it up. It’s on the internet… hehe!)

Oppikoppi Can be awesome

 

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Three things that make South Africa better in 2014

24 Jun

Photo: Heleen van de VenLet’s face it, South Africa has it’s fair share of shit. More than that even.

We have a ridiculous president who –if rumours are to be true– recently realised that showering does not (as he believed) prevent AIDS. One of our country’s more prominent cities has a councillor effectively inciting violence and racial divide, and nothing is done about it. I had to endure a party the other night where almost everyone (older white folk) claimed to be liberal and non-racist, yet the word kaffir flew around for every occasion where they thought it could be used (“I am kaffir-drunk” seemed to be one of their favourites).

Chalk Outline MurderEverything is not political though. Just this morning, I read about a man who got beaten to death by 4 guys ad 2 girls in Spur (in my home town nogal) for allegedly throwing a glass at them. This made me wonder about a few things. Firstly, did the guy not realise that spillage is downage, and boy, he got downed. After I stopped being unsuitably ridiculous, I thought about how bad is must be to beaten to death in a place you trust. You take your family to it. You eat ribs and get sparklers on your ice cream when you pretend it’s your birthday… and now you die there.

So yes, there’s a lot of fucked up things going on in our beloved country.

BUT…

Granger Bay, Cape Town - By Justin LeeLook on the bright side, EVERYTHING is not bad. We are still one of the prettiest and most diverse countries in the world. A LOT of people have moved past racial discrimination and now adhere to the more internationally acceptable discrimination based on wealth and power. If all else fails, at least we provide stunning material for comedians everywhere.

After thinking of all these depressing things, I thought of 3 things that I personally look forward to this year. There are many, many more, but these are the ones currently on my mind:

  • Oppikoppi
    Surely South Africa’s most well known music festival is celebrating their 20th birthday this year August.
    The local line-up of bands is looking brilliant, and on the international front I almost wet myself when I heard that Wolfmother will be gracing us with their presence .
    The theme for 2014 is Odyssey, and I cannot wait to see what they have in store for us on the Northam farm.
    I look forward to a few days of dust, music, friends and the type of memories you only make at the best party any animal can hope for!
    Oppikoppi - Photo by Mike Schmucker, design by Jean Lombard
  • Mieliepop
    If you have not yet heard of Mieliepop, let me introduce you.
    Mieliepop is one of South Africa’s most beautiful little music festivals, about 60km from Ermelo in Mpumalanga. At roughly 2000 people, it clocks in at a tenth the size of Oppikoppi, but make no mistake… This is an awesome event. Clean, green and with muso’s that will blow your mind. This year there will be not one, but two stages as well as the ever-exhilarating after-parties in the cave. Yes, there’s a cave, and we party in it.
    Do yourself a favour, check this one out in October.
    Mieliepop Night Skies
  • Foo Fighters
    Holy smokes, the internetworld has been going crazy after hearing yesterday that Foo Fighters will be visiting South Africa in December. I literally let out a tear and a tiny orgasm. Tickets go on sale 1 day 19 hours and 39 minutes from now (as I am sitting here typing this), but you may think of it as Thursday 26 June 9:00.
    If I could get to party with Dave and the gang, I can just as well go to Spur and start flinging glasses around. I’ll go in peace.


There you have it.
Three of my reasons why 2014 is certainly NOT shit for South Africa.
What are your reasons to be happy and stay motivated amidst all the crap around us?
Let me know, and you might just help someone else realise that life is really not that bad…

 

Oppikoppi Virgins speak

2 Sep

Oppikoppi BewilderbeastYes, I know, Oppikoppi 2013 is a distant memory… Heck, I’ve even managed to get all the dirt out from under my nails, tents are clean and we are all buzzing bout new things to come (such as the MASSIVE band announcement RAMfest made yesterday).

I am however going to do just this one more ‘koppi post, seeing as I only heard back from my designated virgins now.

I had a chat with my mate, @LekkerCharlie (he was still @Ch2rlie when we recorded this) while driving home after this year’s awesome Oppikoppi. It was his first time, so we talked a bit about losing his ‘koppi virginity and how his expectations matched up to reality… You’ll spot Charlie in the video below this post, he’s the beard with the man attached behind it.

(Warning: It is mostly Afrikaans)

 

Here’s another ‘koppi-virgin experience, as shared by my friend @BronSutcliffe:

After weeks of preparation it was finally here, Oppikoppi Bewilderbeast 2013. With the car packed to the brim, we started on our first Oppi journey. Wanting to do it right, we got there on the Wednesday to experience all that Oppi has to offer. After getting slightly lost in the city that is Northam we finally found our way to the farm. We got our blue bands and followed the cars in front of us to the infamous Mordor. Driving past Kreef hotel was very confusing because one would think it was an actual hotel and not just a bunch of pre-pitched tents that all look the same. Needless to say we were glad we weren’t staying in the Kreef hotel because there would be 100% chance that we would climb into the wrong tent. We then spend 20 minutes trying to find our campsite but eventually we found it, pitched the tents and cracked open the soon to be warm beers.

Francois van Coke at Oppikoppi 2013One thing that has to be said about Oppikoppi, you meet the most weird and wonderful people that tend to stick with you once you leave. We definitely made lifelong friends from the first day and ended up spending more time with our new friends than with the people we planned on going with. Having a prime camping spot proved how spoiled we were for Oppi virgins. Camping right by the toilets and entrance to the stages, we did a quarter of the dreaded walking that everyone warned us about. One thing is for sure though, people weren’t lying when they said wet wipes would become your best friend.

Table tennis, kings and card tricks kept us entertained for during the day before and in-between the bands we wanted to see. Bands like Fokofpolisiekar, Die Heuwels Fantasties, Crash Car Burn, Jesse Clegg, Arno Carstens, Koos Kombuis and Mango Groove proved just how talented South Africans can be and were shows that left a beat in your head and a song in your heart. As for our guests Yellowcard and The Deftones were also a treat except for the fact that Yellowcard loved reminding us between each song how great it was to be in South Africa for the first time. Never the less the bands were amazing and definitely shows why Oppikoppi is an event on everyone’s calendars from the day they get there until the next years one.

Henno Kruger and Baas de BeerEverything else that Oppikoppi had to offer such as the naked mile (yum), food stalls, bars, bull riding, amazing stages, a view from the top bar that would melt even the hardest of hearts and even the dust helped to make it the most amazing weekend of our lives. The only thing bad about going is the Oppi blues that stick with you the following week. When you can’t sleep at home because your house is too quiet you know you’ve got it bad.

Oppikoppi is what it is and what it is just happens to be absolutely mind-blowingly awesome. There must be something in the dust that keeps us coming back for more, so till next time Oppi we say in the dust we trust.

************

Thanx Bronwyn!

Now, in case you haven’t seen any camp-footage of Oppikoppi, or even if you just want to experience a bit of what we experienced, here’s a quick video I took on the Saturday morning:

Lastly, as we were driving back, one of my friends sent me this video… Now if you don’t  think that this is super cute, you probably also hate puppies and love and have no friends… Thanx for sharing Dadine!

Well ladies and gents, that’s it. If you want listen to a podcast I recorded with other mates, where we discussed (mostly) Oppikoppi, check out The Whistle on Running Wolf’s Rant

Can you still remember your first Oppikoppi? Share your memories below and you could win a hi5 when I see you…

(all pics thanx to Henno Kruger Photography )

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