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:
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*
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.
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 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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
From the overseas
*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…
The 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.
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!)