Tag Archives: Pretoria

Punk went Pop

11 Jul

As y’all know, life can get a little bit busy sometimes. Now, add a new girlfriend, 3 major campaigns, and Pokemon GO to the mix, and you have no time to write anything other than an email to your boss saying that you found Pikachu on date night.

I am, however, home alone tonight; and the Pokemon GO servers are experiencing problems. So, I decided to catch up on some writing.

As you may, or may not, know, there was quite an interesting tour doing the rounds in SA over the past couple of weeks. Yes, I am referring to Punk Goes Pop. An awesome collection of punk bands taking Top 40 pop songs, and teaching them what life is all about.


The tour stopped by Aandklas Hatfield on the 1st of July, and as you should know by now, Aandklas is where I spend most of my time (when I’m not in the office, at my girlfriend’s, or walking after the ever elusive Growlithe).

The trio of bands that made up the show was CrashCarBurn, Held On Till May, and Made for Broadway. Now, the last two I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing live before this show, and boy, was I missing out!? These young guns nearly brought the house down with their unquenchable lust for life. An utter pleasure to see, was how these kids breathed new life into a genre whose survival has been the topic of many conversations. So let’s set the record straight right now:


Held On Till May must have been the highlight of the show for me, with their straight-out-of-a-Sex-Pistols-documentary stage presence and their interactions with the girls in the front row, many of whom I saw trying to get their underwear off to throw on stage. The drummer reminded me most of Iggy Pop and his ilk, losing his shirt halfway through the performance, and chucking wood-chippered drumsticks into the crowd.

The headliners brought a massive tweak* to the way we know pop songs. CrashCarBurn has always been an awesome pleasure to see live, always taking me back to 8th grade, with the sneakers that were too loose to do anything but drag your feet. Any show where you get to see these guys will always go down as a ripper of a performance. Hearing them having a go at Jacaranda’s Highschool Hits was absolutely astounding!


All in all this was an amazing night out. I got to experience an awesome gig with my gorgeous girlfriend (no seriously, she is breathtaking!) and many of my friends, getting to experience the future of the punk genre in SA, which I am honestly extremely excited to follow, and getting taken back to the days of House Parties* and halfpipes.

I am seriously looking forward to the next installment of Punk Goes Pop, and I hope that the line-up will one day grow to a full three-day festival, where we can mosh, get drunk and pass out, you know, like the old days…





*See what I did there?

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



Why I REALLY look forward to Otterlake Easter Festival

28 Mar

Otterlake Profile PicThere are many reasons to look forward to a music festival.

The generic “music, vibes, party and… everything!” just doesn’t cut it for me though.

So herewith, the 10 reasons why I REALLY look forward to Otterlake Easter Festival:

  • It is not even NEAR an office
    Do not underestimate the importance of this point. You COULD be stuck doing the same thing you do everyday, but you’re not. You’re at Otterlake!
  • It IS near home
    It’s in the middle of nowhere, but it is literally like, right there. 30km out of Pretoria, so driving there is not a mission. Get in the car, and before you can say STOP POACHING OUR FREAKING RHINO’S, you’re there.
  • White rhinocerosSpeaking of Rhinos…
    The entire fest is a massive fundraising mission to help stop rhino poaching. Can you say it’s a good cause? I certainly can…
  • It’s not the usual bands
    Look, as much as I love the rock scene in Pretoria, it can get a bit monotonous. Same bands, same venues. The Otterlake line-up is something to drool over. From Francois Van Coke doing his solo thing, to the likes of Hoot ‘n Anny and Akkedis.
  • It’s small, but not awkward small
    Look, I love Oppikoppi as much as any insane rock fan (probably more), but there is something to say for the smaller festivals. Otterlake is a prime example of how much fun you can have enjoying bands with a crowd of under 1000 people. I would like the fest togrow… but not TOO much 😉
  • Meet The Germans
    Otterlake (the venue, not the fest) is owned by a bunch of Germans. If you manage to befriend them over a Jager or 3, they are insanely entertaining. Beards and beer, winning combo.
  • It’s camping, not hiking
    To get from the camp site to the stage, is not a 4 day hike. It’s right there. Boom!
  • Otterlake BonfireIt’s on fire. Literally.
    The most amazing bonfire you will ever see at any festival. After a day of intense music, it’s nice to go and chill next to the MASSIVE flames… before heading back to rock out even more.
  • I am there
    I know this might sound vain, and it probably is, but hey, so sue me. I am MC’ing the Friday, and DJ’ing the same night. I saw on the line-up that on the Saturday, I will be engaged in a DJ-vs-DJ party with DJ Dirtroad. now THAT is going to awesome! Do come have a Cuervo with me 😉
  • The people. Really.
    You get to meet the most amazing random people. Friends for life, or just a friendly fling. They’re there, don’t miss it.

If all this sounds too good to be true… Don’t worry, it’s not.
For more details, check it out:

Otter easter banner

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