Tag Archives: Stage

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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Why I like Passenger

25 Feb

Let’s get this out of the way to start off with: I never really listened to Passenger more than what I happened to hear on radio. So that’s basically 2 songs.

When I heard that the man was scheduled to come to South Africa, I did a bit of homework by watching some of his videos. this taught me 2 things:
1. He likes going places. Seriously, have you seen in how many music videos he is walking somewhere?
2. I kinda like his tunes.

Now, to fast forward from there to the show, I have to include my friend Jose Cuervo. He invited me to have some tequilas and go check out the Passenger gig at Zoo Lake in Joburg. I said yes, because Tequila. (You won’t easily hear me saying no to anything that involves some Cuervo). I arrived at Zoo Lake with my lovely friend Jaxy. She was just too amped for the show, seeing as she is a die hard Passenger fan. I had to calm her down a bit, so we headed straight for the Cuervo container. Yes, container. It’s a bar, built into a shipping container, with a deck on top and awesome people all around. A few shots later, opening acts playing and new friends made,  we found some shade and chilled a bit. It was hot, and the icy Cuervo margaritas were flowing rapidly.

Then Passenger took to the stage.

His first little joke was aimed right at me. Something about people expecting a band and then one dude rocks up on stage with just a guitar and tight jeans. I ignored the tight jeans part, but proceeded to pre-judge an international act for touring with just a guitar and a stomp box. How dare he. Why should people have to pay to see one man when he could very easily have had a band? How is he ever going to fill up the massive stage and… and… “wait a minute. This guy is kinda good”.
Yup, from the moment he strummed the first cords and started singing poetry, I felt the urge to apologise to him for my previous train of thought.

@PassengerMusic taking the #Cuervolucion to the next level! #PassengerSA

A post shared by Jose Cuervo (@josecuervosa) on

Passenger was absolutely brilliant. The man is an entertaining, profound lyricist with an awesome sense of humour. He knows just how to engage a crowd 100% of the time. Some story telling between songs, but not too much. A joke here and there, but not wannabe stand-up, and the perfect songs for the vibe of the day.

I love the man’s social commentary on things like racism, the entertainment industry and even relationships.
I always say that if you walk out of a show a bigger fan than you walked in, it was a good show. By this logic, the Passenger show was one helluva epic gig! My only wish would be that radio stations would start playing more than just two of his songs.

Jaxy is prettier than meThanks for a delightful day Jose! You guys are legends. And Jaxy, thank you for showing me how much a true music lover can still enjoy a live gig. You echoed Passenger’s sentiment perfectly by immersing yourself into the event, and not into a little screen.

**BONUS**

Here’s a video that Passenger made while in South Africa

Man as Machine: A Pre-RAMfest Blurp

6 Mar

Man as Machine

 

Man as Machine logoI’m almost heading off to RAMfest Johannesburg. (Although it is not in Joburg, but hey, whatever).

One of the bands I look forward to seeing in action, is Man as Machine.
Catch them on Saturday, 16:00 on the Red Heart Rum stage.

 

That’s it for now.
If you’re going to RAM, see you there.
If not, I am sorry, here’s a comforting hug…

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