Krank’d Up Fest | The Bands


With spring/summer in full swing, events are happening left, right, and centre. This coming weekend is no exception. Or rather, it was supposed to be bigger if it weren’t for the whole #TribeNone debacle. Yet, there are still a lot of events happening all over the place. In every nook and cranny. And I hope you at least go out to one of them and support your local music scene.

One big event every red blooded male can’t wait for is the new Fifa 15 that is being released this weekend. A time when all girlfriends feel neglected for a few months and all boyfriends pick up a few extra kilograms. Another big event this weekend is Krank’d Up Fest.

The good thing about Krank’d Up is that these people actually know what they are doing. So it won’t get cancelled. Hell, not even a fire a few weeks back could cancel this event. And to be honest, Krank’d Up boasts much more talented acts than Nicki Minaj.

So allow me to take a look at a few of these fine bands performing this weekend and convince you to cheer up. To turn that frown upside down and make the trek to Sundowners for a day filled with sunshine, extremely loud music and extremely cool people. All the bands on this list – except for the two internationals – are Joburg bands, just to show you the quality Jozi has to offer in the scene. Please note that these aren’t the only bands performing and that there are loads of other bands playing that are worth seeing and need your support. So don’t be a wanker. Arrive early and watch as many bands as you can.


Facing the Gallows – 6:45pm – 7:15pm.

Facing the gallows (1)

The guys have been going for a good 7 years. But the last year or so has been a rollercoaster ride. They released a successful album but lost frontman Bryan. And then like a plot twist direct out of a M. Night Shyamalan film, Bryan returned. But now at this year’s Krank’d Up Fest is the farewell of guitarist Rick who will be moving to greener pastures in Cape Town. Hopefully it will only be a farewell show for Rick and not to Facing the Gallows altogether. Maybe he pulls a Bryan and returns. Whatever happens, be sure that they will, as always, be giving their all and put on one hell of a show.

Reason to Live – 4:30pm – 5:00pm.

Reason To Live

For these local Hardcore heroes, Krank’d Up will be – unlike for Facing the Gallows – an exciting and memorable one. They have a loyal fan base that will undoubtedly be throwing it down in the mosh pit and then of course they have announced that they would be launching their new EP at the event. That alone should convince you to attend this year’s Krank’d Up. So remember to bring some extra cash for their EP.

The Drift – 8:15pm – 8:45pm.

The Drift

South Africa’s very own metal super group consisting of members from bands like Chromium, Knave, Misericord, All Forlorn, and Gadabout. That’s it. If you need more reasons to check these guys out then you need to start questioning your morals. Last year’s Krank’d Up Fest saw these guys make their debut. And if that is anything to go by, expect to be blown away. Check them out on YouTube to see what’s heading your way.

Slashdogs – 5:30pm – 6:00pm.

The Slashdogs Slashdogs is that drunken, leather wearing, whiskey chugging, tattooed, bearded guy at the other side of the bar just waiting for someone to start shit with him. Live, they make rock n roll heavyweights like Motorhead look tame. Their stage performance is more akin to that of The Sex Pistols. A full on anarchy and Rock n roll infused fuck you to society and to anyone who doesn’t like them.

Freedom For Your Life – 4:00pm – 4:30pm.

Freedom For Your Life

Coming off of a very successful Oppikoppi show, Freedom For Your Life are looking forward to tearing Krank’d up a new one. In 2011 Dave Van Vuuren left the band to pursue a victory on Idols and to kick start a solo career. Needless to say he kicked ass in idols, won it, and got his solo career rolling. Yet all of that couldn’t keep him away from the music and band he loved. He came back to Freedom For Your Life a totally different person. Not only were his vocals 10 times more powerful and filled with emotion but his stage presence greatly improved and that led to the rest of the band upping their game. Now they seem unstoppable. Definitely a highlight.

Bombs And Issues – 3:00pm – 3:30pm.

Bombs and issues

In my opinion the funnest band to see live on Saturday. Even though they take their music seriously, live, you can actually see these guys enjoying every second. Putting up no façade. Blending hardcore and electro, you get a band that makes you want to dance and mosh at the same time. What surprised me most was how tight they were with all the shit happening in their music. The drummer is drumming and working the synths and keeping time at the same time. Definitely a must see if you’re in the mood for something a little different on the day.

Newtown Knife Gang – 7:45pm – 8:15pm.

Newtown Knife Gang From the get go you knew that these guys were going to make big waves on the South African music scene. They are maybe the biggest hitters when it comes to the local bands at Krank’d Up. With their songs getting heavy rotation on big radio stations and not disappointing at some of the biggest festivals, Krank’d Up will just be another walk in the park for them.


The internationals – Not only do we have great South African bands performing but as you have heard, we have two internationals. I don’t need to say much about them as it is pretty obvious that you should watch them, but anyway…

Protest The Hero – 8:45 pm – 9:45pm.

Protest The Hero

In the one corner we have the tech progressive metal band from Canada, Protest The Hero.

This is probably the band I am most hyped to see between the two internationals. Having spent a lot of time on YouTube watching live clips of them, I know these guys are going to put on one hell of a show. In 2004 the band won the Canadian Independent Music Award for Favourite Metal Artist/Group, beating Alexisonfire. And 10 years later they won the Juno Award for best Metal/Hard Music Album of the year for Volition. An album that was completely crowd funded through Indiegogo where their target was to reach $125 000 but eventually reached $341 146.

Unearth – 10:15pm – end.


In the other corner, from America we have Core band, Unearth. A band that has managed to do something that many bands in this genre have failed to achieve and that is to still stay relevant after all these years and inspire a whole new generation of bands to emerge. Having played on the biggest stages like Ozzfest and Download and amongst the crème de la crème of Metal/Hardcore, including Slipknot, Lamb of God, In Flames, Trivium, Killswitch Engage and Machine Head. They have hand crafted their own niche in the music industry and have perfected their live shows. A well-oiled machine that destroys anything in their path.

Final Running Order

Tickets at the door will be R275.00. First act on at 1:30pm. Remember to bring sunscreen, condoms, and, enough cash for booze and merch. And most importantly, a good attitude.

See you all in the pit and come and say come say hi.

Words by Gareth Davies


About Author

Knowledge hungry. Music lover. Drunkard. A product of everything I ever experienced and everyone I ever met. Foul language connoisseur. A series of small victories and large defeats. Sufferer of internetlessness. Born and bred in the lower middle class. A copy of a copy of a copy. Underpaid Payroll Clerk by day. The Fuss by night