Ten rand entrance, ten rand drinks
Have you ever followed the road and felt the past clip by like dotted lines? Your car window unrolled, hand outstretched, fingers ambling through the wind, in love with the way the night weaves itself around the tips as if to say this is where the memories lie. On that same road, six years prior, on the way to see your first gig, alive with the lie you had to sell because it was believed the devil was everywhere, especially on the tongues of long haired Rock ‘n’ Roll stars who not only showed you a way out of the conservative home, but also fed you anarchy, distortion, and cymbals that crashed through what was supposed to break away. Back then it was called Back2Basix, now it’s called The Bohemian.
Situated in Westdene, right before Perth Road winds off into Kingsway Ave, The Bohemian hosted its first official DANK of 2016. The members of Boxer were manning the door. Ten Rand entrance fee. Ten Rand tequila shots. Fifty Rand gets you their new album, Animals. It was crazy being back in the venue that sheltered the onset of my teenage angst and rebellion, not to mention the first time tequila had me writhing on the floor of some bathroom stall (it was always tequila).
Although it was years later, I couldn’t help but smile at the fact that some things never change. The bar was still the median of the bottleneck with crowds roaming from the stage to get to the bar or outside to the back for fresh air, and those that were outside simply had to get back to the bar or the stage, causing a scuffle of sweat and hot breath all night long. The turnout was quite big ensuring the longevity of the infamous bottleneck.
It might have been the tequila, but seeing Boxer play second and not headlining their album launch left me temporarily confused. I use temporarily because as soon as the kick pedal came thumping, it hammered all preconceptions away and made it clear that Mieliepop was waiting for them. And we, the crowd, had the privilege of seeing Boxer at their best, with beach volleyballs being thrown around and a bottle of tequila making its rounds from the mouths of the band to our hands and our lips.
Tidal Waves did what they do best – sweeping the crowds with reggae grooves and songs of lovers and revolution. In that drive of snares and hi -hats and six string bass manoeuvres, I felt the present return. I felt the coming of it all and knew without a doubt that I was grateful for all these strange faces, all these beaded foreheads, all these smiles and swaying hips, eager to flow into a sound that’s more encompassing than the holds of their home.
Images courtesy Lize Scheepers