Pretoria – Such a scary and daunting place for Johannesburgers like myself. It’s at least 45 minutes away, which is definitely outside my usual five-km radius. My five-km radius obviously defined by Maboneng, The Whippit in Linden and Warm and Glad in Craighall Park. (Any self-respecting, true Johannesburger would agree.)
Or maybe I’m just a snob.
But despite this, we were certainly not going to miss this Park Acoustics – boasting one of the best line-ups I’ve seen in ages. Al-Bairre, Jeremy Loops, The Brother Moves On, Bye Beneco, and US band St. Lucia. (Who to be honest, I had never heard of). So off we trooped to The Voortrekker Monument- Woolies snacks and sunblock in hand.
Park. Line. Ticket. In. While we were watching Phosphene at the acoustic stage, some vintage treasures – namely ginormous, garish and all-in-all amazing ski jackets distracted us. Which of course had to be purchased that second. Now R400 poorer (between the two of us at least), we were finally ready for some fun.
The Brother Moves On played next, on the Main Stage. And were gloriously entertaining and a pleasure to watch, as per usual. They were all wearing skin-tight leggings, which only enhanced their performance, because of the spectacle. Siyabonga Mthembu aka Mr.Gold, the lead singer and ‘storyteller’ took centre stage – clad in yellow see-through leggings – and stole the show.
We sat for a while in the electro tent listening to DJ Danger Ingozi. Well Thozi did. Kira and I went exploring on the swings. Next was an interlude to watch Bye Beneco – whose awkward but inviting stage presence alone makes for a unique experience. Throw in their beautiful melodies, and interesting use of instruments, and it’s a pleasure to hear and watch.
Al-bairre next. This time dressed in matching attire, a new addition from when I last saw them. Of course the twins always dress the same – which I’ve always thought more a novelty than anything. But now Nick and Kyle were donning a kimono and tee in matching prints. While it looked cool on stage, I still thought it was a little naff. However as soon as they started playing I forgot about their costumes. Nick is always a pleasure to watch. He bounds around the stage like a hyperactive chipmunk – making it impossible to not be thoroughly entertained throughout. And of course, all their tunes from the well-known We Move On to Right Here in July are catchy, fun to dance to and easy to sing along with. Their cover of Girls Just Wanna have Fun was fantastic. All in all – a perfect performance from our Cape-Tonian bairres.
J-loops, also from the Mother City, was up next on the Main Stage. He always begins with the classic Welcome to the Show tune – A Jeremy Loops performance wouldn’t be complete without it. To be honest, I’ve seen Loops so much I’m a little bit bored. But his set was flawless, and he has a lovely stage presence.
By the time St. Lucia took the stage, I was pretty exhausted. So we watched them from the embankment. They were quite good, but I wasn’t that impressed. Especially after Al-bairre and TBMO’s impeccable performances. Their set made me realise how professional and diverse the South Africa music scene has become – to the extent that South African performers are often better than those from overseas.
A great day spent with great people.
Finally my top five highlights:
- The car-guard: “kyk ek jou motor.” Rosa: “ummmm…” The car-guard: “some more Afrikaans”. Rosa “dankie.”
- Obviously Al-bairre’s floral twinning outfits
- Jeremy Loops beginning his performance with a harmonica rendition of the national anthem.
- Patricia Beranek, the keyboardist from St. Lucia’s neon pink shoes.
- The warm sun on our backs, such a treat after the gloomy wintery weather in Joburg.
Written by Rosa Elk