Shortstraw: Kids These Days


Keeping It In The Family


You know how the kids tend to be. We loved your band before anyone had ever heard of you, we’ve been listening to you for ages. We were there when you were underground. We drank beers with you once at a festival and we’re sure you don’t remember us, but let us assure you that it was the best night ever. You might have even bought us a tequila. But you were only really cool before you were famous.

We’re such critics.

But you need haters to be famous, right? Maybe that’s why I don’t know anyone who actually likes Prime Circle.

So why are Shortstraw so damn popular? For almost ten years, these guys have been bashing away at their bloody instruments and getting their damn songs stuck in our heads. I’m sure we’re supposed to hate them by now. Instead, Shortstraw are loved, nay, adored by hordes of people who can afford to maintain a sense of humour in these troubling times. Peter Pan approved, these fully grown men have titled their upcoming album Those Meddling Kids. Shortstraw’s playful attitude is by no means an indication that they don’t take their shit seriously though. I’m sure they do. In fact, I know they do. They just choose to look on the light side of life.  

The notorious DIY Boosh parties hit notes closer to infamy than fame for Shortstraw. Young musicians on the come-up today were sneaking into Shortstraw gigs when they were 16; they were known and loved as a free-for-all showcase of local talent with a twist of mischief because they had no brand affiliations. Boosh started as a chilled Sunday afternoon sit-down acoustic restaurant vibe in Greenside and back then, the debauchery was minimal. In time, Boosh became heavier and sweatier, and eventually found a home at Zoo Lake, a venue exposed recently as the #SaxonwoldShabeen (although Brian Molefe has not confirmed whether or not he was a regular at the jol). They splashed around in an empty pool at Marks Park for a while, and Johannesburg Sundays have felt the absence since their hiatus.

I think the reason why I can never truly hate Shortstraw as much as I want to is out of too much damn respect for the kooks who do shit themselves.

“We cleaned out that pool. We set that stuff up at Oppikoppi. It’s not some brand-sponsored event. It’s just us.”

Alright, fine. It’s just you. You fucking adults.

And that leaves us with Booshie Nights. They’re here as something of a Boosh-child; an extension of an atmosphere that only they can create as they transform a good ol’ Friday night at The Good Luck Bar into a fully-fledged Booshie Night, complete with a brass band, projections, and hot chicks on roller skates. I really wanted to hate it. But I didn’t. They even debuted the latest video from the upcoming album for a single called Keep It In The Family (spoiler – it features footage of the band boys as actual kids).

We’re all getting old. Decomposing by the minute, actually. So shoutouts to those who stay young in their hearts, who sing about the first day of school well into their 20s (and 30s) and deal with fading youth by laughing along with the cosmic joke. You remind me not to take my shit so seriously. And I don’t hate you.

Watch Keep it in the Family below:

Written by Leah Jasmine Reed


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