When Francois van Coke’s name pops up anywhere, words like “icon”, “idol” and “mega star” are often voiced, but paired with that, words like “humble”, “down-to-earth” and “genuine” also surface. Because that’s the thing about this guy. He used to be a struggling rocker from Bellville, who achieved amazing success through hard work and a pinch of luck. But I bet that 16-year old laaitie would never have dreamt of selling out Times Square’s Sun Arena a few days before his 38th birthday.
The much-anticipated Francois van Coke en Vriende show raced by way too fast. It was momentous to say the least. Just the idea of an Afrikaans rock artist selling out such a big venue (accommodating 8 500 people to be exact) is enough to let any head spin. Francois and his amazing organisational team (with Andy Mac and Wynand Myburgh taking the steer) had a precise idea in mind with the show’s creation and they executed everything to the tee.
Massive visual panels illuminated and lights started flashing and it was clear the show was going to pack a punch right from the start. Very fittingly, Die Gevaar (Sheldon Yoko, Richard Onraet, Dolf Willemse and Jedd Kossew) started the show off with Francois, performing ‘Moontlik Nooit’ and ‘My Hart’ back-to-back. The guys were dressed to impress in seemingly matching tailored suits. It was evident to hear and see that Francois was nervous and taken by how big this moment really was. One would think that he performs too often to ever get tense, but this was a different story and the crowd carried him through it.
Francois welcomed Laudo Liebenberg, front man of aKING, to stage first to perform their collab, ‘Die Skip’, followed by a premier their latest collab single, ‘Spaar My Asseblief’. Francois has calmed down at this point and it was clear he was set on performing the best show of his life. One by one more guests (a.k.a buddies/homies/brothers/musical soul mates) followed and it’s tough choosing best moments, because every collab artist offered something unique.
Die Heuwels Fantasties had the crowd reliving the good ol’ days with ‘Sonrotse’. Coenie de Villiers was most likely the least obvious choice for guests on the night, yet arguably had the best guest appearance of the night, performing a goose bump rendition of Johannes Kerkorrel’s ‘Hillbrow’ with Francois. Who would’ve imagined how well these two males’ voices blend and complement one another?
There was barely time to pack away tissues after that beautiful piano moment, because the Van Coke Kartel reunion was next up for a few power tunes. ‘Tot Die Son Uitkom’ has never sounded so good. Why? Karen Zoid joined Francois, Wynand, Jedd and Jason on stage, adding her usual musical antics. Things toned down thereafter with a stripped down version of ‘Dit Raak Beter’. Majozi popped in, joining Francois for a Beatles cover of ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’, where after the Arena became a lighter-heaven with Majozi belting out ‘Darling’.
One of Francois’s idols as a teen, Arno Carstens, joined next. Nostalgia meets rock mania. Their collab, ‘Ek Weet Nie’, is followed by the iconic, ‘Blue Eyes’. The moment is just too perfect. And once again, seamlessly, the show moves from tear-jerking to move-and-shake, as Early B takes the stage. Is there anything that this little guy cannot do? He is just so effortlessly cool, performing ‘Altyd Lief Vir Jou’ with Francois, from the show-titled EP. This track has darker undertones, which is a little out of sorts for Early B, yet he kills it. A surprising cover of Beastie Boys’s ‘Fight For Your Right’ gets the crowd grooving. Jack Parow continues where EarlyB left off and the party hits, ‘Dans Dans Dans’ and ‘Hard Partytjie Hou’, concludes in a joint stage dive with Francois that had the crowd going wild.
Johnny de Ridder took a seat behind the piano for the hauntingly beautiful ‘Komma’, where after the entire Fokofpolisiekar clan joined for a few of their rock ‘n roll hits. Then Karen Zoid took for a glorious predictable last song, ‘Toe Vind Ek Jou’. But wait…there was more. The encore song, ‘Ek Lewe, Ek Belowe’, featuring Die Heuwels Fantasties, had the crowd yearning for more. But that’s it. One last historic bow from Francois and his friends and the night was over.
The night flashed by and there was barely time to blink. You simply didn’t want to miss a thing, because every song, light and visual was perfectly placed. I think it’s safe to say Francois van Coke has made it.
EASY FREAK has released a brand new single and video, entitled GOOD TIMES - available on all streaming platforms as of today. GOOD TIMES was written in September 2017. The feel-good track featuring the signature EASY FREAK groove, was a fresh experience for Jude and Dom to write. While Dom has always been into Hip Hop which can be heard on the production of the track, Jude listens to more jazz and alternative music and decided to write a Hip Hop inspired track after listening to more of the genre.
“‘Good Times’ is all about good vibes and not taking yourself too seriously. The lyrics are pretty relatable as well - ‘I don’t have no diamonds but I shine bright!’. Very often the Hip Hop music scene is portrayed as being really lavish and image-driven, but we live pretty normal lives so we wanted to carry that across.” says Jude.
Showing the evolution in EASY FREAK’s sound with this fresh sound, the duo has always written music which they enjoy and listen to, and at the moment they are inspired by Hip Hop and RnB. GOOD TIMES is about escaping the idea that you need to have certain material things to have fun or be cool; it’s a song for everyone. The video for GOOD TIMES was shot over the course of a few days in March 2018 by Brett Jones (who also shot the video for one of their previous singles ‘Gotta Be You’), and was co-directed by Brett and Dom. Dom came up with the main concept for the video - Dom and Jude are characters out of an 80s karaoke video - and expanded on it together with Brett. The video also features actors Hungani Ndlovu and Stephanie Sandows.
“Our fans can expect a lot of laughs when watching this fun video; we expect their cheeks to be sore from smiling so much! Brett Jones did such an amazing job with the shooting and the edit; there’s so much good energy that’s carried across through the music video and we hope people feel that when they vibe to ‘Good Times’.”
Crimson House really knows how to start any party. One can even go as far as saying that they are the life of any party. Capital Craft Beer Festival will be no different. Vocalist, Riaan Smit, chatted to us about their voluptuous career and what is on the cards ahead.
Q: You guys and festivals are synonymous – do you make festivals come alive or do festivals make you come alive?
A: It’s a balance of the two. The people are there for a good time and it’s our job to be a part of that good time. They inspire us to bring our best performance and then we inspire them to lose their minds. One cannot exist without the other; it’s a symbiotic relationship. A band on a stage in front of no-one has no purpose, and an audience in front of an empty stage is just weird.
Q: Your latest single, “Don’t Forget To Take Your Medicine”, has people ranting and raving. How did this song come about?
A: I lived next door to an interesting family and I overheard the mother screaming one day “don’t forget to take your medicine” while I was writing. That line fit my tune too perfectly. The rest of it came about when I thought to myself what the ultimate medicine is. And that is love, friends, companions and family.
Q: Can we expect more new music soon? What is in the pipeline?
A: We are deep into our 4th album now, and it’s heaped with hits. There will be a few new singles dropping before the end of the year. After that, we're taking a new step in our careers which will have us taken out of SA for a bit. But we still be performing around here when we can.
Q: You guys introduced new band members recently – how does band member changes effect the sound and presence of the band?
A: The new guys started out as stunt doubles when our other guys couldn’t make it. One stunt double is full time and the other has become a part of the family. Our sound is heaped in chaos; it’s about connection as well as tone and musicality. So we're happy to say our sound is better than ever.
Q: Are you guys big on beer? Any favourite breweries?
A: We're huge on beer. For me personally I love CBC Amber Weiss and Capital Craft is creating some magical blends.
There you have it, folks! We are in for a treat with Crimson House’s performance! Get your tickets for Capital Craft Beer Festival today!
“Seamlessly blending intriguing styles and influences, this video for ‘Mina’ is a varied and visually delicious smorgasbord exploring the innocence of a child’s imagination alongside other-worldly wonders. The universal tribalism, combined with the insistent rhythmic hooks and the poppy undertones, rivet the listener and the viewer to this latest offering from The Steezies; a playful, intuitive invitation…” - Malcolm Burger, Peermusic
There is a universe that exists beyond ours. It is outside of what you can hear, feel, taste, see, touch, or rationalise with your senses. It is unknown to the reach of your logical mind. One fateful day two young girls were innocently playing in a park when their imaginations collided and they stumbled into this foreign realm. The world they had grown so familiar with was utterly transformed. And leading them through this journey of imagination were their spirit animals: The Steezies. A band conjured in the fire of eccentric creativity and playful anarchy.
‘Mina’ is a soundtrack to the attack of all that is “normal”. It is a song that celebrates individuality and condemns homogeneity. Its music video is an all out exploration of this in visual form. The Steezies are here to be playful, and their playground is an affront to the banal, the ordinary, and the commonplace. The‘Mina’ music video has announced their arrival and set the tone for all that is still to come.
The creation of ‘Mina’ was facilitated by GKC, a content creation agency based in Cape Town. Click here to read more about it.
The Steezies are a product of South Africa's multicultural musical paradigm. Their songs have been forged in the melting pot of a country that does not have a single consolidated culture, but rather exists as a chimera of various histories, traditions, and practices. This is why a Steezies show will boast isiZulu hip hop; South African style guitar alongside funk melodies; and European trumpet lines within Afro song structures. In the same way that it is difficult to define South Africa as a single country with certainty, it is difficult to pigeonhole The Steezies music into a single genre. The result is a full force energy train of music. Rather than defining their music according to a category, it is perhaps easier to understand it as an attitude.
The Steezies consists of George Kirkinis (vocals and guitar), Katie Beard (percussion and vocals), Mark Davis (bass), Bilal Ezzideen (drums), Lauren Davis (percussion), Jono Prest (trumpet), Luke Neville (trombone) and Evan Froud (saxophone).
The Steezies have been rated as one of the top 5 up and coming bands by Between 10 and 5, they were rated as one of the top 10 sets at Rocking the Daisies 2017 byTexx and the City. Their show at Splashy Fen 2018 made it to the front cover of the Sunday Tribune, they were termed South Africa's next big headline act by SA Music Scene, and they have also played romping sets at Up The Creek and River Republic. Their track 'Anxious Nauseous' also made it onto the The Apple Music Indie A-List.
It seems like just yesterday where I would sit and watch MK for hours, ogling over soaking wet band members splashing in the waves, belting out everything my angsty teenage heart wanted to hear! Finally, post-grunge South African superstars, Crash Car Burn, announced their return in the form of "Headlights". Would they return with the same fervor and gut wrenching tunes or are they taking on a new angle?
I had a chat the the guys to see what we can expect from their latest offering!
Q: Since your last album release, have you guys continued to write music? Or was it a sudden burst of creativity that spawned this album. If you have been writing, why take so long to put it all into one package?
A: Nope, we never stopped writing! For a long time we'd been following the industry trend of releasing singles in stead of full length albums. Even though we haven't released a full album since 2012 (yikes!!), we've released a good number of singles during that time. The problem with putting out singles though, is that you're always writing something that might have a chance on radio, so you miss out on those little gems that might not necessarily be picked up by radio, but are nonetheless great tracks! So eventually we we're like 'ok the singles journey was fun, but it's time now for an album!'
Q: It has been six years… How has your aging, or maturing, influenced the content of this album or has your mindset remained the same?
A: That is very true! I think it's a very positive album. It's not like we're angsty teens anymore...we're all happy, relatively well adjusted adults now hahaha! So themes of appreciation, love,perseverance and optemism are there throughout the tracks.
Q: The producing and mixing of CrashCarBurn tends to involve international names in the industry, this album specifically involved Chris Brink in the UK. Why did you choose to involve him with this album?
A: Chris is a long time friend of the band (He actually used to play bass for CrashCarBurn in 2005/6) and an amazing engineer. When we record, it's not like it's a given that Chris will mix. We generally send a test mix (kind of like an audition for engineers) to a bunch of engineers before we decide who is going to mix the album and every time, Chris comes back with the best mix and gets the job!
Q: Album recordings always have their highs and lows, but what was your most fun or funniest part (or moment) of the recording process of Headlights?
Garth: For me my favourite part is when the vocals finally get recorded. It's then that the song really comes alive and it gives me a thrill every time.
Brendan: My funnest part was experimenting with drum sounds on "Nobody Wants You". We used tea towels and a 1970's drum kit to get a vintage and muted sound that really works for the mood of the track.
Photos by Andre Badenhorst
Q: Most bands strives to give every album a unique sound and to differentiate it from the previous works. How is this album different and why should old and new fans give it a listen?
A: I don't think we necessarily took a firm decision to go for a different sound on this album. The new sound was, I think, a result of our songwriting approach which was different this time around. In the past, we’d all pile into the band room with a basic idea and then and flesh out the song very much by feel i.e. 'how does this FEEL when I play it live?'. The approach worked well for us in the past, but on the down side, what this method did was immediately eliminate any slower songs because they just weren’t ‘fun’ to play. With this album we tried a very completely different approach: We sat down and wrote in the studio and only asked one question ‘does this SOUND good?’ regardless of how boring it might be to play. I think it’s that process that allowed songs like Nobody and Headlights to see the light of day.
Q: Lastly, do you have an album launch tour planned for Headlights?
A: We do have a bunch of shows coming up in Pretoria, Stellenbosch, Cape Town, Centurion and Jozi as well as a festival or two. Can't wait to share the new songs with everyone! All our gigs are up on our facebook: Facebook.com/crashcarburn.
Big Concerts confirmed today that Judas Priest will be coming to South Africa for the very first time performing in Cape Town on 20th March 2019 at Grand Arena, GrandWest and 22nd March 2019 in Johannesburg at the Ticketpro Dome.
There are few heavy metal bands that have managed to scale the heights that JUDAS PRIEST have during their 40-year career. Formed in the early '70s in Birmingham, England, Priest were one of the first metal bands to exclusively wear leather and studs – a look that began during this era and would eventually be embraced by metal heads throughout the world. JUDAS PRIEST went on to change the face of heavy metal. A 2010 Grammy Award win for 'Best Metal Performance, a 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination, the current album 'Firepower' released in March 2018 has become the highest charting album of their career plus scorching their way round the world in sell out shows on the Firepower tour has cemented the presence and influence of JUDAS PRIEST at an all-time high!
Presented by Jacaranda FM, Bok Radio and Channel 24. Another Big Concerts Experience.
Tickets go on sale Friday 28th September at 9am.
Go to www.bigconcerts.com for all the information.
Discovery Card holders get an exclusive 48-hour pre-sale from Wednesday 26th September 2018.
Go to www.discovery.co.za for more information.
Wednesday 20th March 2019
Grand West, Grand Arena
Ticket Price: From R575
Tickets available from www.bigconcerts.co.za starting Friday 28th September at 9am
Friday 22nd March 2019
Ticket Price: From R520
Tickets available from www.bigconcerts.co.za starting Friday 28th September at 9am
Festival De Mexico To Host Africa’s Biggest Tequila Toast
Join The Celebration On 26 May For ‘Festival De Mexico – Montecasino’
Festival De Mexico was born out of love for Mexican food, live music and of course, tequila. Three festivals and 6000 attendees later, the fourth festival has found a new home for the biggest Festival De Mexico celebration yet on Saturday, 26 May.
Montecasino’s Outdoor Event Arena will be blanketed in colourful décor to transform into the ultimate fiesta setting for Festival De Mexico. Get ready for the biggest celebration of Mexican Food from 20 different food vendors, vast variety of tequilas, Mexican cocktails, piñata showdowns, a chilli eating competition, bull riding and entertainment in bucket loads. The live entertainment also boasts an impressive local line-up with Gangs Of Ballet, Desmond & The Tutus, December Streets, Jerry & The Bandits and 4am confirmed to perform.
Event organiser, Danny Figueiredo (Director of Connect Entertainment) comments, “Festival De Mexico is a day filled with great food, amazing music and entertainment the entire day. Expect to leave satisfied and a little drunk, so definitely Uber.”
Montecasino is the perfect new setting for the increased demand of a bigger crowd looking to join the tequila celebrations and the Outdoor Event Arena allows for a 6000-strong crowd to comfortably enjoy the day.
Mike Page, GM of Montecasino, says, “All things Mexican have always been highly popular at Montecasino, and this festival promises to deliver the best experiences. The sights, the great sounds from top musicians, the fun activities, the delicious flavours and hot chilli tastes, and importantly, not to mention the vast variety of top tequilas, at an excellent venue, will together all ensure a festive and fun event for the lucky visitors who manage to get the limited tickets. We’re looking forward to it all.”
According to Statista, South Africa ranks 7th by country as one of the leading export destinations of Mexican tequila in 2017, importing over 1.5 million litres of tequila and the only African country listed in the Top 10. It’s only fitting that Festival De Mexico play host to Africa’s biggest tequila toast – a celebration uniquely suited to the event – and the first of its kind on the continent!
Early Bird tickets are SOLD OUT and PHASE 1 is on sale now, so get your tickets now before the next pricing phase kicks in. All the info you need is here:
Festival De Mexico – Montecasino
Date: Saturday, 26 May 2018
Venue: Montecasino - Outdoor Event Area
Time: Gates open 12pm / Event ends at 10pm
Tickets on sale now from http://connect.nutickets.co.za/26May
Early Bird Tickets SOLD OUT
ON SALE NOW - Phase 1 price: R110 (excl. booking fee)
Next ticketing phases – each to launch as the previous phase sells out:
Miss May I are one of the highly anticipated international acts headlining Krank'd Up Festival this year. We caught up with bassist, Ryan Neff, all the way from the states to chat about their latest release and to see what they have up their sleeves for the show.
Q: Are you guys excited about your visit to South Africa? Besides headlining Krank’d Up Festival, are there any other things you are looking forward to seeing or doing while in the country?
A: We are so excited to finally be playing South Africa. This is a place we've hoped to play for a long time and we can't wait to finally make it happen. We have some days off planned on both sides of the gig and are looking forward to seeing what we get into. It feels like we are about to head into a once in a lifetime vacation.
Q: Listening to your latest album “Shadows Inside”, I couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of empowerment and a series of hopeful messages to rise above your circumstances. Can you elaborate a bit on this topic and the core message that you aimed to portray with this album?
A: There have been plenty of difficulties and struggles in our career, and lives just like anyone else, and talking about facing those obstacles and overcoming them has always seemed to be the best way to identify and reach our fans. Shadows Inside was the opening of a new chapter in our career and we had a lot of goals and high hopes for the future, and it came out in the song.
Q: The album also fits very well together as a whole. Each songs flows beautifully into one another. Is there a specific approach you guys take to achieve this sense of unity across the different songs?
A: Lots of time! We spent around six months in and out of the studio working together on these. That was a very expensive and difficult process compared to our previous releases but it was important to us to do it right. The songs were written and rewritten many times to make sure we had them where we wanted. We even tossed out some songs that didn't make the cut.
Q: Can you delve into the artwork of “Shadows Inside” a bit as well as the recurring lion imagery found across several of your releases. Does the lion hold a specific symbolism for the band?
A: The lion means a lot to us. When we started as a band we named ourselves “Miss May I” which really had no meaning but stood out and got us recognition. The more time that went on as a band we really wanted to have a logo/symbol/name that stood for what we were about and the lion was created. The lion for us stands for a fierce being that is the king of wherever it is and whatever situation its in. Through our career and life we have had obstacles that we overcame and we felt as if that persistence and courage could be seen as an image it would be the lion. We want our fans and followers to feel that same power and have that symbol mean the same thing for them. With our music being positive and inspirational and our symbol as well having the same characteristics it felt it completed what Miss May I is as a band. As for the album artwork for Shadows Inside the lion is seen as a 3D object for the first time as a mask that you could interact with and touch and feel. This felt as if you could hide behind that lion and have it represent you. We all go through times that we need to be fierce and stand up for ourselves even with the dark pasts that follow us all and those dark pasts are our Shadows Inside.
Q: What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
A: Under Fire a massive crowd interaction song, and Shadows Inside has grow in popularity very quickly so those are always my favorite songs to play.
Mike Pocock has been a long time hustler in the SA music industry and has had a hand in many aspects of the business. On stage he has been rocking it out as the bassist for State Society and is jumping head first into a new avenue: M-PLODE
Q: We know you as bassist of State Society - quite a shift from rock ‘n roll to DJ’ing - how did this transition and new act come about?
A: M-Plode was also going at the time of State Society, but on a very limited scale. When the opportunity came up for a gig when State Society wasn't performing, I would take it. The idea of M-Plode stemmed from a party a friend of mine, Jared Gunston, and I planned at Zeplins Rock Shack where we wanted the nu-metal and 'high school' tracks from the early noughties to be heard, which wasn't done much. From there, the response was great and it kinda just kept going. I have used to perform at Arcade Empire and Zeplins on a regular basis and also jammed at Asking Alexandria and Lamb Of God when they were in South Africa so Halloween is a dream come true to add to the list.
Q: What is the vibe and flavour of M-Plode?
A: Heavy yet refreshing. I want everyone to remember the great tunes that were big back in the day as well as mix some of the new flavours in there. My favourite thing is spinning a local heavy track and people go mental. Anything from Pestroy, The Narrow to Newtown Knife Gang and Facing the Gallows always gets the crowd going. I am a huge local band supporter so will always sneak one in when the time is right.
Q: What can festival goers of Halloween 2018 expect from your set?
A: They best put seatbelts on their ears 'cos they're going for a joyride (lol). It's hard to predict what the audience will enjoy at first, but once you read the crowd and get some idea of what will keep their feet moving and heads banging, we can go all night. Expect some of the latest tracks mixed with some of your favourite tunes from yesteryear plus some local mixed up in there.
Q: Who are you especially excited about seeing perform at Halloween 2018?
A: With a line up like that, there are too many to be excited about, but I SEE STARS is a definite. Deamhorth are one of my favourite new acts on the scene this year so everybody must catch them. Deadline and Boargazm are always a treat as well as Newtown Knife Gang. My advice is for everyone to get there early and rock out to everyone!
Q: What is the ultimate Halloween costume?
A:That's a tough one, but I have always wanted to attend a Halloween party as a Tetris block (The T or square). Maybe this will be the year...