Tis The Season To Be Jolling

By Travis Lyle a.k.a DJ Hedmekanik

Yep, the season is firmly upon us...

Been quite slack on the posts lately, but then you gotta remember I have a full-time job, I DJ on Tuesdays and Thursday nights, fill a couple columns elsewhere on the web, submit a monthly city guide and generally end up either a) playing a date on weekends or b) shitfaced and/or sleeping on weekends. And there's the not insignificant matter of pitching in organising the biggest little New Year party for miles around. So, bear with me as we wade through the festive season, thank you kindly. Here's what Saturday night brought:

The seal on this year’s bottle of Jol has been cracked, and it looks to be a good vintage as Durban, as elsewhere, is hopping like a box of rabbits in the tradition of old. Campuses far and wide lie deserted whilst the bars and clubs of the beloved country heave with a fresh crop of dancing and dopping. So yes, ‘tis the season to be jolling, and Rickshaw delivered the goods with a mix of Durban sound and style. Eight invited up ‘n coming Durban fashion designers set up shop in the memorabilia-strewn Boogies Diner and pimped their wares, whilst Eclectica Allstar DJ’s from NONONO!!! and fidgetmongers The Renovators provided an electronic soundtrack that varied from local digital glitch to indie and fat fidget beats. Topped up with a band line-up that featured local bands Soma, Pocket Change and Fire Through Window and a surprise appearance by none other than Joburg’s Slashdogs, the smorgasbord of entertainment catered to the young and (in some cases tragically) hip. As if that weren’t enough of a stocking filler, the industrious organiser (Vega student Jess Tagg) hauled in two egte rickshaw pullers with their chariots and a few graffitos for good measure.
The result was a Boogies Diner that was packed to the gills, with all three floors and the massive rooftop filled with a multiracial, multifaceted and multicultural extravaganza of fashion, music, and the aforementioned traditional festive season dancing and dopping. And lotsa really, really, really short skirts. Or should that be fairly wide belts? No matter – spirits were high and the night kicked off with another impromptu performance – this from a posse of B-boys and girls dressed by one the showing designers, Finally Phamous. Busting a few moves, they set the stage for the later antics of Soma, who were…loud and crap, actually. Dudes, derivative metallic angst a la USA went the way of the dodo some time ago - get with the program by building a bridge and getting over it, already. Moving on, Pocket Change were a bit more in keeping with the Stone City flavour, presenting an ebony & ivory combo who dropped a fine set of beatboxing and vocal harmonies backed by capable ska-folk guitar, with a sound that could be described as the unholy issue of a threesome involving Lauryn Hill, Jack Johnson and Sublime. The MC for the night (who has a slight case of that most regrettable of vocal afflictions, an affected Yank twang) hyped the appearance of the surprise act, and lo! and behold, for none other than the Slashdogs (in town for a gig at the Willowvale on Friday night) donned their holy instruments of divine raucousness and delivered their furious sermon from on high. These guys don’t fuck around – a dedicated bunch of rockabilly punks that play rock ‘n roll with a dash of thrash at breakneck speed, they topped their impromptu performance with an ass-blistering version of ‘Ace Of Spades’ by Mötorhead, which, though the spring chicken punters might not have known the tune was in fact a cover, got the floor heaving. Fire Through The Window…shit, no matter what gig they play, no matter that (or perhaps because) the crowd has heard every song they play, like, twenty times, the result is invariably a frothing mosh of chanted choruses and hysterical calls for encores. As far as fan clubs go, these guys should bottle their formula and sell it, they’d mint it. Suffice to say they played all their crowd pleasers and even attempted a upbeat cover of Johnny Cash’s ‘Jackson’.
So, was there anything to put a damper on this otherwise top night of jol? Why yes, there was – it seems the boys in blue have been given instructions from on high to cut down on the high spirits of youngfolk this season. Two popular gigs have in the past week been shut down because of ‘noise complaints’, and Rickshaw suffered a similar fate at about 1:30am, with The Renovators’ filthy beats curtailed only three tracks into their set. Which sucks, and put a premature end to an otherwise kickass event. Nevertheless, deck the halls with rocking and rolling, ‘tis the season to be jolling - it's all all balls to the wall from here on out until Dec 31st, when yours truly, plus wife and a good few hundred nutters will kiss goodbye to the year at our little New Years festival, AmaFullThrottle.

This article also published on Levi's Original Music.

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