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DARLING, YOU’RE NOT THAT MAINSTREAM

by Scone Malone / Images by Candice Chaplin / 12.10.2015

Sometimes the well-kept buttocks of a female human being are something of a special occasion.

I’m sure she has done her masters thesis on phytoplankton or functional magnetic resonance imaging or something I can only blag my way around. I’m sure she has an extremely complex life story and has planted many trees. She might have the wit of Oscar Wilde, the spirit of Steve Biko, the theoretic insights of Richard Feynman, the appreciation of the subtleties of life of Lao Tzu and/or the heart of Mother Theresa, but on Sunday as she was floating on her lilo in the middle of the dam, all I had to go by was her extra ordinary perky bottom.

I’m not the kind of guy who walks around a party wearing nothing but trunks, and so I was never going to swim out to meet her. That, coupled with the fact that staring is rude, means I actually have no idea how old she is, and that could make this whole thing very creepy. And seeing as though I am in a fairly monogamous relationship with the (loveliest) photographer of this piece, let’s not make this a story about the shape of some person’s bum cheeks.

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The thing is, it has long been known by mankind that a day spent by the lake with a group of happy people is generally a fine day. Whether you have an appreciation for posteriors or not, there is something about sun and water that makes the fun more fun. And ‘Sunday Funday’ at the beach bar of Rocking The Daisies has become a bit of an institution. When the weather turns out just right, like it has for the last couple of years, it really is the place to be if you are into having a little skop and a laugh.

Fortunately this year I had forgotten my shades back in Cape Town and was thus forced to go foraging the main festival grounds for something to shield the uncompromising light from divulging my crusty red eyes to the crowd. The sweltering midday sun was winning the battle. Until the unmistakable sounds of one of Cape Town’s greatest live acts started filtering through the warm air into my soggy brain. What a fortuitous expedition!

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Al Bairre.

There on the Main Stage was the usually-eight-but-now-thirteen piece power house that us plebeians known as The Rudimentals. After the release of their new single ‘Rudeboy Styles’ they seem to have reached a new level of confidence and I can honestly say this was the most thumping gig I have witnessed in months. There was space for the crowd to move as the sun-broken hoards had made the traditional early morning exodus and the majority of the remaining people were basking on the artificial beach. The sound was exceptional and the energy remarkable; a 10/10 performance from start to finish.

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The Rudimentals

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And this got me thinking. A lot of people these days are faffing about RTD being too mainstream and that it should be left to the kids and the jocks. I beg to differ. Firstly, what kind of a hipster purist do you have to be not to want to see The Cat Empire? For most of us it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, and if you’ve been jamming to their eponymous album for over a decade you don’t really want to defend liking them to some guy who seems to be dressed as a fucking lunch lady, with at least three colours in his beard and the attitude of a guard-poodle in the gardens of Versailles. Daisies can afford to bring massive headliners, and at this furthest tip of Africa from most of these peoples’ tour routes we should appreciate what comes our way. (This is not to say I give half a toss about the majority of things Big Concerts brings us but one shouldn’t bitch at people about it.)

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The Kooks

Secondly, a massive portion of the great South African musos of the last 10 years have at some point adorned a stage at Daisies, and it has become a showcase of up-and-coming talent, a real notch in the belt for some of the folks. And rightly so, the production is world class meaning not only that the performers get to really strut their stuff, but also that you as a festival goer get to see our local acts in the best plausible light.

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Milky Chance

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Bongeziwe Mabandla

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Jack Parow

Thirdly, there is so much variety. If you can really tell me that Felix Laband, The Brother Moves On, Bateleur, Alice Phoebe Lou, Wild Lettuce etc. aren’t fresh as begonias, I am clearly missing the point these days. You have a multitude of stages to visit; besides all the rock ‘n roll, EDM, folk and other madness that you’d expect, there are kak funny comedy acts like Dylan Skews, Gino Fernandez, Deep Fried Man, Mum-z, Kurt Langeveld… Even Schalk Bezuidenhout showed up with his glorious upper lip.

Fourthly (that sounds stupid but I’ll carry on), the Hemp Stage/Headspaza/Greenpop area has an amazing community vibe that is hard to describe – super mellow AfrikaBurn theme camp meets reggae fest meets a guided meditation zone with a few people playing with hula hoops for ambient stimulus. There is a sense of conscious partying in the air, with insightful speakers, TEDx Talks and you could even go trade in ‘eco bricks’ – your plastic trash stuffed into a plastic bottle – for shots of tequila. Something very unpretentious about it all.

Hemp/Greenpop Stage

Hemp/Greenpop Stage

In the end, I must admit I was also a bit hesitant before going up to Darling this year, I too sometimes being what some would describe as a stuck-up ponce. But what I remembered was that such a huge festival provides ample entertainment no matter what sort of party you are looking for. Even without the world class music, just watching the crowd is enough to make you laugh/cry yourself to sleep for days afterward. Irrespective of how you feel about that young lady’s fine derrière.

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Images © Candice Chaplin

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