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Parlotones versus Bafana

by Andy Davis / 16.06.2010

Shock! Horror! The Parlotones, our “proudly South African” soft rockers have endorsed the German Football team for the World Cup! Hell they even wrote a song for them. “Come Back As Heroes”. Kotch. But really what did we expect?

The story first broke on 2Oceansvibe yesterday and soon elicited a fiery 2300 word response from Parlotones frontman Kahn Morbee defending his patriotism and declaring that he’s not a corporate whore. To quote Big Willy Shakespeare’s Queen in Hamlet, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

Yes, in case you hadn’t realised it, the Parlotones are still sucking Satan’s cock in hell, erm, I mean, will do anything for money. Without hint of irony, fair play or good taste. So far they’ve endorsed Gigabyte computers, winemaker Blenheim, DSTV, Superga shoes and even created the greasy Kentucky Fried Chicken Parlotones Snack Box, tailor-made for fat kids with no taste. Purpose built for Parlotones fans, you might say. Yummy yum.

His response is litany of longwinded whingeing. He even dredges up the fact that he was once hijacked, and never even brought up the “crime situation” in interviews abroad. What a patriot. His response is a rare window into the psychology of his mainly white, privileged, suburban South African audience and milieu. Throughout claiming his patriotism, while arguing that there are many who have sought greener pastures overseas and started their Australian immigration procedures. It’s a laughable hodge-podge of dud politics and blame deflection.

At one point Kahn asks the question:
“Why is it okay for the adored Proteas to align themselves with KFC but we’re condemned when we do?”
Well Kahn, here at Mahala we think there’s a direct link between the fried chicken endorsement and the overweight and frequently choking nature of our cricket team.

But I digress, the Parlotones’ latest deal is possibly their most tasteless. And one that should cause their loyal fans to take a double take. It’s practically tantamount to treason in this climate of window-dressed ubuntu and rainbow nation togetherness, as we rally behind Bafana for the first FIFA World Cup on African soil. It’s the ultimate David and Goliath tale. Bafana vs the Footballing giants. And South Africa’s “biggest” rock band has come out on the side of the Philistines, exhorting the clinical footballing Germans to, “come home as heroes”. What else could that mean? Now that’s representin’!

No wait, says Kahn. “The truth is yes we did do a theme tune for a German broadcast company; the fact is that NOT for one second does anyone in the German public believe that we favour their country over ours.”
Right. But the actions always speak louder than words. Their only contribution to this World Cup, apart from playing at the opening ceremony, was to pen a song in support of the German Football Team. Watch the video below.

It’s kind of poetic, actually. The blandest (and most successful – oh the shame of it) rock band in South African history, endorsing none other than the Germans. A nation not exactly famous for its collective sense of humour or rhythm. It’s a natural fit. Let’s give them to Deutschland, I say. Just as the French presented the Americans with the Statue of Liberty back in 1886. We could make a huge symbolic gesture to the Germans after the World Cup. A petition, perhaps, to expedite their extradition. The Parlotones: A present from South Africa. JZ could hand them over with pomp and ceremony, a parade perhaps backed by all our new German military hardware. Our gain would be Germany’s loss. But would the Germans accept the gift? Of course they would. Remember, this is the nation that prolonged David Hasselhof’s music career.

The Parlotones

Another Parlotones Fan

Yes maybe there is a silver lining here. Perhaps the Parlotones have misread the zeitgeist and taken their wanton money-grubbing a step too far. One can only hope. Perhaps this under-talented, almost original sounding rock band have finally been given enough rope and gone and hung themselves. It’s the Parlotones versus the National Sentiment! Maybe their fiercely patriotic, mainly white South African fanbase will finally rub the sleep out of their eyes, admit they were conned all along and abandon them en masse. We can only dream of stacks of Parlotones CDs smouldering in piles on the streets.

The Parlotones

Ze Parlotones

Alas it was too much to hope for. As evidenced by the 89 support comments and 138 “Likes” under Kahn’s response on Facebook. I guess it was probably too much to ask of the continuously advantaged South African mainstream public. We thought it would happen with the KFC Snack Box. We were wrong. Their popularity thrived. Soon after that, the Parlotones headlined their own show at the Coca Cola Dome and were invited to “represent” at the FIFA Kick Off Celebration. Where Kahn, in solidarity with his sponsors Superga, and you, the people of South Africa “wore the SA flag shoes”.

Yes children, in case you hadn’t noticed, it’s a cruel, heartless world that rewards the bad and punishes the good. Most likely, their fans will shrug off this treachery, betrayal and sedition with a “they just trying to pay the bills, boet” and then turn on us before going out to buy the new Parlotones album, and queuing to watch them live when they get back from their “sell out” tour of Germany.

Check out the Parlotones kif new German website here.

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