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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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RESPONSES (114)
  1. zakiibrahim says:

    Fuck off adam. That is a just predictably rubbish comment from an arrogant prick with nothing constructive or relevant to contribute to anything.

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  2. zakiibrahim says:

    viva Mahala

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  3. Larry says:

    lol! did someone say “push me to the floor”!?

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  4. craig says:

    please come back home as eeeuuuurros

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  5. Leane says:

    A 3rd grade blog sucking on the hind tit. Shame, get a life.

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  6. Henk says:

    If SA/bafana asked them to do the ‘theme song’ and they turned it down so that they could do the German song then I would agree with you but that is not the case so I think that your argument is bullshit. It’s sad that a talented SA bad does better overseas then locally.

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  7. khan's eyeline pencil says:

    band as brand. branded bands. fuck, we are all riding the devils cock. When you sign the contract for your soul do magically lose your gag reflex?

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  8. older Budweiser says:

    @ the list is long – you are missing one important point in your diatribe, and that is that a lot of artists GIVE their songs (i.e they don’t get paid) to movie soundtracks, television shows and adverts for something that the Parlotones don’t need – it’s called “promotion.” Not to be confused with “selling out” or “sucking corporate cock”, giving your music away to broaden your exposure in an effort to gain fans is something that many many many artists (both new and established) do. Just because you hear a piece of music (especialy local music) in a tv ad, programme, or movie doesn’t mean that the artist neccessarily got a cent from it.

    Songs off Moby’s “Play” album, weren’t sold by the artist for use in ads and movies, they were “licenced”, which means someone over at a movie studio or production house heard the music, liked it, approached the artist’s PUBLISHER (it is seldom the the artist, in 99% of these instances songs are traded by an act’s publisher, who sells the songs on a comission basis, kinda like a 2nd hand car dealer); oftentimes the artists themselves only find out about their song’s useage when they happen upon the ad flighting on TV or radio or wotever.
    ALL of the artists you mention in your list had their songs LICENCED, by third parties for commercial useage – they never wrote those songs you’re talking about FOR a particular product – and that is the difference y’see?
    All songs ever made by anyone are available for licencing by anyone for use in just about anything.
    moving on…
    “Musicians have to sell their product to people other than their fans – else they would starve.” – No. They just need to be GOOD at what they do in order to not starve – i.e making music (ref. all those bands in your long list).

    “The fact is that with music available for download, being a musician has become a much tougher game.” – No. The expanse of the digital realm makes being a musician easier than ever. Being a GOOD musician, that can attract enough fans, and keep them, is tough.

    “It’s that or starve.” Or get a day job

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  9. SHUKRI says:

    Hi. Firstly id like to start off by saying that the way some of you people (supposed South Africans) act and talk about fellow South Africans is despicable. Do not expect any highly offensive words on my part because thats not what ubuntu is about. Although i am angered and infuriated by some of the responses, it is not of my nature to hate. The Parlotones men have been through a lot in their life to be where they are today. Where were all you critics when they were going to great lengths to make our country a better place. No one seems to be mentioning Kahns fight against crime with the song ‘SHOUT’? Do any of you know that Kahn has Belgian roots? He chose this beautiful country as his home. Despite that, he is more south african than many of you who were just born here. What do YOU do for our country? It is people like you who give our country a bad name. Kahn, Neil, Paul and Glen are really great guys who deserve much more than what you guys are giving them. They are regular people who have religions and beliefs. Many of you call yourselver christians but from all the words i keep hearing i would like to know what some of you teach your children. I know that i will be called several words because of my response but that just shows you a lot about yourselves. Start shooting

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  10. PositiveEnergy says:

    haha! I totally agree with everything in this article!

    The Parlotones are complete sellouts, I mean there are plenty of other amazing South African bands, that are real rock ‘n’ roll, that have made their way to the top in ways other than this.

    Their sound sucks, I imagine them to be followed by rugby boys and their Barbie girls.

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  11. erich viedge says:

    am I really the only person whose first reaction was: “Cool!”
    I think it’s fabulous that the Parlotones’ music is so good that the Germans used it for their team.
    It doesn’t make them any less South African. Just makes them good musicians. When Falco went to number one in South Africa, nobody said: That Sell out Falco with his Rock me Amadeus.
    I think it’s cool. I don’t listen to the Parlotones — they’re waaaaay too bland for me. Give me Dear Reader anytime.
    I think we should be proud — local boys made good overseas. Well done! Come back and spend your euros here, and put South Africa even more on the map!

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  12. Anonymous says:

    The Parlotones ROCK and Kahn has a very distinctive and differnet voice and I am soo proud that he has not Americanised his singing by pronouncing, dance, last etc in the American twangy way. They are true South Africans and UBER talented. I love them and will buy every album they record. Norma

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  13. mel says:

    Parlotones Rock… and I wish that South African Football Association had not been asleep and let these creative minds slip through their fingers by not commissioning them to write a song for SA. Why Shakira was main artist for the Waka waka and she aint even African born but then again FIFA had a HUGE hand and stick in everything! Parlotones are successful South African band thanks to their entrepeneurship and fore-sight! Keep it up guys you are awesome!

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  14. J.R says:

    I am an American, immigrated from Lebanon and speak five languages, I am proud to be a fan of Parlotones, specially Khan who has honesty, intelligence and good sense of judgment, he stands for his rights and believes, which makes him more proud of who he is, Good job Khan for being yourself, proud of you Babe.

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