Soya Hotdogsby Jess Henson / 22.12.2009
Hey shoo wow. It’s season and everyone is coming to Cape Town for its amazing parties and their like totally awesome line-ups. Maybe I’m just a smug, self satisfied resident, but I’m a bit fed up with the bowels of dark bars and light, meaningless banter. So I escaped for the day, and irony escaped with me.
Where to? The Knysna hills for a peace party with smiling children and gracefully greying disciples in white. No vacuous arousal and practised sex appeal from hexy girls in slinky silk attached at the gently jutting hip bone to their boyfriends, or their boyfriends’ gently jutting hip bones. Just tanned bodies, virginal nymphs and lost boys. Ignore the pervasive sobriety and the inherent order and cleanliness of the venue (and the peephole in the long drop), and you’re in party paradise. Of a sort.
What you get at the Peace Party 2009 in Rhenendal is: a beautiful setting, a varied line-up, bonfires, kites and a green ethos that the venue lives up to. What you don’t get is Tassies hooligans, sour smiles and dirty loos. Unfortunately, because it seems everyone is married or Buddhist, you don’t get laid, either. Unless you’re a dog. There were lots of dogs. My mother even brought hers. Yes, I brought my mother. I mentioned the gracefully greying, didn’t I? No nasty comments, please; she’ll set the bull calf on you.
Anyway, mom liked Wendy Oldfield‘s stoic handsomeness and incredible legs as much as I did. Sometimes the lady’s powerful Po Mo radio melodies thin out when she sings outside her range. We agreed Vuvu needs to have some real, live ho’s in the background instead of pre-recorded backing vocals for the quiet white ous. To be fair, the veteran acts and fresh faces were on a par with the soya hotdogs and hula hoops – interesting, adequate, but not altogether scintillating. Though that’s exactly how I’d describe the audience, too. They really weren’t at pains to show pleasure until Tidal Waves crashed into our ears with their solid energy. Mama met them, and swapped notes on all the things you can do with cow poo (lay a floor, plaster a wall, fertilize a garden, and warm a house) and I went to bed giggling about the unwilling, unrelenting boy that showed comedian/ MC Rob van Vuuren what sarcasm and irony really are. In this case it’s trying to get a child to do an improvisational tree dance. And failing. Dismally.
The beauty of the Peace Party is not in its music, venue, or crowd. It’s in the mix. And it’s the mix that makes the SA music scene something worth singing about. Yet, perhaps, it’s too civilised, but it’s probably also the cleanest of festival in the country. Afrika Burns is the eco-art fest, Rafmfest is the rock one, Oppi is the mecca and the Peace Party is the blessed fest. I returned to Fake Town relaxed and revived. And hungry for its amazing parties and their, like, totally awesome line-ups.
Actually, I lie. Just its bitches. I mean.
Images © and courtesy Jess Henson and Daniel Snyders