This is Loveby Chad Liam Polley / Images by We Are Awesome / 19.04.2012
I’ve managed to grasp with my grubby mitts a free ‘golden’ ticket to what might be one of the best bands to ever grace our shores. Alec Ounsworth and the boys are here. They’re playing at the Wittebome Civic Centre and I have a ticket. I am sitting, drinking white wine spritzers, giddy with anticipation to witness them – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, not the spritzers – playing some songs off of their buzz-ridden first album. They might even play some songs from their soporific sophomore effort. Probably “Satan Said Dance”, methinks. Me, I just super want to hear the shoegaze-drenched “In This Home On Ice”. So does my friend Kyle. I want to hear Alec dip and bend over those notes like a deranged madman, enthusing with yodelliriffic yelps and moans, and bleating like a mad cow. I want to drown “Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood”.
After a Long Island celebration at some Jamaican restaurant somewhere and some gulps of red wine with Anja, Kyle and a certain Martian Martian and his lover – the red wine an effort to get even more superfluously celebratory – we saunter our way into the very minimalistic and delightfully decorated Civic Centre. I rub my hands with glee. I get to see Beach Party and witness my friend Nic van Reenen waltz, wander and, well, walk across the stage with Spoek’s Bones.
We dabble in some beers, I meet some of young Kyle’s sexy and musically knowledgable friends – some of whom gasp when I tell them of my Beach Fossils vinyl (a hip-kid’s wet dream) and we meander to the stage just as the curtains rise up to allow Beach Party to greet us underneath cubes of light adorned with the headliner’s name. I am suitably impressed with the Strokesian manner in which lead vocalist, Gabes, meanders about the stage occasionally fucking the mic stand. Danielle Loubser, on guitar, gives crystal clear creedence to the notion of girls on stage – attacking and interrogating her feminity with grace and sex whilst their keyboardist manages his best to keep quiet and stoic in the force of the dual-battle going on stage. They’re fun, they’re a bit silly sometimes and, therefore, very entertaining.
The curtain falls, and then it rises again.
Spoeky and his machine gun-toting peers arrive on stage and after some key announcements deign to grace us with their obviously eclectic sounds. They’re much noisier live. Much better. Guitarist Nic van Reenen admits himself that the album sounds a bit flatter than the live performances. Sad-face. The flip coin of pirate-ness has made CD sales drop at the behest of increasing the power of live performances and Spoeky and the gang are no slouches in this regard. It is noisy, energetic, lively… some of the crowd stand and cross their arms and watch looking hip as fuckheads. The rest of us sweat and move and jostle each other. Someone moans. Who the fuck doesn’t expect to be jostled occasionally at a rock ‘n roll show? I mean, really. Everyone is waiting for “Control”. Bated breath. They end with that obvious bang – the crowd maneuvers around and about each other, jumping and shouting and leaping and screaming. Is this love? They close off and people swiftly depart for more lubrication as
…After a brief succour at the bar counter I am just in time to witness all the gaps at the front get taken. I sigh at my genetics and sip at my beer as I stand behind tall people and fucken hipsters wearing fucken hipster hats. This will not do. I elbow my way close to someone I kinda know and prep for delight. They play some songs I didn’t care to know too well. They also play some obvious classics. People scream “SATAN!” quite very fucken loudly. We are happy. We disco-punk to “Yellow Country Teeth” – I remember I haven’t brushed mine. I lament I am not in Joburg witnessing this. The Vampire Cohen and I would be fucking the crowd, happily. Just as I am about to cry, melancholically, I hear Alec mention something about how warm our winter seems to be… compared to how icy it should be… I am jubilant… I leap around like a dolphin… I grab Kyle, we smile, we shout, we annoy everyone with our thrashing about like we are fish on the end of Alec’s hook – I am delirious. Beatific. This is love. Someone taps me… “Are you Chad?” More new Cape Town friends. I clink, joyfully. Then the song is over and I breathe a sigh of utter relief. But it isn’t over yet.
I rush quicksmart to the bar. I stop. I stare. There are people outside. They aren’t buying drinks. They are chatting and smoking and looking cool. Fucken dicks. Fucken smelly little shitfingers. I shout, loudly, I hope, enough to cut into their cool. Whatevs. Cunts.
I am greeted by their last couple of songs. People cheer as it ends – shout out and chant for the obvious encore. Obviously, they reappear. It all ends quite obviously – “Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood” and we ride it, beautifully, all the way out with our sex and our drugs and our rock ‘n roll.
*All images © We-Are-Awesome