Welcome Acousticsby Daniel Gallan / 26.03.2013
Sunshine, flowing booze, a green agenda, minimal clothing on beautiful people, tasty organic food, top quality local music; the Rise and Shine festival was an absolute winner on its debut. The one thing that I would have changed about the fest was that it lasted only one day.
It ticked all the boxes you want ticked when attending an acoustic day festival. I’ve attended similar events as well as various other debuting festivals and Rise and Shine did not suffer from the pitfalls that many others have.
There were no toilet issues, no irritating lines at the food stalls or bars, hardly any sound issues, and no bad vibes amongst the happy hippie tree huggers that came out (where are the people who dress like this on regular days?)
Without any hassles we could enjoy what we all forked R200 out for: the music.
And it was great. The highlight was what I saw as a coming of age for Naming James. I have been keeping an eye on Jamie’s career and this was without doubt his best performance that I have seen.
His guitar work was accurate, particularly on ‘Butcher’s Knife’, his raspy voice on key and his renditions of his songs – perhaps unnoticed by a few – were nicely changed up, offering those who are familiar with his work a different angle to view them from. The biggest compliment I can give him is that on this day he outshone his more illustrious contemporaries.
That is not to say that he was the lone light. Some Grow Young are an extremely talented duo. The left/right hand combination adds a nice little twist to their cohesive partnership the same way Hashim Amla and Greame Smith do. But like our Protea heroes these guys deliver. Keep an eye on them.
Tidal Waves were their usual jammy chilled selves and their rendition of ‘Redemption Song’ was beautiful. It was also the one song that everyone in the audience knew the words to.
Jeremy Loops became the first person in history to get a group of people who were not toddlers jamming to ‘Row Row Row Your Boat’. It was too cool and just summed up the sun-shiney, feel good vibes this oak from Cape Town makes you feel when you jam along with him live. You could say that his music lacks something without the spectacle of watching him live, that his guitar work is perhaps not as good as his harmonica or beat box and his lyrics are not as thought provoking as they could be. But wow he is a top quality live act!
Shadowclub rounded the show off with the most stripped down performance I’ve seen them do. I loved it. The guitar was crisp without the usual distortion and it really worked well with haunting, floating vocals. Isaac Klawansky looked a bit lost without his high energy drumming, instead toning it down with a small kick-drum and a tambourine. I liked the sound he made, as the ‘chk’ sound that you need for an acoustic stage was nicely provided with the tambourine as opposed to a slapping technique on a guitar but the lanky tattooed drummer at times looked like he would rather have been somewhere else.
As a festival, I loved Rise and Shine, it represented a perfect day out. A flawless display from the organisers deserves a mention and it is a clear indication that events of this nature are starting to get the attention that they deserve.
© All images copyright Daniel Gallan