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Jack Parow and Van Coke Kartel

Belville Botanical Gardens

by Bianca Fernandes, images by Duran Levinson / 18.01.2011

Last Sunday Jack Parow and The Van Coke clan took to the small Kirstenbosch stage for their turn at entertaining the grassy slope of picnickers. Goodhope FM’s DJ Cheese (or so he should be called) kept the crowd amused in the build up. And while the field was expecting the mellower acoustic sounds of Francois and his guitar, invariably Van Coke Kartel plugged in their amps, and within a few songs started to belt out the old Fokof crowd-pleasers. Fokof sing alongs always give me chills. So I wasn’t complaining.

If you’ve seen Jack Parow before you’ll know what to expect. No surprises. Just him, his DJ and some live collaboration on his most popular songs with Die Heuwels Fantasties and Francios Van Coke adding a bit of variety and getting everyone hyped. Jack’s looking a bit ropey at the moment. Maybe all that hard living and pop fame is having an adverse effect on his body, even if it seems to have little effect on his stage show.

It was kif to see all the Northern Suburbs boere who made the journey across the lentil curtain bringing with them their lingo and DIY home decorated shirts. “Bellville kinders innie huis!”, “Hoss ja!”. Kids wearing Jack Parow caps rocking their proud-to-be-stupid Bellville Breker attitudes. Loud and proud, unlike the group of Southern Suburb wasps seated at the top of the hill quietly humming along, consciously hoping no one was watching. Barefooted head bangers with pouted rock lips, Castle Lagers in hand and the last of the afternoon sun on their backs. Bringing Bellville to Kirstenbosch, as always, gets everyone involved in the atmosphere. That’s the beauty of open aired concerts and tightly packed crowd sitting together and appreciating.

Jack PArow, Van Coke Kartel

It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand the lyrics, because the passion of their delivery and the barely concealed pain Francois gives off will carry you through the set. Every performance of “Ek Skyn Heilig” and “Hemel Op Die Platteland” always get me moving and feeling that lump in my throat, regardless of the fact that I don’t fully understand everything he’s singing. Their cover of “Maniac” from Flashdance, that a very in love and recently engaged Francois dedicated to his wife-to-be, didn’t quite fit the set and wasn’t the most appropriate cover for a band like Van Coke, but the drunken underage t-shirt savages and their parents didn’t seem to care as they got up and jumped around anyway. Those highlighted faux-hawked kids will dance to anything that the Belville paragons produce.

When you hear “Dis kak fokkin lekker”, you know Parow is on stage with his hat and gold rings and all the young fans screaming his name try and keep up with the pace of his rap. He’s entertaining and energetic, but soon every song starts sounding the same.

The Belville hit machine have so many fans and followers, it was always going to be an easy gig. Pairing up Jack Parow and Fokof-B, uh, I mean Van Coke Kartel will always make for a good show, especially when it’s performed at an outside stage in a beautiful garden on hot summer’s evening to an audience that knows the songs and can sing back all the lyrics.

Jack Parow

Francois Van Coke

Van Coke Kartel

All images © Duran Levinson.

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  1. thinz; soma and coke says:

    jesus they all look so fucking fat and bloated, image imitating hype. who stole the sex from rock n roll….come back arno, all is forgiven?

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  2. Anonymous says:

    ugh, how the mighty have fallen.
    how did we go from max to this?


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  3. bub king says:

    Awesome pics! Not a huge fan of the writing.

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  4. Brian Green says:

    To the one true God above, here is my prayer. Not the first you’ve heard, but the first I wrote. Please disappear all of the above bands.

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  5. Jason says:

    Was it pensioner Tuesday?

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  6. Fred says:

    Bloated or not bloated has nothing to do with the fact that they are living legends.

    Im not a die-hard fan of any one of these bands but no one can deny that they have made an enormous contribution to local music! Not one teenager listened to local bands before they made an appearance…

    So I say let them be bloated and ropey and appropriately drunk on stage if they want to.

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  7. Fred says:

    @ thinz; soma and coke.
    Francois is actually looking less “fucking fat and bloated” than ever.

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  8. Andy says:

    Francois looks a bit like that Viking Vampire in True Blood in that one shot!

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  9. Urk says:

    I’m suprised that’s all there is to be said. What about the pleasure of having all of the original FPK members hopping onto stage and belting out a Perfect rendition of “Ek skyn”? they are fucking good at what they do. What a phenomenal thing that we can decend in our 1000’s on a botanical garden on a Sunday afternoon for live music? It inspires young and old to get their groove on and express themselves. If there is any legitimate criticism, I’d say it would be lack of integration, which is something that we all play a part in, not only organisers or muso’s.

    To the haters: piss off and do something constructive. Put yourself out there to be shot down. May give you a little more perspective and help you to be more accomodating. We’re so bloody smarmy and jaded. Exactly the point that JP makes in Cooler as Ekke. I overheard some youngsters griping about this one’s make-up and that one’s dress sense. Fuck all that. It inhibits my enjoyment, so I now refuse to let it into my zone.

    Rock on Rockspiders.

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  10. Brian Green says:

    @Urk You’re right. Next time I take one of my farm hands for a little drag behind my Hilux bakkie, I’ll crank those tunez super, duper loud, not just to drown out the screaming behind me, but in appreciation for the artistic wonderment (and subsequent national harmony) the above bands inspire.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    i dont who this miss bianca is but there were more southern souties than boere at that show…

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  12. thinz; soma and coke says: says:

    @fred and urk don’t you mean derivative drivel corrupting the nation’s ears along with the hhp’s and show dems………wild eyes / kidofdoom can spin me a yarn, a sin or a song any day of the week…and on more important observations wynand seriously needs to stop wearing skinny jeans with that beer boep…this whole scene just makes me want to throw up on my poop…ja jack parow is a fucking bhaal like twit, he comes as close to inspiration and originality as a mynah bird beating off a worm

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  13. thinz; soma and coke says: says:

    ”Not one teenager listened to local bands before they made an appearance…”

    and not one teenager was worse off for it

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  14. VanCokeiaPo*s says:

    whoever told VAN COKE (dik OKE) that he can sing was an idiot. Awesome band – ditch the selfloving uselss vocal failure….and to all those people tryign to promote these turds, imitating the UK and USA but changing the language does not make you a living legend. It just goes to prove the lack of talent. Even though im not a fan of Parow – he is at least original and I support that. the rest is just plane useless K*K! if this is the best we have to offer then its not surprising noone gives a sh*t about local. Local is kakker!

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  15. ling-ling says:

    As long a people were smiling and having fun. Its not for Ling-Ling, but that is why I was not there.

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