Bones hits the G-Spotby Duncan Collins / 23.02.2010
Saturday nights in a drinking town with an academic problem can be spent in two ways. The first is staying in, writing essays and watching whatever new series is perfecting your procrastination techniques. The second would be playing drinking games designed to challenge your liver.
However every now and then, there is a third option that forces the other two into the naughty corner for a time-out. This option is live music, and who better to make you leave those essays un-typed than Rambling Bones?
The Eastern Cape is desperate for many things, like water, electricity, a rugby team worth supporting and quality musicians like Jay Bones. The Rambling Bones Eastern Cape tour began in Bloemfontein and ended on an explosive note in Grahamstown. Fans will know Jay Bones from legendary ska-punk band Fuzigish. His new solo project concentrates on him as a singer-songwriter and his new album Watching and Waiting brings new meaning to the acoustic guitar.
As the time grew closer to Rambling Bones’ set, the Student Union began filling up. Obviously the drinking games had come to an end, and the students began their quest for something special. They found it in the combination of R10 drafts and Jay Bones, a magical elixir. Fuzigish was relived this night as Jay played songs from his new album as well as regular Fuzi standards. It was only a matter of time before the skanking began. And when it did, nothing was going to stop it. Jay himself refused to end and played song after song to a crowd that would not leave. In a sentence, the fans were given Fuzigish unplugged. One man, one guitar and one crowd skanking it up. The seating for what was supposed to be an acoustic set was rendered pointless.
About half an hour of hard jamming the only object in the room that could not keep up with the energy was Jay’s guitar. Tired and in need for some rest it decided to stop working. The students though were not ready to let the night end like that and in no time, Jay was given a replacement guitar from one of the previous performers.
What made this gig unique was the interaction between Jay Bones and the crowd. The venue is small with a small stage. The show was more personal this way, allowing people to talk to Jay while he played. It was like a friend had got onto stage to play some songs so everyone could sing along, except that friend was a legend in South African music and the songs were of the type that only deaf people sit still to while listening.
This gig is proof that acoustic music does not entail some guy from the beach singing like Jack Johnson while having to take sips of water between every song, playing to a seated crowd who might, or might not, be alive. Jay Bones played as if he was rocking Oppikoppi, full of life and energy. Who needs an entire band when you can play guitar like Jay Bones? It will probably be quite a while before Grahamstown is spoilt like that again.