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Dans dans dans

Dans dans dans

by Alex Sudheim, images by Kevin Goss-Ross / 09.02.2010

A scrum of sweaty fratboys stand shirtless and sweating before the stage chanting “Francois! Francois! Francois!” exhorting their hero to join one-man-band Yesterday’s Pupil to form the spastically-monikered Oorlog Frankenstein. Eventually the erstwhile Fokofpoliesiekar frontman and Van Coke Kartel singer emerges in typical style, stumbling about in bewilderment like a stoned Womble.

But then he gets a chokehold on the mic and tears it a new one. Unleashing indecipherable prophecies of doom in a voice that veers alarmingly from Viking roar to banshee wail, Francois van Coke is a bearded male version of Linda Blair in The Exorcist, all maniacal glare and wild sweaty hair. With Yesterday’s Pupil’s squawks, squeaks and squelches bouncing around on a trampoline of rubbery beats and basslines, the duo provide a convincing answer to anyone who’s ever asked themselves the question: “I wonder what it would sound like if Mastodon, one day, you know, just felt like jamming with, say, Stereo Total?” Then van Coke is plucked from the stage and borne aloft by his adoring horde of musclebound manne in a rarely-seen deleted scene from the South African student production of 300.

Yesterday's Pupil

Before the show I’d checked out a few of Yesterday’s Pupil’s videos on the net and the lad’s schtick sure is sussed. With his deadpan expression; bemused gaze directed straight into the lens and the videos’ stop-frame-jump-cut aesthetic featuring many instruments played by one man, Yesterday’s Pupil looks like he’s auditioning for Flight of the Conchords. And, just like the offbeat compositions of Bret & Jermaine, the songs are catchy, bouncy, clever and funny while Mr Pupil is undoubtedly a prodigious talent: drums are thrashed, guitars shredded, keyboards banged upon, microphones sung into and all manner of electronic hocus-pocus conjured up to create delightful merry-go-round music from Mars.

And, despite but one skinny bloke, he does a pretty fine job of occupying the entire stage. Cryptic metal slabs are fiddled with to set up some banging beats and gyrating melodies before he scampers off to bash the daylights out of a drumkit before returning front and centre where some serious axe-wielding ensues during which the riff of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” is gloriously brutalised. Tons of fun but Autechre he is not: it is impossible not to detect the whiff of a dead Goldfish when the electronic/live juxtaposition appears a novelty-laden showboat that makes too easy an impression on the easily impressionable.

Isochronous

Pretoria’s melodic rock band Isochronous are slick, professional and predictable and even though the venue’s awful dimensions (big, booming, box-shaped gym hall) don’t do their sound much justice, the band is stuck on the “epic rock anthem, big British arena-packing band style” setting and that’s just the way they like it thank you very much. It’s as if a team of top-level sonic geneticists went into a laboratory and created the perfect mutant hybrid between Editors, Coldplay, Muse and Keane. Their formula is designed with a sold-out Wembley Stadium in mind and I’ll be the first to congratulate them if they make it there.

Fruit n Veggies

Moonchild’s soulful, swinging, New Age grooves were tolerable enough in the early stages of the evening and Fruit & Veggie’s miscreant fusion of reggae, rock and hip-hop, like a shard of glass in the ocean, gets smoother and more polished each time it is washed up on stage then sucked back into the sea.

Francois riles up the manne

Francois riles up the manne

Manne respond with animal like roars

Manne respond with animal like roars

Isochronous mid rock anthem

Isochronous mid rock anthem

Fruit 'n Veggies' vibe man

Fruit 'n Veggies' vibe man

the International Cleaning Staff take a break

the International Cleaning Staff take a break

Francois soothes the manne with sweet sweet melodies

Francois soothes the manne with sweet sweet melodies

That's how it ends... stay classy Durban.

That's how it ends... stay classy Durban.

All images © and courtesy Kevin Goss-Ross

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RESPONSES (32)
  1. optional says:

    Pictures, great. Words, like beer cans in a toilet.

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  2. filipa says:

    who took the pics? they’re awesome!

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  3. Tumi J says:

    Shitloads of strangers are now amassing below your windows chanting ‘so fucking what?’ Your writing is dead inside…

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  4. Event Organiser says:

    Long diatribe about how the reviewer doesn’t know the facts, didn’t do his research and doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Word Count: 2000

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  5. uh huh! says:

    Tons of fun but Autechre he is not: it is impossible not to detect the whiff of a dead Goldfish when the electronic/live juxtaposition appears a novelty-laden showboat that makes too easy an impression on the easily impressionable.

    Thats a rather well put together mouthfull!

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  6. John James St James John says:

    The main reason to exhale into the Jubilee Hall was to see Isochronous, Yesterday’s Pupil and Oorlog Frankenstein. As far as the merely average attendance the “gig” was good – although the wrong venue. All I’ll say is at least they got them here. I think the review is apt and not “dead” on the inside. I think it’s f*cking sad that most people pissed off before seeing Oorlog, but they came on late. Mostly I bought cd’s enjoyed myself and that’s goes for a bunch of us. F8cking Ney Sayers, stop complaining.

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  7. fan says:

    when is the next big gig?

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  8. jonie says:

    man, at least 4 people turned to me to say “who is this guy”…”whatshe called” during Yesterday’s Pupils set. One guy came back with, “hey i even listened to him on myspace, but i thought he was a whole band!”

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  9. travis says:

    ok some-one tell me: what is Autechre?

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  10. hankie says:

    travis: autechre is when someone is quite small and lanky but still very sexy, like mowgli from the jungle book.

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  11. travis says:

    what a sweet analogy.

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  12. travis says:

    i mean simile: mowgli.

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  13. jonie says:

    dude, yp is quite tall. spose the lanky part is true

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  14. Fuck jocks says:

    That dude from fokof is ok but his fans suck so damn much. Thanks must go to the 9 rugby Van Coke jocks for kicking the shit out of my buddy and throwing us all into a bush and pushing us around while all we were doing was trying to get away and be the genuine cowards we are….Being a passive stoner doesn’t even help these days, tisk tisk….All I can say is those morons should be locked away.

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  15. mofo says:

    Autechre is an electronica duo – any web search will tell you that.

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  16. Andy says:

    heavy story about the jocks man… maybe we can do a follow up

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  17. tara says:

    i think those fokof fans were just feeling roguish because of how hard francois kicked the one off stage when he shouldnt have been there.

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  18. joegz says:

    flicks are off the hook

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  19. alex fan says:

    awesome review

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  20. Oneironaut says:

    i made that toilet! it is the begining of a revolution!!!

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  21. Roger Young says:

    Oneironaut – Your toilet is also on Durban Live. You, sir, are a recognised artist now, use this responsibility wisely.

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  22. ralph says:

    Oorlog was sick, but yeah those “fans” were fucking irritating, they have no real respect for music what so fucking ever. Isoc, Y.P and Oorlog was big time fucking cool

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  23. Anonymous says:

    if Autechre played in SA, everyone would be watching this show instead.

    This dialog says it all:

    travis says:
    February 9, 2010 at 9:38 am
    ok some-one tell me: what is Autechre?

    hankie says:
    February 9, 2010 at 10:13 am
    travis: autechre is when someone is quite small and lanky but still very sexy, like mowgli from the jungle book.

    travis says:
    February 9, 2010 at 10:26 am
    what a sweet analogy.

    travis says:
    February 9, 2010 at 10:27 am
    i mean simile: mowgli.

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  24. Kevin Goss-Ross says:

    Fruit ‘n Veggies’ vibe man?

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  25. tara says:

    maybe if Autechre played in SA, it would be at BIG GIG.

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  26. more on BIG GIG from your latest news reporters says:

    http://www.durbanlive.com/live/coments_handler.jsp

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  27. puked_on says:

    Excellent review… I don’t get what Event Organiser was on about. I even read it twice to see if he was on to something but no, I still don’t agree. The writer even says he watched some Yesterday’s Pupil videos. I think that would be classed as research… All his comments on the different bands seemed totally accurate and well put.

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  28. rettambuli says:

    ‘…a scrum of sweaty fan boys stand shirtless and sweating’ – if they’re ‘sweaty’ they’re probably sweating…numb nuts!

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  29. tara says:

    nevermind that, lets not get hooked on being pedants.
    The point is that a whole lot of musicians from a whole lot of SA towns did what usually only takes place at a festival and comprised a programme fit for a kings large musical appetite. Fruit and veg now know isochronous, moonchild has now heard Yesterday’s pupil – and vise versa.
    The music in this country is of real caliber, now will the real audience please stand up.

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  30. tara says:

    and some sweet undernourished artist made an art-piece in their honour in the mens toilet..

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  31. DR PACHANGA says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! U GUYS ARE AMAZING

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  32. Texas Gun Trust says:

    From the article I can tell you know what your talking about. Thank you for sharing this quality information. Please post some other articles on the same topic.

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