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Car Boot Vendors

Interview from the Boot

by Leila Bloch. Images by Sam Burrows / 03.02.2011

The instigators of the Uprising Festival, of Sibling Rivalry Fame, Beard, Skollie, Meaty One and Justin have played at just about every small pub there is, from Umbilo to Obs. Beard is immediate and honest without being in your face. As I attempt to define what they do, he prepares me, on the gritty balcony of the Waiting Room, for an intimate night of hard-hitting folk/punk/rock. This, apparently, is going to be a full-blown, Cirque de Soleil of new wave punk – jamming, just for the sake of it. That’s just how the Car Boot Vendors play it.

Mahala: You already had quite the reputation as Sibling Rivalry, sharing the stage with the likes of Fuzigish, Springbok Nude girls and starting the Uprising festival. Why did you leave while things were good?

Beard: Hey, we’re still doing Sibling Rivalry but we burnt-out after we went travelling to Thailand, we wanted to do something new. Strip our music down to its bare essentials and it’s cool to have mates we can make these changes with.

Durban has a long history of iconoclastic punk, how do you find the rest of the country?

Beard: We still rock with people from the 70s. Andrew Pienkes from Bad Murphy, his son is in the City Bowl Mizers. We’re all connected. Cape Town is awesome compared to Durban- there it would be a full-on chicken run, a gauntlet. The streets would be empty, full of crime but we want to stay patriotic you know.  Not necessarily wearing leopard skins but still making South Africa a part of our music. On the other hand we are just doing what we do, if we only have a few friends to jam with then that’s also cool.

Car Boot Vendors

Patriotic Punks then. What does it mean to be a “middle class hero” in South Africa? Is that actually possible?

Beard: It’s completely personal you know, but we do ask ourselves how you can make a difference for those who aren’t in our positions. Yeah middle class heroes, Model C schools, it’s been hard. Also, it doesn’t really matter what class you’re in there’s no pretence or class when it comes to crime. That’s what our lyrics speak about too. It’s the feeling you get after you’ve been mugged with a knife to your throat. We’re reflecting on some of that apathy. We just don’t want to grow up, we want to delay having real jobs for as long as possible.

Peter pan complex?

Beard: No, the Paedo-pan complexes, we still want to be reeling in the young chicks even when we grow up!

Car Boot Vendors

There’s a lot of cross-genreing (and cross dressing?). Rock, punk, folk and even pop in your repeated choruses. Is this a reinvention or rebellion against punk?

Skollie: Hey, we have no problem with pop music. Beard auditioned for Idols and we love Blink 182. Pop is just an abbreviation of popular, we don’t care we are making music for the sake of it. We just want to jam and we want the music to sound nice, in whatever possible way.

Bob Dylan was unpopular in Newport 73 after moving from acoustic to electric. You guys seem to be doing the opposite. To what extent have you moved from electric to acoustic?

Beard: Yeah he got mangled bru. We’re not really an acoustic band but I guess we could totally bullshit people into thinking we’re a mellow rock band. We’re pretty much a normal punk rock or rock ‘n roll band, we just happen to be playing with some acoustic variation. This style hasn’t taken off in South Africa yet. It’s got a DIY feel- anyone can be a rock star. We don’t need pedals, big amps, it’s just playing with a fucking guitar. There’s a close link to what punk rock did in the 70’s for acoustic music, bringing it back to its basics, making music for the sake of it. What we’re trying to do is get punk back to its roots. Our acoustics are still plugged into their amps, but if we are left with nothing but an amp and an empty room we’d still be jamming with our friends. The folk thing has become linked with the punk thing. It’s all about bringing music back to its roots, playing music for the sake of it, making it accessible, immediate.

Car Boot Vendors

If you could jam with any one of your influences?

Beard: Joe Strummer, Nicholas James and Johnny Cash and Loopy.

And the names?

Beard: Skollie is our bass player extraordinaire, let loose while waiting for a mate, missed the toilet, went straight to his foot, but at least he missed his pants.

Meaty One: I’m here by default, Skollie set me on this path and I’m in charge of the ukelele and hustling.

Skollie: Beard is in charge of guitar, harmonica and the vocals. Justin is the drummer and breaks tambourines as performance art.

Justin: Just remember if you’re feeling down your going down.

Car Boot Vendors

In an atomised Waiting Room, mid-gig, I’m caught between all the flailing arms and bare-feet, in very close proximity to James Klopper- part of the Forgotten Heroes supporting act and Captain Stu fame. He wants to tell me how these guys started his career and introduced him to the accommodating Durban punk scene. I want to talk about anarchy like a thirteen year-old. He gets up, dives on stage and yanks Beard’s shirt off.  Enough said. Is there any point in probing deeper into their streams of social consciousness? In trying to grapple with the labels and definitions of a group who are clearly trying to defy them. Like the Dadaists they scream for immediacy, honesty and humour but in what context? With a combination of punk nihilism and folk roots, Car Boot Vendors, express the bare necessities of making music for music’s sake? And me, I’m just here to enjoy the show.

Car Boot Vendors - Meaty One, Beard and Skollie

Beard - Car Boot Vendors

All images © Sam Burrows

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RESPONSES (19)
  1. Lizzy says:

    Yay 🙂 and i love the pics

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  2. fdr says:

    “I’m in charge of the ukulele and hustling!”

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  3. damndemons says:

    somehow i feel more distant from this band than prior to reading this.

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  4. fatty says:

    who’s dave wright’s son in the city bowl mizers? uhhhhhhh

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  5. Bianca says:

    Misquote. Andrew Pienke son, Kurt is from the Mizers.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    “Like the Dadaists they scream for immediacy, honesty and humour but in what context?”

    hahaha. Ug.

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  7. Sizwe says:

    Um.
    “It’s been hard”…
    “We’re reflecting on some of that apathy”
    followed by
    “We want to delay having real jobs for as long as possible”
    and
    “Reeling in the young chicks”?

    I think a comparison to Dadaism is going too far.
    Seems more like stupid self indulgence.
    Nothing different about that.
    I agree with Damndemons.

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  8. The Beard says:

    Hey we have been really mis quoted in this article and a lot of what was said was actually just taking the piss. Also certain things were said by certain band members and it was muddled up. This isn’t a true reflection of our band and we have never compared ourselves to Dadism we don’t take oursleves that seriously and a lot of the comments were sarcastic. I and I never said “reeling in young chicks” the comment was refering to an inside joke about Skollie at GMT (hahah) note the laughing. Anyway come to a show and chat to us for yourselves if you want to know what we are about. Journalism sometimes has a tendency to be misleading. Anyway, just thought I’d say that. We will be in Jozi and Pretoria this week come say high:

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=187108531313244

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  9. Sarah says:

    Maybe I’m wrong but isn’t it ONLY Matt who’s from Sibling Rivalry and the Uprising Fest?
    Seems really cheesy to use this as a “claim to fame” to open up the article- I’m sure the others involved in that band and that fest wouldn’t appreciate not being given credit where credit is due. And, on that note, I’m sure there are far more cool old Durban peeps to party with other than Kurt’s dad? Name dropping and empty throwbacks? Very Idols.

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  10. The Beard says:

    As I said before this article has misreprented us and the journalist was meerly asking me what I knew about the old school punk scene in Durban so I mentioned Kurt’s Dad, Peter Web (Powerage) and Dave Wright (Mystery Girls, Bad Murphy) mainly Dave because he actually still plays and has been doing so since the 70’s. I was never asked if I partied or hang out with any of these people as Peter lives in Aus and Andrew I haven’t actually seen for years. I know his son Kurt from high school days, and he actually played punk when he first started a band called Filthy Freind. I wasn’t even asked anything about Uprising and Uprising Festival was organised by me and Steve Jones (Sibling Rivalry’s drummer) so in reality it has nothing to do with Car Boot Vendors or Sibling Rivalry. But whatever, you guys can belive whatever you want to read or you can meet us yourselves. Later.

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  11. Thishiwe says:

    “Dada or Dadaism is a cultural movement that began in Zurich, Switzerland, during World War I and peaked from 1916 to 1922.[1] The movement primarily involved visual arts, literature—poetry, art manifestoes, art theory—theatre, and graphic design, and concentrated its anti-war politics through a rejection of the prevailing standards in art through anti-art cultural works. Its purpose was to ridicule what its participants considered to be the meaninglessness of the modern world. In addition to being anti-war, dada was also anti-bourgeois and anarchist in nature”

    – Wiki

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Who’s your Dada

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  13. She says:

    The CBV’s are the sweetest most down to earth guys I know.
    This article is bullshit.

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  14. Roger Young says:

    Because, clearly, this article portrays them as assholes. People, get a fucking grip.

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  15. Andy says:

    Sorry? Just trying to understand, but how exactly were you misrepresented? The dadaism comment was the journalist’s opinion.

    The reeling in young chick’s thing was maybe out of context, but it’s what was said. And when everyone’s babbling at the same time it’s hard to attribute quotes. So, what exactly is the problem here?

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  16. Anonymous says:

    get a life people, its an article…

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  17. marty says:

    yeah, just meet them next time they’re in your town, decent bunch of guys withe their hearts in the right place.
    i dont think most other bands out there would be willing to share a beer and shoot the shit with strangers they’ve just met at their shows, maybe it’s just a durban thing.

    fully support CBV cos they’re not trying to be anyone else than themselves,

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  18. James Klopper says:

    The Carboot Vendors are an awesome band with fucking rad music and, as somebody mentioned already, a madly down to earth, genuine and honest group of guys in terms of how they represent themselves and what they are setting out to do.
    Also, this article really isn’t that bad at all – if they’ve been misrepresented I guess that’s inevitable, even the most clear minded, unbiased, objective and balanced article is going to “misrepresent” shit all over the place so it’s really not the end of the world. Let the references to art and social movements be… and why not give everybody involved a break, you fluffy little cynics!
    Good game!

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  19. bobby kid says:

    carboot are beautiful creatures. the article was a bit kuk but still thir an amazing band and even radder people.

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