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Josie Field

Casually Indifferent

by Rob Scher, images Shaun Bond / 21.03.2011

Wednesday nights are tough. It’s not quite late enough in the week to excuse a 3am McDonalds drive-thru kind of evening but is also long enough since the weekend to warrant not staying at home. Perhaps this is where the idea of the “mid-week gig” was born. There still remains the challenge of finding a gig that’s not too pricey and also without temptation of getting completely wrecked and beginning your weekend on a Thursday. Enter &Union Real Music Wednesday – the gig is free and at R40 a pop for a beer, there’s not too much chance of it turning into a big night.

&Union is particularly full tonight – I guess Josie Field, the featured artist this evening, has a bigger following in Cape Town than I originally thought, because the place is full-up. The set begins humbly with Josie plucking at a ukulele. My previous reservations against anyone describing their genre as “singer songwriter” falls away as her bluesy vocals drift over the crowd. There’s a lovely, lazy acoustic feel to the music.  Alas the first song finishes to mild applause. The audience seems largely disinterested. Josie’s performance seems to be providing more of a background music tableau than entertainment to this yuppie-fied, “post-youth” crowd who largely ignore Josie and loudly continue their conversations throughout the show.

&Union Real Music Wednesday

Josie continues unperturbed, mostly playing tracks off her new album – 1984. Having been on the scene for over five years now (1984 is her third studio album), she handles the crowd’s indifference admirably. Although mentioning, after every song, that this gig marks the release of the album, smacks of a kind of desperation to be appreciated by the indifferent, expensive beer swilling mass assembled.

As a solo performer it’s the nature of the business to self-promote as much as possible, but as a musician the line between business and music should always remain in tact. She should trust the music to do the selling. Nonetheless, Josie finishes the set strong and, without any encouragement for an encore, leaves the stage somewhat prematurely.

With a diverse and promising lineup of acts coming up over the course of the next month, and the lingering taste of Steph Weiss beer that literally leaves any other beer tasting like piss, I will certainly be returning for a fix of “Real Music Wednesday”.

&Union Real Music Wednesday

* Catch-a-fire this Wednesday for Durban rockers Dance You’re on Fire and Fire Through the Window at &Union, 23 March 2011. The gig is 100% Mahala. Alas, the beer is not.

*All images © Shaun Bond.

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RESPONSES (18)
  1. Lizzy says:

    R40 for a beer? these guys are taking the piss!

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  2. everyman says:

    It’s Josie Fields, not Josie Field.

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  3. Andy says:

    Ja everyman that’s why her website is http://www.josiefield.co.za

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  4. Serisha says:

    I’ll be there tomorrow.
    Just FYI Dance You’re on Fire are from Joburg and Fire Through are from Durban.

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  5. everyman says:

    No, but the vast majority of websites and promotional things refer to her as Josie Fields, so then that is her real name. It doesn’t matter what her ID book says, if that’s what most people call her then that is what she is.

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  6. Andy says:

    everyman you’re being a douche. We got this. Check the site, check her album cover. Surely she woulda spelt her name right on her own album. Sometimes you just got to admit to being wrong. And nitpicky

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  7. Andy says:

    Thanks Serisha

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  8. everyman says:

    Je suis un douche amongst a sea of douches. South African popular opinion has named her Josie Fields whether she likes it or not, and nothing is more powerful in this place than popular opinion. It would be easier for her (and her career) to adopt a name change than for us to adjust ourselves to nomenclatorial correctness. Or she could emigrate to Australia.

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  9. Australian says:

    Everyman when are you going back to South Africa?

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  10. everyman says:

    I never left.

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  11. Andy says:

    everyman… once you’ve admitted that you made a mistake, you can move on. Instead of wasting your time on the comment boards trying to pretend that you’re not wrong, conjuring up hollow arguments like South African popular opinion (ascertained by what, a Google search?)

    Her name is Josie Field – as it is written on both her website and all her albums.

    Oh hang on… you’re kidding right?

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  12. dwight says:

    everyman… Damn you are a fool! You will from this day forth be known as ‘twat’ as it is popular opinion here.

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  13. everyman says:

    Au contraire, I don’t for a moment doubt that I am “wrong”. It’s just that I am united with so many compatriots in our wrongness that there’s something very right about it. Besides, this spelling obsession was never an African thing.

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  14. Andy says:

    Well you’re in good company, they got it wrong on the Poster as well…

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  15. www.askjuju.co.za says:

    that’s how we roll. you pretenshas intelligant ppl must get with the massis.

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  16. King Mob says:

    eish, douche deluxe, everyman, please scroll up the comments board, and note how when chronicled backwards to their point of origin your two-day-tire-ade does come off a tad doff,
    and if you don’t see it yet, then you’re probably more doff than expected and this won’t make much of a difference anyway, so i’m off to gargle my mouth with gin, i leave you all to it. Google : HUMILITY

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Who is this guy cause i’ve honestly just gargled with Gin and the reference has blown my mind.

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  18. Josie Field says:

    &Union is a great venue and i truly enjoyed the beer and had a great time there – next time i hope to bring my band.
    i think the next album should be called ‘No S’

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