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Kings and Wrestlers

by Ashley Jewnarain, images by Matthew Brewer / 03.06.2010

First things first, i’m from Durban. I’m used to crowded gigs in small venues with bad sound, redeemed only by the availability of cheap Black Label quarts and cheaper ganja. I’ve heard both of the night’s acts under the aforementioned conditions and found them both listenable but underwhelming, Wrestlerish having still charmed me somewhat.

Saturday night at the Mercury in Cape Town turned out to be a string of pleasant discoveries. This was my first live gig in this town, and bra, I’ve been to quite a few bars and pubs between Stellenbosch and Observatory and this was the first one that purveyed the sweet nectar of the SAB gods, Black Label draught, on tap, bru. Feeling quite at home, three thumbs up.
The first band up, Heldervue, played like an earnest Incubus tribute in a small South Coast town. Wait, I think that would be North now. Regardless, we refilled our draughts. Hmmm, Black label draught…
aKing up next, sharing a drummer with Fokofpolisiekar, turned up the vibe somewhat. Their energetic indie-rock sound went down well with the crowd of ridiculously good looking people crammed shoulder to shoulder in front of the stage. Randomly inserted minutia: It is at this point that I find a 25 billion dollar Zim agrocheque in my pocket, and ponder using it to score half a label. My common sense wins the poll.

The sound at the Mercury is pretty good, you can actually hear each band member quite distinctly. So what if its fuckin cold here at this time of year?

I’ve reviewed them before, I really like their cynical quasi-emo lyrics and country/blues influenced mellow rock. They made girls sway and sing along with deep thoughtful faces and generated that sublime feeling that they’re getting pretty popular for. Another beer.

All in all, fun gig, great vibe, the Mercury, though easily crowded, has great sound and atmosphere, and its proximity to the excellent Shack next door gives it a weird Old Burn/Winston vibe (excuse the Durban references Kaapies), which I dug immensely.

Good times, good times, and Black label motherfuckin draught in the Mother City. Hell yes.

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