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Plastic Doom

by Zoe Henry / 12.05.2009

On Saturday The Assembly was celebrating getting their 4am liquor licence back. The punters started trickling through the doors at about 10pm, and by 11pm there was still only a light peppering of trendoids stalking to and from the bar. Gaggles of blonde gigglers dressed like they just stepped off a Vogue Fall fashion shoot. Jocks rugby tackling each other by way of greeting, straight-gay man love on display. Blaise stalking the front of house in his pointed shoes and his beard, and Liam Lynch rocking the backstage, easily mistaken for a roadie by those not in the know. The party wasn’t going to start itself, so The Plastics took to the stage in an attempt to cajole folk to the dancefloor. People started drifting towards the stage, and pretty soon The Plastics were playing to a bit of a crowd.

Performances by bands like The Plastics are as common as taxis committing traffic violations. If you spat out of your window right now, you’d probably hit some wannabe indie-rocker right on his ever so carefully tilted Abercrombie and Fitch baseball cap. Now I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be an indie-rock scene, but if you wanna stand out from the hundreds of other kids doing the same thing, you have to be good. The Plastics aren’t. According to this less than impressed opinion-merchant, they’re just four white boys with foolish hair wearing their t-shirts two sizes too small who stole their sound from The Arctic Monkeys. Sure, you could knock back a few tequilas, give your critical ear a vacation, and probably have an okay time at one of their gigs, but there’s nothing special here.

In the mandatory hiatus between The Plastics’ last track and Kid of Doom’s first, a drink was in order. We pushed our way past the chattering cigarette toking masses (the place had really filled up by now) and made our way to the bar. “One beer and one Jack and lime please?”
“That’ll be R32.50.”
R67.50 change. I mistake some dude’s glass of water for the tip jar and chuck that R7.50 right in there. I laugh coquettishly, realising my mistake, and apologise. He doesn’t laugh. Kid of Doom is nearly set up now, so I move on. Still 7 bucks 50 is a good tip.

Ryk is standing there, his recently washed hair the texture of candy-floss glowing in the florescent blue lights that decorate the stage. The entire band dressed like they really don’t care. They’re there because they love to perform, and would do so with equal amounts of enthusiasm for a crowd of 30 or 3000. They are rock ‘n roll. The first few bars of their first song sound a bit like ABBA’s “Super Trouper”, and then quickly evolves into some trippy, psychedelic shit, like Sigur Ross on acid. The decorative florescent lights change from blue to red to green to pink to white. The punters are loving it. The band’s loving it. I’m loving it. The positive energy of everybody loving it feeds itself, and pretty soon the party is off the hook.

By the end of the evening my ears are pleasantly ringing with the sound of Richard’s keyboards, and my lungs are unpleasantly dying from the second-hand smoke of 2000 cigarettes. Kid of Doom are royalty in the SA music scene. Sadly The Plastics are barely even pawns.

Pic Credit: Liam Lynch

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