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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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  1. The JZA says:

    if I spit out of my window, I’m more likely to hit a student pretending to be a journalist.

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  2. Sindy-Lou says:

    :-0 Now that was just nasty! I think The Plastics are pretty ordinary too, unless ofcourse you drank too much wine at Up the Creek..and all you wanna do is touch their hair. Then they’re aawesome :-p

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  3. AJ says:

    someone finally giving some their honest opinion, there are tooo many radio listeners out there, “the radio says its kif, it must be”… if only more people had their opinion – the music scene might be as interesting as it used to be…

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  4. Jason G says:

    woah! what did the plastics do to piss this hyena off! Lol! From my opinion the gig was off the hook! probs 1,500 people, loving both bands and having a great time! i just want to make a point here, being friends with the plastics, why does everyone have to bring down a band for sounding like other bands while some bands get away with it scott free?
    Just look at another up n coming really cool band The New Loud Rockets hey were slated from all sides about sounding like the strokes but then a band like Taxi Violence can get away with sounding like Queens of the Stone Age?? you get bands Like Zebra and Girrafe who sound like the most generic synth pop band ever but they dont get dissed, the beams sound like forward russia, you get the Pretty Blue Guns who sound like Tom Waites but nobody cares, im just asking why this happens, here we have the plastics bieng accused of “stealing” the arctic minkeys sound do they sound like the arctic monkeys sure they do a bit, maybe they are InFlUeNcEd by them? but who cares anyway they still make really cool music and are going places. i just dont think this is a fair review and it comes across as quite bitchy and insulting to my home boys!

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  5. Wordy Rock Guy says:

    Yes that man Jason G! Well put. What you highlight is a common symptom of the “music media” in this country, or at least, those few individuals (myself included) who deem their opinions more worthy above any else’s (and right there, I should stop writing, but I shall continue, such is my journalistic need to be read). I too long for the day in which a band is “reviewed” upon its musical merit and not upon who the listener thinks they might sound like, or for what they happen to be wearing or what hair style they have, reviewed for the MUSIC, Ask a person who has never heard of the Arctic Monkeys (there are some) who they think the Plastics sound like. Good example of this biased reporting is the New Loud Rockets (R.I.P), and another band that comes to mind as being victims of the small town music media syndrome – Damn Right (who I am sure Miz Henry doesn’t like either). Slated from day one for being “posers” (becos they dress their lifestyle on stage?), unoriginalists (does that word exist?) who fashion their sound after a band called the Towers of London. Really. But one has only to read a review of their gig or EP from a REAL music journalsit (Myles Keylock or Evan Milton, or Therese Owen, say) to know what the band actually SOUNDS like… where what they wear on stage or how they comb their hair is of little interest (fashion come and go. no?), where all that matters is the MUSIC. Funny too how the same bands are always praised, revered, worshipped too?
    What is my point?
    I forget now…
    oh yes, people should learn to reconnect with the MUSIC, rate a band on how well they play, even if the style they play is not your favourite and learn to look beyond outfits, silly hairdos and scenester-hang ups, otherwise we’re not advancing anything.
    but then again, what do I know…

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  6. Wardy says:

    Why?! Oh Why doyou have to say “four WHITE boys” you racist cow!

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  7. Jimmy Trim says:

    Good article… but a bit harsh, perhaps. I think The Plastics are awesome. Who cares if they resemble Arctic Monkeys. They’re South African, and they’re writing there own songs from scratch, I doubt they sit and model each song of a pre-existing track by Arctic Monkeys.
    Personally, Kidofdoom can kiss my arse, coz I keep finding myself waiting for vocals to kick in. But thats Indie for you.. Put on your lumo shirt, tight jeans, and wayfarers, and they’re the hottest shit in town, but only if SL magazine and One Small Seed say so.
    The Plastics = 1, Kidofdoom – 0

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  8. The Real Slim Shady says:

    Plastics 1
    Kidofdoom 1
    both good bands

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  9. spoons says:

    If a band is shit, they are shit. Period. The Assembly is also a shit venue. I hope they close down. They have no clue how to treat musicians and yes, they are overpriced.

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