Prancing Gazellesby Mahala High Five Brigade / Illustration by Badly Drawn Man / 28.10.2009
I love Joburg city. Really. Not in the conceptual way that middle aged white art directors with black diamond concubines like it. Or in that trite “womb of the nation” way that bra-less black power beat poet lesbian feminists like it. That is, I don’t like it because I am “positive” or “conscious” or “open-minded”. I like it because it is lawless, and rough, and genuinely dangerous if you’re too stupid to have your wits about you. I like it because the drinks are cheap, and you can buy an entire stewed sheep’s face at any bar (Ok, I made the last one up, but it’d be a good idea). So no surprises as to why I jumped at the opportunity to take a trip to Troyeville on Friday night to go and check out Gazelle.
Gazelle are what you could call a novelty band. That is, they are 45% concept, 45% irony, and 10% music. They are, apparently, making some tongue-in-cheek comment on “what it means” to be a “celebrity in Afrika” (via red-haired plaas seuntjie + dictatorship + leopard print). They also seem to have some serious panty-peeling juju, if the swooning bitches in the front row are anything to go by.
I had seen them once before at The Woods, and, intriguing as they were I couldn’t help but have a bit of a kak jol on the venue’s account. Seriously, and excuse me for side-tracking here, but if I have to Go Down To The Woods one more time to have my intelligence insulted by a smashing combo deal of “Thick-As-Pig-Shit-Bouncers” and “Glittery-Flat-Cap-Bedecked-Trustfund-Bros”, I’m going to smoke a teddy bear. But yes, I digress, with point being that I couldn’t wait to check out Xander and co whipping the lower economic echelons of Joburg’s inner city into a frenzy.
My partner in crime, and man-of-the-lense was none other than all-round-Congolese-Bastard JR Onyangunga. Armed with Justin McGee’s car (while he was in Durban on a shoot for some crappy surfer-teens mag) and an unhealthy amount of Vodka, we set off screaming into the night. After an hour of getting lost (which was entirely my fault for ever taking direction from Capetonians), we finally arrived at the Bella Vista Lounge. Set atop a rickety old building with a looming and not un-gorgeous view of Hillbrow, what the venue lacks in infrastructure it certainly makes up for in View.
Now at this point, I bet you’re wondering why you’ve been looking at illustrations from the gig, unfortunately, the aforementioned lense-man managed to lose both mind and memory card. So we’re going to have to stick to Badly Drawn Man’s artistic impression of the the night’s progression.