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Raymond and the Who Who’s?

by Lize Kay / 31.08.2009

It’s been a long time since we last saw Freddie and the Mercuries live. So when they finally decided to venture down South again, I was not the only one who was tingling with excitement at the thought of getting on the dancefloor to frolic with these kwela inspired disco rocking popstars.

I had already heard that their gig the night before at the Assembly in Cape Town had been jam-packed, so imagine my surprise at securing rockstar parking, and furthermore seeing few faces mingling about outside Klein Libertas Theatre, still contemplating whether or not they would pay the cover charge to go inside. A little worry crept into many a fans’ heart at the thought of Lester and the Bangs getting a poor response from the Stellenbosch faithful. But soon the place began to fill up and by the time Superdupershane and the rest of Natalie and the Portmans stepped onto the stage it was downright impossible to get anywhere near the front. And so it began…


We were dished a selection of the old stuff along with material off their new EP, & The. (Which is where all these silly name variations come from, the band we’re talking about is Desmond and the Tutus, if you have to ask, sheesh). Elton and the Johns is one of those bands that draws a crowd more varied: people from all circles and stereotypes mingled. Nobody even noticed the slight oddity of all the cliques thrown together. People danced along to what can only be called primary school disco-pop, cheering the band members’ arbitrary activities on stage, and singing along [badly] to all of the tracks off the former album, Tuckshop. While most bands have guitar- or drum solos, Ginger and the Rogers would rather entertain the crowd with a dance solo. Frontman Shane Durrant has this amazingly spastic dancing style, but his peculiar moves and hand gestures are infectious and it wasn’t long before every member of the crowd had a claw stretched out to mirror Shane’s, minus the supreme double-jointedness he seems to possess. Or rather, it seems to possess him. He’s like a puppet being jangled by a two year old. Newer material was met with mouths-open.

Their music is frivolous, their lyrics arbitrary. But the words come from completely logical thought processes. Example: “Dude, imagine your friend was dating a girl who looked like Willie Nelson!”
So simple, so bizarre. Genius. And you can’t help but smile. Margaret and the Thatchers make people happy.

And just to add to it all, we had not one, but two great DJs to keep the party going- Richard the Third and Codec vs Sound kept those feet that had not yet done enough dancing well-entertained with electro beats that even included some groovy William and the Shakespeares remixes!
All in all, a successful night, and I can confidently say that many people have already RSVP’d “yes” to the next Billy Bob and the Thornton’s gig, whenever that may be.

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