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Sowing the Seeds

Scripted Hippie Jol

by Natasha Nel / 20.04.2011

“Dude. How black is this party right now?”
The question came from somewhere behind me, dripping in sarcasm and white-liberal indignation. I hadn’t noticed; now it’s all I can see. Sowing the Seeds is, indeed, a party for pale faces. I can count the previously-disadvantaged constituency on one hand. Can’t for the life of me imagine why. I mean, there was the scenic train ride set to old swing music, the complimentary Black Label on arrival, the craft stalls littered with scrapyard ‘jewelry’ at 200 bucks a piece… what’s not to like?

To plagiarise Roger Young: anything these Daisies kids throw together appears to be organised to the point of becoming scripted. It was like a fashion shoot for we-are-awesome Or we-are-awful, whichever your denomination. Shiny happy people abound, even the police are smiling – although their eyes seemed to say “We’re not joking, give us some of your free beers.”

Sowing the Seeds

I’d like to write about Jeremy Loops but I’m separated from any sense of journalistic integrity by ten degrees of fire in my loins. The man has feathers in his hat. I am in love. He moves around in a way that says he isn’t aware of his indie fuckability, unlike the kids in the front row. They’re more concerned with capturing the perfect “action shot” profile pic than appreciating the genius before them, but that’s okay because everybody’s doing it.

Rob van Vuuren is the MC. He goes for edgy wholesomeness, and it couldn’t be more perfect for this party. Children run underfoot through a maze of cigarette smoke and brogues, its all a little disturbing if you think about it for too long. Rob introduces Hot Water: “This is the most feel-good band you guys are ever gonna hear!!” Cue crowd reaction; the perfect pitch of adolescent hysteria. I watch them take the stage, think of dancing natives, curse Mr Race Card from earlier for tainting my entire perception and choose to get another drink.

Sowing the Seeds

As the afternoon progresses, stage-crowd dialogue gets far too smooshy for my pragmatic sensibilities – its a mutual wank-off of: “You guys are awesome” and reciprocating “Woohoos”. I decide to take a walk around The Old Cape Farmhouse. I find some horses, get bored, turn back. Before I can make it to the party, a spritely grey-haired little lady beckons me over. I obey and approach her. “Are you using my bushes as your tik spot?” Deadpan face, matter-of-fact tone. For a moment I am convinced that if I answer in the affirmative she’ll invite me inside for a good time. “No. I’m, uh, taking photos. Ma’am.” She lets me go, satisfied with only a brief run-through of the demise of today’s youth and the great perils of accepting obscene amounts of money so that neo-hippies can rage on your farm.

If I’d known it would be the most stimulating conversation I’d have all day, I probably would’ve paid more attention. There are no interesting photos to take; this movie set is a tightly run ship and I can’t spot a crack in its flower-print exterior. As a result, I leave the mini-fest feeling uplifted and sunshiny in spite of myself. Attempts at hipster cynicism aside, Sowing the Seeds was lovely, just lovely.

Sowing the Seeds

Sowing the Seeds

Sowing the Seeds

Sowing the Seeds

Sowing the Seeds

Sowing the Seeds

Sowing the Seeds

Sowing the Seeds

Sowing the Seeds

Sowing the Seeds

Sowing the Seeds

Sowing the Seeds

All images © Natasha Nel.

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RESPONSES (13)
  1. Anonymous says:

    Natasha you wanker!!

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  2. dudie says:

    that the kind of writing i like: fuck em all!

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  3. Uterusfound says:

    When new mahala writers start quoting old dogs like mr. young on a regular basis – something is very wrong.

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  4. LukeSkyCrawler says:

    Guess the only black dudes where the cops … Luckily there was no riot and nobody to shoot …

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  5. Pete says:

    Awe, Looks SICK, wish i was on the train!!!!!!!!

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  6. rob van vuuren says:

    wow, you really did have a crack at the hipster cynicism though. its a pity for me that so much of Mahala’s reviews are clouded by poorly disguised attempts by the writers to have a ‘meaningful opinion’ of the goings on. it was a music festival , was the music kiff or kak? all i can figure from this is that you want to fuck Jeremy Loops cos he’s got feathers in his hat and that when people started liking each other you had to walk away.
    did the venue owner’s recieve ‘obscene’ amounts of money to host the event? did you just chuck that out there or do you know it for a fact? do you know that the venue is in fact run as a live venue week in and week out, or did you just assume that its run by a crotchety old lady looking to make a quick osbcene buck without having to put in any effort?
    who else played? did you think they were as kiff as i did or were you just looking at the kids in the front row?
    forgive me if i sound vitriolic (i hate the mud-slinging that happens in these comments sections) i dont think its poorly written and hey you said nice things about me but i guess im just bored with this pre-occupation with hipsters and how cool or uncool they are. im more interested in Jeremy Loops’ infectious grooves, his inventive virtuosity, Hot Water’s feel good fusion funk and their quirky stage show or Aking”s emotive pop melodies stripped down without Snake’s overpowering presence at the back as SA’s top rock drummer or in James Copeland’s genius in re-inventing himself from Trance dj superstar into the more chilled eclectic vibe he is onto now. but maybe i shouldnt be going to Mahala for that cos sadly it seems that more often than not its all about the writer and not what theyre writing about. which is kak, cos im a huge Mahala fan.

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  7. underwhelmed says:

    spot on rob!

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  8. What my friends like says:

    agree about the unnessessessary need to ‘inject spite to feel im not a follower’ tone…however, music fests these days do seem a little short of the kind of internally generated, homourous, non-destrucitve obnoxiosness that lift an event out of vanilla ‘nice’ and into prisms of an exciting future.

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  9. nothingfornothing says:

    Ja new media makes everyone a “journalist” but it is hard to walk away with anything if you and your opinion got there first. The upshot of new media is that Rob has shown himself to be overqualified for the comments section and should be upgraded to contributor.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    @ What my friends like – “unnessessessary” – great word

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  11. Anonymous says:

    well said Rob. The reason I hardly read Mahala anymore… always the same bitter crap…

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  12. Matthew says:

    I wish people would step away from their own self importance and report on what the event was actually like. You are not Hunter S Thompson, you are not Tom Wolfe, you are not an edgy new-wave reporter telling it like it is in an otherwise sterile journalistic environment.

    While the only reality we see is in its very nature subjective I fail to understand how your subjectivity is relevant at all. It tells me nothing of the event, but only of your own insipid nature and touchy sensibilities. It would be nice if you were less self indulgent in your writing and actually made an attempt at portraying something coherent about the event.

    Another thing. You want to take photos. What do you want to leave in return? nothing of consequence I suppose. Take take take.

    Mind you, feel free to disregard this since it is only my opinion.

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  13. Gareth says:

    Gonzo journalism, in the likes of Hunter S, and New journalism, in the likes of Tom Wolfe, both have one thing they never part from: journalism. However you choose to tell the story, the point is to tell the story, truthfully. Yes by all means use interesting turns of phrases, wierd observations, creative detail, and even stream of consciousness but tell the story. Its not about the writer. . . Rob is absolutley correct. If you’re going to write something get the facts, speak to people, understand the moment. If it weren’t for the pictures one might assume the writer wasn’t even at the show and cut and paste stories from her hipster friends into some strange kind of misadventure fallacy.

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