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Sweet Revelation

by Teci Peci, images by Danielle Clough / 26.05.2010

Recently named by Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse as his preferred South African venue, Mercury Live & Lounge rarely disappoints when it comes to throwing cracking gigs. With three relatively new bands on the bill for a Saturday night, the turnout was surprisingly good, post-rugby celebrations, owing mainly to the launch of The Revelators debut album, We’ll make them like new.

Mercury virgins, The Bone Collectors, were first up with their special brand of experimental “acoustic boogie”. The last time I saw these guys, the showing was poor and front man Rol Hunter looked increasingly uncomfortable holding the reigns as their pseudo-poster-boy. Fast forward a few months and we were treated to a performance worthy of their experimental musicality. But it’s saxophonist Rob Scher who provides an interesting dynamic to this fivesome, distinct from your average bluesy-rock act. In addition, his suggestive dance movements in front of my buddy/photographer sent her scrambling for solace at the bar – my kind of man. They also did an impressive cover of Paul Simon’s “You can call me Al”, putting a nice up-tempo spin on it, complete with a tall tinbox-like contraption that was beat systematically.

Next up were three-piece Machineri Blues. Now this performance confused the hell out of me purely because of front woman Sannie Fox’s inaudible lyrics. 90% of the crowd looked mesmerised, as if her personal brand of heroin chic had transported them to a plane where obviously, they knew what she was on about. Granted, this girl has talent (her vocals have a gorgeously gritty, haunting quality to them) however I suppose I haven’t really cottoned onto the hype. I did like the interplay between her and guitarist Andre Geldenhuys though, who broke out into gorgeous solo bouts on every other track.

Now not since the days of Loedi and Taxi Violence have I been this excited about a headlining band. You can agree or disagree, but if you’ve been fortunate enough to attend a gig thrown by The Revelators you cannot ignore the instant appeal inherent in their tunes. Like a bastard love child of The White Stripes and The Strokes, this threesome is devoid of airs and graces. No mess, no fuss – just stripped down guitar chords and fervent punk-esque bass playing courtesy of Heino Retief, that launched most into a hip-swinging frenzy. With a solid foundation provided by Dan Unt Man’s drum lines, The Revelators present themselves as musically air-tight and their short, snappy tracks demand your attention, as does Johnny Tex’s vocal twang and furious guitar playing.

With only 1000 copies of their debut CD We’ll make them like new produced, packaged and distributed, this threesome have emerged as the garage punk darlings of the Cape. And even though calls for an encore were not granted (no repeat tracks here, thank you) I doubt there was anyone who was left wanting. To expect anything less than epic from this threesome in the near future would be your loss.

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