Tale of the Missing Beatsby Daniel Gallan / 01.03.2013
Being away from Mzansi for a long spell, there are certain things you long for. Braais were up there, as was watching sport on the weekends and missing out on what I heard was the maddest Oppikoppi ever. The list is long, but one thirst I managed to slake this weekend was attending my first Park Acoustics in Pretoria.
I was amped and the venue did not disappoint. The Voortrekker Monument is actually gorgeous, if you can divorce it from it’s emotive symbolic and political history. But sitting there, under the shade of a giant Acacia, in a stone and grass amphitheatre, I finally managed to scratch off a very big and glaring event on my local music scene checklist.
The acts were pretty good last Sunday. Nothing special, but solid enough to keep me happy without being overwhelmed.
Matthew Mole was my favourite. He did everything I wanted from a musician when watching an acoustic act. He played an acoustic guitar without any frills or spills or tricks or traps. He simply played guitar and sang with a catchy voice. His hooks were simple and his tempo was upbeat and jammy. This guy is the real acoustic deal for me.
Wrestlerish were also on form. They’ve taken a turn towards “indie-hipster” but it seems to have worked. I quite liked how their interpretation of toning it down to fit the occasion meant wearing horn-rimmed glasses, plaid shirts and a beanie in summer. Like a toasted tuna sandwich, whose flavour will never be anyone’s absolute favourite, Wrestlerish’s sound was tasty enough to get everyone’s attention and ensure that they will surely go back for more.
Now on to Yoav. The headline act. The cool broody guy with the black clothes, two mics and eight foot pedals. This guy is a serious musical engineer. It is incredible how one man can produce a sound that is as full and varied as Yoav. There is no denying his talent. Yoav is a big name player and deserves all the credit he gets.
I just wish he didn’t come off as such a whiny pussy.
I mean it and I hope this was just an off day. I hope his mood was just the result of his soy milk latte being a bit vrot that morning. That his thick luscious locks just wouldn’t sit straight or he rolled out of bed on the wrong side.
But good god was he annoying.
To start he took almost 45 minutes to set up. Understandable when you consider that he does have a lot of gear, and perhaps it was the sound guys’ fault as well. And hell it was a Sunday, so I was ready to forgive. But the real kicker. The real poes move was his handling of a technical issue towards the end of his set.
“Bra, there’s no beats coming from my side!” He cried in to the mic while we all stood there with stupid looks on our faces.
“Seriously guys, how can I play my songs without my beats?”
“Just play something else.” Suggested one fan near the front.
“Ya dude, play anything… Wooooo!” offered a ‘woo’ girl in her tiny shorts.
“No guys I’m serious. If I don’t have my beats I’m not going to play. I mean it’s really frustrating and I just want my beats and blah blah blah, wah wah wah.” Cried the extremely talented pussy.
For talented he is and once it turned out that he had his beats all along, and that the sound engineers were on point, he looked like a real chop despite his apology and blaming it on the ‘vodka’ in his Valpré bottle.
It was sad as well as sobering to witness this spectacle for a number of reasons. Sobering in the sense that yes, even the talented and good looking musos: the ones whose lives we envy, can fuck up and make an arse of themselves just like the rest of us.
It was sad though and a little annoying to see this oke act like that. What!? You don’t have your beats! Well I’ll be sure to alert the UN immediately.
He could have played anything. He could have strummed out an acoustic song and with his voice and guitar skills he would have slayed it. But to stand up there and whinge for what felt like an agonising twenty minutes was not only unprofessional but also disrespectful to the organisers, the supporting acts and the fans that actually paid to watch this guy.
And you know what, apart from that one cringe-worthy interlude, he was amazing. And I actually cannot wait to see him again. Hopefully he’ll loosen up a bit next time.
Beyond that, the Park Acoustics concept is top notch and is really a monthly live music highlight for anyone in the Pretoria region. Although, I may have felt more tingles for the venue itself than the acts on display this time round, I definitely know what I am doing on the last Sunday of every month for the foreseeable future.