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Touching Heaven

Touching Heaven

by Max Barashenkov, images by Kevin Goss-Ross / 08.08.2010

Saturday, Day 2, written from Dante’s third circle:

In the beer queue, I’m suddenly a swallow under the wing of an Afrikaans hawk. The hawk is bearded, in web-development when sober and teaches me to be rude to strangers and to answer every question with a “fuck you buddy”. He tells me to remember him. I will, but there aren’t that many people to be rude about today, the line-up being much better than yesterday…

“I’m Captain Beer and I declare all of you fucked,” preaches the MC and with that, Facing the Gallows proceed to kick the shit out of the crowd. Face-melting breakdowns and racing screams. The only thing preventing them from being the best metal band in South Africa is their chosen genre – technical melodic deathcore is as dead and soulless as emo and metalcore.

At first I don’t understand Funafuji’s appeal, but at the electro stage everyone is stoned rather than animal fucked and I soon see why Evan Milton recommended this dub-dancehall-step British girl. She drops it as low as they go, and despite it being early in the day, people are grinding with hung-over dedication.

Big surprise, massive mind-blow, Gemma Ray is my new favourite female singer. I’m not sure about the slightly silly 50s housewife outfit, but she is a delicious modern minimalist bard, and when she loops her voice and does her own backing vocals… ahhhh – ravenous applause.

Damn you big stage, damn you awesome light show and sound rig, you make the most average band in SA look good. Prime Circle’s Americanized dad-rock is tight and polished, it’s the kind of music your old man puts on when he wants to show the old lady that he still has the fire. Add Viagra. Or three.

They tell me that it is always this way – Friday music sucks and Saturday rocks. At least some kind of trope holds up in this madhouse. There are plenty a of good bands on show today – from the infectious pop-punk-use-the-boep-as-a-drum of Rambling Bones to the filthy electro of Haezer and the imaginative multi-instrumentalism of Yesterday’s Pupil. The shit is still here, don’t worry – the simply embarrassing nu-metal of Rhutz, the complete nothingness of Radio Kalahari Orkes… but wait, I must be weary and watch my back, I hear the Triads are onto me. A future of being chained up in a sweat-shop awaits…

All images © Kevin Goss-Ross.

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RESPONSES (20)
  1. bertram fisher says:

    good piece- much more standard-muso-journalist-at-festival-formula style review when compared to your previous entries (shitting on an angel.) Interested to see what people say.

    glad a couple of bands layed it down and restored a bit of faith in the live music communist society of africa.

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  2. Andy says:

    Thanks Betram… we’re getting tee shirts printed now. Mahala – Live Music Communist Society of Africa… thanks.

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  3. limey rick says:

    There once was a pen-cunt named Max
    And our patience his ramblings did tax
    So at Oppikoppi
    He sought out a story
    To make his sphncter relax

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  4. Renee says:

    This is an interesting article and take on Oppi Koppi music festival. Are you covering Rocking the Daisies this year?

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  5. Andy says:

    yes we’ll be at RTD and Ramfest

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  6. Anonymous says:

    good piece, i’m addicted to reading this guy’s shit now, even subscribed.

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  7. lawwy says:

    @limey rick
    you spelt sphincter wrong you ass.
    digging the articles max.

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  8. Chloe Mairead says:

    You do us proud, Russian cunt. 🙂

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  9. Margaret Logan says:

    Great review. You paint a good picture. Look forward to Sunday and Spitmunky review….

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  10. limey rick says:

    A critic named lawwy did claim
    That this author’s spelling was lame
    But don’t get all psycho
    It was just a typo
    So let’s not go dishing out blame

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  11. brandon edmonds says:

    limey rick has no dick
    his mother used it for brain
    they’re both the same
    when you’re inveterately lame
    now they’re both on the game
    turning tricks

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  12. Duran says:

    nice one max. photo’s are hot

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  13. limey rick says:

    No Max is not Roger, alas
    Such thinking has now come to pass
    He’s Brandon you see
    Sans vocabulary
    With Roger’s dick up his ass

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  14. scott says:

    i gotto say max, i enjoy your pieces.

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  15. brandon edmonds says:

    well played limey

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  16. Nem says:

    Maxi taxi. Nice one bolt.
    Tronce.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    “Thanks Betram… we’re getting tee shirts printed now. Mahala – Live Music Communist Society of Africa… thanks.”

    how about this for a T-shirt print – Hi my name is Max and I have a vagina, but i prefer it up the arse.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    .”Thanks Betram… we’re getting tee shirts printed now. Mahala – Live Music Communist Society of Africa… thanks.”

    how about this for a T-shirt print – Hi my name is Max and I have a vagina, but i prefer it up the arse.

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  19. Walter says:

    “An image is worth a thousand words,” never been so true.

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  20. Greg says:

    “but wait, I must be weary and watch my back, I hear the Triads are onto me. A future of being chained up in a sweat-shop awaits…”

    hahahaha

    Max with a vagina t-shirt idea rocks too!

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