Awhile back I bitched and moaned about how South African bands are a bunch of limp dick unclefuckers who need to man the fuck up and play some dirty, sexy rock music already.
Well, I’m happy to say I can add one band to the list of SA bands I actually like and that band is Taxi Violence.
I saw them live at Mercury a month or two back when they did a seriously killer cover of “Riders On The Storm” with We Set Sail. I was well impressed not only with the cover, but also Taxi Violence themselves who, much like Queens Of The Stone Age, have breathed life back into old school 60s / 70s rock and made it unapologetically badass.
Then, about two weeks back, I ran into George (frontman and vocalist) at Mercury and did this thing I do when I’m drunk when I shoot the breeze with people in bands like I’m catching up with an old highschool buddy.
It’s a test because some people in bands think they’re God’s fucking gift to the planet so I talk to them like they’re normal humans and they either act like I’m a weirdo and run away or they shoot the breeze back and we end up having epic discussions about music and the South African scene.
George definitely proved to be a stand up guy and even invited me to check out the launch of their acoustic album Long Way From Home.
So J-Rab and I headed on down to the Plane-arium for an intimate showcase of what the Taxi lads have been up to and I was pretty blown away.
Old favourites like “The Mess”, “Devil ‘n Pistol” and “The Turn” sound like they’ve been taken apart and rebuilt from scratch, a refreshing change from most bands who just swap electric guitars for acoustic ones and serve up warmed up leftovers thinly disguised as an album actually worth listening to.
Their acoustic rendition of “Heads and Tails” is particularly noteworthy both on the album and when they played it live. It was pretty hilarious us all reclining on our seats in the Plane-arium with the stars wizzing overhead because whenever Taxi got the crowd bopping your seatback would start moving in time to the music as other people sitting in the same row literally “rocked” out. “Heads And Tails” produced that effect immediately.
They’ve also shot a new video for the song, which they opened their set with which sadly they haven’t uploaded to their YouTube channel yet, but look out for it when they do, it’s a very cool take on the Groundhog Day premise and, in keeping with the song, asks the question if you knew the dice were rigged, how would you play the game?
One of my songs they played was their new track “Long Way From Home”, about a country boy hitting the big city, a dreamer who “Followed the buzz until he hit the hive”. It’s got an upbeat, bluesy / rock flavour played with bright, jangling guitars and tambourines that reminded me of some of the earlier Supergrass albums.
I’d highly recommend checking out Taxi’s FB page for their upcoming gigs so you can get a chance to hear their acoustic set and, if you’re lucky enough, getting a picture with the square-headed mascott that adorns the new album cover.
So big up to George for the invite and the guys from Taxi Violence for a killer gig and for hooking me up with a copy of the new album. It doesn’t look like it in the picture below, but I was really stoked to get the actual, physical album. I think that’s the first CD I’ve been given in about 5 years.