Posts Tagged ‘jeannie d

21
Feb
11

The Tiger Hits The U2 Concert, Has The Time Of His Life

I wouldn’t call myself the world’s biggest U2 fan, so it’s safe to say I went in there with pretty much zero expectations and had my mind blown in every conceivable way.

 

 

J-Rab and I hit the Cape Town stadium at about 4.30 to beat the (non-existent) traffic and make sure we got into the VIP lounge that Nokia very kindly provided us with tickets for. Problem was the lounge only opened at 6pm so we bought a couple of beers and killed a bit of time wandering around the stadium and checking out THE CLAW.

 

 

THE CLAW has gotten a shiteload of press over the last two weeks and for good reason. It’s possibly the single coolest staging rig I’ve ever seen. It’s colossal and looks like it could get up and start walking like some giant killer spider-robot, blasting the audience with intense death rays at any minute.

We got a lot of pics of it before it was all lit up, much to the dismay of one of the security guards we had a chat with who was like, “You’re not allowed to take pictures.”

“What?” I said, “We’re allowed to take pictures?”

“No,” he replied, “not allowed.”

“Ok,” I said, and took some pictures. He smiled at me, I smiled back. What a rad guy.

Once they opened the VIP lounge, I was so excited I bounded in there and immediately ordered two suitcases (what?! They didn’t have any tequila ok?) and a couple more beers. Nokia really pulled out all the stops – for the next two hours I was like a kid at Christmas, munching all manner of froo-froo finger ding-a-lings, taking goofy pictures with J-Rab and drinking suitcases like there was no tomorrow.

 

 

At 8 they closed the VIP lounge and we headed upstairs to catch some of the Springbok Nude Girls set, which would have been a lot better if the sound was sorted out. As it was, it sounded a little like the guys were playing underwater which is apparently an old trick that’s been used for years in the industry – the headline act gets the killer sound and the supporting guys play through amplifiers made of rusty tin cans.

After the Nudies finished up, J-Rab and I went in search of some more free drinks and were immediately drawn, like moths to a flame, to this mesmerising green light that was glowing at the Heineken VIP bar.

“What do you think that is?” J-Rab asked in awe.

“I dunno…” I replied, “but Jeannie D’s in there so it must be important.”

“Go see if you can get us some free drinks.”

“Roger that.”

I approached the security guy at the entrance with the kind of total confidence only 7 suitcases can give you and proceeded to walk straight past him.

He gripped my arm like a vice.

“Where’s your wristband?”

“Right here brother,” I said, proudly displaying my white Nokia lounge VIP wristband.

“That’s the wrong colour,” he said, sternly.

“What! I’m the wrong colour?! What the hell is this, the Apartheid Bar?”

“Your WRISTBAND is the wrong colour.”

“What in God’s name are you talking about?”

“It’s white. It’s supposed to be black.”

“So it’s the REVERSE Apartheid Bar? Man, I can’t wait to blog about this unfair discrimination!”

“Please step aside sir, this is for people who were invited to the Heineken bar ONLY.”

“Cool. Whatever. I’m too white for this bar. It’s cool, I understand…”

As I was sulking off to tell J-Rab the bad news, I saw a MAJOR flaw in the security setup. White blocks.

 

 

They were at the perfect height for sitting on and then, when no one was looking, casually swinging your legs over onto the other side and then casually standing up and WAPOW! You were in the Heineken Reverse Apartheid Lounge.

The second both J-Rab and I had executed this security-defying manoeuvre we whipped out the camera and took about 15 pictures of ourselves pulling more goofy faces while we talked to each other in very snooty voices indeed because we were in the HEINEKEN LOUNGE BABY!

 

 

We swanned over to the bar to start klapping some more free drinks and very quickly froze in our tracks. The people here, they all had cards. Heineken cards! And these cards, you had to produce them to get the sauce – no card, no sauce. J-Rab and I hovered at the bar, furiously trying to think up some way to beat the system when who stepped in front of us? Liesl Van Der Westhuizen, that’s who!

Now, I know what you’re thinking, Liesl V, Schmiesl V, who cares. Well, I’m here to tell you that Liesl Van Der Westhuizen is a fucking cool person. The second her and her boyfriend stepped in front of us she turned around to apologise for cutting in front of us to which I calmly replied, “No sweat. We’re not even supposed to be here, we slipped past security to score some free drinks but apparently you need a green card or something…”

“Do you guys want some drinks?” she said, without even skipping a beat, “We’ll get you some!”

And that’s how we ended up drinking in the Heineken bar for free with Liesl V. Until security kicked us out. That was kinda embarrassing. But we met up with Liesl outside again and they got us a SECOND ROUND OF DRINKS!

What a lovely person, seriously. I don’t care what anyone says about her, Liesl is cool in my books. She helped a Tiger out so I’ll have no more Liesl-bashing on this site thank you very much. Um. Not that there ever was any to begin with, but yeah. Just so you know.

 

 

After that U2 took to the stage and THE CLAW came to life in a multitude of colours and images and flashing lights. Unfortunately by this stage J-Rab and I were about twelve sheets to the wind so it’s hard to recall the exact details of the concert, but I can confirm this much – U2 put on an INCREDIBLE show and no, I’m not just saying this because I was there and you weren’t.

About halfway through the set, J-Rab and I somehow managed to get into the outer golden circle to get some pics from the ground just in time for them to play “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “One” which, I’ll be honest, was an emotional moment for me. It’s my favourite U2 song of all time and hearing the guys play it live right there in front of us was intense.

 

 

Not sure if I was cool with all the Nelson Mandela / Desmond Tutu references and imagery that we were bombarded with and the snippets from interviews with both of them, I just think it’s a pretty obvious ploy to get the crowd all gooey with emotion (it worked like a bomb).

But I’ll let it slide because U2 have always been a political band and have actually done a lot of good in this world. Also, in all fairness, I don’t think I’ve ever watched a band play in this country and NOT mention Nelson Mandela or Desmond Tutu in some way so I’ll reserve judgement on this one.

It was a brilliant experience and an amazingly well-executed concert. Big up to Nokia for making it all possible, you guys spoiled us and we really appreciated every second of it, let’s be pals forever.

In closing, here’s a pic of THE CLAW in its full glory after a massive CONE of TV screens extended down towards the stage like it was going to tractor-beam the band into space.

 

 

Good times Winking smile

-ST

10
Oct
10

Rocking The Daisies – A Photo Journey

“Sarah?”

“Yes, hi…?”

“Hi, we’ve just arrived so um, where can I pick up my ticket?”

“Come meet us at the Nokia tent, we’ve managed to get you media accreditation, so you just need to head over to the tent and we’ll meet you there.”

“Ok, cool. But, um, how do I get in?”

“What…?”

“I mean, do they have my name at the gate or something?”

“No, your ticket was –“

“In the mail Olga sent me? Yeah, I printed it out but left it on my desk, total fuck-up.”

“Ohh… kaaayy…”

“Can we make some kind of plan?”

And BAM, there we were, 20 minutes later with Sarah slipping me a media band and me walking through the glass-Nazi security check-point and straight into Rocking The Daisies at around 12 midday on the sunniest Saturday you ever did see.

 

 

Thank you Nokia, seriously. You guys are the shit – bailing me out when I forgot to take my ticket with, fuck yeah. You guys made my festival possible.

As for the festival itself, fahk, where do I start? I was seriously impressed.

From the outset, I could see we were dealing with a different kind of festival, one where they take care of the details. It was everything from guys with wheelbarrows helping you lug your shit around, to the heavy emphasis on environmental friendliness and recycling and even something as simple as the exclusive loos (we never used any, but I’m sure they were a huge relief to people who didn’t want to face the possibility of opening a porta-loo door and finding… AN ANACONDA!).

We set up our tent in an area that soon became overrun with shirtless charnas, about 6 or 7  in total, who had the most hilarious collection of crusty old tents J-Rab and I had ever seen. They were actually pretty funny fuckers, but J-Rab and I didn’t really hang around much after we’d set up camp, it was like a sauna in our tent, the kind of day where the horizon shimmers and all you want to do is find a giant body of water and float in it with a bottle of cold beer.

We hopped from one island of shade to the next, people-watching and sipping on the waterbottle full of ice-cold vodka and lime we snuck into the main arena.

 

 

We caught a few New Holland tracks which I remember thinking sounded pretty cool, but we didn’t stay for long enough for me to give them a decent write-up. We were more focussed on beer at this stage, that and tracking down the Captain Morgan people who were filling up our now-empty “water-bottle” with free premixed Captain and coke.

I remember swimming in the dam.

 

 

I remember J-Rab and me heading back to our campsite, dragging our mattress out the tent and under the shade-cloth the charnas had set up, staring at a blue, blue sky. Giant love affair…

 

 

We drank a lot of beer just lying there and ended up napping in the sun before heading back to the mainstage later that evening to catch Boo! who played a killer set.

Chris Chameleon’s vocals were clear as a bell, and, dressed like the Wicked Witch of the West, he rocked out onstage with a mike headset while banging out the basslines to songs like “Lucky” and “Champion” and getting the crowd jumping and rocking out.

Ampie was his usual, clownish self, thanking everyone like a kid in a highschool who’s buddies have all showed up to the garage gig he’s hooked up because his parents are away.

Him and Chameleon still have the same, infectious chemistry they always did, but Ampie did seem to be struggling to hold some notes on the trumpet and looked a little flustered sometimes. They’re not the 20-something punks they were when they first started, but they did an impressive job of rocking out like they were.

 

 

As for the Nudies, it was an interesting set.

They played all the Nude Girls’ classics like “Blue Eyes”, “Giant Love Affair”, “What Would You Say?” and the ever-popular grunge / alternative rock anthem “Bubblegum On My Boots” and for the most part, they almost sounded like the ground-breaking, energetic and charismatic SA rock band they were back in the late nineties.

Theo rocked out like a metal stalwart. He looks meaner than I remember him, meatier, like a man who’s seen and done a lot because, well, he is.

Arno looks like an only slightly aged carbon copy of his younger self. He looks like he’s taken pretty good care of himself, must be the Top Billing-type lifestyle he’s been living for the last 8-odd years.

As for his vocals, they were hit and miss. The man’s got a great scream, he always has, and when he unleashes it the earth itself shakes and it’s still as spine-shivering now as it ever was.

But it sounded like he missed more than a couple of queues and at times was missing notes completely, but I think people forget, especially South African audiences, is when you pay to see a band play live, you pay to watch their mistakes as much as you pay to hear the moments when everything comes together, the band explodes with energy and the crowd absorbs that explosion, amplifies it and feeds it straight back.

 

 

MASSIVE FAIL for bringing Jeannie D onstage while the band sung “Jeanie” though, that was a gag-inducing moment if I ever saw one.

The dfnniest part was right at the end when they invited ‘Sailor Jim” to join them onstage.

“Sailor Jim” wore a sailing hat and some kind of brown coat (if I remember correctly…?) and was a podgey, happy-looking kind of chap.

“Who’s that?” I remember J-Rab asking.

“Why, I have no idea… but judging by the hat, I’d say this is Sailor Jim.”

It was only ten minutes later, when he took his hat off, that I realised it was Ard from Just Jinja.

If I could have done anything different, it would have been to stay for Taxi Violence after the Nudies, but in truth my skull felt like it was going to split open at that stage, and we had no painkillers.

We passed out listening to the drunken revelry of the campers around us and their hilarious stories about running into barbed wire fences and finding strangers passed out in their tents.

There’s a lesson here kids, if you’re rocking a music festival, take a LOCK.

The next day this apocalyptic wind was blowing the walls of our tent in and out like a sails. We poked our heads out to see hordes of people packing up their tents while the sky got blacker and blacker and the wind blew all their trash around.

 

 

We stayed to check out Checked Zebra who were really good. Imagine Chili Peppers meets Boo! meets a punk / ska band (maybe like Sublime) and you get Checked Zebra.

 

 

We would have rocked out to their whole set, but the wind was blowing so hard it felt like we were in a cyclone, so we eventually headed back to camp, packed up and headed home.

 

 

The best part of any festival is the first shower you have back at home and the afternoon nap that inevitably follows.

You drift off to sleep, thankful for the little things in life like clean linen and a comfortable bed, and don’t surface until you’ve nailed at least a solid 2 hours, warm and safe while the clouds gather and rain down on the roof above you and the wind whips tree branches and kicks up clouds of swirling dust devils outside.

Rocking The Daisies was an amazing festival. A special mention goes to the guys handling the AV for the main stage gigs on the Saturday night. The camera work and visuals were professionally executed and looked pretty fucking amazing.

 

 

Next year I’ll definitely try get their on the Friday though, it all went by too damn fast.

You gotta do the whole hog if you want to truly experience a festival, next time I’m taking the leave and doing shit right, going with a huge group of friends, packing a LOT of tequila and possibly even hanging out with the bands.

Sky’s the limit I tell ya 😉

-ST

11
Dec
09

Top Billing is desensitising my gag reflex

Every Thursday night for some reason Jenni-Fuh, J-Rab and I end up watching this lifestyle TV show on SABC 3 called Top Billing.

 

 

My South African readers all know this show, it’s been on TV for at least the last ten years, but for my international readers from so far afield as Helsinki, Katmandu and Brakpan (where they haven’t invented TV yet), lemme give you the low down.

Top Billing is a platform from which the rich upper classes of South Africa can stand and tell all the poor people in this country (who can’t afford satellite TV and are therefore forced to watch the show) how amazing their rich and famous lives are.

They feature everyone from South African musicians, to actors, to sports stars and visit places like wine estates and five star luxury game lodges. Then they attend weddings (I shit you not) that always look like they’re being hosted in the some kind of fairytale castle out of a Disney cartoon and interview ‘interesting’ art deco people who are making avante garde ‘creations’ out of weird shit like bees wax and processed angora goat hair.

 

 

It’s nauseating, and it’s not because everyone and everything that is featured on the show is literally saturated with money, it’s because everyone on that goddamn show is so fake.

I have a very highly developed bullshit detector (mostly to my own detriment) and I swear, the minute I hear the smarmy theme music for that fucking show the ol’ BS-detector starts going off like an air raid siren in my head.

Celebrities of South Africa and other successful people that end up on Top Billing, I hope you hear me loud and clear when I say this: Nobody thinks you’re cool except for nobodies. Stop being a buncha total douchebags and show us something real.

And then there’s Jeannie D, who I’m sure is a wonderful person in real life, but who makes me actually swear loudly and throw stuff at the TV nearly every time I see her.

 

 

She gushes happiness the way clogged up sewers gush floaters. It offends me. Why does she have to smile ALL THE TIME and talk like she’s on the verge of bursting into a peal of girlish laughter at any and EVERY given moment? Is that in her contract or something?

‘Ok, the Top Billing gig is yours.’

‘Yippee!’

‘But you have to constantly speak and act like you’ve taken 600mg of Lexapro every time we turn the cameras on you.’

‘That shouldn’t be a problem, I just have! Hahahahahahahah!’

And don’t even get me started on the godawful wankfest that is Top Travel. That’s basically an hour of Jeannie D and her co-presenter Janez Vermeiren swanning around the world and palling around playfully with one another while everyone out there in Sofa Land thinks exactly the same thing.

Yep, they’re totally fucking.

I used to dig Janez – he made his name as the DIY dude on Top Billing and he was badass. He could build anything and basically looks like he’s carved out of a slab of marble. That was the peak of his career, ladies loved him, men wanted to be his buddy so he could come around and build that outside braai area they’d always wanted, life for Janez was sweet.

 

 

Then Top Travel hit and every week we were forced to watch him try and match Jeannie D’s bubbly, faux optimism and the result was that I, for one, lost my broner for him completely.

Get out while you still can Janez. Come to the light. Start up ‘Top Cage Fighting’ where you go to dirty bars in the South and kick the living shit out of people.

THAT’S good television right there.

Lastly, before I go, I want it to be known that unlike my usual vitriolic posts where I just bitch and moan about stuff and don’t actually do anything to make it better, this time around I got me a game-plan.

At this stage I can’t say much except watch this space. Over the next few months I plan to start up on OWN lifestyle show with a little help from a buddy of mine I like to call THE MAEN.

It will be super low-budget and will basically make you piss yourself laughing with EVERY EPISODE, because the people of this world take themselves too damn seriously and it’s time we exploited that for the good of mankind and the betterment of humans as a species.

And yes, ladies and gentlemen, them’s fightin’ words 😉

Have a killer weekend, take 5 tabs of acid, find God.

-ST




A Word From The Kind Folks At Nokia

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