Friday, January 11th, 2008
Fools! But fun ones, ones that aren’t afraid to mutate established pop music classics into a hey-derry-ho vibe at the Waterfront Amphitheatre in Cape Town. All thanks to puppetmaster Mike McCullagh and his flying ship of boundary-shifting musical cover clowns. In the least derisive meaning of the term – after all, other than the bawling kid in the front row, who doesn’t like a clown?
It’s more of a collective than a band. Frank Zappa style, you see. A grand total of three singers hold the fort in this one, rotating turns on the mike depending on if it’s a rendition of Those Were The Days or Celebrate. There’s a shirtless dancing line (a la Hot Water, perhaps) and a hot chick and a guy with a keytar as Mike McCullagh plays the jolly collective like a harp, rather than a set of a drums.
Which is as it should be. What the band lacks in the raw musical precision you may have noticed emanating out of Bach’s organ they make up for in theatrics, and when daddy’s a famous theatre writer-director of thirty years lore, you’re gonna get not just music, but a show.
It was playlisted like an m3u, right down to the jokes inbetween songs. The anonymous lead singer (damn! no info online! now what? please email the ed with names!) was merely taking a breather when McCullagh growled a cue from the back, prompting the funny frontman into a parrot-like repetition of a joke he knew would work. Bingo. Theatrical formula. Applause.
The McCullagh entourage was the New Year gig, and it pretty much went down smoother than a Häagen-Dazs milkshake. Kudos for whipping out the crowd-pleasing classics.
Cool Evening With Hot Water
Freshlyground: Too Fresh For Words
Interview: Chris Tait On ‘She’ Video, Remix Launch
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Thursday, November 15th, 2007
NOFX have been the punk godfathers since before Jan van Riebeeck’s mom, and it went to show last weekend at the Old Biscuit Mill gig. They’re currently on a tour that involves stops in Portugal, Spain and South Africa. Overtone got a foot or two in the door to catch the Cape Town leg of their journey.
NOFX take off.
A converted warehouse that was once a mill plant for the manufacture of biscuits served as the location for the punk Macdaddies’ first stop in South Africa. Bassist Fat Mike, drummer Erik Sandin, guitarist El Hefe and guitarist (and accordionist, apparently) Eric Melvin unleashed a 25-song playlist to a berserk crowd who…well, let’s just say they knew the words.
Even though the Los Angeles group has been making music together since before most of ‘em were born, these were fans. It coulda been the Olympic-length stage-diving that gave it away. Or then again, maybe it was the risk-taker hanging from the overhead beams on a rickety chain above the heads of the heavily perspiring masses that summed it up.
On conveniently wireless guitars, NOFX made good use of the stage space with some spectacular launches and an ongoing rapport with the crowd. It was all just experience speaking, really. Experience that we hope and trust our two equally energetic homebrewed support acts Fuzigish and Hog Hoggidy Hog will have the chance to show off when they’re still ou toppies sharing a bottle of Jack.
Despite the fact that if you’re a punk rocker, you never appear to grow up, 24 years in the business will teach you a thing or two. For example, how to avoid media exploitation. The band holds the rebellious nature of the three-decade-old punk movement high in avoiding conformity, even in an age where bands are brands. Their interviews are as rare as pink pandas, and the band refuses permission for MTV and VH1 to play their music videos. In Fat Mike’s words, “leave us the f*%# alone.”
Catch our loving photog James Gradwell’s ‘pics picks’ below. And why not sign up for our newly revamped and easy to unsubscribe mailing list for all things SA music? Join now.
Fuzigish’s Jay Bones: Power
50 points for the funnel’s name. Comments below
Never stand this close to a guy called “Big Willy”
Cue Nelson laugh…aaaand…ha-ha!
At the turn of the century, homo erectus began to devolve rapidly
NOFX Tour Dates
11/15/07 Pabellon De La Casilla Bilbao, Spain
11/16/07 Sala Razzmatazz Barcelona, Spain
11/17/07 La Riviera Madrid, Spain
11/18/07 Pavilhao Quinta Dos Lombos Lisbon, Portugal
In other news…
Table Mt Blues Summit Flattens CT Crowd
Bands on Overtone:
Hog Hoggidy Hog
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