SA Artists in London
5FM/EDGARS BIRTHDAY BASH
Supersport Park, Centurion, 27 October 2002
For an ex-pat SA music lover back in the country for a quick visit, what could be better than timing your visit to coincide with the 5FM/Edgars birthday bash? Well possibly watching all the same bands playing the Glastonbury Festival with R.E.M. playing on one of the smaller stages, but we're still a few years away from that.
The Unearthed Stage featured some of the upcoming bands like Cutting Jade, Zen Arcade and Perez, all of whom impressed. Playing mostly hard rocking grunge, these groups gave the tent successive solid blastings. Of the 3 acts mentioned, Zen Arcade were, in my opinion, the best with a roaring Pearl Jam sound and great stage presence, but we're talking small margins here as Cutting Jade also produced a polished set.
On the main stage, the first act of the day was Mean Mr Mustard who did get up my nose a bit by sounding a bit too much like they were trying to be Bryan Adams. They were followed by Max Normal with a mostly rap set that again didn't do too much for me. Fortunately we didn't have to wait for Watershed for the turning point on the main stage as Wonderboom came on next and produced a manic set of wild punkish rock, including the recent (and rather intriguing) cover of Rabbitt's 'Charlie' as well as a hard rocking version of éVoid's 'Shadows'.
The crowd nearly went mental when Semisane played 'Life', the theme to Big Brother, and most of Watershed's hits were received to a huge roar of appreciation from the crowd, none more so than 'Indigo Girl'. However, it was a spicy set from just returned Just Jinger that was the highlight for me. Art and the boys blasted out the favourites, including a wonderful version of 'Sugarman' and ended with an awesome group drumming session that drove the crowd so wild that they screamed for an encore and got it. Saron Gas made some excellent hardcore grunge growlings and screamings, clearly showing how they landed their recent US record contract.
The Springbok Nude Girls final ever show was eagerly awaited and the band were welcomed on stage to a huge roar. Being a stadium, this final ever gig lacked the intimacy and atmosphere of their previous final ever gig in London 2 weeks ago, but was as good a performance by the band. It left me looking forward to their next final ever gig.
Overall I was very impressed not only with the quality of music coming out of South Africa, but with the stage presence and showmanship of most of the bands on offer. As Art Matthews so eloquently put it "SA MUSIC ROCKS MAN!!!!"
Oh, Danish group Hopscotch and the UK's Feeder also performed.
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