SA Artists in London
I SAW THE NUDES TODAY.... OH BOY
Springbok Nude Girls @ The Shepherd's Bush Empire, 13th October
The English Army has just gone to war, but a crowd of South Africans stood and stared. Well actually they did more than stare, they bounced, they shouted, they whistled, screamed and sang along at the tops of their voices for tonight was the night of the Nudies. And what a night it was.
From the moment I arrived at the Shepherd's Bush Empire you could feel the expectation in the air, it was tangible. This expectation was quickly realised as the support act Anti Gravity took the stage and moved the audience from cooking to just below boiling point with their grunge rap. Then it was the turn of the Nude Girls to take the stage for the last time, an emotional moment that brought a huge roar from the 3 000 capacity crowd. Arno Carstens sporting a pair of dark glasses was rock personified, sublimely cool and in excellent growling voice while Theo Crous on guitar was simply awesome, even doing a bit of crowd surfing.
It was hard to belive that this was a band about to break up. They were tight, they were rocking and they were determined to go out on a high. From the heavy rocking grunge through the more melodic rock of 'Smiley Skull of Faith' and even taking a little time out for a couple of great acoustic tunes by Arno and Theo they had the audience eating out of their hands and raising the roof as they sang along.
You would have been hard pressed to find a disappointed soul amongst the crowd tonight. Yes the news (of the split) was rather sad, but ending this particular chapter in South African rock with the classic 'Bubblegum on my Boots' they left us with something that will stick in our minds (nothing tacky about this lot).
And as the final whistles died down, I was reminded of the euphoric feeling when the final whistle went for the Springbok Clothed Men at that Rugby World Cup final. Exhausting but hugely satisfying. As one guy in the crowd commented 'I've never experienced anything like that in my life!' and I would agree, it was nothing short of awesomely spectacular. A fitting farewell for South Africa's finest.
Back to Archive Index Page