Saturday, September 30, 2006

"Fuck Volk Music..."

Oppiaarde 2006 was a trip... literally, figuratively and otherwise. The night before I'd shot the Levi's Original Music Young Guns show, while down in Cape Town on a road trip with two members of A Nighthawks Project, Warren and Zander. I partied the night through at Evol, and then headed for the airport come 5 with fellow Bellville Manc Rudi Cronje. At the airport back in Johannesburg I was picked up by my wife, driven to Brixton (where I collected my car from Zander's place) and with the other Nighthawk, Rebecca Kahn, I headed off to Potchefstroom; where I worked until two in the morning, took a back road to Pretoria, and hallucinated all the way as a result of sleep deprivation. Terrifying!

Well worth it though. It was my first time at Oppiaarde or Aardklop (I have usually been punished by magazines I am stringing for by having to go to Woodstock) but not the first time for Becs. She says the concert (and indeed the whole arts festival in particular) has come a long way up to this, its 9th year: "From old Christilike Opvoeding to Chris Chameleon rocking Ingrid Jonker with Plum as a back-up band." She also came up with the blog's title, when pressed to be succinct. A wordsmith, is Becs. As in, she uses a heavy hammer.

Not that the above is going to mean anything to those outside South Africa (or even those who are from here, but have never been to Potch.) But that's your problem... it's a photoblog after all. Highlights? Lukraaketaar (1st photo) were fantastic, though I heard them rather than saw them, as two seated guitarists in broad daylight tend to vanish on such a massive stage. Cassette (2nd photo) got sunset in their favour, and frontman John worked the stage stukkend in a bit of a Jesus Christ pose. Chris Chameleon (3rd photo) blew the crowd away, by taking his calmer acoustic set (as people have gotten to know it of late) and cranking it up to 11, before breaking off the knob. Those who know Plum, will know what I mean.

All these shots were prepped initially for an exhibition taking place not 15 days after the show... so not everything that impressed me from that day is here. Tidal Waves were incredible, as was Johnny Clegg; who, despite a one-song-rule, was a joy to shoot. I have rarely seen such energy on stage, and one can see why he's a world class act. There will be more on both later, as you could hardly hope to see a more South African experience as these two... that'll be up as soon as I can remember....

The Narrow were astounding, as were Fokofpolisiekar (4th and 5th photo), with the Fokof show giving me the shot on the left, possibly the best live shot I have of them yet. Much more of the night, I cannot remember, as I followed Matt (the sound engineer for The Narrow) home. All I know is that in my nightmares, the ninjas climbing on his car come back to me. Be warned: sleep deprivation is as hectic as hard hallucinogenics, I've heard told.



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