09:00 – PARK ACOUSTICS JUST TOPPED ITSELF – By Coly Verdelli
Wayne, a fellow disk jockey, and I got to Park Acoustics bright and early on Saturday to set up the streaming equipment so that all our lovely listeners who couldn’t be there could curb the FOMO and catch residual good vibes leaking off the airwaves. The sky was dark and grey. The wind howled and pierced straight through my knitted jersey. I could have easily become a grumpy pants due to the weather, but then I just took a look around at all the different stages that had been set up, all the food stalls and bars around, all the masterminds behind Park Acoustics such as Henk, Wiliie and Johan who had been grafting hard to bring us one of the best Park Acoustics I have ever had the pleasure of being to. And just like my mood, the weather changed and I realised we had a beautiful day ahead of us.
The music started off sweet at 11:00 with folk rock collective, The Oh So Serious. These guys brought out the big guns straight off the bat with their highly impressive range of musical instruments and the skill to back it up. Indeed, the bar was set and Park Acoustics flirtatiously said, “Yep, that’s what you’re in for!”
Next up on the Jack Daniel’s Main Stage was the extremely talented and captivating BCUC. These guys brought down the non-existent roof! BCUC stands for Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness, and are aptly named as there is undoubtedly some good vibes pouring off the stage when they hit it. Earlier in the year, I had seen BCUC at Red Right Hand and was awestruck by the sheer beauty of their music but mostly amazed at the sea of white kids in a BCUC trance, moving in unison like an ocean of contentment as the band spoke philosophical truths about South Africa that very few other artists have the guts to even touch upon; Just reliving it in my memory gives me goose bumps. If you haven’t seen BCUC, do yourself a favour, show yourself some love, and go to one of their upcoming gigs.
After a good forty five minutes of enchanting BCUC, Shortstraw took to the stage and delivered a very shortstrawesque performance. I couldn’t help but think that the organisers of Park Acoustics had booked Shortstraw to ensure that there would be enough 20 year old girls to spend their money on shooters and merch when they realised that their tiny shorts and vintage tees from Cotton On wouldn’t suffice. Nevertheless, Shortstraw played a professional and tight set and generated some good energy to give to the crowd.
A heart felt moment ensued when Henk and Marshall Music handed little Keegan Wagenar his first acoustic guitar. Keegan usually joins the bands on stage, playing along with his guitar hero guitar. “Keegan is the future of music in this country”, Henk said, and this we can all agree with Henk!
The Black Cat Bones hit the main stage at 14:00 and broke our mother-lovin’ faces with such energetic Rock n mother-lovin’ Roll that there wasn’t a single human there that was not moving thanks to their sounds. They didn’t win MK’s ‘Best Live Act’ in 2013 for nothing! Holy moly, I’m even at a loss for words because all I could really do was flail my body around as their intoxicating, bone shaking, air punching music commanded me to. I may have even knocked someone’s drink out of their hand… It’s not my fault, The Black Cat Bones made me do it.
So I’m not the biggest Electronica music fan, often I have debates with people about whether or not the ‘pew pew pew’, ‘doof, doof, doof’ repetitive computerised beats should constitute as music at all. From now on, every time I think that again in the future, I will slap myself across the face and remind myself of the musical genius duo that is Goldfish. Can you believe that this two piece from Cape Town has opened for the likes of Basement Jaxx, Fat Boy Slim and Faithless and has even played at the legendary Glastonbury Festival. And lucky ol’ us got to see them this past Saturday! Needless to say, they were phenomenal and ridiculously talented musicians.
The last act up on the main stage before the Bobbejaan and Griet stages took over was the Electro-Swing band, Full Swing. I was particularly interested in this four piece as the instruments being used were an unusual combination, a ukulele (Greg Georgiades, you’re my hero), a double bass and some decks. The band had sweet sweet vibrations, good stage presence and the crowd was loving them!
The main stage had blown our expectations out of the water all day and it was time to rehydrate ourselves for the new and incredibly cool Bobbejan Street Theatre Stage. Park Acoustics and Bobbejan, I need to express my utter gratitude to you guys for keeping the Gauteng alternative music scene accessible to the public. The Grind Radio has a similar goal and we salute you for making it happen and for the sake of sweet baby Jesus, please Bobbejan, please continue to be a permanent feature of the PA family!
Reminiscing the next day, I updated my Facebook status to, “I love how everyone goes to Park Acoustics and just loves the shit out of each other.” As I felt that was a perfect summary of all the love and good music I had experienced throughout the entire day. Park Acoustics, you continue to up the game and bring the good people of Pretoria the best parties and a massive appreciation and admiration for the awesome music being made right here in the city we love.
16:00 – TEQUILA TIME! by Katja Wasserthal
It was the last Park Acoustics of the year, a grey windy day bursting with the immense joy that tomorrow was not Monday.
Usually Park Acoustics takes place on a Sunday, it’s always amazing but this one was somewhat different. The smell of Christmas bonuses and happy chaos was in the air…it was going to be a big one.
The Grind Radio streamed all the outrageous main stage acts, with the likes of Vana Vana and The Oh So Serious, BCUC, The Black Cat Bones and eventually a truly jaw dropping performance by Goldfish had almost broken our broadcasting system with its sheer awesomeness.
Now back to TEQUILA TIME, there were 2 hours before the Bands would start at The Bobbejaan Street Theatre Stage – which is a new addition to the Park Acoustics family. Naturally by this point I had to play a game of ‘Catch Up Tequila’ as all my friends were already well on their way. A few fantastic rambles about life and love and of course a few shots of whatever I could find, and Sol Gems braced as with some hip swaying, hands in the air, tonight is going to be a damn good night kind of music. In amongst the melodies of Rock ‘n Roll and the South African sunset I romanticized about the bands that were up next as I thought to myself, “Well done, Pretoria. You’ve served me well this year…”
As the grey clouds rolled away silently and the stars gave us their first glimmers of disco, I proceeded to lose my SHIT because well – The Hellcats. If you have watched them play…you will understand. Additionally, the more liquor I consumed the more I realised that The Hellcats had ended and The Moths and their surf rock madness had lured me to the front of the stage where everyone happily drunkenly fell all over the place; fuck, that was great!
At this point I probably should’ve said my farewells, accepted my fate, and caught a ride home – but NOOOOOOO …this music! And these people! And the fact that I had just re -re- rediscovered my love of warm, clean whiskey, made me tighten my boogie shoe laces and simply carry on having a good time.
Things got blurry, speech got slurry and the music just got better. Cortina Whiplash, as per usual got me to a point where I wanted to take all my clothes off and make more irrational choices. Despite me finishing my bottle of whiskey, my clothes stayed on and the music just became the soundtrack to my juvenile conduct.
I remember opening the cooler box and looking at the unknown faces sitting around the cooler box, picking a bottle and running away. Yes kids, Katja had stolen/justifiably ‘taken’ a bottle of Vin Coco out of a stranger’s cooler box. Yes, I don’t know what I was thinking either.
The Slashdogs, Vin Coco Shots, running and falling, laughing and eventually moshing. Things got messy and The Slashdogs in all their glory along with the crowd revelled in their musical glory. I got an elbow to the eye, drank some more Vin Coco and woke up in my bed.
What happened in between the Vin Coco and my sleepy time were: being on a stage, FIDLAR, a man called Bongani, trying to make ‘conversation’ with a taxi driver, and loving my life.
Thank you park acoustics for giving me the happiest hangover I’ve ever had.
All photographs were taken by the awesome Christelle Duvenage!
Go and check out the rest of her incredible work out!
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