Dusty Rebels And The Bombshells Do Pretoria

It was Friday the 13th of May, and for once the shit had hit the fan. Now being a non-superstitious, black cat owning and under ladder walking sort of girl, this day had all the Friday the 13th stereotypes lurking around every corner. I heard the knock on The Grind Radio studio door and of course, took a deep breath expecting another disaster. But to my surprise, in walked 3 of the most beautifully put together women I have ever seen. Hair curled, cheeks blushed and eyes “catified”, I knew my bad luck bat had left the cave. These three amazing women happened to be Pin Up Sisters who were taking part in the Pin Betty Competition the following day at Dusty Rebels and the Bombshells, which was hosted at the 012 Central in Pretoria CBD on the 14th of May 2016. After our Grind Radio interview we sat around a table like old friends and chatted about rockabilly culture – its hairstyles, its people and most importantly, its music!

In 2015, I got my first sweet, sweet taste of Dusty Rebels and the Bombshells in its full glory. Ultimately, I was hooked, I couldn’t miss this year’s event in any which way. Although this year the heavens were leaking heavily, but despite the stay-at-home weather, the central 012 was filled with the buzzing noise of good music and damn happy people. The event itself is always such a pleasure to be at, as you meander through the stores looking at all the beautiful clothes, shoes and little trinkets that you’ve always wanted in your life, whilst you ponder whether or not you should  get your hair did – So many options ! The lively shouting of the roller derby bouts and hot rods revving their engines in the background, while you wait maybe 1 minute to get a beer and two minutes to get some grub, before the music starts.


The fashion show, the Miss Bombshell Betty Pin up competition and the Burlesque show gave us some of the most fashionable, beautiful and poised South African woman I have ever seen – Everyone was so good looking !!!! The bands this year, just like last year got every single guy and gal at the event to do the hop, shake and shuffle instantaneously. Gunshot Blue, The Spinebenders, The Ratrod Cats, The Oh So Serious, Hellcats and Micheal Lesar exploded on stage one after the other.


What is so amazing about Dusty Rebels and the Bombshells is that essentially it’s a family event, and when I say family, I mean the cutest 3 year old cool cats rolling with their well maintained, tattooed clad, awesome parents that are embracing parenthood and still pulling off leather jackets and undercuts…You also find another kind of family at Dusty Rebels and the Bombshells, merely a bunch of like-minded, liberal, mostly good looking human beings all collected under one roof, dancing, celebrating and finding people who don’t even have the time, never mind the audacity to judge. It’s a judgement free zone where you can be the most rockabilly version of yourself!


So next time join us, you won’t regret it.

A big thank you to Dusty Rebels and the Bombshells, all the vendors, the musicians, food stands and all the fans for letting me feel like I’m part of the Rockabilly Family in the middle of little old Pretoria!

Photographs courtesy of Henry Engelbrecht, check out more of his work on Facebook!


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