It’s been a while since I’ve really looked forward to a gig, but thankfully, this past Saturday night finally arrived after months of waiting. It was at the Purple Turtle and the line-up consisted of Machineri, The Bone Collectors and The Great Apes. The prospect of these three bands destroying what little stage the Turtle has to offer was just what I needed.
Machineri got the ball rolling and between lead singer, Sannie Fox and guitarist Andre Geldenhuys, they made me want to drink all the bourbon ever produced. Their songs gallop like crims running away from the cops while smoking a bowl. Her drawls and screams were fantastic and she uses her very strong voice extremely well, I would’ve preferred a little more variation though. It felt, at times, as if they’d just played the song they were busy with, but overall, I think they’re pretty neat.
Then it was time for my favourite live band in Cape Town. The Bone Collectors are what would’ve happened if Tom Waits and Elvis had a baby. And that baby was spoon-fed speed. Their set is full of dark drama, it’s more than just getting up on stage and delivering their songs, they put on a show, and they’re an act, not a band. As the party was Halloween themed, they all rocked the pale face, dark eyed look or as lead singer, Roland Hunter dubbed it, “we’ve come as emo pandas this evening.” Their set, in my mind, was over before it began and just like the last time, I was blown away. If you’ve not seen these guys, you really should.
After the Bone Collectors it was time for the Great Apes to do as they please. And they felt like rocking the knees off the Purple Turtle. Lead singer, Yusif struts and shakes on stage like a fully clothed Iggy Pop, owning the crowd, his microphone and since I saw them at Ronnies Sex Shop last December for a good friend’s 30th, his voice has improved tons. He sings, shouts and smiles from his gut and the band is all the better for it. The drummer, Jaeken also deserves a mention, because there are few that can slap skins the way he does, maybe putting a shirt on wouldn't be such a bad idea either, some of us have beer bellies dude.
Guitarists Pienaar and Antonie completely annihilate the notion that there are no more rock and roll guitarists in the country, admittedly, I may be alone in that belief. Bassist, Jacques, came on stage rocking a blue Mexican wrestling mask and decided it was his job to shout at the crowd in between songs, and they weren’t the ramblings of a mad man either, he made sense, telling people to buy the band shots. Just the way things should be. Their version of The Animals' Mad Again, absolutely blew me away. As with the Bone Collectors, these guys need to be seen live.
So kids, next time, screw the Three Arts, Assembly, Mercury and any other venue where the Apes or Bone Collectors aren’t playing, because as I said before, if you were at another show on Saturday night, you were in the wrong place.