What the hell is wrong with people constantly criticizing the South African music scene?

Here’s another addition to our rant and rave section. We’re here today to talk about people moaning about and hating the SA Music Scene. And by “South African music,” I’m referring to music made by actual musicians – not the less than mediocre crap with a backtrack playing and someone singing about “Poppies” and “Bokkies.” We’re talking about the great and upcoming acts we have in South Africa: Taxi Violence, State Society, Tuin, Fokofpolisiekar, Jack Parow, The Black Cat Bones, The Fake Leather Blues Band and loads of others. Artists who please the fans, and pour their heart and soul into each and every song.

We had a “little” argument over Facebook (it escalated very quickly) about a name of a certain band, which was classified as “common” to a dear reader. Why you ask? No idea, probably born into Calvinistic beliefs and brought-up to not accept anything out of the norm. It’s a shame, because they’re stuck in a tunnel of abyss with Die Campbells blaring over the speakers. A great definition of hell! But back to the point. The reader criticized the band for being “common” without even having heard a single song. They made up their mind, and that was that. We pity them. Can you say “judging a book by its cover?”

Black Cat Bones

And while we’re on the topic of judging things before you’ve actually experience them, Wolmer. A lot of people are flat-out refusing to visit Wolmer simply due to the name. The people in questions have no idea what they’re missing; Wolmer sounds rough, but if you look past the name, it’s a fucking nice place to have a few beers and take in what the South African music scene has to offer. Wolmer may look dodgy from the outside, but when you’re in you’ll be greeted by music lovers, beer and ample space to enjoy the festivities. Dis lekker man!

How about just enjoying what South Africa has to offer? You may not feel too positive about your beloved country due to an inept ruling party, corruption, and the alarmingly high crime rate, but we as South Africans have an abundance of musical talent! Just look at what (hate or love them) Die Antwoord has done overseas, or what Bra Hugh is still doing in terms of getting South Africa’s name out there! Jinne! Just enjoy the show! We’re also seeing a lot of people calling the acts performing at Oppikoppi this year shit… What the fuck!? Just because your favourite band isn’t going to be there, doesn’t mean you have to shit all over the rest of the hard-working bands that will be there. Have you ever been selected to perform at any sort of music festival as big as Oppikoppi? Or did you perhaps have a slot at Download? Bah! Thought so!

Support your local talent! They’re trying fucking hard to make it in the music scene. It isn’t just about the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll – there’s a lot of hard work going into these projects. Time spent practising, time spent (hassling) getting promoters to listen to a track, and money spent purchasing instruments. The same with a venue, there are so many things happening behind the scenes that we’re oblivious to. We take so much of what these guys and girls do for granted. Planning takes months, paying people to help with everything behind the scenes. Have you ever looked around and saw how many people are working their asses off with regards to sound, lighting and making sure that the artist can perform? Dit vat fokken baie werk hoor! Just check at The Blood Brothers show, getting all those musos together was a daunting task to say the least, but they pulled off one of the greatest musical collaborations of our time in a matter of months! Give credit where credit is due.

So before you type “hulle is kak” in a comment, think about it. Do you really want to be one of those closed minded pricks who for the life of them won’t support the South African music scene simply because you dislike the names involved, or because you didn’t get your way?. If so, then sincerely fuck off.


Photos by Henry Engelbrecht