A friend’s birthday is a time of celebration and laughter and getting so drunk as if it were your own birthday party. Park Acoustics quickly became one of my favourite events over the years and it was fantastic to celebrate this big milestone, their 9th birthday, with them. They had a staggering line-up with Hezron Chetty & Zugzwang, Gerald Clark & Michael Canfield, Deon Bakkes & the Stolen Horses, and two of South Africa’s legends, Jack Parow and Francois van Coke.

First up for the day and also their first time performing at Park Acoustics were the fascinating Hezron Chetty & Zugzwang all the way from Cape Town. Seeing Hezron Chetty playing the violin was the best way to get my morning started. Their unique sound was something I never thought I needed in my life until I was completely captivated by them last Sunday. I enjoyed their show a lot and I know for a fact that I’ll make a plan to see them live again.

Following Hezron Chetty & Zugzwang was a man who is no stranger to playing at Park Acoustics, Gerald Clark, with a new friend for his very first Park Acoustics, Michael Canfield. They brought the perfect bluesy folk vibe to the party that was enough to make you fall in love. Picking up the pace was Deon Bakkes & the Stolen Horses with flags and saxophones and a lot of dancing around. Their gypsy punk music was just what the party needed to warm up the crowd and get them jumping.

Who needs cake if you can have real treats like Francois van Coke and Jack Parow at a birthday party? Francois came up first and as usual, blew the crowd away with all his popular songs, including some favourites from Fokofpolisiekar and Van Coke Kartel. At the top of their lungs, the whole crowd joined in and sang every song with Francois. It’s always beautiful to hear a choir of more than 2000 people singing “Ek Skyn(Heilig)” together.

Jack Parow with his famous extra-long peaked cap looked stylish as always and made sure the party was on fire by reminding the crowd “Ons moet hard partytjie hou” with Francois van Coke beside him on the stage. The cherry on top was when these two legends dived into the screaming crowd alongside each other. Seeing the bromance between them and how much they enjoy performing together made it one of the best shows for me.

Here’s to many more years of having Park Acoustics around. Happy Birthday, Park Acoustics!

Photos by Christelle Duvenage Photography