The Mother City’s notorious winter rainfall was no dampener (figuratively speaking) on the buzz at the Green Point Cricket Oval Club this past weekend. While there was a notable dwindling to the anticipated crowd size, the eclectic array of international headliners and local musical talents – plus beer aplenty and scrumptious food – made for a truly spirited Parklife Gourmet Food and Music Festival.
It has been said that Capetonians are characteristically late to any party, and the same rang true for me as I made haste to Green Point through blustering weather conditions. Anticipating agonisingly long queues and a pushy crowd, I was surprised at the relatively mellow turn out.
But quiet as it initially was, the musical talents of Monark did not disappoint. Having picked up a cold one from the bar and chosen a seat close to the stage, I lost myself in this musical feast. A recent head-turner for the South African pop music scene, the crooning vocals of Eugene Coetzer evoked a heart-warming performance made complete with an inclusion of crowd favourites ‘ Smiling’ and ‘Build it up’.
Tunes belted out by local psychedelic rock band ‘The Plastics’ were pleasantly mellow by comparison, music you can tune out to when ebbing life’s stresses away. Highlights included a rendition of ‘Best Pretenders’ eliciting a perfunctory swaying of the hips by audience members.
It would be apt to describe the stage presence of Magic Mike, Nach and the rest of hodgepodge band members of PHFAT as ‘enigmatic’. They ooze coolness and demand your undivided attention. The psychedelic-bass-rap group provide for an electrifying performance, where the catchy tunes of ‘Lights out’ see the likes of featured artist ‘Jungfreud'( aka Nonko) in a synchronised duo with the suited-up white boy rapper Magic Mike. While some of the music may seem like a bizarre orchestration of sound at times, it has enough energy to get you into a party mode.
It cannot be contested that Jeremy Loops is a crowd favourite, having both an international and local appeal. Whether it’s his modern take on folk music, his quirky usage of a looper pedal, his soulful crooning or his laid back ‘pony-tailed’ appearance, Loops is hot stuff. If you are not on your feet dancing around maniacally with your hands in the air to ‘Sinner’ and ‘Down South’, then perhaps you have received a recent blow to the head.
With such strong local talent coming to the fore, my focus has been predominantly on South African music. I’ll admit that the likes of American Author had not been under my radar. They should have. They aren’t your typical rock band, their songs aren’t edgy or dark, but more of a celebration of life. With songs like ‘Believer’, ‘Best Day of my Life’ and ‘Oh What a Life’, every song is unequivocally different from the next – adding a little something to the overall performance.
After an eight-year hiatus, the wait Modest Mouse fans had to endure was well worth it! Celebrating the release of their brand spanking new album, Strangers to Ourselves, Parklife goers were treated to a mixed bag of new music from the raucous instrumental onslaught in Lampshade on Fire to the slow, hauntingly beautiful beats of Coyotes. Call their music what you like, a little bizarre, jittery and perhaps slightly propulsive at times, but Modest Mouse have continued to produce fresh, unforgettable music.
And while Klingande and their deep house vibes wasn’t necessarily my cup of tea, ‘Jubel’ was a notable crowd pleaser, and induced a rhythmic food stomp while I waited in line for my food.
And speaking of food, after a bout of crazy dancing and head banging, the hunger pangs settled in. And while disappointed that the burger truck ran out of stock, I was aptly satisfied with my hungarian flatbread and chicken filling.
A ‘park life experience’ indeed, an intimate family-friendly environment made complete with good food, enthralling performances and the quirkiest old-timey MC around.
Photography Christine Hogg (commissioned by WhatsoninCapeTown)