The show I attended took place on a Thursday night. This didn’t stop the younger fans from attending at the cost of being exhausted the next day for school. I’ll try go into some details about the venue and such because the majority, if not all of the readers of this site, have never been to the venue [Ed.'s Note: Let alone the country].
The venue goes by the name of Tafelberg Tavern. It hardly/never holds shows and it was my first time there. When arriving at the venue I noticed a shitload of lights everywhere. Outside the front door was a fairly single file queue of people. I was pretty nervous to get to the front as I was put on the guest list thanks to the lovely people at Fat Wreck Chords which saved me around $25US, but was not 100% sure if I would be on. Things went smooth and I finally got in. Once entering you’ll notice two bars/lounges and a fairly large hall capable of holding about 2000-odd people. At the end of the hall was a pretty big stage with awesome lighting and sound and on the other side merchandise for the bands.
The opening band was the Rudimentals. The crowd was kinda weak as they started playing but it was still enjoyable. They’ve been around since 2000 and have released two successful albums, the latest through Moonskaworld Records. The Rudimentals merge dub, ska and reggae yet still manage to incorporate some South African influence. Not only by their sound but by appearance they give off a feel of South Africa. Blacks, whites, coloureds, young members in their 20s whilst their older members range in the 50s. I did’t feel it was their best set, but mainly because there was hardly a crowd. A great crowd makes all the difference.
The second band up was Halfprice. Wow. How can I sum up this band? Well, the first thing you might notice is they are usually pretty naked on stage, usually just supporting underwear or nothing at all. Their music: pretty catchy punk with one or two ska riffs here and there. Through their lyrics they generally like to express their true love for beer, underage tits, hating hippies, getting banned from venues, and the horrible list goes on. It’s hard to take this band seriously although they have managed to successfully tour Europe a couple times. The majority of their fans are underage and can’t wait to grow up so they can legally drink. They managed to also throw in an AC/DC cover during the set. Enjoyable, energetic set.
One final band before Mad Caddies by the name of Hog Hoggidy Hog. They’ve been around for over a decade and have made a name for themselves in the local scene. Just like Halfprice they’ve also embarked on a couple European tours. They’re great fun. Songs range from slow-tempo skanking tunes to the slight skacore tunes. By this time the venue was definitely packing up and the vibe was felt. I didn’t take much notice of the set as all I could think of was when the Mad Caddies would take the stage…
The change over time between Hog Hoggidy Hog and Mad Caddies was a pretty long duration. I must admit I’ve moved away from most ska these days, but I was still super stoked to see Mad Caddies. Many sat around in the venue waiting, whilst a few dozen waited in front of the stage. I decided to go try get to the front so I could take pictures of the band. Finally Mad Caddies came out and welcomed Cape Town; soon after followed absolute rawkus by the crowd as they opened with "The Dirge." It was impossible to take pictures as I was getting crushed by hundreds of people so I decided to jump up on the speakers where it was comfortable. The band was tight as hell and the crowd was awesome; they appreciated every moment the band played. Vocalist Chuck for me was unfortunately not the most energetic frontman, but trombonist Ed enjoyed getting seriously close to the crowd and made himself noticeable. There was hardly any stage security so dozens of people were able to get on the stage and crowd surf; at some point you could often find up to 10 or so fans on the stage. This was by far the SWEATIEST gig I have ever been to. Many people in the crowd were forced to remove clothing and everyone was absolutely sopping.
As the band thanked the audience for the show, they were almost immediately called back, and reappeared a few minutes later. Sometime during the recall, trombonist Ed Hernandez managed to fall on the slippery equipment and almost broke his nose. The band had to stop for a short while and vocalist Chuck told the crowd “Shit, we think Ed broke his nose, just give us a few minutes.” The crowd was pretty worried and some wondered what the fuck happened. The band returned and said they would do one or two more songs without Ed, and hoped we were OK with it. The last two songs I can recall were "Gentleman" and "All American Badass." The total duration of the set must’ve lasted about an hour and a half. I think it’s pretty easy to say everyone enjoyed themselves. Awesome, awesome band. Photos of the event can be seen here.
- The Dirge
- Polyester Khakis
- 10 West
- State of Mind
- Souls for Sale
- Road Rash
- Spare Change
- No Se
- Weird Beard
- Falling Down
- Down By ... (not sure of this one)
- Drinkin for 11
- Mary Melody
- Macho Nacho
- All American Badass