I am broken and tired.
I have stepped on what seems to have been every thorn the West Coast harbours. Twice. And some of them are still in my feet. Everything from my lower back down feels like it’s going to spontaneously combust under pressure when I so much as try to stand. My voice sounds like what a grater would sound like if it were able to speak. Staring at the screen writing this appears to be setting of tiny nuclear explosions in my eyes. Blood was drawn. Tears were shed.
And already I can’t wait to do it all over again next year.
As a music fanatic and an artist myself, music festivals requiring a sleepover – well, I guess sleep is optional – has somehow eluded me, until this past weekend when I attended the 4th annual Endless Daze festival, hosted by Psych Night. And who better to take me, than Spotty.
The adventures had actually already begun the Thursday morning before sunrise. I had a gig of my own early in the evening in Hermanus, and still had to do the hour and half trip over the mountain after work, but not before packing all the gear before work. I intended to take my Rekord GSi for the trip so I can just park with all the gear and jump in Spotty for the weekend, but, alas, I had misplaced the keys and didn’t have a second to spare. Luckily I had taken Friday off to ease my transition for making music to supporting it.
And that was it. That was how much I could muster before crashing and burning. Right, it’s almost two weeks later and I’m back behind the keyboard. Now where was I?
Yes, Thursday, packing the car before sunrise, getting a day’s work in at the office, chasing through to Hermanus, setting up, gig, pack it all in, and head on back home. Even without Endless Daze, I probably would have needed to take Friday off. But I’m a big boy, so after some admin Friday morning, Spotty was rid of the music equipment, and fed all the camping gear. And so, away we were, whisk away for a weekend of fun and dance.
Or at least, that was the plan, until…
Friday early afternoon traffic. I didn’t even know it was a thing. Neither I nor Spotty particularly enjoyed this part of the trip, but Spotty definitely was worse for wear. We had made it to the West Coast Road and had gotten a little bit of fresh air, but it was short lived, as the queue to enter the venue for Endless Daze seemed like it would take endless days to get through. And after all the stopping and inching forward, and stopping and inching forward, first on the freeway, and now here, Spotty became disgruntled. I was losing clutch.
I quickly realized that I wouldn’t be able to kill the engine and start it every time I wanted to move, as I’m sure the battery would have gotten out of the bonnet and spat lead in my face before we reached the camping ground, so the sacrifice needed to go elsewhere. I had to heel-and-toe, depressing the clutch for all it was worth (or rather, for what it was worth), stomping brakes to stand still, as the car still wanted to drive off, and keep the revs up, because now it wanted to stall.
I eventually made it almost to the front to get my pass when my frustration grew after a tiff with security. Apparently, he was unable to grasp the concept that, as long as the car in front of me can’t go anywhere, I can’t go anywhere, whether or not I’m parked up its exhaust or standing two car lengths back. I was at the point where I had to rely on turning the car off and on, and wanted to minimize the punch on the battery.
The entire entry system was flawed, and guidance inside wasn’t better. But, I had finally made it to our campsite, beer in hand, albeit miles away from where I was forced to park my car. I was admittedly worked up a bit, especially as I’ve had some gripes with the event organizers already. But after a cold gold one, I had my wits about me, ran up the way I would need to drive, and arranged with all the security along the route that I’m bringing my car around to unload my camping gear. Before long, things were going much better.
All of the better.
I mentioned that I’m ready to do it all over again? I wasn’t lying. The entry may have been a bump in the road, but that road led to eden. I soon forgot all my current and past issues with the organizers. At past events, I was forced to use the organizers’ proprietary cashless payment system. Here I even had the option to use SnapScan. A vast variety of food was available, the bar waiting times were short, and the concept of having the B stage play only once the main stage is done and vice versa, along with placing the B stage almost across the bar, meant that you didn’t have to miss a single act, generating more support for the B stage acts as well.
And speaking of acts, one could write a blog entry about each of them. I had some favourites I wanted to see, some friends I wanted to support, and some “you need to check these guys out” on the list. And did I need to check them out. I have an entire array of new music I must go listen to now. I was bummed that I had missed my mates from The Filthy Hippies, as I was still stuck in the queue to get in when they kicked off proceedings in the afternoon, though managed to catch another mate, Paul, playing for Dangerfields, delivering a stellar performance as always. Their energy was so electrifying, Paul can be seen here mistaking his keyboard for a keytar.
I remember partying the Friday away, but details are fuzzy. This is perhaps a good time to mention that I did a Sober October, and the festival started on the 1st of November. I’ll therefore leave the in depth reviews of all the acts to the people designated and better suited, but I can tell you that Friday night didn’t skip a beat. I for instance ended up in a tree to get a better vantage point when LA Witches was playing the B stage.
I still managed to make it well into the morning, partying through imports like The Gluts, to see the last act of the day. I’ve seen them once before at Mercury about a month prior, and was looking forward to see Yndian Mynah’s performance on the festival stage. Now this is what a keytar looks like, Paul.
The bands were done, and it was time for me to find my tent. I had a rough night’s sleep, not feeling to well with some personal stuff bugging me, and soon the sun was bearing down at me. I eventually decided that, despite opinion, I’m not a frog and shan’t be boiled alive, so bright and early I started my day. We still needed to find out if and where the rugby would be shown, and make the necessary plans, if need be. That’s right, Saturday morning was the 2019 Rugby World Cup final, and South Africa was in it. It’s not my sport of choice, but I’ll be damned if I miss this match! And again, the organizers impressed. They arranged a viewing at the beach bar a minute’s walk from my tent, so some friends and I camped out on some prime seats from 09:00, two hours before the game starts, to make sure we didn’t miss any action, and soon half of the festival goers followed suit.
South Africa has had its ups and downs. Mostly downs. We’re still not doing great. And while, as mentioned, I’m rugby isn’t my number one pastime, it was so beautiful to see an entire nation come together, regardless of all our differences, in support, trumped only by the celebration of a symbol, of history made, when Siya Kolisi lifted the Webb Ellis Cup in victory. It is hard to describe, but for a little while, South Africa truly was one. And so much better to share that one-ness with 2500 strangers, how better to prove it?
After the rugby, we rushed back up to catch the last of PXLS, another band on my “to watch” list. By this time my phone was long flat, and charging was out of the question. After the very unique The Sun Xa Experiment, I needed to recuperate. Did I mention I did a Sober October and the night before was my first night partying? Well this was my first hangover in a while, and it sure did a good job of reminding me how one feels. So I took a long walk down the beach to clear my head and took a nap after, just long enough to wake in time for Medicine Boy.
And let’s be honest, most of us were there to witness history.
Medicine Boy’s last gig ever.
I initially thought that I might cry, but to be honest, the open air festival atmosphere dulled a lot of the intimacy you’d get from a smaller indoor performance. Probably a good thing, because otherwise it may have turned into a sob-fest. They performed some new tracks, with Andre introducing them with, “This is the first and the last time ever that we’re going to play this.” Ooof. And as to be expected, their show was spectacular, filled with passion, emotion, energy, as only they can deliver. The backing band, which included greats like Schalk Joubert nailed the arrangement, adding to the detail in texture and the depth of feel.
Medicine Boy, you will be missed.
But I’ve already seen both Andre Leo and Lucy Kruger’s solo projects perform last Friday, and as the unofficial headline for the weekend, Lucy and Andre guest starred in a variety of acts throughout the festival, and one thing is certain, their musical journey is long from over.
Sadly, again, I didn’t have a charged phone at the time to capture any of their moments myself, nor the mayhem which followed. Boogarins absolutely has a new fan. The blokes from Brazil‘s name was printed on the flyers in the largest font of all, and with reason. They were my favourite act of the festival, I reckon, and even though my symptoms as described in the opening of this article was already kicking in, they had me forgetting about it pretty quickly. I thought of going back to bed after Medicine Boy, but a shot of tequila and these guys got me pumped for more. The boost from the tequila wore off quickly, though, and another was required to face Yak, the most punk thing there the weekend, with the frontman taking a surf in the crowd. Boosters was required before every act, but after each performance, it was clear that the night is going to be a long one. No one can rest with so much energy in the air. It must have been close to four when I finally saw the inside of my tent again, but hey, who’s keeping tabs?
So I was up bright and early yet again, finding some friends on the bench by my tent with similar problems. So off we went to find coffee and food, the latter which came in the form of an edo. Yeah, I didn’t know either. All I know the slogan said “It’s not a wrap, it’s an edo”, so if it’s easily mistaken for a wrap, it should be close enough, right? Wrong. I was pleasantly surprised to find what could probably be described as the love child of a, well, wrap, and sushi. It contained a breakfast worthy filling, wrapped in seaweed and rice. I found it quite unique and interesting, and therefore, enjoyable, but not everyone shared my sense of adventure. Nevertheless, I got my sustenance, I almost felt healthy after eating, and I was again impressed with the variety of food available. But it was time to pack up, greet my fellowship, and head home.
One thing is for sure, and that is that you make hoards of temporary best friends on festivals like these. Walking to the parking area at the end of the festival was no exception, when I noticed livery on a Mitsubishi resembling Put Foot design, and sure as hell, after going to the camp to ask, I met some awesome people who had completed it earlier this year. I was going to head back after getting my phone being charged in a friend’s car, but unfortunately they had already left by then. But the Put Foot clan is everywhere, and we’re growing.
And as if to share in my rejuvenation after the wonderful weekend, I didn’t seem to have had clutch issues for the most part heading home. Spotty always gets me home safe. The clutch started having issues close to home, however, but nothing a skilled driver can’t handle. After taking him to our mechanic (my dad and I have been using the same guy for a collective of nearly 50 years), it turns out it was simply the pilot bearing in the crank for the gearbox input shaft. I’ve taken out gearboxes enough, I wanted a break, and the irony is, it was me who had replaced that bearing about ten years ago last and didn’t grease it properly, which caused the problem. I’ve referred a friend to Louis’ Tune Up Center before, and he just sent me a message back later the day “Louis is a god!”. And he truly is. I now have what must be the softest, smoothest clutch on an Opel Rekord ever.
And with that, I bid you farewell until the next article. When I got home that Sunday, I was a zombie, and since, every night after work, I was doing admin, preparing for recordings, not sitting still for a second, something I’m absolutely looking forward to right now.