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In Review: Inner City Psych Fest 2018

A four-day long celebration of all things psychedelic rock ‘n' roll through a mash-up of music, photography and film.

13 Mar 2018 / Opinion / written by Maya-Rose Torrão / Pics by Joshua Stein

Although Psych Night as a music events organization has been around for a while, these guys have really soared in the past two years with the inception of their highly successful music festival Endless Daze.

Last year the Psych Night crew, with the help of Vans and a couple great local food and drinks brands, celebrated the second Endless Daze festival, bringing psych rock gods OH SEES to the beautiful West Coast. While catching up with two of Psych Night’s main organisers, Simon Berndt and Andre Leo, the guys explained to me that the Inner City Psych Fest events running from the Thursday to Sunday of the weekend before last, were really a celebration of Endless Daze and the amazing space for local music that the team has managed to create with the festival.

Thursday night of the Inner City Psych Fest kicked off with an exhibition of photography that documented some memories from Endless Daze 2017 in gorgeous moody pictures along the walls of Yours Truly in Loop Street. This event also marked the launch of Gun Street Mag, an online space passionate about, in their own words, “raw rock ‘n’ roll culture” – a perfect fit with Psych Night’s vision. Local instrumental surf rock favourites The Thirty Eights then ended off the evening with some banging tunes, which tied into the celebration of Endless Daze 2017 as The Thirty Eights played a killer set on the Saturday afternoon of the festival.

For me, the Friday night of Inner City Psych Fest was definitely the highlight, a night of three exceptional bands that had all graced the Endless Daze main stage last year. I was really excited to see the opening band Twin Weaver again as they are definitely one of the most impressive newer bands on the scene and I was not disappointed – they brought a set of poignant psychedelic dream-pop and rock to an appreciative crowd. The crowd was smaller than I expected for a Friday night at Mercury, but they lacked no enthusiasm, which made up for the slightly depleted numbers.

Runaway Nuns were up second and, as usual, managed to get everyone gyrating happily and viciously in front of the stage to their very danceable garage. The band even debuted two new songs which were received extremely well by the crowd. Hello Beautiful finished off the evening by absolutely blowing the audience away with their punk approach to electronica. The band were forced back onto the stage for two encores as the crowd couldn’t get enough of the disco beats, synth pads, crushing drum-beats, robotic vocals and keytar solos.

The Inner City Psych night took down the energy a notch for Saturday night and hosted a cozy film screening of the official Endless Daze 2017 film, directed by none other than filmmaker magician Barry de Villiers. There was a truly supportive energy at the screening, with many of the bands from the festival present, scattered around the floor of Roastin’ Records Live on pillows and benches, cheering for each other when fellow local bands appeared on the screen. The exceptional cinematography, camaraderie and musical talent that was showcased made the whole evening one that left everyone feeling warm and fuzzy in our hearts and ears.

The whole weekend of Inner City Psych Fest events ended off with a groovy record-spinning Sunday at Yours Truly on Kloof. The guys from Psych Night dropped some vinyl on their turntables and kept everyone’s sundowners company with popular alternative and psych rock bangers. All-in-all, I think “celebration” would be the best way to describe the set of events. It was great to see such a celebration of local music, art, and film as well as an overall celebratory trip down memory lane, appreciating how special Endless Daze 2017 had been for the bands as well as the attendees.

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