In the midst of preparation for their ‘Haal Asem Kwagga’ Tour, that kicks off this Saturday at The Assembly, Zebra & Giraffe’s Alan Shenton (guitarist) and Van Coke Kartel’s main man Francois Van Coke (vox, guitar) took time to give me me the 411 of what to expect at these gigs.
Firstly, the name of the tour is legendary. Whose brainchild was that?
Alan: Greg and I gave the job to Mike (our keyboardist) to come up with a tour name. His head is full of this kind of stuff. Honestly the first words that came out his mouth were “Haal Asem Kwagga” and I sent an sms to Francois and Wynand straight away and they loved it. Before we knew it we got it trending on Twitter locally.
You kickoff your tour at The Assembly next week Friday. What’s the general vibe like when you perform there?
Alan: We have always had a great response at The Assembly, it’s definitely one of our favorite venues to play! We haven’t been there in a year nearly, and are really excited about that.
Francois: We haven’t played there in a while either. Assembly is always cool. It’s gonna be great playing that venue with the Zebras.
Considering you’re going to spending time here and there over the next month with each other, what’s the general relationship like between your two bands?
Alan: We have never done an extensive tour together before, but always have a good time with each other at our shows. We have a lot of respect for how hard they work and what they have accomplished. As for on the road, it’s going to be interesting. They would definitely win in a drinking contest, it’s going to be a lot of fun if we all survive it.
Francois: We are mates and always hang out when we play festivals or when we are up in JHB. We won’t survive the tour if we drink like we normally do… Luckily we have a couple of days off after Assembly, so we can get the party over with after the first show.
The live performances that both bands put on are usually off-the-wall energetic and entertaining. Do you think there’s going to be any pressure to out-perform each other during your respective sets?
Alan: One of our reasons for wanting to tour with VCK, was based on their live performance. They really give it horns from the very beginning. I think it’s going to be a solid 2 hours of energetic, entertaining performances from both bands! As far as competing goes, we did this tour as a double headlining bill because we want to build on each others strengths as bands, and we can learn a lot from that, not competitive in any regard. Jedd is one of my favorite local guitarists for sure, so it’s always awesome sharing the stage with him and watching and learning!
Francois: I think we will play and push each other to do great shows. We are also big fans of Zebra and they always play on good gear and have great sound.
Any chance of a colab/guest appearance on each other’s songs?
Alan: Mike might be joining VCK for a track or two on keys, but nothing’s confirmed yet. I think it will be the kind of thing that develops on the tour as we go. Who knows?! Ultimately it’s just cool to be doing what we do with like minded individuals, the #haalasemkwagga tour might grow some legs eventually.
Francois: We are also looking at doing a track together and will hopefully have time to work on it in the middle of the tour.
And there you have it straight from the… uuuh… kwaggas’ mouths.
My thoughts? When this tour rolls round to your town if you miss it, you’re a fool. Stand a chance to win tickets to The Assembly gig here.