This Thursday, Oppikoppi Festival descends upon Northam for a 20 year celebration that is guaranteed to put every other Koppi to shame. This is my forth year braving Koppi and with roughly 140 acts to choose from, I bet you’re having a tough time deciding who you’re going to be front-and-centre for come crunch time.
Now while you’re making that list and checking it twice, I’ve taken the liberty of putting together a little list of the 10 acts you’re not going to want to miss.
Wrestlerish (Thursday 18:00 James Phillips)
The first time I heard Wrestlerish’s debut single “Oliver Tambourine” was from the comfort of my couch while perusing MK when it still had the 89 attached to it. Decked in a flannel shirt with an acoustic guitar slung over one shoulder, clasping a bunch of red balloons, Werner Olckers’ honey-tone vocals pretty much made him the poster-boy of heartbreak circa 2010. I’ll be the one shedding a tear or two during the indie rockers’ last performance.
Dead Lucky (Thursday 19:00 Wesley’s Dome)
The Cape Town rockers released one of the best albums of 2013, an album that didn’t garner nearly as much recognition as it deserved but no matter, this fivesome is going to raise the rock ‘n’ roll heathen that lies dormant in your soul. Truth.
Hinds Brothers Band (Friday 15:00 Top Bar Stage)
I had the privilege of hosting this duo at Tuesdays On Fire on their first tour of Cape Town a few months ago and to say they melted hearts during their set would be a gross understatement. Kick back at the Ray-Ban Top Stage and let them serenade the shit outta you with songs off their debut SAMA-nominated album “Ocean Of Milk”.
BCUC (Saturday 15:00 Wesley’s Dome)
The Bantu Contunia Uhuru Consciousness (learn this because some smart-ass is bound to ask you what it stands for) is a six-piece group from Soweto. The hype around them is justified as is their cacophony of sound – tambourine, nose-flutes, well-placed doses of electric guitar and gorgeous afrobeat harmonies. Expect ten minute-long songs packed full of improvisation and vernacular. “We are like CNN, if you want to watch news with an American (western world) perspective that’s what you tune into. For news about Soweto (black townships) you listen to BCUC.” Priceless.
Zebra & Giraffe Acoustic (Saturday 17:00 Top Bar Stage)
Just as I was about to give up all hope in Zebra & Giraffe ever seeing an Oppikoppi Stage again, they get two slots – one on Wesley’s Dome and another on the Ray-Ban Top Bar Stage. The intimacy of the Ray-Ban Top Bar Stage is one of its draw cards, which is guaranteed to make Z&G’s acoustic set a highlight, and makes it easier stare oh-so-deep into Greg Carlin’s eyes…
Dan Patlansky & Albert Frost (Saturday 17:00 Wesley’s Dome)
Dear aspiring guitarists, if you want to feel teeny-tiny about the major chords you still cannot master, then this is definitely the set for you. I kid, I kid. Let’s start over? Dear aspiring guitarists, if you want to be stimulated and motivated, if you want to witness two seasoned blues guitar pros duke it out until there’s blood on a fret board, this is the set for you. Things are gonna get dirty.
Cassper Nyovest (Saturday 19:00 Red Bull Stage)
When he’s not posing with Julius Malema or beefing with AKA, rapper Cassper Nyovest makes some damn fine music. I had the pleasure of witnessing his set at the Red Bull Beat Battle Final earlier this year, before he dropped his fresh-as-all hell debut album “Tsholofelo”. Now that his album’s been doing the #1 rounds, you can be sure he’s going to want to throw down the gauntlet as the best rapper in SA. I’ve got goosies already.
The Inspector Cluzo (Saturday 19:00 Bruilhof)
I saw these mal naaiers at Ramfest last year and all I remember thinking was, “CRACK.” This French rock ‘n’ roll duo will blow the brains outta Bruilhof stage and leave everyone going, “FUCK THE BASS PLAYER.”
DJ InviZAble Champions of the Sonarverse (Saturday 21:00 Bruilhof)
You know when a set has been in development for a year and a half that it’s bound to be worth it, and then some. This is the telling of the classic “good vs evil” story (soon to be in graphic novel) and features the talents of Gertjie Besselsen & Jacques du Plessis (Mr Cat & the Jackal), Nick Matthews, Maurice Pagalia (Dirty Skirts), Yolanda Xashi and Dubmasta China, plus a special guest appearance or two.
Rival Sons (Saturday 22:00 James Phillips)
This is probably going to be the set of the festival. Rival Sons is a throwback to the classic, staple bands of rock ‘n’ roll. Led Zeppelin. Deep Purple. The Animals. SWEET MOTHER OF ROCK HOLD ME BACK. Also, I’ve literally just discovered this band and I feel cheated, cheated out of five years of premium rock ‘n’ roll. Even Dan Patlansky was going mad over their confirmation. Do. Not. Miss. This. Set.