Feature Opinion

In Review: That 70s Show at The Bohemian

I have a theory that 1945 is, musically, the ideal year in which to be born. Despite being post-war and pre-feminism, living your golden years in the ’60s and ’70s must have been a treat for the ears. I like to imagine hitching rides in VW Beetles and turbulent frolics on water beds to The Moody Blues, with lava lamps casting light on Dark Side of the Moon. With this in mind, I stepped into a time machine at The Bohemian on Saturday and right into the ’70s, where bell-bottoms and bold prints ran amok.

Regrettably having missed Miagii’s debut, I strolled in as The Tazers hit the stage to begin their set. I battled my way to the front of the bar, shoulder pads and all, from where I could see lead singer Jethro Lock launch into the performance with serious heart. Eager to join the crowd I made frantic haste at the understaffed bar and with an open bottle in hand, I skipped along to the dance floor. One track bled seamlessly into another with fight and energy strong at hand. I was surprised to see the crowd so dry during such a steamy set. With an unusually limited effects pedal, Lock improvised and compensated with a raw performance that set the tone right back to where rock ‘n’ roll began. Not missing a beat, drummer Timothy Edwards struck, thumped and walloped his skins as they screamed in pain. Guido Assman grooved the room into ambiance on the bass.

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After The Tazers, Black Math arrived and did what they do best; tore the room limb from limb with an aggressive, unrelenting monster of sound complete with gnashing teeth and sharp claws. The Durban trio had clearly brought the creatures from the woodwork, because the crowd sprang to life with purpose – we must mosh. I dived straight into the pit and my body flung from East to West. The lion’s share of the thrashing was enjoyed by heads of black, white and blue in a whirl of bleach and hairspray.

Black Math gave not a second to breathe during the roaring performance and despite the chill outside, the garage rock with a psychedelic swirl stimulated sweat glands across the whole of Auckland Park. Seamless time changes held tight by Tyla Burnett, Cam Lofstrand and Acacia Van Wyk came crashing through the system flawlessly. It was unanimously agreed when the MC declared that “Black Math are the best thing to come out of Durban since the bunny chow!”

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The crowd thinned but that didn’t deter Pollinator from dishing out a polished set. What I love about this band is that they play with the soul of a cemetery whether they’re playing to 20 people or 2 000. The band comprises of some seriously skilled musicians, including Tim Edwards playing his second set of the evening. Evert Snyman (lead) landed up violently caressing his guitar on the floor in the middle of the crowd. A penis-shaped water pistol whored its way through the room. Bassist Louise Eksteen plunged a powerful vocal performance during “Champion”, and harmonies were nailed by all three members for the entire set.

Both Louise Eksteen and Acacia Van Wyk gave me hope for the scene, ladies in rock are killing it and this party was no boy’s club. When the set was over I begged to leave, but David Bowie beckoned me back to the dance floor, now littered in empty bottles, cigarette butts and the penis gun from before. In that moment of sober clarity, I realised that I probably wouldn’t go back the The Boh if I could avoid it. I had hoped for water beds, lava lamps, flower power and liberated nipples, and all I got was superb psychedelic rock ‘n roll in a trashed dive.

Check out our gallery from this event.

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