The idea of Fokofpolisiekar opening a bar in Pretoria was more than a bit of a slap in the face for everyone in
Bellville Cape Town. But what most Capetonians don’t realise, is the level to which the band are revered up north. It’s quite a thing to witness and ultimately, to wrap your mind around.
I first experienced it when they played Oppikoppi in 2012 and performed on Wesley’s Dome (RIP) for the first time. It was a religious experience, a phrase that’s been repeated a hundred times over (hat-tip to the person who said it first) but one that really captures the spirit of how beloved they are, in Gauteng specifically.
Friday night’s friends-and-family shindig at Fokof Bar went down exactly the way I thought it would – doused in brannawyn and set on fire for my poor body to spend the weekend recovering from. There was a nice little acoustic performance from Frannie, Hunter and Johnny after which I forced my way into the office (aided by Cath Grenfell obvs), twice, and screwed with the Spotify playlist because I wasn’t happy with whatever had been encued.
Saturday there was a queue basically all the way to the Voortrekker Monument with the promise of the whole band being there – and they actually were there for most of the day, this wasn’t some lame marketing ploy.
But the decor took a beating with a few pictures predictably being ripped off the memorabilia wall on the lefthand side of the staircase. I also heard that someone shat themselves and then tried unsuccessfully to flush their kak broek down the toilet. Stay classy Pretoria.
Sunday, after Fokof dished up a mighty headline helping at Park Acoustics, they were all back at the bar. And so was I, for my multiple sins. Thankfully they’d run out of gin and I don’t drink beer so I wasn’t there for very long. If I had been, this would be a very different piece because it probably wouldn’t exist.
In retrospect, it’s better that there isn’t a Fokof Bar in Cape Town. The Shack is, realistically, all that I can deal with anyway.
You’ll find Fokof Bar at 297 Lynwood Road, Menlopark.
All pics by Henry Engelbrecht.