Hellfest at Home: Live from the Couch
A World Without Rock
If you know us, you’ll know we love to rock. Music is a constant for us - food for the soul, if you will. Like a lot of you, we had some of our best times at gigs. And we’ve been rather spoiled for choice over the last decade. At least I have – I’ve seen some of my all-time top bands right here in our sunny little backwater on the tip of Africa! Many of those sublime experiences were possible thanks to the now sadly defunct Witchdoctor Productions. I lived through Cape Town’s golden age of rock and metal. And like all good things, it went to absolute fucking shit.
On 27 March last year the country went into lockdown and, like all events involving large groups, live music was banned. The consequences for performing musicians and the events-industry have been devastating – for many it won’t be possible to simply get back on that horse! once Covid is ‘under control’. If or when that happens. It has occurred to me more than once that I may have attended my last gig early in 2020. Because as the lockdown dragged on, we saw live music tour dates shifted to October, and then to 2022. A glum future indeed.
But in shitty times we take our pleasures where we can, and a friend alerted me to Wacken World Wide Streaming. Having previously regarded streaming as a poor substitute for the real thing, I was surprised to find it gave me enough of that connection to the music. Enough to keep the hope alive.
Since then, we’ve had a great time watching a few amazing streaming concerts. And this weekend we’re going to represent Sad Shirts while we couch-rock to some live acts streaming from Hellfest at Home this weekend.
The majority of the support slots are filled with bands neither of us are familiar with, although a few of them look like exciting stuff. But it’s the headliners we’re dying to see - bless those Hellfest folks for managing to organise some heavy-hitters in these trying times.
We’ve been lucky enough to see two of them in the flesh, so this is going to be a bitter-sweet reminder of pre-pandemic times. But also perhaps some fresh hope?
On Friday Night we’ll be watching:
(stoner rock) 19h30
We’re dead keen to check out these French doom merchants.
Black Bomb A
(metalcore/groove metal) 20h00
(industrial metal/electro punk) 21h00
(folk metal) 22h00
My mate Justin and I went up to see Ensiferum up in Jhb in 2010. Our heads were blown clean off, so I’m dying to check them out again.
Then, on Saturday Night, we’ll be watching:
The Great Old Ones
(black metal) 17h45
It would be a crime for Sad Shirts to miss a robe-clad band called The Great Old Ones because … well. Because obviously. They claim to invoke the chaos and madness of cosmic horror… or was it a wall of noise? Either way, we can’t wait to see what occult craziness they conjure up.
(death metal) 18h30
We’ve haven’t heard them, but we’ve heard of them. Bring it on.
(hard rock) 21h00
Guitar-wizard Laura Cox initially made her name as a Youtube guitarist but is now France’s premier blues rock export.
We both saw Jinjer annihilate the Mercury Live in May 2019, and they left a lasting impression. Seamlessly blending the heaviest grooves with mind-bending experimentation, Jinjer put on an electrifying performance. And they’ve just recorded a new album, which means they’ll hopefully debut some new tunes!
Simulating Human Connection
We reckon this sounds like a good time to some of our friends, so we’re going to be talking shit on our Facebook page while we’re watching. We hope somebody will talk back. Perhaps we can dispel the dystopian gloom and simulate some gig fun-times.
And if you have a Sad Shirt, put that shit on, yo! Then we’ll be like a team. A sad team. United in our shared gig withdrawal. And through the power of all our sad shirts together, we’ll manifest cosmic gig magic!