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Splashy Fen is South Africa’s oldest rock festival. One of the reasons for this is the consistently high calibre of music the organisers have booked over the years. This year is no exception. The headline acts are Micasa and Dan Patlansky, both of whom are deserving.
However, if you are looking for something more out there, look no further than Gazelle. Their debut album, Chic Afrique, sums up their unique take on all things African. They came to national attention when they featured on Jack Parow’s hit, Hosh Tokolosh, with the song and the video being very funny.
Gazelle’s music leans more towards dance, which is very fashionable. But it is the combination of great music and an insane live show that gives them the edge. They call it Lim Pop. And there is DJ InviZAble who hides behind some weird Chinese hat type thing.
Their show is a carnival, taking the mickey out of the bizarre and lavish lifestyle of African dictators. Afrikaans dance meets the Limpopo River in a safari mixture of high fashion and British colonialism.
Another highlight will be The Muffinz. We love The Muffinz. They are the deserved winners of best group at the Metro FM Music Awards and an opening act for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers tour in South Africa. They are currently the hottest property in the country. Their music is laid R&B rock with a strong African influence and sung with haunting harmonies. They are set to take Splashy Fen by storm.
Females are strongly represented this year with not only Josie Field and Laurie Levine, but also Lu Flur and The Frown.
The Frown play gothic electronic dance music. They describe themselves as a “creative collective of musicians, producers and designers led by the dynamic Eve Rakow”. They will be as stylish and as interesting to watch as Gazelle.
La Flur will also be a visual as well as aural experience. Comprising a woman on harps and a female vocalist, the harp goes grunge, the harp goes reggae, the harp goes rock, the harp goes metal. They are an exciting and original find and are perfect for the Splashy Fen atmosphere.
Cape Town rock will be represented by Red Huxley. This group play authentic alternative rock which draws strongly on old-school rock from the early 1990s. It is really just that good old rock ’n’ roll.
Also on that rock tip are Gangs of Ballet. If you have not heard them, then you have been living under a rock and don’t deserve to go to Splashy Fen. They are strongly influenced by Coldplay which, some say, is their biggest downfall.
However, Gangs of Ballet are excellent songwriters with songs that will remain relevant many years from now. Best of all, they are from Durban, which will give the myriad Durbanites at Splashy something to be proud of.
With more than 100 bands performing there will be a lot to see and do. But the above-mentioned bands as well as Micasa and Dan Patlansky are must-see artists.