How to wear denim this summer
The eighth Rocking the Daisies festival blew hot and cold at the weekend. The three-day festival featured a sizzling-hot line-up of acts on five stages as well as a cold front for most of Saturday.
Held at the Cloof Wine Estate in Darling, near Cape Town, the annual outdoor music festival was sold out, attracting 15 000 revellers.
And they weren’t all there solely to see Alt-J. The throngs of fans who were there to see the British band formed triangles with their fingers and pumped them into the air like they’ve never heard of Roc-a-fella.
Performing on the main stage on Saturday, Alt-J got off to a late start. It was rather amusing when Tyga’s Rack City was cut off just as he was chanting “ra-rack-city-bitch” to reveal the bearded leader of the poster-band for university students deep into their feelings.
The Hives, dressed in suits with a matador-esque motif, followed Alt-J on the main stage. The Swedish garage rock band kept fans entertained.
But the real show-stoppers were, of course, Skunk Anansie. The main stage area wasn’t packed body-to-body as was the case when Alt-J performed, but there were certainly moshpits, much hair-flinging and sweating. At one point, Skunk Anansie’s fierce lead vocalist, Skin (who wore dazzling tuxedo pants and matching shiny shoes), stepped on to Mark Richardson’s drumkit – mid-performance – and the crowd roared.
Audiences also went wild for the night at the Red Bull Electro stage on Saturday. The Crazy White Boy (featuring Nonku) were all big lights, big sound and big voices. Which means there was plenty of dancing.
This year, there was some hip hop sprinkled in the line-up that featured mostly dubstep, drum ’n’ bass and dance outfits on this stage.
Ready D slayed on Friday night, and, on Saturday, Tha Cutt kept people entertained. Producer Audiophile 021 performed a set with Capetonian rapper Youngsta that was funny to hear and fun to dance to. Rapper Reason took to the stage and got guys to chant to their girlfriends: “You can be such a brat.”
Jack Parow was a hit on Friday night. He performed for a crowd who knew just about every word of his songs, before he made his way to the main stage where he was a guest on PHFat’s set. Now a two-man crew, PHFat were impressive and deserved to be billed on the main stage. Mr Sakitumi played bass, The Grrrl was on visuals, Nonku, aka Yung Freud, made an appearance, while original PHFat members, Narch and Smooth Mike, held it down.
Another impressive act was Bongeziwe Mabandla, who was booked to perform in a surprisingly early time slot at the Nu World Beat Barn. The venue wasn’t packed to the rafters, but the audience was attentive for this African soul guitarist, who sings like he studied Jabu Khanyile.
Before him, a happy-go-lucky band called Khoitrans played a more dance-driven set.
Trenton and the Free Radical made an appearance on this stage and on the Hemp Stage, which also featured an array of reggae and ska acts.
“What’s a festival without reggae?” Beach Party’s lead singer asked as the group reggae-fied the end of one of their songs on the main stage in front of a handful of people on Friday afternoon.
As far as the non-headliners went, Beach Party (not that new to the scene) were refreshing. Al Bairre were summoned to an encore and Hot Water’s back-up singer twerked on stage. There was something for everyone.
The Lemon Tree Theatre, which was the comedy stage, provided a good indication of which comedians keep on getting better and which are just dabbling while they finish their university degrees. Saturday morning’s acts – which included the lewd but absolutely hilarious Paul Snodgrass and Dalin Oliver – were a pleasure to watch.
One of the later Saturday sessions drew a tougher crowd that shook some comedians so badly that they cut their sets short. Even Pete Sserwanga exclaimed that comedians might enjoy this moment way more than the audience, so he would come back at 8 o’clock. But then Mum-Z came on and killed that stage! He even received a standing ovation. Others who entertained included funnywoman Kellyn O and funnyman Deepfried Man.
Comedic relief is a good idea at outdoor festivals – and not just because you get to sit down on a chair or bench or couch (yeah, they had real settees).
This year’s Rocking the Daisies went to great lengths to find a range of musical acts to appeal to most ticket-buyers. While camping in the cold may be a drag, seeing Skin lick musical instruments was worth it.