80ís for the hell of it
Dorothy & Toto go 80ís for the hell of it, and other adventures.
On the eve of a cold winter’s night we make the long journey to the distant land on a venturing visit to see the wonderful Minstrel of Obz.
Well that’s how it started. Unknowingly that was not the only capricious character and colorful event one would be subjected to on such a magnificent evening. Toto and I were off to cover the 80’s party at Gotham.
Arriving early and niggling our way past the prepared enforces enforcing the long armed law of Gandalf the Grey, we were at once told that neither Gotham nor Gandalf was open, and our only alternative was to make our way up the stairs, into the yawning hole of a door that contains the legendry ROAR. A venue labeled by beer chugging, gig attending individuals as having the finest acoustical values of any live music venue in Cape Town. And it does, or so they say.
After visiting the bar to order a beer I scan my surroundings. It becomes apparent that a host of familiar faces are floating around, aimlessly waiting for the night to start. The air has yet to achieve that lingering smell of beer, cigarettes and sweat. People still carry that false tranquility of sobriety and dignified conversation. It amuses me how different many of them look in the light. I take a seat and instruct Toto to do the same. She engages the ‘Cat incognito’ behind the bar into verbal banter, trying to unearth the truth behind the evening. “Who’s playing tonight?” I hear her say. There was something resounding to a “meow, hiss and splatter” in response.
It was at that point the hat came into view, accompanied by Mike below it. He hands me a piece of paper with writing on it: “The Secret Adventures of Tomb Thumb 42/47 min film stop start anime + human interacts”.
“What is this nonsense?” I ask him. He tells me to Google it and I try to make sense of the rest of the noise coming out of his mouth, but give up, and convince Toto using snacks that it is time to prowl our way downstairs. We are, after all, supposed to be covering the event at Gotham.
Using my Jedi mind tricks, I convince young Alex that I urgently need to speak to Stacii Stef’n Minstrel. He points me in the right direction, I thank him graciously and push my way through the imaginary swarm of people bumbling and frolicking around. We find Stacii setting up the booth, pulling cables in a wild fanatical rage, slapping himself in the face. I ask what time the party’s going to start and he gives me a half hour warning.
We ventured our way across the passage to Gandalf’s to order another round. After asking the Emo Entrance Clerk what the schedule held for the evening, we were informed it was nothing more than a typical Friday night. The night switched from hip hoppity de hopp to Rage against the Machine to Metal.
We went back to Gotham to see the progression. It was sprinkled with a few mysteriously clothed persons contorting themselves to Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love”. The night remained reasonably calm with a total of 4 scantly dressed “Goths(?)”, a man dressed as predator clown woman and a Zimbabwean named Bright on the dance floor.
I remember being very staggered at the dance response to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” and Joan Jett’s “I love Rock n Roll”. I made my way to the bar and found the Walrus from Alice in Wonderland pimping it up with some ladies on his arms, he seemed rather jolly and happy at his success. I received a particularly disapproving look from the folk around the bar. I decided not to risk entering. Other interesting song choices of the night were Indecent Obsession’s “Strawberry Lips” and Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters”.
I tried to lock Stacii in for the quick interview he had promised me earlier over a Jaggie shot I had bribed him with, but was consistently unsuccessful. Mental note to self: I need to reschedule and get this guys story. He works at Exclusive Books Kloof Street, get him there.
I escape back upstairs with Toto following close to foot. I discover the impenetrable Warren Cox loafing around the bar and engage myself in a half hour conversion about the lack of support there seems to be for the South African metal scene. Toto is yapping away at an old comrade she found that was there to support his friend’s band, Labyrinth.
I managed a quick chat with the drummer, Matt, who used to play in the Rag Dolls and has seen some mature since then.
Labyrinth brought to stage an interesting blend of sound, with funky bass and fast paced drumming, the vocal consistency of Anthony Kiedis and guitar. The band has a good stage vibe and enjoys what they do .They pulled off a reasonably good cover of The Red Hot Chili Peppers “Otherside”. I hope to catch up with them soon and watch another gig.
Heaven Underground surprised me sounding a lot tighter and more confident than I’ve ever heard them. Their guitarist Garon shows a lot of stage personality and ever confident Dylan on vocals gives the crowd his normal death-piercing glare looking like a threatening Ed Kawalsky.
Ending up in what I thought was Tin Roof on a Friday night but was in fact Gandalf’s on a Saturday, Toto and I needed another drink. We acquired I round through various devious means and made our way outside. I found myself being told a story by a bearded wonder. He claims he was mistaken for a terrorist at Heathrow Airport and given a cavity search. I doubt a site Id like to see.
I said my farewells; pick pocketed a few midgets and grabbed Toto by her collar. It was time to follow the yellow brick road home and conserve my energy for a more constructive evening.