Art Pereiraís Farewell Mash-up Gig, Mercury 1/12/2010
You know Art Pereira. Even if you donít know that you know him.
If you’ve seen a band, any band, in Cape Town over the past 10 years, chances are Art was the man behind the drumkit. No one’s quite sure how many bands he’s been involved with, and Art himself says it’s "definitely in the double figures".
Art’s resume reads like rock festival line-up. Kelvin Declined, Roswell Kings, V.O.L, Andy Lund and the Mission Men, the Hogs and Taxi Violence have all had his rock-solid rhythm and masterful timing behind them. The man is like a Portuguese percussion Energizer bunny.
It’s no surprise then, that after a decade of beating the pigskins like a red-headed stepchild, Art decided to give his over-worked arms a rest. And so it was that 150 rock fans found themselves at Mercury on Wednesday 1st December to give Art a right royal send-off. On the bill, four of the acts Art has been involved with of late.
First up was Coal, Cape Town’s only mostly-girl "Dark Ethereal Rock" band. Having gone in expecting a poppy Evanescence sound-alike, I was pleasantly blown away. Front-lady Cathy Davy’s haunting vocals were part dreamy Gaelic lullaby, part dark metal, but all-powerful. Sweeping chords and guitarist Vera Vukovic’s tuned-down backing vocals conjure up images of a female Smashing Pumpkins, with a Cocteau Twins twist. A unique and memorable sound in our city, and I wager our fair country.
Next on stage was the inimitable Andy Lund and the Mission Men. Regulars on the CT gig scene, their unorthodox Springsteen-meets-Radiohead sound together with Andy’s Dylan-esque vocal style is well-liked, although their set was perhaps a bit too eclectic and folksy for my, and the crowd’s liking. Still, Andy’s powerful acoustic strumming and harmonica work is worth seeing live, at least once.
V.O.L is a bit like Marmite. You either love ’em, or hate ’em. I’ve got to admit liking them, more as a live act than something I would play in the car on the way to work, but then some bands are just better live showmen.
Juggernaut frontman Kevin Rule has a vocal range that is nothing short of amazing for a man his size, but V.O.L’s tunes don’t really afford him the opportunity to test his impressive ability (if you’ve seen his Metallica tribute gigs, you’ll know what I mean). Having said that, rock crowds always seem to respond excellently to the combination of Kevin’s throaty lyrics, the magnanimous power riffs provided by guitarist Jono Commerford, Migs Auer’s slap-in-the-face bass and Art’s versatile drumming. Whatever your view, you’ll find it difficult to stop your head bobbing when you see them.
Surprise of the night was most decidedly the closing act Three More White Guys. This self-proclaimed "party band" certainly raised the level on the evening’s Fun-o-Meter. Bluesy surf-rock melted into rock-a-billy which then morphed into classic rock with a ska-punk edge. Think Andrew WK fronting the Beach Boys. Their cover of Ming Tea’s BBC from the Austin Powers soundtrack pretty much sums their sound up - a fun collaboration that is half comedy show, half beach party. If you can see this band this summer, do so.
All in all, a great show, and testament to both Art’s character and ability. We wish Art all the best, but completely selfishly hope to see him doing some cameo appearances now and then. The CT live scene won’t be quite the same without him.
Photos supplied by Kevin Rule without his prior knowledge or consent.