Thanks to social media, live music is now more intimate than ever before. Although this time of the year is usually set aside for preparing for Oppikoppi, I had to make the shift to mentally prepare for a night in with my favourite musos on my couch, sipping wine instead of gulping down Windhoek Lager.
Here is my big fat guide to online shows you can enjoy when the Oppikoppi-blues kick in:
Francois van Coke – Stories Agter Die Tunes
At the end of March, during lockdown level 5, Francois van Coke live streamed his first solo show in 11 years from his home in Bellville. I enjoyed the raw honesty of the show and there was a nice live interaction between the audience and the main man himself. However, I missed having Die Gevaar. It’s just not the same without the different sounds coming from all over. But no need to miss the okes for too long, because on the 13th of June 2020 at 20h00 you can join Francois van Coke, Jedd Kossew and Richard Onraet for another special live streaming experience. This intimate performance of acoustic renditions of their most popular hits will be coloured in with stories about how these tunes were born. You can be a part of the virtual hang and be involved in the livestream experience by:
- A live ZOOM room;
- Behind-the-scenes livestreams via Facebook LIVE and Instagram LIVE;
- A Facebook post where people can comment and Francois can respond; or
- Use this hashtag for posts: #storiesagterdietunes
Be sure to get your tickets here.
Spoegwolf – Die Rivier
Trust Spoegwolf to fully embrace the lockdown reality we’re all facing! They launched dierivier.com at around the same time when homebrewed pineapple beer became a thing. The website gives fans an insight into the Spoegwolf world. For hardcore fans, this is the best thing since Lenie Blou was first introduced on MK.
My sister, for example, went absolutely bonkers for this and signed up without a second thought. Here she read poetry written by the “wolwe” and listened to podcasts where frontman Danie and Albert told stories about the band and the songs we have come to love. And then just as we almost completely forgot about the front row feeling which only the James Phillips stage in Northam can evoke, Spoegwolf launched “live uit ons sitkamer.”
A once in a lifetime online show on the 15th of May 2020. If you wanted to watch the show, but were not interested in the podcasts, recipes and stories on Die Rivier, you had the opportunity to buy a ticket for the online show for a mere 60 bucks. The show, a full blown production, was very well executed. But unfortunately, it wasn’t the raw live session that I thought I had signed up for.
One thing is certain, however, the show adhered to the Spoegwolf standard that we know and love. I just wish it was more of a live session instead of a pre-production for which they only had to press play.
Arno Carstens – Stage at Home
I’m a huge fan of Arno Carstens and very appreciative of the role the Springbok Nude Girls played in the South African music scene. The last time I experienced a live show of Arno Carstens was at Blue Peter in Bloubergstrand. So I jumped at the opportunity to dance along with the father of rock. Since the start of the lockdown, Arno Carstens has been providing us with a series of “Stage at Home” acoustic concerts exploring the albums of his prolific career as a singer-songwriter and frontman.
The first one on 14 April 2020 was none other than Another Universe. The 2003 multi-platinum album that launched his stellar solo career and won him a SAMA award for Best Rock Album.
During this live stream story-telling set, Arno performed a selection of tracks from the Another Universe album, including Something we Started, Another Universe, Tonight’s Dragons, Boy, and more. It was an intimate live streaming session on his acoustic guitar, with him telling stories and engaging with the fans throughout the show.
The “Stage at Home” series is still in full swing. Keep an eye on his Facebook page for upcoming events.
Wêreld SA – The Wêreld Mayday Sessions
Wêreld is a platform for all kinds of different projects and in May 2020 they did a series of lockdown shows called “The Wêreld Mayday Sessions”.
May was jam packed with shows from Mikhaela Faye, Laurie Levine, Mr Alden and more.
I watched the show of Jaco van der Merwe, also known as Bitter Jakkals from the band Bittereinder. From all of the live shows I watched during the lockdown, this was by far my favourite. It was classic Jaco van der Merwe and I will always remember the version of a classic 90s melodic mantra that he dedicated to all the real musicians out there.
Give Wêreld a follow, there is definitely something for everyone.
Albert Frost – Tuesdays Blues days Sessions
If you know me, you will be familiar with my obsession with Albert Frost. This is by far the best guitarist in my opinion and after I watched a “Tuesdays Blues Day” session a few weeks ago, it was confirmed yet again! Albert Frost and Schalk Joubert did a stripped down set comprising material from the 25 year music journey through and beyond South Africa. And another plus from this show? 10% of the proceeds went to the SAFE fund, which raises relief funds for the entertainment community of South Africa.
For upcoming shows visit his Facebook page.
Eet Kreef Herleef
I had the privilege of watching the Eet Kreef Herleef show at the Drostdy Teater pre-Corona. So if you want an in-depth review, head on over to my love letter here. Given the fact that I already saw the show twice, I still bought a ticket for the show at Sunset Recording Studios that launched this past weekend. Why? I couldn’t get enough of this rendition of the album from Johannes Kerkorrel and the Gereformeerde Blues Band. Another reason was that I wanted to share this musical experience with the people I hold dear. This past weekend we celebrated the birthday of one of our friends and I saw this as the perfect opportunity to share this little gem with my friends.
The show was recorded live at the Sunset Recording Studio in Stellenbosch with short snippets in between of the band talking about the whole experience; about Johannes Kerrkorrel and about the music that shaped this “herlewing.” You can even enjoy a snippet from original Gereformeerde Blues band member, Jannie van Tonder.
For only R105 we partied in my living room with Laudo Liebenberg, Frank Freeman and more. And when I closed my eyes, I could imagine Johannes Kerkorrel himself dancing the night away.
This rendition is raw, beautiful and perfectly produced. It will leave you wanting more rock & roll.
So if you ever get the chance to experience Eet Kreef Herleef, don’t think twice or hit me up and join us for a watch party…. Yet again.
As you can see, my lockdown has been packed with local rock and roll! Even though Oppikoppi is just a faraway memory, I head banged as if my lounge was the Bruilof stage! This just shows us yet again that no matter what – rock and roll will never die!