Saturday, September 26, 2009

Lua Union. driven and down to earth.

I had a 'once in a while’ the other night. Actually, it's been a week of those. What next, I wonder? (Battle of the bands finals next, jezebel. type FASTER.)

It started with a public holiday with no holiday and no public in it (prepping for Brand Your Band expo while everyone else was drinking and braaing), moved into a quick trek to Stellies (my new favourite escape), and stumbled upon Stack Shot Jack at Aandklas shooting their mouths off superbly. No, their strings. They wowed me. a timeless jam at the end of their set was the cherry on top that chopped out my doubt for now. It’s a tricky thing with them- and an unusual one – I’ve seen them live 3 times. Sometimes they seem unspecial, and other times superlative, but it’s beyond my ability to figure out why. Either something is wrong with my ears, or the prescient rule that music is emotive must be re/applied. Why? because we are emotional creatures (ok, some are), so we respond to rhythms and melodies kin to our feelings, but ears, for all their attentiveness, are also slow to HEAR. I mean to hear, with heart, with soul. So sometimes a little settling in is necessary, to get to the source of a sound. It's not so strange that music goes well with wine, really, because it is like wine - sometimes it takes time, and in some cases, it's even an acquired taste. Blk Jks (our best export since Johnny Clegg and Juluka), is my best example- first time I heard Molalatladi, I thought Jaxon (Rice of The Diesel Whores) was mad to dub them the future sound of South Africa (in the next issue of Muse). When it took hold, there was no looking back, and no letting go. I was sold. Blk Jks. IN. Stack Shot Jack? ConfusIN. Anyway, they're enjoying themselves so much, they'll hold their own and outgrow my doubts very soon, I suspect. I’ll oscillate for a while, because ears are like hearts- sometimes quick, sometimes slow to open. But it was love at first sight with Lua Union. Though i'm repeating myself.

I've mentioned them before. Click the Lua Union tag below (come on, you know how to use web two point oh). Then it was 'toer, two guitars, and tents. We forgot the world for forty truly arty minutes while Dean and Lucas jammed in the lush green campsite and life seemed sweet and simple and important (well, it IS, but it isn't always the first two). You're going to disagree with me until you think about it, but love at first sight requires the irony of integrity. (And the iron of intensity, even if it's soft and switching to sweet all the time, like in Dear Reader). Lua Union has both. What grabbed me on the grass gobbled me at Aandklas. What charmed me in summer, burned me in late winter (what - you call this Spring?!). Grounded and growling. Homely and howling. I can't describe it. And that's a good thing. For now.

Watching them that night made my day. My week. My month. (the year has been a hard one, so we won't quite labour the exaggeration yet.) Lua is driving strings, burnt umber vocals from Dean(e); golden, grounded, glorious vocals from Lucas, and a certain sense of something else that I haven't heard anywhere else. Something that wants more time to be put into words and to find its voice.

Give them time, and they'll be the next best thing.

Give me time, coz I’m late for the battle!

The Lua Union has a Face

And you can listen here

p.s. the ‘What Next’ that came next was Heart Shaped Heresy at Battle Of The Bands. Watch this blog for more from a local one woman army soonsoon…(the YesWeCan one is here).. and crib notes on how to (not?) win a Battle…

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