Crap. I did it. I bought a band T-shirt in a sudden flurry of fanaticism. I was totally sober. In my defense, I was also drowning in my lungs, but that’s no excuse for breaking a vow to never get the T-shirt (seeing as I get everything else, including the rude names). i sat, deliriously, impatiently, through a tedious Jeff Buckley tribute (voice has promise, the songs need narrative), and a mellow man-and-guitar with more charm than charge last night at the Waiting Room. (ha. yes. Touché.) I should have been in bed. I’d come anticipating that the hype about Wresterlish isn’t hollow because people I trust said it was worth it. (tip. If you want to know what’s what musically, ask serious musicians, Miles, Chris, someone who represents decent bands or decent design and marketing). The funny thing is, there’s all this buzz about the band, but most people need a lesson to say their name, let alone to read it, which just gets messy. Pronounced, I suppose, “Ress-ler-ish”, it’s a mouthful from a happy handful of hopefuls, and by my merry little ears, I declare the hype has heart. (at least, for me)
Months ago someone wanted one of them to come and crash in my lounge on an impromptu tour that never came about. we only shook sweaty (his), feverish (mine) hands after the gig, but our online introductions (via a certain red-bekked debenite) were quite candid. And cute (for two peole who've never spoken). It went something like this :
(To the viking)
(from the Viking)
hello from the dry heat that is pretoria!
I did. Almost as much as I enjoy “Cocoon”, a wonderful, wailing track from Werner’s previous aural incarnation as a shu. Its long been on my hit list of favourite tracks to drive irritably through traffic to. (I have lists for all sorts of things, not all of them as inane as this one, but then this was for girls who need a map to find their own clitoris). [note to self –ask Neil about the subliminal sonic structure in the timeless power of certain songs.] And before you start rolling your eyes at my odd taste in music, the way Zeno does about my loving Dear Reader, remember what the one thing the Blk Jks would like to ask detractors. “what makes you think somebody else won't like it just because YOU don’t?” (that's Mpumi)
Well, now. How about me thinking that somebody else might like it because I do? Problem...
Basically, for other bands, Wresterlish is Bad News. I’m borrowing a bit from their wit here. i mean it metaphorically, but Bad News is also the name of their newest single, an apt (if exceptionally cheerful, yet strangely self critical) sonic summary for a band who’d better put out an album pronto, or their journey is going to be slower and harder than it needs to be(grab the bull by the balls, if you will). They’re solid, diverse within their desired genres, and damn do they know how to put on a show, even WITH a kak rig . They’ll steal aKING’s mellower fans (while New Holland will steal the testier, younger ones), and become the next band to have tattooed on your butt. Why?
Because they’re the kind of musicians who are genuinely pleased and surprised every time the crowd roars or squails in response. Because they have a generous on-stage energy, an intensely engaging presence that proves that closed eyes are not a sign of insecurity. Because there are qualities in those vocal chords you only hear when it’s loud and live. Because the lyrics are intelligent. (“if nothing ever dies then why do I feel buried alive?... I let you take me alive”). Because the compositions are nipped and tucked and clipped and plucked in all the right places. Because their songs can be silly or serious without being static, because they’’ll arm the drums with four sticks like it’s a joke (when actually, it works), or leave a song to strings and breath alone that has you holding yours till it suddenly ends on a high note. Because they know how to prep a set list so that you get the best of their country/rock/pop arrangements and succinct compositions, and slide through it like a pro, not a wide-eyed amateur. Because they left the Waiting Room wailing for more like cats on heat.
Anyway, that’s it. got the T-shirt. I’m a wrestler. Ish.
Catch them where you can…
3 Sept – Klein Libertas Theatre with The Plastics and 3rd World Spectator - Cpt
4 Sept – Deer Park Café with The Lottery Tickets - Cpt
5 Sept – Puma- Rudolf Dassler Schufabrik Side –Projects at &Union in Heritage Square - Cpt
12 Sept - Firkin with Zebra and Giraffe - Centurion
3 Oct - Aardklop - Potch
10 Oct - Rocking the Daisies - CPT
P.S. Just before you get all clever on me, my Guns wifebeater doesn't count as a T-shirt; it's a collector's item (and besides, it doesn't have sleeves).