Go! Go! Bronco and Fruit and Veggies at Origin

A couple weeks back, Go! Go! Bronco and Fruit and Veggies played a show together at the most unlikely of venues, Origin. Russel Smith was there to document this strange occasion 

Seems the Durban Punk and Hardcore scenes are vastly different from what they were, even from two years ago. It’s a fairly new thing to have bands play in a night club that is known for electronic music, but in Durban we aren’t as spoiled for choice in way of venues, so even the crème de le crème, or as I like to think of it, the mucky shit on top of the pond, that is Durban underground have to submit.  At first, watching the white-as-rice dance moves to Dub-Step was painful and my hopes of a good night out were fading. This is a surreal experience that I wish I had taken drugs for, I thought. That is until the bands started.

I will give Origin credit. They have a sound system to drown out full scale combat and a sound tech that has some idea on what to do behind the sound desk. So when the bands eventually did play, every nuance, note, tempo change and throat noise was as clear as I’ve ever heard at a live show. It was majestic and frightening at times. Frightening, only because of the kung-fu fighters came dangerously close to smacking me in the mouth.

I’m just waiting for the lazy bastards to finally put an album out so I won’t have to go to the basement of rave clubs to see them

It warms the heart to see the lads of Go! Go! Bronco back on stage. Frankly it was a bit of a relief to those of us in Durban that like our music unmelodic and noisy. As a four piece, losing a member to the allure of the overseas, and another to that city with a mountain that shall not be named, the band is still one of the best hardcore bands in South Africa even if they are gigging far less than what they used to. Where the rest of the hardcore scene has faded away thanks to following fads, Go! Go! has endured, thanks to their commitment to playing solid brutal music regardless of the revival movement that spawned them. They remind me of bands that were still Hardcore Punk, but Go! Go!’s sound isn’t simply a rehash of what happened in the 80’s. They manage what few have: a balance of staying true to the beginnings of hardcore but bring it forward without ending up in the trap of sounding like thrash or shitty metal. I’m just waiting for the lazy bastards to finally put an album out so I won’t have to go to the basement of rave clubs to see them  (although, I probably still would anyway). Especially if they play the way they did that night. The fury and speed of Go! Go! Bronco is seldom matched by other bands in Durban. The anticipation of most people I spoke to in the week following up to the night serve as further proof that aggressive hardcore still has a home in the 031. Probably why a band like Fruit and Veggies, who essentially sit on the other end of the music genre scale would choose a band like them to support them at their album launch, and frankly it was an inspired choice, considering both bands are fast becoming representative of the Durban music scene.

Performance-wise, I liken Purity’s frontwoman’s-ship to a young female Jello Biafra, without all the porno stage humping

The main act of the evening and the reason why all of us had come together, took to the stage after Go! Go! had sufficiently whipped the little bastards in the crowd to a foamy, mostly white, substance. Fruit and Veggies (F&V) really are a bit of a trans-genre band. They’re  a lot of things beaten to a pulp and then stuck together to form some weird gelatinous music that manages to grab crusty punks and pop princesses and make them want to dance like their below-the-belt areas are in some form of distress. In some mystical fashion F&V manage to take all the best elements of pop, punk, and bit of new wavy lyrics and give it roots in Durban’s messy, stoned out of its skull, music scene. I’ve tried more times than I care to remember to describe F&V’s sound to the uninitiated. I find the best way of thinking of it as a dirty sucker. It’s a delightfully sweet, tasty fruity flavour, but there is some dog hair and grit all over it and only the brave will have the pleasure of enjoying that massive candy. Performance-wise, I liken Purity’s frontwoman’s-ship to a young female Jello Biafra, without all the porno stage humping. Her wild-eyed stare and abandon tell you she’s probably having more fun than you are. The band is one of the tightest, which is surprising considering how loose the band members can get off stage. The Fruit and Veggies hometown was their last stop on their tour to promote the fact that they committed their sound to digital format and were flogging it to anyone who wanted it. I have no idea where you can get their album but when I find out, I won’t mind handing over my pennies for it.

 

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