Sum 41 in Durban: Apocalypse Now?

Everyone seems to think that this week’s violent protests in London began with the murder of a young lad named Mark Duggan by police. We at Durban Is Yours, however, know better. We know the volatile boiling pot that forms when young people gather to drink beer and watch rock music. We now know what happens when said rock music is yanked so brazenly from their rain-drenched hands: A catastrophe with clearly global consequences. By Russell Grant


Much is known about Durban’s distaste for inclement weather. We shun it in much the same way a spoiled child shuns veggies: ‘Broccoli? Really, Mom? Bring me my Streetwise 2. Yes, I know Johannes in the Cape has to eat his veggies, but he’s got a cool maid who cleans his Xbox, and he doesn’t have to stress about his bike getting jacked whenever he rides in town’


Things were different, however, on Friday night. Despite looming clouds and an unseasonal dip in air temperature, Durbanites managed a crowd for the Sum 41 show at Gateway’s Wavehouse. It wasn’t a particularly big crowd, mind you, but there was a vibe; a buzz; people were excited; youngsters rushed at the stage before the first band had even started, chanting, ‘Sum-forty-one, sum-forty-one…’. My heart warmed.


Low Profile was first up. Here is a band who, despite all their hard work and talent, never seem to get the attention they deserve, so it was cool to see them billed for the line-up. Their talent and experience shone through on the big stage. Melodic and fast, with a peppering of shreddy guitar solos, it’s pretty difficult not to get into these guys when you watch them, which is why I was perplexed at the rather static audience lined up against the railing. No matter, they put on a great show, and got things off to a promising start.






Next up was The La Els. From a distance I must admit they sounded rather thin, but up close it was clear that Jonas’s charismatic stage presence was having an effect on the kids in the front, who were by now showing signs of life. The Els delivered their brand of dance-y, rocky, indie pop cleanly, and slowly things began to heat up.





The crowd was upbeat despite the growing threat of cold sky-water, which almost shut down the exposed stage-side bar. No one noticed, though, and within minutes Fire Through The Window (FTTW) were taking to the stage.







Durban’s commitment was being tested, as rain and wind conspired to whip icy splutters onto people’s faces. The foreboding clunk of plastic beer mugs as they bounced along the concrete was heard. FTTW opened with their usual frolic, but despite their best efforts, the elements would be ignored no longer. Three songs in and the power was out. Technicians filled the stage to dismantle and cover any valuable equipment. The lighting rig swayed precariously overhead.



Clearing the stage




The crowd was left with nothing to do but chant, ‘sum-forty-one…’ . People retreated to the shelter of the Wavehouse bar and waited for news. We were told to clear the front stage area; no media allowed backstage.


Revelers documenting abuse by police. Could this have sparked the London riots?



Then the news came: Sum 41 weren’t playing; something about the wind and safety. At first there was calm disbelief. Soon young rockers would take the law into their own hands.


Angry rockers breaking the barricade


Justice in our time




Someone touched this guy's sister


Despite the violence, some still found it in them to love.




A trail of destruction


It was clear that Durban had choked on its broccoli. Kids scrambled to claim refund coupons; women were screaming; confusion and panic abounded. The following evening, Tottenham would be burning.



13 Responses to “Sum 41 in Durban: Apocalypse Now?”
  1. Kate Omega says:

    Really nice write up. Great pics too

  2. Me says:

    Great article and pics- really entertaining read. I feel like I was there.

  3. KwaNation says:

    I can believe this, next up….CANADA!!

  4. anonymouse says:

    awesome awesome review russel, just like ‘me’ said, felt like i was there.

  5. Jed says:

    What fuckin excellent writeup!
    “It was clear that Durban had choked on its brocolli.”
    fuck i laughed

  6. Rory says:

    sweet write up… enjoyed the retrospective comparisons

  7. megzrowe says:

    i giggled… nice one russ

  8. Ozzie says:

    Awesome appraisal of the evening and great photos with even greater captions!
    You nearly brought a tear to my eye with that paragraph about Lowprofile – the little band that could 🙂

    Excellent work Russell!

  9. Kian says:

    Fuckin ay man!

  10. Nick says:

    This is great.

  11. Megan says:

    I was there and this encapsulates the mood perfectly!! I felt like I was reading something I would have written after the night. Excellent.

  12. Tayla says:

    nice one Russ 🙂 the photographs could tell the story alone, really awesome!

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