Shadowclub w/City Bowl Mizers

On Friday night, hometown heroes , City Bowl Mizers played with frequent out-of-town visitors, Shadowclub at Unit 11. Russel Smith reviews the show.

There was a music festival on. The weather wasn’t great. And in this town, with those factors, a realist would have to admit that a gig on Friday night might not be that well attended as it should be. Then just like this town, it turned out not to be the case at all. I don’t know if I just recognised a lot of people there, or what, but to me it seemed like pretty much everyone that hadn’t gone up to White Mountain was at Unit11 to see Durban’s finest, City Bowl Mizers and the increasingly popular out-of-towners, Shadow Club.


City Bowl Mizers are the biggest band in Durban. They are. You can have a whinge and claim that your Black Death Metal band is cooler, but you’re not. Get over it. I’ve been watching the Mizers for years and I can’t say I liked all the changes to their sound in that time, but it obviously appealed to a lot of other people, since they don’t play to just twenty drunks anymore. It’s about music to the Mizers, not fitting in to any particular genre and you got to respect that.

I was expecting to hear happy, upbeat, radio friendly songs about good times, good mates and good things in general really. That’s what I got, but the band has most definitely matured somewhat in their delivery. I was tapping my foot and getting in to it, but I wasn’t suffering with that awkward feeling that I was enjoying something made exclusively for teenage girls to listen to. I will put part of it down to the inspired choice of filling the drummer’s throne with arguably one of Durban’s finest musicians, Steve Jones. Probably most recognised as the drummer for Durban’s underground heroes, Sibling Rivalry, Steve has brought his own style to the band, and it has to be said, his style is unquestionably punk. Hard and fast beats that don’t play around too much in the background, instead gives the rest of the band a solid base to go off of and give the listeners something to hook into and enjoy the music. Maybe it was something that wasn’t there before, maybe I just wasn’t paying attention, but at the end of the night I was left looking forward to seeing them play again.


Headliners for the night, although I think playing a gig with a band like The City Bowl Mizers they were just the second act, were Shadow Club. The band’s influences are obvious and to save all the, “sounds like”, band naming I’ll keep it short by saying, Shadow Club play Garage Blues. Four-four drums, ballsy bass and crunchy riffs, until the guitarist feels like going walk about on the old’ guitar. The front row seem to love it.

I won’t deny the band is very good at what they do, but I hate it when I get the feeling I’ve heard a song somewhere else. Shadow Club are a polished 3 piece and they are without question a hardworking band. The amount of times they’ve made the trip to the seaside to play, where some bands might only bother once a year, is appreciated and shows a love for their fans. The hard work seems to be paying off. The faces at their shows are becoming more familiar and with more new faces at every gig, the number of Shadow Club fans must be growing.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; Shadow Club looks like they should have a video on MK. And no, I didn’t call them cunts. I’m just saying that they may pay some attention to what they look like to appeal to people who aren’t necessarily too concerned with original South African music and more about if they can dance badly to it because it sounds like everything else in the same vein that gets imported by Look & Listen. Can we call it “looking the part”? I think we can…

In a town that will let even a hint of “God’s piss” keep them at home and indoors normally, it’s always good to see a gig well attended and for bands that deserve it. Durban, you’re getting there, keep up the show of support for things you want to see, and more of the same will inevitably happen. And if you were in White Mountain, I hate you.

*All images © Gareth Bargate

You can check out more of Russel’s writing and ranting on his blog

8 Responses to “Shadowclub w/City Bowl Mizers”
  1. City Troll Mizers says:

    Sorry, my black metal band is better

  2. Ozzie says:

    Just so darn proud of them Mizers, they’re everywhere! I hear their singles on 5fm on the way to and from work, see their vids on MK at my parents-in-law’s house and Goddamn them if they aren’t stinking up the practice room too when Lowprofile get together!


  3. luke says:

    shadow club are the red headed ugly step child to city bowl. useless and unwanted.

  4. City Troll Mizers says:

    if this was facebook I would like Lukes comment

  5. mat says:

    This was seriously the best music/gig review I have ever read man!

    To the point great writing and great feedback on the actual music!

    job DONE!

  6. allytangclan says:

    the new city bowl album is sounding pretty black metal.

  7. Ry says:

    But I heard City Bowl hated blacks?

  8. Anonymoose says:

    CBM love blaxx. Dem boys got da jungle fever!!

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