Catlike Thieves and Taxi Violence

On Saturday night, Bob Perfect watched local act Catlike Thieves and Cape Town favourites Taxi Violence at Unit 11. He left feeling uninspired, here’s why.

 

On Sunday night I watched a movie called The Last Hitman. It stars nobody you know and I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re looking to procrastinate writing a review.

 

The name is quite deceptive, since it’s quite clear from the first ten minutes that the antagonist is not, in fact, the last hitman in the world. This is not where the disappointment ends. The film is painstakingly one dimensional; not in a Disney teen movie way, but more in that the characters’ motivations are clear cut and never provide an opportunity for you to be surprised by their actions. Any twists in the tale are telegraphed well ahead of time, which obviously has its merits when done subtly, but provides for a predictable story when done blatantly.

It’s just hard for me to believe someone is playing the Devil’s music when they’ve spent half an hour straightening their hair.

While the movie hits every mark it’s supposed to, and every box on the movie making checklist is ticked, it unfortunately never offers anything else, and that destroys the enjoyment that I get out of watching movies. Maybe the boxes I want checked are just different. I want stories that engage and surprise me. I want characters that I can root for and really get behind, or that I at least want to try and understand. I don’t want something that does what it’s meant to and that’s it. That takes from the past, learns from it, uses it, but doesn’t add anything new to it. It’s creating for the sake of creating. Which is 99 percent of art anyways, so you know, fuck me right?

 

It’s just a shame when someone uses their talents and their passion to create something that just doesn’t test or explore anything. That just mixes what’s been done before without really putting any of their real personality into it.

 

The actors do try hard, but it’s almost as if they’re being heartfelt, but because they’re not actually sure what their motivation for being heartfelt is, it comes across as insincere and just a little bit contrived (much like this review).

 

I watched the movie until the end, as it wasn’t a horribly bad movie and since I’d started it I felt invested in watching it to the end. Even if it was just to see if my predictions of the story came true. The movie ended without too many surprises and although there are a few, there were none that raised my eyebrows .

 

Now what does this have to do with Catlike Thieves and Taxi Violence at Unit 11 on Saturday? Well, everything.

 

 

Although I have to say that Catlike Thieves have improved a hell of a lot and are sweet dudes, this isn’t a how sweet are those dudes review. They got on stage and delivered their Counting Crows meets Greenday 90’s rock to a fairly small crowd of friends and Unit 11 locals. They “rocked out” and checked all the boxes of a good performance; they just weren’t boxes I was looking to have checked. Originality and heartfelt expression are the two most important boxes for me in music, and they didn’t check either. They got a handful of people dancing and seemed to have fun on stage which is generally the point of live music so I really can’t fault them on it, I just wasn’t moved by their performance. Hopefully one day they’ll stop playing rock star and deliver a heartfelt set, then I’ll probably enjoy them a lot more.

 

 

Headlining the show were Cape Town heroes Taxi Violence. I’d seen them once before at a music video launch in Joburg where they played an acoustic set and wasn’t too impressed then, but they get a lot of love and wanted to see if their electric set would change my mind. It didn’t. They play Blues influenced Rock ‘n Roll with a 70’s feel which seems to be quite popular at the moment and they’re probably the best band in the country in that style, but there just doesn’t seem to be too much substance behind it. They did play well, and once again a handful of people broke the dreaded Durban horseshoe to squeak their takkies, but it just did nothing for me. They’re not a bad band by any means, and I get why people like them,  it’s just hard for me to believe someone is playing the Devil’s music when they’ve spent half an hour straightening their hair. Maybe I need to get a new box checking sheet.

 

 

I left the show uninspired and without having too much fun; the exact opposite of what I want out of a gig; but I’m just one guy with high expectations. The bands were fine, people had a good time, but it was a colour by numbers Rock gig and I couldn’t help but think of this infamous Bill Hicks video.

 

*All images © Matt Stroud

Comments
44 Responses to “Catlike Thieves and Taxi Violence”
  1. ray romano says:

    alitteration makes me wet:

    “Any twists in the tale are telegraphed well ahead of time”

  2. Pascal says:

    They’re good boxes to tick.

  3. Russell says:

    Shit storm in 3… 2…

  4. Dayne Wanker says:

    Trademark DIY cynicism

  5. ray romano says:

    rad review, it’s pretty much a template to review most bands in this country, just replace certain words and names.

    “Headlining the show were Cape Town heroes the Dirty Skirts . I’d seen them once before at a music video launch in Joburg where they played an acoustic set and wasn’t too impressed then, but they get a lot of love and wanted to see if their electric set would change my mind. It didn’t. They play Brit Pop influenced Indie with an 80’s feel which seems to be quite popular at the moment and they’re probably the best band in the country in that style, but there just doesn’t seem to be too much substance behind it. (…). They’re not a bad band by any means, and I get why people like them, it’s just hard for me to believe someone is playing “radio-friendly'” music when there’s a photoshopped picture on the internet of Jeremy de Tolly with a dick in his mouth. Maybe I need to get a new box checking sheet.”

  6. Matt K says:

    Nice Bob, this pretty much sums up the same conversation I had with the lady on the way back from this gig.

  7. luke says:

    bill hicks barney greenway interpratation is banging.

  8. Dizzle says:

    Nail. Hit. On. Head.
    Both thoroughly average.
    Both under the false impression that they’re rock n roll.
    Give us something to feel!
    Besides utter boredom.

  9. Durban Is Bob's (But noboy elses) says:

    How can you expect people to support this site when the “editor” just slates bands? Catlike Thieves are a hardworking Durban band and deserve all the support they can get.

  10. Jesus says:

    Rad Review.

    Also , that retardedly tall guy with the red hat. What the fuh.

  11. Stathi says:

    Your definition of slating is far off the mark there chump

  12. ray romano says:

    hahaha!
    durban is bob’s!

  13. randomhotchick says:

    Just because you work hard doesn’t mean you deserve support. Just like good song writing and musicianship doesn’t either. It’s a combination of them.

  14. its me says:

    If u do not know Bob u obviously do not understand anything
    someone had to say it…durban bands need support, yes,
    But support for those who deserve it!
    Bands are making music aimed to be played on the radio!
    Think about it…u playing to live audiences at places like unit…
    Wrong target and/or music!

    Do not judge bob…
    He merely just says it like it is.at least he does not tip toe like the majority.

  15. Anus says:

    Honest review

  16. kittykittylicklick says:

    Bob.
    Naturally its usually the comments which either favour the bands, or arguablly favour the writer.
    Well here’s a little twist for you. You are exactly the same as your description of Catlike Thieves.
    Just writting this article for only a few of your friends to read and hopefully comment.
    No more, no less.
    Secondly. This isn’t a stand up act. Drop your “better then everybody” attitude with your use of a stupid movie metaphor
    to relate to a music event. Once again much like a comedian would do to try humble the masses.
    As far as that goes, you’re just another clone “anti-religious” faith bashing douche. Trying to make humour by slating anything
    anyone is passionate about.
    You are the one my friend who is jaded and completely ignorant. You live in this fairy “Curt Cobain” word where if you don’t sing about deep depressing shit, it isn’t
    “Cool” or “heartfelt”. I guess you’re one who believes that Curt Cobain had oily hair and torn jeans from being “harcore” and “dirty” from sex and rock and roll.
    I guess it wasn’t his paid personal stylists that defined grune through fashion and dressed him to a tee. I guess his music was also just a heartfelt story, I also wasn’t just sticking to
    A formula that worked.
    This is how the industry is shaped. From comedians to musicans. You are just another one in a million trying to make it

  17. Bob says:

    I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you over how much better I am than you.

  18. luke says:

    CURT COBAIN.

  19. randomhotchick says:

    Movie metaphor > Kurt (not Curt) Cobain metaphor

  20. Stathi says:

    I didn’t realize 40 000 was regarded as a few people.
    fancy that

  21. licklickyourclittyclitty says:

    That ou should have just used Catlike Thieves as their username.

  22. randomhotchick says:

    Stathi, you don’t really know much. Tila Tequila has like 1 000 000 myspace friends and you’re quoting 40 000 like it’s a big number. For shame. FOR SHAME!

  23. Bob says:

    Pageviews aren’t people Stath dog, but 5000 unique hits is pretty cool.

  24. Gigantic Faggot says:

    That CURT COBAIN analogy, oh my fucking god!

  25. the world says:

    Dear kittykittylicklick

    The best thing about your typo-filled comment was seeing your ridiculous username. That’s where the fun ends though and the desperate pleas for attention starts. Congrats though, you have our attention and we now all know just how sad it must be to be you. My heartfelt sympathies. It’s not everyday you come across the world’s lamest individual.

  26. Stathi says:

    for a blog about Durban i think it’s a lot.
    so watevs!

    Regards
    Proudly Ignorant

  27. Gigantic Faggot says:

    5000 people is pretty much everyone in Durban who would ever consider going to a rock concert. I think it’s safe to say you guys have got the interest of more than ‘a few of your friends’, only a few months in.

  28. Russell says:

    Best troll so far

  29. Tyron says:

    The movie analogy was a terrible waste of my time. The actual review was spot on. I would have just written the review like this:

    Catlike Thieves and Taxi Violence at Unit 11

    [Insert Bill Hicks video of awesomeness and truth here]

  30. Matt S says:

    I’m sorry, I have no real talent. I take okay photographs and sometimes I’ll take a good one. Bob is honest, he gives credit where it is due. If I take a crap photo he’ll tell me so. If Catlike Thieves and Taxi Violence were mind-blowing he would’ve said so. So I respect him for that.

    <3

  31. shane says:

    I dunno. I kinda see bobs point. Just bear in mind its hard to put on an amazing “heart filled” show to 4 people. I sing for the thieves and I try my damdest not to gig in durban cos the support is just heart breaking.

  32. Bob says:

    Hey Shane, thanks for the response. You guys know I have no ill will towards you and will always respect you guys for getting up on stage.
    I wouldn’t blame Durban entirely, I mean, Unit is pretty packed most Saturday’s, you guys just had a night where too much was going on in the city and the crowds were divided. I do think you guys play music that is obviously more suited to the mainstream, and to be fair, I grew up on hardcore and punk so it’s hard for most bands to live up to the passion that I’ve witnessed from bands like Crossing Point even when they’re playing to four people.
    You guys have gotten plenty good reviews before and I’m sure you’ve gotten at least a couple bad ones. We both know this isn’t going to make or break your band so just keep on keeping on and hopefully one day, if you actually give a fuck about my opinion, you can prove me wrong.

  33. Dizzle says:

    Um…”the support is heartbreaking” cause your band plays crappy, watered down, poprock, generic, run of the mill, boring as fuck, ohmygoditsprimecirclealloveragain, east coast radio styled music. You guys should’ve opened for Neil Diamond not Taxi Violence. I’m sure most durbanites shed no tears about the fact that you try your “damdest” to avoid gigs in durban. I’m sure you’re fully appreciated in Ladysmith. Those middle aged farmers bitches must love you.

  34. Justin says:

    Easy ther limp dick Dizzle.
    Each person is entitled to their own opinion of our music,
    but all music has its place on this planet at the end of the day.
    Do you think as a band we set out to write music for your taste directly?
    No. We couldn’t give a fuck about you or your taste in music.
    We don’t attack what you love. We don’t come to your work and knock the sailor’s
    Cocks out your mouth.

    Bob, we had a chat at unit, and you were fair and open upfront about your views on our
    Band. I apprieciate the constructive criticism. The bottom line is, just like every band we are always
    Looking to improve ourselves and hopefully reach more people.

    Thanks for your input.
    J.

  35. Dizzle says:

    “We don’t come to your work and knock the sailor’s cocks out your mouth.”

    Okay, now take that wit and inject it into your music. Cause that is what it’s lacking, any form of edge. It’s safe and predictable. I’ve seen your band play once or twice and you clearly are okay musicians but the music is bland. If that is what you’re going for then carry on and be bland and avoid durban who doesn’t like bland. But you could do so much better. You see, i’m being constructive. Do better. Do better and durban will love you. Write songs with swear words. Sing lines like that quote above. The next time east coast radio phone and say “hey, we’d love to play that song of yours between UB40 and Shania Twain” tell them to stick shania twain up their asses. Get drunk on stage and break something. Tell an inappropriate joke for fucks sake. DO SOMETHING.

  36. Curt Cobain says:

    That wit isn’t even theirs.
    Jimmy Carr uses that line quite often.

  37. Nick says:

    “Get drunk on stage and break something. Tell an inappropriate joke for fucks sake.”

    Yeah, because that’s fucking original.

  38. Matt says:

    Maybe you should change the bands name. Catlike Thieves doesn’t work for me.

  39. Gigantic Faggot says:

    +10 points to Nick

  40. Dizzle says:

    My point is for the band to do something out of character. Something risky or different from the uninspiring performances that formed the basis of bob’s review. I’m not implying that getting drunk will solve their problems with banality or unoriginality.

  41. Matt_Theknight says:

    all your personal opinions are wrong.

    much respect to the band dudes for coming and replying, and for having the balls to keep writing your songs and playing shows. we’re just here writing minute long articles and making second long comments about the months of work that you’ve put in to your art, and we appreciate that, even if there may be different tastes around.

  42. Trevor says:

    I have seen Taxi Violence a couple of times and am not a fan. However I did find myself captivated by their performance and songwriting. This could have been me catching them at an awesome gig or any other factor, but they were solid nonetheless. Maybe the ‘uninspiring’ crowd support and opening bands could have played in their failure to deliver what you were looking for.

    I have not seen or heard of Catlike Thieves before, so i have no bias with my opinion. From reading the article, they seem to be yet another cog in the machine thats directly responsible for the decline in SA’s music scene. An over abundance of average. The scene has gone dormant because there are no good bands to support. Initially people fully back and stick behind the hard working bands looking to break through but if the band is simply not good enough then things get all jaded. Just because a band works hard does not mean that people are expected to support them. No one owes you anything. Thinking back to Durban’s Hardcore and Metal scene, the only band thats left a considerable mark is Crossingpoint. Mostly because they are one of the few that actually released anything. Bands don’t get support because they either don’t have a ‘product’ to sell (Not that its about money) or they just serve something up that no one is interested in. Bands should stop faulting the scene for its up’s and down’s but should rather learn to deliver the primary product that the scene needs. MUSIC!

  43. Jimi says:

    Twatlike Queefs. Now there’s something you might want to consider. Spice shit up a bit.

  44. Lily says:

    It’s just hard for me to believe someone is playing the Devil’s music when they’ve spent half an hour straightening their hair!

    YES! Thank you…

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