Two Door Cinema Club

 It may not have been in Durban, but for those there, it certainly felt like it since it seemed like half of the 031 were in Cape Town for Two Door Cinema Club. Matt Knight was one of those people and gives us his thoughts on the show.

 

 

Just under a month ago I wrote about the problem of hype, why  sometimes it is okay to be popular, and the importance of bacon sandwiches.

(You can read the article here)

Since then, the Internet has been a swarm of activity around 5Gum’s initiative to bring Two Door Cinema Club out to South Africa. With every opinion under the sun about ‘why’ or ‘what’ they should do with the show being weighed up against every other opinion about ‘where’ and ‘how’ they should stick their gum, all in a messy and grammatically questionable kind of way.

 Whether dressed in Chinos and Golf shirts, wife beaters and neon, or a mishmash of gran’s clothes, oversized jerseys and irony, all the people seemed to be pumped to be there.

And it all felt a bit like that modern Christmas scenario where our family gathering is awkwardly made up of some current, some soon-to-be and some exstep-in-law’s adopted cousin types, where everyone is avoiding at least someone, and no one is able to just sit and enjoy Sufjan’s album on the porch.

 

But to cut a long comments section short, and hopefully get to the point quicker, let me summarise:

The various opinions about this whole free-show-by-a-brand saga included, but were not limited to:

 

The ‘how dare they make me prostitute myself on my personal, private, and in no way sold out to the man social media page’ chaps, who refused point blank to participate.

 

The ‘how exciting, just tell me what I need to do to get there because that’s all that counts’ chaps, who more than likely had an incredible time.

 

And the ‘I have always loved Tudor Cinema Clubs, that’s that new spot in Cape Quarters, right? It doesn’t matter, I’m coming anyway’ chaps, bless them.

 

So this makes reviewing the night interesting, because am I reviewing the band, the brand, or the fans that got given the freebie tickets and made up the crowd?

 

See, it’s easy when people who want to see a gig have bought tickets to see a band, from a company that makes money from music shows – that right there is mum and dad and my non-adopted, well groomed siblings all sitting nicely at the table discussing the royal variety show.

 

But this night was far from that, as anyone could apply for tickets, and there were no guarantees about who would get them.. This caused a lot of mixed emotion. So let me attempt to walk through the evening and give a little highlights reel, and hopefully in the process clear up the mess so we can learn how to all just get along.

 

I arrived at the bus departure point pretty early, and had a solid hour wait before my ticket arrived in a taxi with Dr. Bob Perfect and half of Durban.  I used this opportunity to meet some new folk, catch up with some old folk, and join in the speculation as to where we would be going, what the venue would be like, etc.

 

 

Without a doubt the mood was one of excitement. Whether people only sort of knew about Two Door, or had been the purist, lifelong fans (+-2 years) the excitement levels were high. And whether dressed in Chinos and Golf shirts, wife beaters and neon, or a mishmash of gran’s clothes, oversized jerseys and irony, all the people seemed to be pumped to be there.

 

That atmosphere of unified joy climbed the stairs and sat itself on the top deck of the bus, smiled out the window excitedly as we drove towards Mitchell’s Plain, and burst out of the door and through the scan-in line to the huge, beautifully chosen venue that would be our playground for the next 5 hours.

 

 

Energy levels barely dipped through the two local opening acts (see brief reviews below) and began to climb steadily in the break before Two Door finally came on stage.

 

As they did so, the 3500 strong crowd erupted as the party they had all come for really started. From the first note the masses got involved, and boy were they in for a treat.

 

 

The following hour and a half was an esthetic blur of neat, sick little guitar leads, quick pulsing rhythm sections and anthemic sing-a-longs. They played all the tracks from their only full-length album, plus a few treats from the upcoming one, all having one aim in common –to get people moving.

I can think of very few bands that are as fun as Two Door Cinema Club. In their earlier press review, they talked about how they had one day resolved to make music that ‘people would just love to dance to’ and man oh man, have they done that well.

 

 

At one point, hoping to survive, I exited the crowd and made my way to the raised section at the back to catch my breath and take it all in. As I did so, What You Know started to play, and I watched with amazement as the blue house lights came up and the entire crowd seemed to kick it up another gear and jump with both feet into this incredible show. Old people who had been sitting in the VIP area even stood and danced badly. Drunk people came out of minor coma’s and stumbled along to the music. The sound, lights and AV people moved their shoulders and hips as best they could in their booth. It was straight up one of the nicest moments I have ever seen or been involved in.

 

 

Talking to a friend after the show, we spoke about how in each song there is some little gem hidden for you to love,some tag or section that is just so cool, so easy to move to, so pretty to sing along with or play air drums to. And for ages the entire crowd moved together. Some moshing, some jumping, some showing off their alt slash indie dance skills, but unified in one thing: pure stoke.

 

And that’s the thing. Does it really matter that they missed a couple of notes and didn’t have much crowd engagement between songs? Does it matter that the guys who put this all together are a company, at the end of the day trying to sell their stuff? Does it matter that the people who were standing next to us weren’t the type of people we think are deserving of being at such an elite indie alternative underground cool hip-but-not-hipster ooh I found them first show?

 

 

When the hell did we stop enjoying things for what they are?

 

Why the hell are we putting so much effort into trying to say or do the right thing, and what the heck is up with all this posturing or needing to find something to hate?

 

We got to watch one of the funnest international acts in recent memory, at a kick ass venue with amazing sound and lights and atmosphere, with our mates dancing next to us and singing along, for free. And all because some company decided they would prefer to pour money into showing
us great artists and art, rather than taking up 34 seconds of our time during the break in House with some run of the mill advert about a perfectly hot blonde girl rollerballing down a perfect promenade perfectly nibbling on their product while being chased by a group of racially representative blokes.

 

And people are actually hating on them for that? Wow.

Over half of the 16 000 people who applied got to go, and most of that 8 000 had one of the best nights of their lives.

 

And all we should be saying is Thank You.

 

Two Door and 5 Gum put on a bloody great show.

And their green gum stick is pretty bloody good too.

(5 Gum, that is – to my knowledge the band have yet to put out a breath freshener worth writing home about.)

 

*The Plastics and Ashtray Electric reviews.

 

The Plastics were the first band up on the night. Listening more than watching, I must say I found them to be  pleasant this time around. Nothing spectacular, just pleasant and at times even pretty. The vocals are smooth and I would say that their sound has become a bit more their own from the last time I saw them play.

I guess I would play most of their album in my car happily, but I think they need to master the art of a big stage and big stage presence, and bring some variety into their set.  Move around a bit, work some of the sections to change it up and keep us interested. The mix was really good though, and overall I am stoked they got to play to such a large crowd, because I think they are an important part of the SA music scene.

 

In a way, I am glad Isochronous and Desmond didn’t open like in JHB, because I don’t know that my body would have made it through.

 

Unfortunately, during the Ashtray Electric set, some youngsters roped me into bribing a bus driver to take us for food – as the only vendor at the gig was making pizza for people who had been queuing for up to 2.5 hours. This would be my only complaint, 5 gum. One food guy, really? One? And pizza? Really? Four or Five Braais making hot dogs and wors rolletjies would suffice. Put that in your diary for next year.

 

This unfortunately means I can’t review Ashtray. But if it’s any consolation, my hotdog from the Wild Bean Café at the BP was very fulfilling. Let me review that instead:

From the first bite, I was pleasantly surprised, it was just hot enough, and the blend of bread, processed offal and All Joy was surprisingly well balanced, and the flavours seemed to really know how to work together. Unfortunately by the fourth bite, the hot dog started to show its obvious lack of variety, and was, in the end, probably a bit too confident for its own good. You’re no KFC rounder bud, so be a bit more humble. Being well rounded and in a nice packaging won’t save you.

Luckily it ended ok, because I’d saved the middle bit for last. And although I wouldn’t eat it every day, and even though it’s a little overpriced, the Wild Bean hot dog was a pleasant addition to my mid-gig-edible-solutions list.

 

 

All photos courtesy of Charlie Sperring and 5 Gum.

Comments
16 Responses to “Two Door Cinema Club”
  1. Bob Perfect is a Chewlies Representative says:

    blargh hipsters corporates gum facebook white people rah rah rah!

  2. Bob Perfect is a Chewlies Representative says:

    Also tl;dr

  3. Ry says:

    How my mouth salivates at the thought of the hotdog. DIY for food blog of the year!!!

  4. JOE KONY says:

    5GUM MY BRUTHA’S IN ARMS. UNITED OUR FORCES CAN CONQUER DA WORLD.

  5. Tam says:

    I liked reading this 🙂

  6. Kim says:

    Much better than that shit Mahala review… this show was the tits!

  7. aj says:

    awesome review 🙂

  8. Mattt says:

    Yeh, i agree, this is the kinda review i wanna read…

  9. BRETT EDY says:

    excellent senour knight!

  10. Turck says:

    Fantastic

  11. Richard says:

    Very good.

  12. Shaun says:

    I would’ve liked to have heard more about whether you think 5Gum were successful from a marketing perspective. That would’ve encouraged some good debate. It was such an innovative idea, and definitely got their brand out there, but there is a permanent resentment from people who didn’t get tickets, especially TDCC’s loyal fans.

    I feel like this has hurt their brand identity in that people perceive them either as ‘awesome coz I was stoked to have gotten a ticket and to be involved in this amazing experience’, or in a ‘Fuck them I didn’t get a ticket so I will never fucking buy that fucking gum’ kind of way. I know they’ve been around for a while, but for alot of people, this was the first time they had heard 5Gum here in SA, and you don’t want to create any type of negative perceptions of your brand in your first major campaign.

    It would’ve been one of the most unbelievably perfect campaigns if every person who applied won a ticket. They could’ve done that quite easily if they had just issued individual tickets instead of doing that ‘One ticket for two people’ thing. ie. Instead of half the people winning one ticket for two people, they could have given everyone individual tickets. Way too many tickets went to waste, and they ended up with a few too many pissed off fans.

    Not tuning the event…It was epic! Just that 5Gum made a slight miscalculation in my opinion!

  13. Matt_Theknight says:

    I’m not sure why they didn’t give to everyone, i agree with you it would’ve made more sense – and from what i heard was numerically possible.

    in terms of whether it was a success as a campaign – i personally am a big fan of the way they are going about it, but as bangerandnash said, whether or not it translates to actual sales is a whole different thing. No idea if it’s more effective to their bottom line or not.

    I think they were incredibly smart at handing out their product at the show though, it’s really freaken good gum. I will buy it if i ever actually see it in the shops. more because it last ages than the fact that they put on a concert though

  14. Bear says:

    I am one of the 8000 that got left behind, but instead of throw a moody like the time that Matt the Knight left me standing outside a Bon Iver concert, i just popped Two Door on my pod and enjoyed the imaginary concert from home and it was much nicer than some of the other concerts that i have imagined.

  15. Matt_Theknight says:

    If it helps, I imagine leaving you outside most concerts.

  16. Joel says:

    Braais with wors rolls were at the Joburg show, no idea why they didn’t have in Cape Town. But what a show, a kiff review.

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