House Ain’t A Home

As many of you noticed, The Winston Pub is slowly starting to revive itself. Evidence of this was the recent Truth and It’s Burden show with Brainwreck, Provider and We Were Archers. A hardcore show, at The Winston, with more than a handful of people? Rejoice people for there are still good days to come! Russell Grant shares his thoughts on the night.



The Winston Pub is in the take off phase of its revival. The most dangerous 10 or 11 seconds of any flight. But it seems to be climbing nicely. A new sound rig means better quality shows. Less shitty black paint means a more welcome feel for outsiders. The same air of lax moral codes and diminished consequences keep the insiders satisfied. The Winston’s owners are being clever, using their late hour liquor license to host ‘after parties’ for other shows whose venues struggle with bureaucratic ball aches that limit their opening hours to 2AM, latest. A sure indicator of The Winston’s imminent (re)emergence as a Durban music hotspot has to be Truth and Its Burden’s gig there two weeks ago. To witness the type of show that hasn’t been seen since 2007 was an auspicious and welcome sign for the venue. The kind of show I’m talking about is a hardcore show, reminiscent of a time when The Rising End ruled with an iron, yet humble, fist over hundreds of sweaty kids week in and week out. An era when stage diving was a mandatory exercise, and the boundaries between band and audience were always slightly hazy.

They were as tight as a band of their stature should be, and had the famous Durban horseshoe pit grinning and nodding and throwing down the odd windmill kick

Those years always had a heavy Christian/Straight Edge vibe about them, which seems to have balanced out over the years, with many of those former hard line kids now older, wiser, and battle hardened enough to be seeking weekend comforts in smooth amber bottles. Even debutante band, Provider, fronted by the much-missed Will Edgecumbe of aforementioned Christian band, The Rising End, sung nary a line mentioning Christ. This project seems more personal, and in so being, I think, more universal.



The name of this band is part of a trend of new school American hardcore bands that all seem to DO stuff (besides, of course, playing in a band) whether ruining, defeating, or providing. Their songs are intense and, like I said, personal. Over taut, mournful melodies, Will screamed about his grandparents, the details and story of which are cloudy to me (I’ve yet to read the lyric sheet). Their sound is stripped down, heavy with catharsis, and imbued with a strong sense of thoughtful and considered song writing. I’m keen for a show featuring these guys and Strage.



Second band up was We Were Archers. I’ve never been a fan of this band, largely because I’ve never been a fan of their genre, which generally tries way too hard to be extreme, and in so doing comes off as cheesy. I also didn’t like them, however, because I thought they weren’t very good. Seeing them again, I wasn’t made a fan, although I must say they’ve improved a great deal as musicians. Their style is metallic hardcore sat firmly in Norma Jean/Chariot territory, with all the wild histrionics and showmanship. They come across as a bunch of dudes having fun, playing a genre of music they truly love, and that’s cool.



Third on the line-up were relatively new Joburg hardcore band, Brainwreck. Hardcore as a genre has often come under criticism for lacking an innovative drive, and I suppose Brainwreck show that up to be largely true. They play a style which has been rehashed countless times since No Warning, and will probably continue to be rehashed in the foreseeable future. Yes, it’s a cool style, and I’m a fan, but these days whenever I get the itch for something heavy, fast, and snotty, I turn only to No Warning themselves. They did it best, I’m afraid.



Last band up, and headlining act, were established Joburg melodic hardcore band Truth and Its Burden. They’ve been making a name for themselves recently, signing with Rite of Passage records, and touring hard, both locally, and in Europe. These guys have kept to a certain style over the years, and it seems their tenacity and single-mindedness is paying off. They were as tight as a band of their stature should be, and had the famous Durban horseshoe pit grinning and nodding and throwing down the odd windmill kick. Frontman Ashley has a habit of getting a bit preachy on stage, but he held back a bit this time. Or maybe he didn’t and it was just less annoying. Either way, it beat the countless times I’d seen him pontificate on how Durban had the greatest hardcore scene in the country to 5 kids push pitting at Burn.


The night felt alive, and full of hope, in a place which was slowly becoming a symbol of Durban’s creative malaise. I’m as excited as anyone about what’s to come.


*All images © Gareth Bargate

9 Responses to “House Ain’t A Home”
  1. Trevor says:

    Super keen to check out Provider!

  2. Provider says:

    Shot for the sick write up dudes!

    It was a fun first show, looking forward to playing more like this in the future.

  3. Provider says:

    If any body is interested in reading the lyrics and the concept behind Provider, check out the story here:

  4. Djarn says:

    “This project seems more personal, and in so being, I think, more universal.”

    I hope this is a misprint, because, how can something personal be universal?

    Nice write up otherwise, I hope all the best for The Winston Pub and hope it stays true to it’s roots and doesn’t become too trendy.

  5. ross says:

    @Djarn maybe because we all struggle from the same stuff? duh!

  6. JJ says:

    So stoked Durban had a kiff show and Winston is holding-up. Wish I could have been at this show!
    The review lacked a bit of heart… Russel start up a band dude…!

    The pics are rad… 😉

  7. luke says:

    hey russ. you should start up a band. only then will the true powers of H – X – CEE be revealed.

  8. Tyron says:

    I too wish I could have see Provider’s first gig. Unfortunately my daddy duties prevailed. Hopefully catch the next one, I’m saving up some cash for a baby-sitter.

  9. Trevor says:

    As long as it’s posi Rus. Got to be posi!

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