So, about a week after venturing to Worcester for the Cape Town edition of RAMFest 2011 I made my way to Riversands Farms in Fourways (just North of Johannesburg). Me, @SimoneFourie7 @BaasDeBeer and @missbronni arrived at the venue at about 10 AM. I must say that it was a lot easier finding parking than it was last year at RAMFest 2010 Jhb. Unlike the Cape Town edition, RAMFest Johannesburg (now in its 2nd year) is only a 1 day festival.
BLK JKS were the first act up on the main stage. Their progressive / alternative rock proved to be the perfect start to an excellent day of music in the scorching (though not 38 degrees like Worcester) Johannesburg heat. Desmond & the Tutu’s were up next. They rocked the crowd with pacey style of rock ‘n roll which soon had the small (yet growing) crowd dancing in front of the main stage. They were followed by Knave (a Johannesburg based band), who rocked their home crowd. At the same time Pity the Fool were playing on the 2nd stage. Most of the Jozi crowd were enjoying some cold beer in the Jozi sun at the Knave set though. Isochronous were up next on the main stage. This Pretoria-based band continues to impress me. They’re are not the loudest band around, but they put on one hell of a show. At the same time The Shadowclub were playing on the 2nd stage at the same time. I only caught a glimpse of their performance and was just on time to watch Dance You’re On Fire rock it out on the same stage. If you ask me I’d say that 2011 is going to be a huge year for this band. About halfway for their set I made my way back to main stage to indulge myself in some Pestroy. It was the first time since 2002 that I had seen them perform and I must say that I was quite impressed. They’ve definitely grown as a band.
At 4 PM I made my way to the small stage to catch Bittereinder (with Tumi Molekane and Richard from Isochronous). I had missed their CD launch party at Hotbox Studios in Pretoria (because I was attending the Where BLUES Meets ROCK festival near Bronkhorstspruit). These okes properly impressed me and the crowd that were watching the show. It’s sad that Jack Parow was not there to perform A Tale of Three Cities with these boys, that would’ve upped the level of the show, but it was still bloody awesome. I liked Bittereinder so much, that I actually missed Zebra and Giraffe’s show on the main stage. At 5 PM Not My Dog stepped onto the main stage at RAMFest 2011 Johannesburg. These SA rock veterans played their usual loud set filled with a whole bunch of new songs. A small yet potent mosh pit formed right in front of the stage. I truly think that these okes will be one of the bands to watch in 2011. They are bringing out a new album in the 2nd half of the year. Next up was Van Coke Kartel who showed yet again why they were one of the 2011 MK Award winners (for Best Live Act). This was the 3rd time in 3 weeks that I saw them perform and the 6th time since mid December 2010. Their set never gets old. Francois van Coke and his merry men got the Jozi crowd rocking and singing along to almost all of their songs.
Alkaline Trio was up next. These American punk rockers played quite a standard set (which was in a way overshadowed by the awesomeness that is Van Coke Kartel). Like the Cape Town edition of RAMFest I expected more and was disappointed yet again. Like I said before, maybe its because I’m not familiar with their tunes. Funeral For a Friend made it onto the Riversands Farm stage next and blew them away. I actually watched most of their set this time. These okes are not bad musicians and the throw one hell of a show. The front man kept trying to stir the crowd up and managed to achieve this to some extent (although I don’t think he managed to create a “Wall of Death” like the one I saw at Nekkies). Die Antwoord made it onto the stage as the final act for the evening and had the crowd bouncing and singing along to their tunes (however vulgar / disgusting / zef they are). This was the 3rd time that I’ve seen them. Every time I notice something different. In this set, it was the visuals. They were truly awesome. We left just after their set.
In all RAMFest 2011 Johannesburg was way better than the 2010 Johannesburg edition. There were plenty of bars (an improvement on the 2 hour queues that plagued the JHB edition last year). There were plenty of clean portapottis and a wide range of food stalls. I guess there might have been +/- 10,000 people at this year’s festival (about the same amount as last year). The Johannesburg festival might have been a 1 day festival, but it still proved that SA music is alive and well and there are plenty of people in Johannesburg that love it. During the course of the festival I also bumped into @LiamLynchPhoto @Liny_Kruger @JannieKotze @mj_healy @XavierLoubser @RoelienvdW @Ninokie @SniperMime @ronitae @RAMFest @elismaroets @stevoza @JWGoosen @JohnStoked @Awhelady and @donmulto. It was nice seeing all of them at the festival. I’d like to congratulate and thank RAMFest, Hilltop Live and everyone involved in organizing RAMFest 2011 Johannesburg for a great festival. Things can only get bigger from here on.
RAMFest 2011: An Objective Review – Baas De Beer
Check out the post on this blog featuring a Photo Album of the RAMFest 2011 Cape Town festival (in case you missed it last week). Watch this space for updates. The Babes, Events, Facts, Gaming, Humor, Music, Movies, Opinion, Photography, Sport and Television categories are updated constantly. Feedback on posts is appreciated and welcome, so feel free to comment on anything you might have an opinion about.