I went to Brandy Fest. Yes folks, On the first weekend of September the East Rand was invaded by good old rock ‘n roll, and a collection of fine brandys to choose from.
The Benoni Northens Sports Club was the perfect venue to host this fun day in the sun. With the likes of Brannas Draught, KWV, Parow Brandy, and Hennesy, one would think the East Randers would come out in their numbers, but the day was still young.
It was a slow start to the day as we had our first brandy tasting. We thought it fitting to start our day with Parow Brandy, as he would be closing the show later that night. Parow Brandy was released earlier this year. It is a premium hand crafted, 3-year-old brandy. Parow Brandy was my drink of choice for the day.
Here’s my 2 cents on the bands at Brandy Fest
Crystal Park was the first band to entertain the slow crowd of Brandy drinkers. They are a Benoni based, Alternative Country / Bluegrass band.They had the crowd moving and grooving to their set, and everyone had a brandy in their hand.
Our next tasting was with the famed KWV Brandy. They had a selection of premium Brandy ranging from their 10-year to their 20-year Brandy. I used to be a big fan of KWV, but this was the first time I had a taste of their 12-year Brandy. It certainly is a notable addition to the renowned KWV Brandy family.
The Rambling Bones brought people closer to the stage, getting them to move along to their music. I haven’t seen Cortina Whiplash in ages, and it was a real treat seeing them live again in Benoni. Their road to the Brandy fest sadly was not smooth sailing – Loandi’s bass went missing! Luckily, the show went on. Even on a borrowed bass, the band played to the growing crowd. (The mystery of the missing bass was resolved days after the Brandy Fest, so the rock ‘n roll will still go on).
As the golden sun started to set, the golden liquid in our glasses warmed us up. Not only that, but Hellcats, the two-piece rock ‘n roll band, got us all moving along to their set. The crowd seemed to love these guys, especially the young kids. They stood front and center, and Warwick Rautenbach treated the kids to a close-up view of his guitar playing.
It came to the Hellcats’ attention that a special young fan made his way to their show again, with the exact drum cymbal he was given about a year back. This young fan was invited on stage for Hellcats’ final song. This time, he received drum sticks. He just has to attend a few more of Hellcats shows before he’ll have a complete instrument set.
From one cat to another, The Black Cat Bones turned up the heat in Benoni. By that time, the crowd came to the stage in full force. Everyone jammed to the sounds of The Black Cat Bones, from the young kids to the old oomies spilling their Brandy while attempting to head bang. The Black Cat Bones are currently working on new music, and the Benoni folk were lucky enough to hear one of their new songs. I can’t wait for their new album!
The time had arrived to refill those Brandy glasses and gather around for the headline act of the day. None other than Jack Parow could have ended a day filled with Brandy and Coke. It might not have been the biggest crowd Jack Parow has ever performed to, but he rocked it none the less. Even in a knee brace, Jack Parow was moving and jumping around, his energy infecting the crowd to do the same. He opened with “Afrikaans is Dood”, introduced his ‘vriende in Benoni’ with “Cooler as Ekke”, reminisced about the good ol’ days in “I miss”, and really got the party started with “P.A.R.T.Y”.
The Green Live Brandy Fest with their rocking music line-up and various Brandy options was a lot of fun. I know that I will venture to the East Rand again for any other events they host.
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