You know you had a good party when you woke the day after wearing a dirty smelling Olmeca Tequila t-shirt, have one shoe on and have a dog sleeping by your head. That was the sight that greeted my hangover infused self on Sunday morning after the Road to STRAB party at the Stoep in Nelspruit. This night can best be described by these words of Bon Jovi: “One wild night”.
The Road to STRAB party in Nelsparta was a much anticipated and much needed event that most STRAB fans and fans of the bands have been waiting for. You have to understand that since the closure of Blue Moon we Nelspratans have not had a lot of live music. However the Road to STRAB shagged us all good and we are still having some babalas flashbacks coming and going. Before I head horns first into things I must say what a pleasure it was to finally meet @BaasDeBeer. What a bear of a man! But such a honey bunny, especially when he has tequila shots in his hands.
We were told to be at the Stoep at 5 PM. Stoep kind of reminds you of your crazy art loving aunt’s house where she has a million in one art projects complete from mosaics to paintings to all kinds of interesting stuff. From the pub across the road we figured that some “important” rugby game was on, so some of the fans only started showing up after their traditional Saturday game watching ritual: how boring.
Anyway, the crowd came in one group after another and soon the bar was pumping with orders of Flying Fish beer, (I actually drank it and I like it), Tequila, Jagermeister and Stoep cocktails. Lots of people have never seen something like the this band set up before. Two bands on the same stage having a battle to get the best reaction out of the crowd. It’s something to see and no, you don’t have to smoke your socks to believe me.
SAARKIE and Cortina Whiplash was the opening battle of the evening and it was girl vs girl action (no pun intended of course). Cortina was on their 3rd trip to Nelsparta but have not the build the fan base yet like the SAARKIE girls have. It was cover after cover, song after song, pig masks, candles, showing off abs and bassists being the mosh pit creators. I’ve never seen something this fantastic in all my years – sexy hot lady musos making some beautiful rock music love to our ears. Afterwards most people agreed that SAARKIE beat Cortina Whiplash from here back to Pretoria in a fair battle. That was Round 1 and now it was the boys’ turn.
The Black Cat Bones need no introductions and if you still don’t know them, then get out of your bat cave more often. The Fake Leather Blues band always reminds me of a blues rock cabaret outfit. I think their music could make a good musical movie one day. But how do you choose between the epicness that is these two bands? Song for song Conrad and Kobus battled each other vocally. The guitarist, bassists and drummers were sweating bullets and eyeing each other like a pack of friendly yet rocking pack of dogs. It was such a pleasure to have seen this, after hearing so much of it.
And to stand just a drum stick distance away from Jason Hinch as he beat his drums was really something different. Yes I think he shakes his hair more than a bartender shakes James Bond’s martini. Along with the rest of the herd I was in complete awe with the whole thing. No one was officially declared the winners but I vote Black Cat Bones to win this round, or did I miss the announcement?
Afterwards the party also just begun and it was a blurry happy memory of talking music, meeting wives of the cats (nice meeting you ladies), seeing good friends and of course seeing my human running away from her friend Raquel was also a good laugh. All in all the Road to STRAB was kick ass and if this is the party that is waiting for us on the beach in Mozambique, then I have to say “Hey ho, let’s go!”.
Thanks to Conrad and the bands for bringing the party to Stoep and thanks to the Stoep for supporting our crazy good bands. Sorry that the SAMA’s did not give the award to the cats but we all know who really kicks ass on stage. Huge thanks to Royal Lens Photography for the photos that have been included on this article.
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A green cow, part of a heard of plastic / latex cows, spread between Nelspruit, Sabie and Cape Town. My owner adopted me when I only could speak Chinese, now I’m fluent in Afrikaans, English second language and cow.