My 2 cents on Shortstraw live at Jozi

I’ve got good news for those people living in Nelsparta area: Our menu for live music just got a new addition – Jozi, in White River. Technically Jozi is located at the CMDA (Casterbridge Music Development Academy) but it’s also at Casterbridge Lifestyle Centre.

Don’t look so confused – if you remember where the old Barnyard was then you will find Jozi. Anyway. almost two weeks ago the news reached my stable door that Shortstraw would be jamming at Jozi and a little voice inside me went “Woohoo!” Driving with my humans from Nelsparta to White River was like driving in Johannesburg traffic: bloody hectic. We got flashed, hoot at, swore at, even though they did their part as responsible drivers. Some drivers got the middle claw from me and they almost crashed, “Was that cow in the window?” faces where not uncommon. 

Of course when we got to Jozi we were seriously looking for a beer to calm down. How can people be such idiots on the road? It was still quiet and Anna Mart (of Blue Moon Nelspruit and Up The Creek fame) met us at the bar. It was time for the first drink: a Jagermeister in honor of the late Pierre Joubert of Black Market Riots (who passed away abruptly recently).

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Then it was off to wait for the crowds to arrive while I had a relaxing sit down at the picnic tables outside. As the night got older the crowds arrived, mostly teenagers. I was happy to see people especially youngsters at a live music event but sheesh, did parents shove money in their hands? But, what I liked is that the parents came with the kids to enjoy the evening. Look, I’m not looking a horse in the mouth named Gift, but I was just happy to see that my humans stressed for nothing.

The first band to open was from the CMDA, Saving Superman. It was their very first live performance in front of a crowd. The lead vocalist is a girl on bass and they really weren’t bad at all. The super nervous teen dude looked like he was ready to run away as a line of girls moved up to the stage to support the them. But he surprised us when he complete opened up while singing the Black Keys hit “Black Submarine”. That was pretty awesome.

Then The Sky took to the stage and I almost did not recognize them because they have cut their hair. They entertained us someone said “They not yet comfortable in their own skin” and nailed it exactly. As much as I think they are cool and think a little “band bonding weekend away” could do them good.

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But I was a fan from the first time I saw them over a year ago. Shortstraw was up next and it looked like a sea of teenagers as the floor filled up. I realized somewhere between coming in at around 6 PM and now with the main act on stage it was pretty full. Shortstraw are always good. The last time I see them was in a river called Die Breede and busy drinking with my humans at Up The Creek. Life suddenly felt good after a long hard week in which we lost a good friend.

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Hits like “Bikini Weather” and “Couch Potato” had everyone “having a good jiggle” (as my friend Frank would say). Dancing between the youth of today was also amazing because it was good to see them support local bands. I know that this was probably the main subject discussed under the trees at the Nelsparta and White River schools on Monday. That and the fact that they saw a vodka enthused cow there.

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If you have never seen Shortstraw  live, I do recommend them. They are sweet, they are funky and they are indie. Many don’t like Indie Rock but I enjoy them, they play the kind of music you can listen to in winter and be in love with summer. They are coming back on Saturday 5 July for Innibos Festival where they will be rocking the Coca Cola Rock stage with K2 Band, Cortina Whiplash, Bittereinder, Die Heuwels Fantasties and Van Coke Kartel.

Huge thanks to Jozi, Anna Mart Halderman for the Jager shots, Niel for getting us hammered and Vasti Lourens Photography for the photos that were used on this article.

Watch this space for regular updates in the Music category on Running Wolf’s Rant.


Alice Green

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.

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