9 Must-Watch Acts at Mieliepop Festival 2018

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In case you forgot or did not know, Mieliepop Festival 2018 is happening next weekend at the Tolderia Resort (near Lothair in Mpumalanga) and it promises to be one of the music festival highlights of 2018.

Some of you reading this article might be in the dark when it comes to deciding who to watch or experience live (if you will) at this magnificent boutique festival, so I’m here to help you out today.

Here are 9 Must-Watch Acts at Mieliepop Festival 2018:

DZ Deathrays: I’m recommending these blokes because I think they are one kick-ass rock ‘n roll band, not because they’re from Australia. They are definitely one of the most relevant acts in the world today and one of those acts that you simply can’t afford to miss at Mieliepop 2018.

They recently released their brand new album (Bloody Lovely) and you should be stoked to watch them live. Check out their music video for “Reflective Skull” below. This song was on their 2014 Black Rat album and it’s definitely one of my favourite tracks off it:

Hellcats: These laaties from Johannesburg have impressed me since the first time I watched them play at Arcade Empire (which also turned out to be their first gig ever). They’ve grown from strength to strength since then and recently opened for American Rock band Incubus in Pretoria.

I could be mistaken, but if you look under “Rock ‘n Roll” in the dictionary, you’ll probably find Warwick Rautenbach & Alessandro Beligno’s names there. You might also find Alessandro’s name under “Candy Crush Champion” (cause apparently he’s good at more than just playing drums and doing rockstars’ hair). Get yourself mentally ready for your set, it’s always a fun rock ‘n roll experience.

Deon Bakkes & The Stolen Horses: I watched this band live for the first time at Oppikoppi last year and I became an instant fan. “Neither Here Nor There” is the horses’ debut album complete with gypsy minor 6th chords, speedy guitar, wild violin, rasping saxophone and a handful of kazoo solos.

They have three original compositions dealing with horse thievery in German idioms, the reaper as a working class man and the hot and heavy ‘Volcano’. A few old tunes are re-ignited and re-invigorated, along with Django’s famous ‘Minor Swing’ re-envisioned, re-designed and set on fire for swingin’ hard in gypsy jazzpunk style. That’s kinda what you can expect from their set at Mieliepop this year.

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Check out the live video for “Volcano” by the band below (shot by Dizzy Khaki)

Van Pletzen: This Afrikaans Pretoria duo (consisting of Peach Van Pletzen and Nik Nax) is musically not really my cup of tea (yes, it’s a tad electronic and I’m very picky about electro), but they put on a lekker show. I watched their first live show at Oppikoppi last year and it turned out to be quite some fun.

Van Pletzen will be releasing their debut album on the same weekend as Mieliepop and you can probably expect music from it during their set. Early B will also be joining them, so it won’t be a boring affair. In fact, “ek dink ons gaan lekkkke dans.” PS: Thanks for the reminder video about the album guys.

Raygun Royale: I’ve seen this Joburg rock band a few times and I’ve never been disappointed. They always have an oomph factor in their set and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to seeing them kicking into rock ‘n roll overdrive mode.

Their sound takes on many unique influences to form a lightning groove that shakes rooms and rattles bones to induce killer dance moves. Their self acclaimed ‘Trash-Pop-Stadium-Garage-Punk’ style is coupled with a manic, high energy stage presence and it should be experienced. Nuff said.

Retro Dizzy: These Cape Town rockers tore up That 70s Fest in February and they’ll be back in Mpumalanga to do so again. I’m actually looking forward to it because our last encounter was a tad blurry (yes, I blame you tequila monster).

Their live shows have progressed into more of an art-punk explosion with elements of psychedelia and garage rock with influences ranging from Night Beats to the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. I think that’s what you can expect at Mieliepop 2018 and you shouldn’t miss out on it.

Made for Broadway: This Joburg punk band is one of favorite acts to watch live and they have some really catchy tunes. They are definitely one of those bands that will improve your mood and mindset and will leave you feeling refreshed.

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Since inception in 2014 Made For Broadway has self produced two EP’s and two full length albums. “Life Lessons” (2015) and “New Heights, Same Lows” (2017). You’ll probably be hearing tracks like “Royalty”, “Together (Parallel Universe)” and tracks from last year’s album and singing along in no time.

Femi Koya: Now this an artist that unexpectedly popped onto my radar last year at Mieliepop and I was very glad that he did. I’m glad he’s on the line-up again this year and this time I’m going to try and watch his whole set from start to finish.

He’s the new face of the African Renaissance. He combines Afrobeat and jazz, gospel and blues, West African highlife with a nostalgic Sophiatown flavour and his music is a rich blend of deep and sultry jazz and contemporary groove. In other words: polish those dancing shoes before you go to Mielepop 2018.

Crimson House: I saw this act for the first time when they were still called “Crimson House Blues” at STRAB (in Mozambique) a few years ago and I was immediately hooked to their blend of what I think is either Gypsey Blues or Gypsey Funk mixed with Blues and insane saxophone solos.

If you haven’t experienced these okes from the Western Cape live yet, you should. You will not be disappointed. They are definitely one of South Africa’s best live acts and they’ll have you dancing along to their tunes (even if your legs and feet don’t want to dance).

Well, there you have it, 9 Must-Watch acts at Mieliepop Festival 2018. Take note that this doesn’t mean that you should only watch these acts at the festival next weekend. There’s a fuck ton of amazing musical talent on the line-up, you should try to experience as much of it as you can.

And please, don’t forget about the DJ’s who will be playing kief tunes at the main festival bar. If you do, you’ll be missing some of the best parties of the weekend. Mark my words.

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


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