You don’t need me to tell you who Francois van Coke is. You know his musical biography and history. As a cow that has had the pleasure of his company on more than one occasion I can tell you he is nice, genuine and down to earth human being with skinny jeans and a bulldog.
I don’t think there is a human that I have spoken who hasn’t discovered Francois’ new solo album, especially the song with Karen Zoid (“Toe vind ek jou”). The video for this song has already had 500,000 views on YouTube. So, even in the Slowveld (yes, everything takes time to get here) we’ve been fortunate enough to be able to get hold of Francois’ solo album.
This man grew up with a generation, most of whom are now married, have kids and still remember head banging and moshing to Fokofpolisiekar. Francois has come a long way since the early days of Afrikaans punk rock and the sound of his solo album is definitely evidence of that. It just sounds different than Fokofpolisekar and Van Coke Kartel.
Yes, you still get the same message in lyrics “I’m living my life the way I think is right and will not take shit from anyone”. It’s beautiful if you’re an “in-betweener” like me (someone who was born in the 80’s and grew up in the 90’s and experienced the old and new way of South African thinking) because the message has never changed for us. Live your life, think outside the box and disregard tunnel vision. It’s something today’s teenagers and school leavers can take notes about – Yes, there is more to life than just the internet.
“Hulle sê” is great example of this thinking. I love Francois voice on “Maanskyn en Rose”. It’s a more mature voice because and it’s obvious that if you’re a full time musician your voice gets trained. Well done meneer, it’s a beautiful song. “Waarheid, weg en lewe” has a very cool guitar riff (thanks to Jedd Kossew) and it reminds me a bit of a 80’s rock song – the proper ones (not the ones featuring cheap make-up).
Karen Zoid is not the only artist who he collaborated with on this album, Laudio Liebenberg (yes the hunky frontman of aKING) duets with Francois on the song “Die Skip”. Arno Carstens colabs with him on “Ek weet nie” and Die Heuwels Fantasties colabs with on “Neonlig”. “Neonlig” almost has that DHF touch and it sounds amazing even if you are a fan or not.
It’s a pretty kief album and one that you should have in your collection. Some fans might not like this, because they might expect harder stuff from Francois, but this album definitely features a grown up version of him – yes, people do grow old unlike rubber green cows. That’s the feeling I got from different humans. On the other hand you have tons of loyal followers who will buy this album and share red wine over it on the background.
I’m giving this album 7 out of 10 RWR howls. High five to Francois and everyone who worked on this amazing SA album.
Watch this space for regular updates in Music category on Running Wolf’s Rant.