It comes and goes and leaves its babalas mark on Nelsparta, it’s one week of arts, music, kuier and celebrating not being Afrikaans but being a South African. Of course I’m talking about Innibos Nasionale Kunstefees which is generally open to anyone and everyone despite the labels others put on it.
I must confess that this year was one of my most sober Innibos weeks and I didn’t make it to the main festival terrain once BUT I did get to hang out at Stoep restaurant (where some rad musicians were playing).
How do you know it’s going to be a phat party? When the first person you see in the bar is the ginger ninja, Gerald Clark. This Stellenbosch resident kicked off the week’s line up at Stoep with a fantastic show which featured new songs and old favourites. Next up was the young man who was discovered via social media: Refentse Morake. He got everyone to sing a long with him, spoke Afrikaans better than Steve and performed Afrikaans covers. I think that he’ll be a lekker addition to any festival line up.
Jessie Presto was introduced to my ears for the first time. She and her guitarist had young and old sitting and listening and I was well impressed. One of our local bands: The 3 Beans were privileged to have Gerald Clark joining them on stage, playing his harmonica. It just added to the party vibe of the night and there where people dancing on the tables in no time. Andra had a percussionist and extra guitarist with a ukulele (which just gave her amazing show an extra umph).
Thursday evening was kicked off by Von West and I know the rockers won’t know who that is so here goes. It’s two guys, Dewald von Soms and Pieter West. Last mentioned was in one of the Idols seasons. It’s nice chilled music, if you into classic rock stuff. To a music junkie like me, this was music to my ears. I enjoyed the way their voices mixed, but I’m pretty sure that if you are younger than 40 you may just fall asleep. Their tone set up a very laid back vibe for the rest of the evening.
Jessie Presto entertained the Lowveld one last time before embarking on here 6 month tour. Lez Dart is another Lowveld local that use to be the front man of Evolver One. What a pleasure it was to listen to his voice and acoustic. The next band was a bit of an eyebrow raiser, Kwaggabees. It’s basically two guys – one on acoustic guitar and one on his laptop playing backtracks. I think their market is more for the Brakpan span than anything and they think if they play their music louder that people will enjoy it more (and they are wrong if you ask me). Anyway, last up was another local band called Monkey Queen (a drummer and guitarist doing covers) and I liked them, they are cool humans.
By Friday my feet was itching to go to the MK rock stage on the main festival terrain but I was needed by my human. The evening kicked off at Stoep with Len Muller. In case you don’t know who he is, he just released his debut album “Doodgewone Avontoer”. He is no stranger to the industry as he have been a tour manager for many South African artists and now joined the stage. He’s a really cool guy and if you like Joshua na die Reën you will like him.
Umoja Diembira is a local drumming and percussion group that got together mixing up the races and instruments. It had people moving forward and dancing to the beats and brought a real African vibe to the party. GoatnHare is another local band that has gone from acoustic to electric and their name is growing strong in the Lowveld community.
Jonathan Peyper Trio brought, sealed and delivered a show that had the crowd begging for more. The last band was Stadsboer, 4 member band from Gauteng…let me just say I wasn’t really impressed with this band or their fans. The biggest woman I’ve ever seen wanted to moer our Portuguese doorman which about the same size as her. I think she might be wearing a size shoe up from his. Anyway, I was just happy when they left because their scruffy looking fan club also left.
Saturday most people were dead on their feet and I had no feeling in my hooves and had lost 20 cm over my green rubber ass (which might have had a leak). Stiaan Reynierse kicked off Saturday, he use to live in Nelsparta but is now established himself in Middelburg, Mpumalanga. He has an Eddie Vedder sounding voice – it’s very deep and very cool. Stiaan was nominated this year at the Huisgenoot Tempo’s for newcomer of the year and his version “Voshaarnooi” was featured in the movie “Ballade van ‘n Enkeling” earlier in 2015.
He was followed by Nelspartan band Halfmas Middernag Blues band (which does not only do covers but also some orginal music, blues rock style). One of Nelsparta’s longest running bands Gibraltar also got the mixed crowd on their feet. Johannesburg based rock band After Robot heated up the stage quickly but many of the older generation found them ‘too loud’. In between the stage and the door it got so busy and buzzing with rock stars and fans having a good time all over. Halfmas Middernag Blues band played again and ended off the busy week on a high note.
Being a festival cow I missed the main terrain with it’s smells, stalls, food (glourious food stalls) and of course the rock stage because most of the bands on there like Van Coke Kartel, Jack Parow, Francois van Coke and Bittereinder only come to Nelsparta once a year it seems (and that’s usually during Innibos).
But nonetheless, we had fun and it was awesome seeing some friends we only get to see during festivals. Innibos proofed that they have a hard working team that has kicked dust in those Steve fans eyes, so I guess a “Well done team Innibos!” is in order.