For those of you who might have been living under a rock, Van Coke Kartel are one of the most hard-working Afrikaans rock bands in South Africa. They have been around since 2007. 2 of the members of Van Coke Kartel, Francois van Coke and Wynand Myburgh are also members of Fokofpolisiekar (who burst onto the SA Music Scene in 2003 / 2004). I must admit that I didn’t think much of them when I first saw them perform at Oppikoppi April 2008. After seeing them perform I thought that they were “just another Afrikaans rock band”, and nothing special.
They did step it up in the years to come though. The next time I watched them perform was at Oppikoppi 2009 Smoorverlief. Their set with SA Blues legend Gerald Clark on the newly built acoustic stage on the farm just outside Northam in the Limpopo completely blew me away. In 2010 I caught them at Oppikoppi Sexy. Crooked. Teeth – the first time that I heard Jedd Kossew and Jason Oosthuizen playing in the band. Their set was absolutely awesome. They played most of the songs of their Skop, Skiet en Donner album. I could safely say that they were definitely one of the highlights of last year’s festival. A while after that I caught Van Coke Kartel in Hatfield Square as part of Vanfokkingtasties (which was one hell of an awesome show I might add). I also watched Francois and Jedd play an acoustic set at Tings ‘n Times in Hatfield and caught the full band at the Tuks FM Motherle$$ New Year’s Eve party in December 2010.
In 2011 I watched Van Coke Kartel perform at Hatfield Carnival, Where BLUES Meets ROCK, RAMFest Cape Town, RAMFest Johannesburg, Vredefest, at Ridgebacks in Centurion and Twice at Arcade Empire in Pretoria. All of their sets were bloody awesome. I was not disappointed at all. They proved why they won the Best Live Act MK Award for 2011 (without a doubt in my mind).
Here are some photos that were taken at the all the gigs I saw them perform at this year:
Van Coke Kartel recently released their 4th studio album, Wie’s Bang. It has been playing non-stop for the past 2 or 3 days on my CD player. I am absolutely impressed with the new album. Their song Tot Die Son Uitkom is proof that they have a wider musical range than South African music fans actually think. The album is produced by Theo Crouse (of Springbok Nude Girls fame). Van Coke Kartel labeled the song as a “Afrikaans Stairway To Heaven” on their website a while ago and I agree 100% with that. The colab with Jack Parow (who recently released his 2nd album) on Wie’s Bang is also brilliant. Moenie Dink Nie is another one of my favorite tracks on the album. Wie’s Bang was one of the most anticipated releases of 2011 and it lives it to expectations (in my opinion). If you get a chance to catch these boys live, get your butt down to the gig. You will not be disappointed. They are currently touring to promote their new album and they are also playing at the Tuks FM 2011 / 2012 New Year’s Eve Party in Hatfield Square in Pretoria.
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