It feels like only yesterday that we saw Francois Van Coke at Park Acoustics – it’s scary to think that has been way back at the beginning February. 2017 has flown by so quickly. On 26 November we celebrated the last Park Acoustics of the year with a killer line-up.
The day started off with the epic Pollinator. Right from the start, they captivated the crowd with their subversive lyrics. Their set consisted mostly of songs from their new album, Fruit, which they recorded, mixed, and mastered themselves in their own studio, The Backline. My personal favourite songs were their title track, “Fruit”, and “Missing The Past”.
The rock ‘n roll theme of the morning continued with one of my favourite South African bands. Hellcats brought a kick-ass rock edge to the festivities of the day. As South Africa’s answer to Royal Blood, the duo has been rocking our stages since 2014, and the crowd just can’t seem to get enough of them. Warwick Rautenbach, on guitar, brings a certain infectious energy one cannot seem to escape from. You can’t help to get up and rock right along with them.
Femi Koya changed the setting of the day. We moved from Rock to Afrobeat and Jazz, with a touch gospel and blues. But simply put, their sound is a rich blend of deep and sultry jazz and a contemporary groove. If you didn’t know, Femi Koya is a South African based Nigerian saxophonist and singer who envisions himself as part of the new Africa on the move, where home is not just one place but a multiplicity of places and influences. They got the crowd grooving along to their music.
Grassy Spark picked up the musical pace. All day I have been telling an old high school friend of mine that he should check out this band (I said that a multitude of times, whenever I ran into him), and halfway through their set he came pushing the crowd to the front of the stage and basically screamed like a teenage girl (I think he liked them). They performed all my favourite songs off their album, Portal, which included “Mona Lisa” and “Living In A Paradise”.
As the only band to grace the Southern Comfort Main Stage for a second time in one year, Shortstraw did not disappoint. Even though I don’t have enough hands to show how many times I’ve seen them live this year, I was still hyped along with the crowd. It is always a jol to dance along to all their famous hits like “Good Morning, Sunshine”, “Keanu Reeves”, “Gimme My Fix”, “Bikini Weather”, “Say Anything”, “Bowsie” and “T-Shirt”.
Our favourite on-stage entertainment claimed the stage for a song or three. Sadly, Crazy Jay didn’t wear a sexy sailor’s outfit (or is it thankfully?), but he did rock an itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, yellow lifejacket. “Records” were broken: Shortstraw’s Tom Revington made a stage dive to rival any previous 2017 dive. They were called back for the longest encore of 2017 too. They also brought some faces to the crowd (we see you Pierre Greef and Hunter Kennedy). There was no doubt that Shortstraw would bring the house down, and for a final time, they did.
Following that set of Shortstraw would have been hard for most acts. But PopArtLive stood their own and closed off the day in an epic way. They had us dancing till the sun began to set.
As we trekked down Fort Schanskop, the sun disappeared behind the Voortrekker Monument and signalled the end of Park Acoustics for 2017. Looking back, it has been a great year, with acts like Fokofpolisiekar, Jack Parow, Die Heuwels Fantasties, aKING, and Dan Patlansky owning the stage.
2018 has a lot to live up to, the break will do us all good. Until then Parks, until then.
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