Hellcats is that thin line that gets crossed. It’s that ‘not’ predicted smile you once grinned the first time you fell in love with Rock and Roll. A simplicity that is almost lost to the art nowadays, one that runs straight through the heart and mind and vigour of one’s soul.
This is what Rock & Roll sounded like when there was only shitty car stereos and distorted jukeboxes, when the diamond tipped needle didn’t just slide through the grooves but had to put up a fight for every nook and cranny. This is Rock & Roll poetry and this is Hellcats, the good stuff.
Take what you loved about Rock & Roll so many years ago. What exactly was it? The freedom, the fight, the congregation or the simple big ‘fuck you’? Now I’m past the years of striking up an argument or even a conversation about what’s good for the soul when in comes down to music. But, this is my big ‘FUCK YOU’, my answer to the question, ‘is there still a place for Rock & Roll music in the world today?’… The answer to that question is Hellcats!
I’m well pissed off at fact that the first time I saw Hellcats live was during a faze in my life when I thought that nothing could entertain me anymore.
That being said, I know exactly where and when saw them for the first time
It was a fucking cold night, Pretoria CBD, a trodden down hotel and the hosts Bobbejaan, Red Right Hand Ziggy and the fella’s, stressed out about the roof that might collapse. It was a shitty roof, but Rock and Roll needs no goddamn roof. Hellcats was kind of new on the circuit and I only then heard about them through some friends. ‘Something different’ or such they said.
I was kinda out of it that night and had not been in Pretoria for a while. I was really looking forward to just catching up with my mates. Yeah, didn’t know Johannes that stood in the dodgy ally watching my car ‘bra’ would turn out to be a great friend that night. I was consumed by two cats from a hell that I would gladly join and take up arms against any sense of heaven known to our sinning mortal Rock and Rolls souls.
Now for the life of me I cant remember the bands that played prior to these cats, but they definitely sat the mood for something extraordinary that was about to happen. I only remember them, these damned Hellcats.
A two piece band, what is that?
For me, I can’t help but think White Stripes and The Black Keys right? Even though I love and respect both these bands they would’ve fallen short that night, what I got was most unexpected and crazier than I was prepared for. So, what I got was two crazy bastards one killing his axe, grinding out melody and tones distorting through a valve amp holding on for dear life, the other fucker bleeding his drum kit dry as if John Bonham came down for a second just to tell him he’s not hitting hard enough. Jesus H Christ! I feel alive just typing this fucking article!!
‘I don’t want to be your ecstasy! I don’t want to let you down! Baby would you come lay next to me! I don’t wan to let you down!’. These are some lyrics from one of their songs ‘High Noon’. God knows I wasn’t let down and I bet whomever ‘baby’ is – the same goes for her.
Fast forward some years later to a festival by the name of Mieliepop
It’s a great festival there’s an actual cave if you feel the need to rave so look into it, I was fortunate enough to see them twice. The rains surely came down in Africa that weekend. The gravel road leading into the festival grounds were washed away. One of the acts had to be moved and Hellcats got to play two sets on that weekend. Blessed be the rain at Mieliepop!
Persuading you into listening to Hellcats would be a waste of my time, if you don’t you’re a fucking noob. This is Rock and Roll in its purest form. It’s that core which cities were build on and the tone that sets the mood. It’s the mood for loosing your shit and wallowing in something much much bigger than just you. Yes, this is Hellcats and this is more than you could ever expect…
I leave you with the grace and style of Nick Menza… ‘Fuck Me Running!’
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