V is for Valentines (Event Review)
On the 17th of February 2018, Railways Café, a venue many has come to love, had their Valentines Singles party. When entering the venue you were greeted by the always charismatic TJ Bryant. He gives you your stamp and points to a table. On this table there were three pots of paint and some instructions that went something like this: Red - Stop. Yellow - Approach with caution. Green - Go, go, go. This was to make it easier on the singles in the crowd to find each other, personally we found exactly what we needed the night, a night of fantastic music, a night, filled with some of the best talent Gauteng has to offer. Bittereinder, The Black Cat Bones, Strait-Jackal and I AM.
I AM I AM came through with, as always, a powerful set. Their energetic performance had the whole room dancing, playing the singles we know so well ‘Hunting Season’ and more. The chemistry between band members was enough to make you believe in love again (if you stopped) and this, we’re sure, is all that Railways wanted.
Strait-Jackal From the start of their set, you knew this was going to be somewhat of a romantic comedy. Immediately the funkiest of bass lines rumbles through you and all you can do is to start moving, what you don’t know at that point yet is that you’ll be dancing in a second. ‘The Evidence is Evident’ was a particular song that stood out in the set. The band performed and used the playfulness of the song to get everyone grooving with them. In the end the band the band is one of the most captivating bands, from the absolutely funky music to each members’ personality on stage, you can’t watch a Strait-Jackal set without expecting to be enthralled and entertained.
The Black Cat Bones There really is nobody like The Black Cat Bones. And there are few things that comes close to watching them live. They know exactly how to get the crowd going – and this they did. Jokingly asking how the whole paint system is going down, frontman Kobus de Kock had the whole room’s attention throughout their powerful set featuring the songs we know and love. If you came to the night single, you definitely didn’t leave feeling alone.
Being the band that everyone in Pretoria adores, put a lot of feet on the tables at Railways, this was a sign this was going to be a romance between the band and the people. Starting a set by spelling out your name is the perfect introduction to what we needed from Bittereinder. The fact that their visuals just didn’t want to work didn’t stop them but that didn’t stop TJ from climbing a ladder held by the two of the regular Railways bouncers to sort it out. Dancing and jamming three meters above the crowd, TJ was making sure, his patrons and the band performing had the best experience they could! Bittereinder gave an incredible performance, and after an encore they played ‘Die Woud’. Everyone and I mean everyone was singing, dancing, grooving, being in the moment and it was such a stand out song and it reverberated with everyone attending the show.
The colour of the paint you put on earlier the night did not matter at the end of it. You have fallen in love with someone, you fell in love with the incredible talents that were putting their all into “impressing” you. After all, we attend these events to find a bit of ourselves in the bands and acts that we go to watch. Railways, a venue many have come to love, was the Paris and the patrons along with the bands were the lovers. Awfully Romantic.