We’re huddled under a tree, sipping whiskey out of a Canon Lens Hipflask, like ants in a busy nest hustling for the last piece of shade. It’s Bad Blood hot in Joburg today and 15 000 eager Bastille fans have made their way to the green lawns of Emmerentia to watch UK band Bastille. Most of those fans range from around 8 to 16. I call it the “short shorts” convention – like a horrid Jay Jay’s fashion conference.

Support bands for the day are the hipster bow tie wearing Matthew Mole, who outshines everyone else, (local) on stage. Beatenberg are on next. I remember discovering them on the internet way before the local record companies sought them out and they were folkier, more Kings Of Convenience than they sound today. I can’t see the stage so I’m going on pure sound. Some of the stuff sounds like Juluka mixed with Sting. Next up are Bed On Bricks. An odd choice I thought, seeing as though we haven’t heard of them in a long while, but apparently the Bastille guys and them are related, so it makes sense. I imagine them surfing the long board scene in Durbs a few years back, all sexy young and wearing shark tooth necklaces as they seduce young girls licking soft serve ice creams on the promenade.

Despite a massive downpour and some DJ playing The Spice Girls, the Bastille concert was a win win for me. It’s uncomplicated, slick, and shy. Everyone is singing along under the waning yellow sun and all of their songs have massive fishing hooks that reel the audience in. I loved the Bastille album when I first heard it, but after a few listens, it grows less endearing. Suffice to say I was very happy to hear a sneak snippet of some of their new tracks, which sound like they’ve been given the weight of time and are shaping into beauties. The crowd goes insane when they sing ‘Durban Skies’.

If this is what’s a taster of what is in store for SA and live concerts of 2014, I lift my glass to Icarus flying too close to the sun


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Words: Joanne O
Photographs courtesy of Ravi Panchia