Catharsis in All Your Favourite Flavours | kidofdoom at Assembly review

John Wizards, Holiday Murray and Kidofdoom at The Assembly 14/06/2013

Written by Stian Maritz

Photography by Pierre Rommeleare Photography

 

An early arrival at the Assembly grants you the chance to grab a table close by the bar. For the uninitiated, the possession of a table in any Cape Town music venue grants you a fat slice of social capital. The desperate unseated mob will come to you bearing cigarettes and compliments in tribute to your ability to acquire seating. Do not be fooled; your personality and sex appeal have not miraculously improved. They only love you for your access to seating, friend.

The usual turf war was thankfully ended as John Wizards’ round-robin set drew us stageward. Everyone in this band seems to play every instrument. The Swiss Army Knife strategy works beautifully; traditional South African guitar and drumming style are married with synthesizers and electrical instruments. The only drawback is that they occasionally tested my patience with the amount of time it took for everyone to swop instruments. Their set left many listeners beaming with pride for such an accurate example of what makes the South African music scene unique. This well mismatched troop of instruments gently imploded for 45 satisfying minutes.

Everybody’s favourite rockabilly desperadoes Holiday Murray started elegantly with a lone lead singer wailing dark passions from under a villain’s hat with Tarantino guitar tone. The band is immune to excess, thriving as a four piece with arid tones and sophisticated arrangement.  The implication is vintage without a sliver of cheesiness. It is earthy, edgy, occasionally sombre and always gripping. The set plays out like a fantastical pilgrimage through the emotional milestones of their lives.

As for Kidofdoom, were you there? If you weren’t there, you owe yourself a fat spoonful of self loathing. Shame on you. How do you expect the local music scene to thrive if you aren’t paying attention? …Okay. Now that the necessary helping of humble pie has been administered, let me tell you what you should have been seeing and hearing: kidofdoom performing for the first time in years, their faces plastered with the classy grimace of concentration usually reserved for the faces of bebop jazz cats. Conviction went a long way in making their performance special; there was joy, sadness, innocence and nostalgia for both band and audience. As guitarist Ryk announced, “We are a bunch of friends, playing for a bunch of friends.” Their performance was an artful catharsis in all your favourite flavours. The nostalgia inspired puppy-love couples to administer mutual tonsillectomies. Fair enough; we were all that young once. Additionally, Kidofdoom was fun. They take having fun very seriously; they played the Ghost Busters and Super Mario Bros themes to perfection, disarming even the oldest of souls and inspiring long overdue bouts of juvenile dancing.

Kidofdoom were joined on stage by a lanky beast of a VJ who completely redefined the art of visual effects. He was headbanging as part of the band while coordinating tack-sharp visuals. Deciding on which part of the show to watch between stage and screen was a worthy challenge as the entire set provided ample food for both ear and eye.

Good musicians (and artists in general) thrive when expressing their fundamental flaws in interesting ways. You need something to eat at you; it might as well be a hearty meal. Kidofdoom, John Wizards and Holiday Murray are three important wins for local music. They were determined to enjoy themselves come hell and high water, and by god they did that inexhaustibly. It was a night of colourful stubborn genius.

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