Slipping briefly away from its famous and well-attended trance/alternative-dance themed parties, the night of live bands was a fresh change welcomed by many and just as well attended.
Mystic’s has been around probably since before your parents were students, with its two (arguably three) storeys, front stoep and two bars on the iconic Victoria Street that runs straight through the middle of Stellenbosch campus. It has been where it stands/sits/slouches through good and bad and is well known as a beacon of respite for thirsty study-weary young adults needing an escape from work and class.
This particular Saturday, the age old club had attracted throngs of students and music enthusiasts early in the evening with its happy hour specials and generously portioned meals, and by 9 o’clock the venue was packed.
The first of the two bands performing that night, Black Sugar, headed onto the balcony which had been fashioned into a stage for the evening to wild cheers and the crowd surged towards them. This relatively new group started hard at the beginning of 2016 with high quality animated videos and music which quickly gained an online following. Their sharp and pretty much creepy graphic design themes have a strange and defining attraction to them while boasting quality unashamedly in your face. Their following, however, is not limited to denizens of the internet, with Black Sugar pulling a decent number of real fans to their live shows as well. Somewhere between a dark country band and heavy blues rock is where you’ll find this powerful quintet. One of the best bits: they’re fronted by a girl.
The Young Folks quickly took to the stage next keeping up the spirit of good music and entertainment of the night with their indie folk tunes. These three young men have been hard at work on their debut EP for the past few months, recorded and produced with their talented workhorse bassist Mark Ellis.
With matching pattern shirts and catchy pop choruses this dance-along band moved the audience rapidly and rhythmically from one side of the floor to the other and personally took on the responsibility of making sure everyone had a good time. The guys have been touring extensively around the country with their new EP and have gained immense confidence since I last saw them at the beginning of the year. A great job was done of promoting the music on the new EP and I felt most proud of the crisp, freshly printed CD I had purchased in my hand when I left that night.
Checkout their music on Soundcloud: