The Big Blues Meets Rock Festival

Photography by Jeandre Cordier

30 000 Watts of sonic power and nine bands to take advantage of the stage, the crowd at Hillcrest Quarry was guaranteed to be amazed. The Big Blues Meets Rock Festival on Saturday, 9th of April, was one of 16 live events in South Africa to promote and launch Dan Patlansky’s new album, Introvertigo. This album will be officially available worldwide on the 6th of May. In 2015 Patlansky was invited to be a supporting act for Joe Satriani’s Shockwave European Tour for 25 dates, stretching from 9 October to 10 November 2015. Now this 34-year-old Joburger is set to play headlining tours in Europe.

The crowd searched for lunch and a drink while listening to Jesse Jordan playing in the background, others were simply absorbed in the music. The beautiful jagged quarry and the blazing sun created a great atmosphere to accompany the blues-rock tunes filling the air. Natasha Meister stepped on stage with an acoustic guitar, skills, and a magnificent bluesy voice. Photographers began shooting early during the show with lenses big enough to act as paperweights during a storm.


The next act was Gerald Clark, a red haired AfroBoer from Stellenbosch (reference to his latest album, AfroBoer & the GoldenGoose). Accompanying him was a bearded drummer and two more guitarists who entertained us with incredible guitar battles. Next in line, The Blues Broers, sounded slightly like a wedding cover band. They also recycled the bearded drummer who played with Gerald Clark. Ultimately, they had some great elements like the harmonica and maracas.


At twilight, Crimson House, probably the most interesting and entertaining of all, brought saxophones and blues-rock galore. They entertained without hesitation. A burlesque dancer in a tight red corset, stripped to her black star shaped nipple covers, and danced with a big feathery fan. Another performer sparked up the night by angle grinding to their song “Spiderpig”.

Jesse Jordan returned with the Pebbleman Rock Show, a hard-hitting rock landslide based in Cape Town. The Idols star, Mark Haze, followed and jokingly admitted that before he screamed like a girl he used to sing very deep. His fellow guitarist’s treble frequency pierced through the crowd. They did not seem to mind the noise too much though, (or maybe chose to ignore it, because they danced along to almost every song anyway.)

The Fender lucky draw competition brought excitement to all guitarists. Some were gnawing at their fingernails when it was finally time to draw the winner’s name out of a box. The R24 000 went to a non-guitarist, who said that at least her boyfriend can play guitar. Many, if not all guitarists were not particularly happy with this. Thankfully Dan Patlansky appeared on stage and performed his guitar wizardry to save them from catching the blues.


The small grass picnic area closest to the stage disappeared under the feet of jumping and screaming Patlansky worshippers. The cigarette stuck between the neck and the strings of his guitar was flickering at the bud when the show began. His strange body movements, guitar-face and master guitar playing added to the feel that he was one with his instrument. The crowd demanded an encore as the show ended, and was pleased when “Bring the World to Its Knees” brought the band back on stage. When the song ended, album signings began and fans scattered to be first in line.


The last act of the night was The Rockerfellas, an eccentric rock cover-band. They played Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” while singing The Weekend’s “I Can’t Feel My Face” chorus. Many strange popular rock song mash-ups followed. If their eccentric style didn’t scream trashy rock band then the smell of beer that drifted off stage definitely did. It was indeed a great way to end the festival.

Rock indeed met blues and had a beautiful love child in the back of a Chevrolet pick-up.

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