The Medicine Dolls: [The Band You Need To See]


Waking up from a good gig is hard work.

The first thing to deal with is the wool in your mouth, the indelicate gunk that’s apparently sealed your mouth and eyes shut – as if your body knows that waking up is not advisable and has unsuccessfully moved to prevent the bad decision. But, the noon-time sunlight has already rooted you out, so you enter the land of the living anyway. It’s the slight pang of guilt that’s gotten you – or at least that’s what always gets me – the fact that you’ve slept through another perfectly good morning due to the raucous night had till 3 am.

Next thing to deal with is that same light – it hits you when you open your eyes and you realise that, yes, you have apparently made it home in one piece – though you may not remember just exactly how.

Then there’s the slight dizziness, the still aching body, the dirty clothes from the night before which all come together to cement the definition of this morning: hungover. Very much so. But, was it worth it? Hell yeah. Cuz last night, you saw one of the best things you’d ever seen; one of the gigs that you know is gonna stick with you for a while. Cuz it reminded you what music is about.

That’s what seeing The Medicine Dolls live was like. See, they’re a band that gets it. They get what it’s all about.

Frontman Greg Allan takes to the stage with an animalistic prowess, demanding attention by the mere fact of his existence. Exuding energy in all directions, as if his tentacular hair were the source of an artistic electricity, the dude commands the room like a Glam-Punk Jesus, wielding his guitar like a weapon in defense of all the shit the weird kids hoped they’d see when they were finally old enough to get into clubs like the one the band would be blowing up tonight.

Tonight the mainstream dries up.

Alt-culture takes to the stage and pushes the thermostat up to its peak – threatening to blow its gauges, flood every available orifice, as every person in the room sets their sites on a single goal – making this night one to remember.

As ever-ready, ever-epic drummer Anro Femurs bashes out his part with precise strokes and bassist Bex Nicholas (Arabella) gives me all the feminist energy I could ever need, the band plays on with a power that deconstructs the boundaries of the space. The trio creates an interactive system reminiscent of all the shots of punk and post-punk gigs we millennial revivalists wish we could’ve been in in the 70’s and 80’s. Dead Kennedys, The Sex Pistols, Black Flag, The Slits live. Performers jumping on and off stage – into the crowd – drinks flowing, energy flashing in all directions. A concept we thought was bygone – revived in a small, dark room in Cape Town.

Guys. Punk /Post-punk is alive and well. Bands like these prove it.

So, have a listen to The Medicine Dolls’ new single – “Excuse Me Misbehaviour” – below:

Seriously, you gotta check these guys out. Like a really good friend of mine declared on said the hungover morning after: “It’ll change your brain.”

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