Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Crazy Cats, Cow Fleece

Dug up an old photo the other day that may be of interest to the new peoples in the back - yes, you that just walked in. That is, those who wonder what the hell we mean when we say “Crazy Cats”.

Here's a shot of Frank, what looks like Matt on drugs (he's not on drugs but you couldn't photoshop that face), Mayra looking like she's giving me a drag of that cigarette, and me in my cow fleece. Yes, cow fleece. Life was good. Cow fleece.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Organic Foods Market

It's free! It's a range! It's free-range!

Two days after White Xmas, the next litmus test: Turn it down, WAY down, sit down and see if you can make the music work in a small room, for an audience of ten people.

This is more challenging than it sounds.

Firstly, you don't have the benefit of Sound Control – no engineer. You have to set up your own sound levels, balance it with your backline, and just keep an ear on what's going on over the whole damn mix. Your vocals are running through a separate PA, and you can't really hear it all that well. All you can do is send someone out front during your first song and hope they get it right.

Secondly, you're sitting down, so movement is very limited. The Whites normally do a somewhat kinetic set, so that can be a detracting little factor.

Thirdly, it's about ten, fifteen people. So your connection has to be very easy and relaxed. I was guilty tonight of not making enough eye contact with the people. Though Stan did get a come hither look from me. But that's another story for another time.

Result: After the first break I was so overjoyed I had to phone our management and say: “You know how I was saying that it's going to be interesting whether we can pull off the low set? I think it's even better than the up-set!”

In other words, and to quote a certain world leader: yes, we can.

PS: Big Up The Woodstock Organic Massive. Aait.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Beer O Clock

One of the issues with doing sound checks, then sticking around till show time, is the 'Beer o Clock Syndrome'. That is when you have nothing better to do than sit around for five hours waiting for other people to show up.

In Cape Town, audiences show up about ten minutes before show time. So, by habit, they show up at ten to ten. Not because showtime is at ten, but because that's when they show up. It's a catch 22 created by a couple of hundred dozen bands that came before us. Now all of CT is about the ten o clock arrivee. And that sucks.

So by the time you have to go on stage, you've had about ten beers, as many tequilas and that's if you go on first! I'd rather go on at nine, throw out the garbage and dance to rockabilly tunes the rest of the night. But nooooooooo... “What time are you starting?” your people will ask you. “When you get here.” Is what I'd like to say.

Still, try telling people you'd like to start at nine, and see how far that gets you.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Kinda White Christmas (Funkyzeit mit Weisses)

Martiza Kruger (Mercury), Sean Wienand (Headline Artists),
Psycho Xmas Art, George vd Spuy (Taxi Violence)

It always seemed to me that the White Guys' friends had funky dance routines. Even back in the Crazy Cats days people were a lot more carefree when it came to being out at night and letting their hair down.

These days there's just a little more carefully considered 'watching' going on. You're watching them, they're watching you, everybody's watching each other. Maybe we're older now and we like to watch. Hey don't get me wrong: We still have a good time. And at Kinda White Xmas this year it was all good.

I think it was also the line in the proverbial beach sand. Whereas the the launch period is really a test period for seeing what we can do and where we should tighten up, Kinda White Xmas is kinda the end of that. And I think the work the band put in in the weeks leading up to it really shows.

Must... remember... to.. not... drink.. coffee... before... show...

The White Guys are back. The new year is already under way for us. There will be blood. Or sweat. Or something.

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