Gangs of Ballet. Now there’s a blast from the past. And this particular track would surely be considered to be a South African classic. Am I allowed to say that? Can I be a judge of what makes that list?
Gangs of Ballet were a three-piece from Durban and also had that other big hit (here). I think they were a bit ahead of their time. Hello Sweet World would be on every Netflix hospital drama series if it were released these days. As the angry bit kicks in just after the 2 minute mark, you can almost see the tearful, distressed female doctor storming out of the ER into the wet streets of downtown Chicago after her night shift, during which she saved twelve lives and broke up with her handsome surgeon boyfriend.
And yet – as far as I am aware – they never really made it beyond these shores. See also The Parlotones, Zebra & Giraffe and Ashtray Electric (and maybe Isochronous, as well). There’s some properly good South African indie rock there (and The Parlotones), which you really feel could have gone a lot further if it had just managed one big break.
Clearly, as you can see from the links above, I tried my best.
Who could forget that Kirstenbosch performance just ahead of his honeymoon (literally, performance over, head to airport) when he turned up unashamedly drunk and upset a number of parents and older individuals by using several naughty words?
I’ve shared lots of SA music on this blog before. Not just rubbish stuff because it’s fun to ridicule, but some rather decent things as well – Ashtray Electric and Isochronous spring immediately to mind.
Right now, I just can’t get enough of this track from local lads Gangs of Ballet:
Many are comparing this track to Coldplay and Audioslave and I can kind of see where they’re coming from, but that piano is so very Placebo to me.
But we should stop comparing them to other musicians, because they’re their own band and that’s their own sound.
On a foggy Cape Town morning – although we’re promised sunshine and 25C a bit later – I feel like sharing some South African music with my international readers. Obviously, the UK ones will still be in bed because they have a Bank Holiday today and another one tomorrow.
This great song and video is from Pretoria band Isochronous and was released late last year. Their latest effort, Torpid, is not available on YouTube, but is getting a lot of airplay locally.
Music post ahead: meaning, apparently, that my Dad will not be reading any further.
His prerogative of course, but he’s missing out on Zebra & Giraffe’s latest offering, The End of the Road, supplied here in full for the clamouring multitude of overseas 6000 miles… readers who do choose to lap up South African music like hungry kittens around a saucer of double cream.
Decent tune, although I’d prefer a bit more of the Depeche Mode introduction throughout the rest of the song. And a rather original video too: according to my sources, vintage, dusty, circus freakshow, ballet dancer chic is bang on in at the moment.
The eye-shadow is of particular concern though – please Greg – we don’t want you heading to the end of that particular road.
More Zebra & Giraffe tunes on 6000 miles… here and here.
And some spiffing photos of the boys here.