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The Kooks and the 5 Gum Experience roll into Cape Town

April 22, 2013
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The #5gumexperience; well you don’t have to have Don Draper running a rocket science marketing campaign to figure out that your brand will gain serious traction if you show the target market a good time out. Find a great location and add to it an air of mysticism – make me feel like I am going to a New York rooftop private gig, then provide school memory inducing bus rides into what could be a government-sanctioned hipster relocation zone. Entertain the crowd with some locally-flavoured music and then top it all off with some international chart toppers to show us that you put in tons of effort.

I assume that with this being another repeat event that these gigs are working out rather well for the 5 makers of Gum, which is good for us all.

Bringing in The Kooks from the UK; fresh off a six month break spent writing new album melodies (expect some progression) it was a perfect experience for them to see South Africa, jam again as mates, and generally be idolised by thousands of adoring fans.

To the bevy of fans out there that didn’t get tickets, without sounding like a dick, you missed out. Makes me wonder about how many friendships were tested with the lottery method behind getting tickets – just because I won do I have to take my best friend girlfriend? I could have started a “bid for my affection and win my attention war” as I learnt that people in general love The Kooks. But how many domestics did 5Gum cause in the name of preferential chewing? Is it all some giant George Orwellian, Big Brother, selective scheme they cook up using Facebook to track our likes and interests to choose the right demographics? Because there was such an interesting mix and well represented crowd of people. Or is it simply and actually just randomly assigned to test friendships and relationships? I think next year someone should win ten tickets and we document his distribution decision making and create a reality show of it. 5Gum – Chewing Through Your Friends – it’s a working title, we can iron out the kinks later.

The press conference with the band was a good laugh, as they went through the usual fodder of whys, hows, whos. But my highlight was a curve ball question thrown in that I am sure was designed by a non-fan to sow the seeds at causing some serious in-fighting. They were asked to choose who would be kicked out if they were forced to make the band a 3 piece – at the Her Majesty the Queen’s behest. (Note to journalist – sometimes questions just sound better in your head, i.e. will this plane door open mid-air? The key is not to tell the person sitting next to you. Internalise!).  I did learn that The Kooks psych themselves up for a concert by listening to Kanye West’s “Power” and they love themselves a little rap in their daily lives. What was my unique contribution to the press event? I complimented their awesome hairstyles – I said what everyone was thinking.

The night was well executed, the buses worked, albeit with mild shock-inducing cues. And the venue was far more city bowl limits than outer limits this time round. It was a well-structured Modern Warfare 3-like train yard, warehouse location of concert goodness, segmented so well for smokers and people who needed to take toilet time that I didn’t hear anyone complain, not even the ones cursed with small bladders.

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Beach Party brought their infectious contemporary Beach Boys throwback style to the waiting minions of The Kooks, and made the most of their moment in the spotlight, impressively displaying why they are so highly rated. The December Streets had to keep everybody’s drunken attention (the bar was working as if run by a tiny Swiss man holding his chronograph) with a few well-played covers in their set and the crowd really was all ears. After the wait to get us even more inebriated, The Kooks came and vigorously played every song I wanted them to play – such nice lads.

Obviously sound quality in the warehouse wasn’t spectacular, but it held up well and the quality of the evening in general had me answering a Kooks hit, “How’d you like that” – well gents, I liked it a lot, I liked it a lot. Thank you kindly 5Gum.

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Jay Clark

Jay Clark

Jay writes, resides in, and absorbs pop culture akin to it being a real job. A connoisseur of comics, good taste and The Goonies, JJ’s a musical zealot but don’t ask him to explain his penchant for obscure musical choices, because he will annoy you into getting it. He believes all movies should have a buddy cop dynamic to them, even sad dramatic ones.

His inherent love of sloppy gastronomy make childhood pictures “awkward” to look at, and his 6 year world tour of cultural discovery helped him realise there is no place like home, so he moved somewhere else. Cape Town has him now, much to his mother's despair. Remind him to call his Mother.

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