The weekend before last, I was lucky enough to head through to one of South Africa’s most awesomest music festivals, RAMfest, and not only was the vibe amazing and the bands brilliant, but there were Sheffielders there too!
For those of you that don’t know me, I’m Stephanie Be’s lucky boyfriend. I also happen to be a legal alien in Mzansi having moved here from Sheffield, England, in 2011. While it’s not that rare for me to hear an English accent now and again, something that doesn’t happen often is to hear the familiar Yorkshire twang with which I was brought up. It’s music to my ears.
After a hectic Saturday morning of Steph being on air and me trying to get my arse in gear we finally made it through to RAMfest with no hassles. It was a nice drive and there was no queue to get in. Beautiful. I spent the first couple of hours there monitoring the Soweto Derby. With that it was time to get my festival on!
We bumped into the lovely Rick from Facing the Gallows, who had performed on the Metal stage the night before. I went for a wander with him and his girlfriend while my other half got some work done.
Look, when it comes to be music my taste is rather eclectic. With the music on my iPod I have the capabilities to please everyone from a 12-year-old boy to a 120-year-old grandma, it’s pretty all over the place, but I’m an indie kid at heart. I love my Arctic Monkeys, my Strokes, my Kooks, that’s my cup of tea. Although, I’m always open to new stuff. A few years back drum ‘n’ bass caught my attention and I fell in love, the same thing happened when dubstep dropped onto the scene with force.
I’ve never been a fan of metal music though. While I understand that fans of the genre are fanatical and that to be in a metal band takes some serious talent, it’s just never tickled my eardrums. That was until this weekend. Rick and Indiana took me to see some of the metal bands that were on offer and, while I won’t say that I fell in love with it, I certainly found a new appreciation. Then it was time for Bring Me The Horizon. The boys from Sheffield that I’d been waiting to see. The band whose music I wasn’t completely sold on but was excited to see live, again.
I saw BMTH in Brisbane, Australia, also on a random occurrence in a scenario that came about by chance. On that occasion I ended up with my pants around my ankles, above the stage, with one hand around my John Thomas and the other raised in jubilation, but that’s another story.
This time it was Steph and I. This time we were in the crowd. This time they properly put on a show. Oli Sykes, the lead singer of BMTH, is a Sheffield lad born and bred. He talks like me, his attitude is similar to mine and it just felt lovely and homely. There I was, 14,000 kilometres from home, with my South African girlfriend, listening to a voice saying, “Ahh, you’re a reight good crowd you lot.” It’s a small world innit?
Bring Me were awesome. They were flawless, Oli’s voice was unfaltering and his interaction with the crowd rallied them into a frenzy. It was an incredible site to behold, especially when they formed what seemed to be a black hole sized circle pit after Blessed With A Curse.
Anyway, from then things took a turn for the worse. Steph rolled her ankle and was put out of action for a little while. We’d later find out that her ankle had taken on the circumference of a tennis ball, however she soldiered on like a proper trooper. We watched Sibot from the VIP stand at the electronic tent. Jeez, can that guy play or what?! He was awesome, again, and it’s really good to see him finally getting the kudos that he deserves.
Then it was time for Pendulum. I’ve seen them before, twice actually, and they’d been impeccable both times. On this occasion it was slightly different as it was just a DJ set and not the full band, but still, what a show. The first time I was Pendulum live was in Sheffield, in a little venue called the 02 Academy, they were awesome, then I saw them at Leeds Festival and they were incredible, full band and all.
Funny, people have been raving about Swedish House Mafia, about how awesome they were. Since seeing them I’ve watched Skrillex and Pendulum, both in 2013.
Best electronic act I’ve ever seen? SHM aren’t even the best electronic act I’ve seen in 2013…
– Joe Crann