i held off the beer long enough to remember…

My memory failed me for a while as to why I loved going to gigs so much. I will admit my attendance at live music shows has been pretty low the last few months, but I now resolve to never let that happen ever again! Saturday night I had a sudden and profound reminder that good music is not something that happened far, far away in some distant recording studio decades ago. It happens almost everywhere and hits you at times when you weren’t expecting much from any of the acts playing on the night.

On the evening before the Sabbath at a place that’s becoming better known and loved, UNIT11, which I strongly suggest you get yourself to if you’ve never been. It’s already proving itself to be one of the more impressive venues for live music, movie nights, art and all the shit young and young-ish people like to do. The best places in our urban sprawls are hidden down alley-ways so don’t let that deter you. Brave the dark side street and you’ll be rewarded with cheap entrance, awesome bar, free popcorn and some of the best sounds to be heard in the greater Durban area. The paintings on the walls by local artists are pretty sick too. It helps that they actually have a decent sound system which was about as hard to find as a unicorn in Durban even a few years ago. Plus, for all you fucking hipsters that read this, (I know there are a few of you who weren’t chased off from my previous post) you’ll more than likely be snapped by one of the photographers roaming around and get to tag yourself on Facebook to show everyone how god-damn-fucking-cool you looked on the night.

UNIT11's Smoking Area

cool kids

Someone got excited during Shadow Club

crowd surf

So what strengthened my convictions to champion live music again at UNIT11? A band that has successfully stayed away from the god awful trend of looking and sounding like just another indie band, EXPLOSION. They list bands like Led Zeppelin, Def Leppard and Jimi Hendrix as influences, which I think all of bands on the night could claim, but more interestingly they listed Europe. You know these guys are having a laugh if they list the band famous for “The Final Countdown” as one of their influences. Unfortunately it was literally their third official gig according to their drummer, so there are no tracks I can direct you to, but fortunately, it was only their third fucking gig! These guys are made for bigger things if on their third outing they can trump all other acts of the night.


taking tips from The Cramps and wearing sunglasses after dark.

They describe themselves as “party rock ‘n’ roll”. To do them justice they should drop the “party” in their description because rock ‘n’ roll is exactly what these guys are playing. Hot rods, sun glasses after dark, drinking and woman were pretty much the things I got from their song lyrics. They were the second support act for the headlining Shadow Club and, in my opinion, overshadowed them. This is not to detract from Shadow Club, who apparently play bluesy rock ‘n’ roll which isn’t really what I got from them, because they are a decent band, even if they do look like they belong in glittery night spots sipping on pre-mixed drinks wearing white leather shoes. They have not successfully avoided looking like other indie bands… However their popularity is not totally misplaced. I expect to see a music video from them on MK soon enough, if it isn’t on there already.

Guy from Shadow Club

face for MK

Cheap Bad Habits, were the opening act, and they did a good job. I tapped my foot and smiled as they played. I was slightly let down by some of the off vocals, but they’re made up of former members of pretty successful bands that I only ever recall seeing at Splashy. I’ll definitely give them a second chance to wow me, hopefully with the full band since they had misplaced their bassist somewhere. Although after that second chance I think I’ll be saying something like, “They can play, and it’s good, they just don’t take it to that level that you think you’re gonna cum.” Although, I did notice the lead singers girlfriend, who looked as if she could make a gay man straight, even if it were for a night. To be in a band and score top-notch nookie…

Cheap Bad Habits

All and all though it was a good night for Rock ‘n’ Roll in Durban. A popular act from Jo’burg came and conquered, in the eyes of their fans I’m sure, an epic new band got to poach some fans and prove that the East Coast has some serious talent, and some lacklustre band warmed it all up for us…

This gig was a success to anyone in attendance. I’m particularly pleased a cool new band was brought to my attention, and some much-needed entertainment on a Saturday night was provided. I’ll be heading out to UNIT11 next week for what is set to be another awesome gig. The Durban dive will be playing host to two of my favourites, Sibling Rivalry and Fruit and Veggies. Both of the bands have earned the respect of most punks and lovers of alternative music throughout Durban and other parts so it’ll be good no matter how sober you are. These guys playing at UNIT11 also cements the fact that the place is well and truly dedicated to bring its punters music that doesn’t sit well with anything Mtv friendly or mainstream, which I like. I think I might be regular from now on… All the visuals of the night are courtesy of one Erin Wulfsohn, if you pull in to UNIT11, she might immortalize your frontispiece in pixels for all the book of face to admire, only  if you’re good-looking or ugly enough, no plain plebs please.

she hearts his face, or she wants him to close his mouth...

it's either the beard or the conversation that's freaking that dude out

If you’re in Durban and want something to do this weekend, or any weekend really, add UNIT11 on Facebook to keep updated on what’s happening there.

I couldn’t find links of any sort for the bands other than EXPLOSION, if you can remedy this add it to the comments or let me know the link and I’ll add it in. This is the reason we have social media so that word spreads like your sisters eczema!


6 Responses to “i held off the beer long enough to remember…”

  1. 1 kayleigh
    March 1, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    hey Russel – Im the sister of EXPLOSION’s drummer – Kyle Keegan.. just wanted to say awesome post…and super encouraging for the guys to hear! thanks a mil!

    • March 3, 2011 at 8:40 pm

      Hey Kayliegh, sister of EXPLOSION”S drummer Kyle Keegan.

      I think it’s awesome that you think my post is awesome. It was encouraging wasn’t it? I’ll have to go to their next show and boo loudly from the back to make sure no one thinks I’m a fan… Not a problem, it was mostly my pleasure.

  2. 3 liam (EXPLOSION)
    March 3, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    yo dude! awesome right up! really stoked! only one thing…we were serious about that Europe haha!
    i’ll admit, final countdown wasnt exactly a winner but tracks like “In the future to come”, “seven doors hotel” and “paradize bay” from the 1983 album, europe. as well as “scream of anger”, “dance the night away”, “lyin’ eyes” and “wings of tomorrow” from the 1984 album, wings of tomorrow and even “rock the night”, “danger on the track” and “on the loose” from the final countdown album, are ultimate songs….now im not tuning you or anything, just thought you wud like to have a listen to some of those tracks (didnt even mention half of the killer ones haha) and maybe you might even discover a new favorite song!

    ampd to read your next review (no matter who the band)

    • March 3, 2011 at 8:35 pm

      Oi oi, Liam.

      Glad you liked the write up. Not ripping on your musical taste or influences, personally I like Final Countdown! I rock to that shit! Was more to point out that you guys make fun music.
      Next review or piece of trash talk will be up soon enough, so stay tuned.


  3. 6 Cathy
    March 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    It is so cool for the guys to have such positive feedback! Thanks for the encouragement!!

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