I had seen The Parlotones on various wine farms, in a stadium, in an arena, in a tent, and in 3D, but never in a setting quite like that of the final Kirstenbosch Summer Concert of the season. On 8 April, the rain was pouring down, and Cape Town’s die-hard Parlotones fans were attempting to stay dry under trees, umbrellas, and plastic bags. They could have sacrificed the price of their tickets, headed for their warm, dry cars and gone home, but no one did.
The rain took a break for the set of opening band, the Ice Project. The Pretoria-based band impressed me from the start, beginning with their neat attire of shirts, waistcoats and suspenders. This indie band were definitely appropriate openers for The Parlotones, and although I struggled to hear all of frontman Cobus Bester’s vocals, the songs were catchy and enjoyable, with the definite highlight being ‘Rollercoaster’ their most well-known song, having received recognition on the MK channel.
But those who had already folded up their umbrellas were in for a surprise as soon as the main act arrived on stage. Opening with ‘Stars Fall Down’, The Parlotones soon had much of the crowd on their feet, and the band’s enthusiasm was definitely not affected by the miserable weather.
Never a band to stick to writing songs on one topic, the deep ‘Remember When’ had everyone contemplating the idea of growing up and leaving the safe childhood world of imagination, whilst the sickly sweet ‘I’ll Be There’ had even the most anti-love audience members proclaiming that “Even if you’re rich, even if you’re poor, every breath you breathe I’ll be there for you.”
“This song is a bit of a talisman for the bad weather.” Said Kahn Morbee at one stage, resulting in an immediate shout of “Sun Comes Out!” from one excited audience member. These guys sure do have fans! Indeed, there was something magically ironic about this song being performed in the pouring rain.
Some new songs were in store for the lucky audience, including the explosive ‘Soul and Body’, and the – dare I say it – slightly country-inspired ‘Honey’. The new songs are less pop-ish, they’re slightly darker, and they sound fantastic. ‘Save Your Best Bits’ is one of those songs that you can hear once and feel like you’ve known it forever, it is without a doubt The Parlotones’ next big hit.
The only issues were a few missed lyrics and some heavy feedback on the bass, which was sorted out almost immediately, on the whole, however, the band were flawless. After a 90 minute set – during which the grass field at Kirstenbosch had turned into a pool of mud – The Parlotones concluded with the massive ‘Push Me To The Floor’, and left their 5000 soaking wet fans full of anticipation for the release of their new album.
An adapted version of this article appears on www.whatsonincapetown.com.