I will never forget the first time I went to Die Boer. I gazed with trepidation at the bright, smiling faces on the posters adorning the walls and the numerous news clippings in the bathroom, afraid I was going to endure a bout of culture shock. I never thought I would find occasion to be back. There was a time when the musicians who now find themselves on its stage would probably not have envisioned themselves in this space either.
Sporadies Nomadies showcases Francois van Coke, Hunter Kennedy and Pierre Greef (backed by Jedd Kossew and Richard Onraet) performing a collection of songs from bands which they are variously part of: Fokofpolisiekar, Van Coke Cartel and Die Heuwels Fantasties. As the members grow older they have allowed their performances to mature with them, realising that their audience is growing up too; although there are still plenty of fans – young and old – prepared to head bang and stage dive at a show that is, for lack of a better word, more traditional.
But this show is a departure, finding them more laid-back as they deliver fresh renditions of well-known songs, with tweaks here and there – particularly as the renowned vocalists trade places and take the lead in songs other than their own. In between, the musicians reflect on the process of writing, as well as the stage of life in which it took place. The title of the show, Sporadies Nomadies, perfectly captures this idea as they drift from one band’s song to the next and embark on a journey of song-writing and story-telling. One of my favourites was the revelation that the song Ek Skyn (Heilig), from Fokofpolisiekar, is now sung in a student church in Stellenbosch – the irony driven further by the entire audience singing along to the song like a congregation. Never has the moniker rock god been more apt.
Like the comical cacti which form the show’s scenic backdrop, it has room to grow. Its pliable nature could see them collaborate with other artists, without losing the essence of the show, while making use of venues different than the ones fans have become accustomed to over the years. Although Sporadies Nomadies has the potential to reach different audiences, it is predominantly fan-based and, with this in mind, it could include the audience on the journey, interacting with them about their own memories of the music. Through the stories and the humour – at times dark, at others silly – they have already engaged the audience in moments of nostalgia, revealing a melancholic side that may have been present in the lyrics, but has metamorphosed into the performance and their attitude because we all, in the words of Adam Sandler, “wanna grow old with you.”