When I heard that Gangs of Ballet will be launching their new album, Form & Function Part 2 at the Rivertown Shed, I was like, where the hell is that? I was in for a nice little surprise. Upon arriving at The Shed, we noticed how much parking there was, bonus! No driving around the city on a Friday night looking for dodgy parking.
The Rivertown Shed is situated across the road from the ICC (on the other side, not where the old Tilt used to be). As we walked up to the venue we were met with some rad urban street art occupying the one side of The Shed wall, top to bottom. Always a good sign. The excitement starting bubbling within as I began to realise it was quite a big warehouse. Oh yes, a warehouse party! LOVE THEM. As we walked in, there was a cool retro pop up coffee tuk tuk done by Exploring Coffee. A nice different concept to have a rock gig, that little tuk tuk would prove to be quite significant later on……
Walk straight to the bar. Need beer. Much to our dismay we were told that unfortunately the venue was unable to secure the liquor licence in time for the gig. Damn, what a bummer. But that was not going to stop Durban. People turned up in the droves to support our local favourites.
As we got backstage, ISO, the opening band, was setting up and getting the sound check done. Super excited to see these guys play, especially at such a fitting venue. The performance these guys put on was incredible. Their stage presence was nothing short of stellar, the way they feel their music while performing is quite something to watch. They jumped and jived and the crowd jumped and jived, the lighting was amazing and the theatrical smoke at the end was the perfect closing. ISO is a well experienced band and it shows. And the one guy let me sit on their road case backstage for the whole night, thank you ISO!
As soon as the band comes off stage, we duck outside for a quick smoke break. While out smoking, we get chatting to a bloke about the venue. He mentions he works for the guys that own the venue and they are shooting the gig so they can start promoting the venue for more nights like this one. Two words. HELL YES. Durban so desperately needs a good venue to host bands and one big enough to fit all the adoring fans we have here. Let’s all pray that this kicks off, Rivertown Shed will be perfect for many events, covering all aspects. Just need to sort out that liquor licence first…
Next up, Al Bairre took to the stage with their happy go lucky vibe. God, I love this band. And so does the whole of Durban apparently with the way the crowd went crazy as they stepped on. Al Bairre has had major success and they have a massive following here in Durban and it’s no wonder with that catchy, love infested groove they have going on. Sporting their trade mark tie dye shirts, Al Bairre got down and dirty with it, displaying impressive acts of bum wiggles and stage hand stands. Talk about high energy. Wow. They belted out most of their popular songs, while the love sick fans sang along to each and every word. The excitement they bring to a gig is infectious, honestly if you having a crap day, please just go watch a video of Al Bairre live, it’s almost life changing.
Finally the headliner graces the stage, Gangs of Ballet. Originally from Durban, you can see they are in their zone. Gangs of Ballet were well worth the wait, with a down to earth demeanor that simply filters all the way down, you almost feel like it’s a bunch of your buddies playing for you. Interactive and intimate. Apologizing profusely about the booze situation, Brad connects with the crowd with ease as they break into the first song, the crowd absolutely loves them. Gangs of Ballet rocked and rolled the stage with their set and at one point Brad even got off the stage and continued to play his guitar while walking through the crowd. What a legend. What a show. Thank you for a wicked night, thank you for a wicked venue, thank you for having UNDERGROUND PRESS and thank you for the CD! Can’t wait to have you all back soon!