Canadian rock band Crash Test Dummies played a few shows in South Africa this past weekend.
I had the opportunity to attend an intimate gig before Saturday’s show at the Hillcrest Quarry in Durbanville.
On the evening of Valentine’s Day, the mood was set at Jamaica Me Crazy, a well-known local hangout in windy Woodstock, Cape Town. A crowd of media members and influencers gathered with some drinks and snacks to enjoy a few acoustic songs by Brad Roberts and guitarist, Stuart Cameron. The duo played a few songs, ranging from their first album to more well-known tracks like Afternoons & Coffee Spoons, and local bluesman Albert Frost closed the show with a few of his own songs.
Brad gave us quite the performance, and encouraged the crowd to ask questions in-between songs; not your standard “where does the name come from” questions, but real and personal questions.
There were conversations about the current Jacob Zuma situation, how Trump is a moron and a comment on Reagan being “a fucking actor”. I realised that his wife was sitting at our table, and she shared the finer details with every story he told.
He spoke about the stereo that his grandfather bought and played Johnny Cash on, which is one of Brad’s biggest musical influences, so much so that he cried when Cash died.
Brad claims that he hasn’t written anything in six years and that for years he never understood how he got to where he is.
He also believes that a record should be listened to from start to finish; that it’s a journey and not just a collection of songs on a disc.
He wants more journeys and doesn’t understand the world of streaming. One moment you’re listening to a track that you chose, and “45 minutes later it’s Justin Bieber playing”, thanks to the “music you may like” functionality.
Although these shows are always about the music first, there’s something special about getting to know the man behind the mic, and sharing a few laughs in between. This was definitely a rather special one.
(*Not official music video)