P for Pinata with Nomadic Orchestra + Touchwood + Luma + The Hedges (7 August)

Whoever from the Waiting Room gave the okay for a bunch of college kids to gather under a very large pinata for a night of squeezed together hips shaking was out of their mind.  Luckily for anyone concerned with broken roofs and cracked floors, these were pretty responsible UCT students doing good by raising some rands for SHAWCO.  None of those damages resulted, but what did transpire was young South Africans proving yet again what musical tricks they have up their sleeves.

The Hedges kicked off the evening on a peaceful note that all sets of ears were thankful for.  If the student body hadn’t yet heard of the harmonious trio yet, well they definitely have now considering how packed it was and the A-game the Hedges brought with them.  Standing admirably calm in front of the packed to the bone Waiting Room, the Hedges played like seasoned veterans of harmony in what may have been the best I’ve seen them.  I even overheard some peeps comparing their sound to Iron & Wine.  

When a violin and an acoustic guitar had taken the floor next, I assumed the tranquilness would continue.  Oh my gosh was I wrong.  Put together a guitar-fueled craze like the younger and more sane brother of Tombstone Pete (as well as the biggest smile a stage has ever known) and a violin-playing that any prince would be wise to throw all his rubies up for, and you get a duo destined for Sunday madness at the Flamjangled Tea Party.  As if things weren’t jaw dropping and head bopping enough, Luma decides to make things just plain magical.  Joining the balkan fest on stage for the final number comes this metal dude looking very out of place in this Waiting Room crowd.  But not even Tchaikovsky could have thrown together strings as powerful, like something in the most epic of theatres, as this unlikely uniting of violin and electric guitar.

It took a while for my jaw to lower after the mindblowingness of Luma, but I needed to get my thoughts collected and find a prime dancing spot because three girls that could get any forest swinging and shaking would be up next.  Touchwood play tunes like the South African energetic sisters of an indie folk trio hailing from Vermont called ‘Mountain Man’.  The three play this upbeat cover of City and Colour’s ‘The Girl’ that could have easily turned the melancholy Dallas Green giddy.  Speaking of Canadians in music, Ruth de Freitas spreads the good vibes and even sounds a bit like a young Neko Case.  These girls have a knack for filling folks with all these groovy feelings inside with their cool quirky jamming that makes me think they’ll be doing big things overseas one of these days.

Last but not least, it was time for the roof to get properly blown off with those never fail to bring the madness guys from Nomadic Orchestra.   I’ll admit though, I could not handle the insanity this time.  A few of us decided to take the party to the balcony for some fresh air.  Fortunately outside we could go berserk to the brass but still breathe.  Inside though it looked like this was a Bar Mitzvah gone completely out of control.  This was sheer madness well surpassing the signs of a successful party.  We reclaimed some territory back inside just in time for the most demanding of calls for an encore.  An absolutely ridiculous best-not-leave-the-night-with-any-energy-left cover of Squirrel Nut Zippers was the perfect way to satisfy this hungry for more fun bunch.  And thus P for Pinata had come to a close with a sheer lunacy that UCT students must have been daydreaming about in class the next morning.

*PS SHAWCO used a Youth Lagoon song in their promo vid & that is way cool!