Monday, May 30, 2011

Parlotones live @ Cresta! Mid May 2011

So a particularly fine, (not as chilly as usual but I still wore my beanie), Sunday night popped along and my cohorts and I went off to watch the Parlotones live at the Barnyard theater!!!
This was only my second live concert,, so I was interested to see what a local band could pull off compared to an international one with the force that Rammstein* had had!!

Please excuse the quality of these pics, they were taken on a cellphone by a very hyperactive Jo so they are not the star quality I like to deliver! *Head bowed*

*For the Rammstein blog:-

We arrived at Cresta shopping center with time to spare! We were the very living definition of EAGER! We also found the official Parlotones cars and had some fun, fangirl moments, taking photos. I have no clue what type of car it was or if it's a luxury one or just a really, really shiny one but eh, details details. It's nice to see them having to park in with the rest of us! (Though I bet they didn't have to pay the cover charge!)

The entrance to the Barnyard theater. I meant to come back and take a better snapshot of the Parlie's poster but with one thing and another, mostly me talking, talking, talking, it got left behind. But if you super enlarge the pic, squint and chant rhythmically it should become clear! (Or you will hyperventilate, either way, new experience!)

Here is everyone milling about before the show starts. Half the folk had ordered pizzas and got them so soon I had a feeling they were ice cold by the time the show started. Everyone, bar one lass, was in jeans, and everyone, bar me, was in dark clothing like it was a funeral. (I had on a nice bright blue jumper that I thought rather fetching in a 'neon-blue-for-airplane-landing-strips' sort of way.)

Unlike Rammstein there was no air of anticipation which I thought was a bit daft! It's a concert! Music and good times! Where's your spirit people? But the only spirit I saw was in bottles. Almost everyone was calm and relaxed and almost a bit like they were going into a business meeting, but one that allowed food and beverage so it couldn't be that bad right? Ho hum.

A snap taken from my seat of the stage ahead. It's obviously still decorated for the 80's show that either was recently on, was currently on, or was about to come on. (Unlike many I was actually talking and getting excited and not staring at the posters in a 'I'm-bored-but-like-in-a-cool-way')

The sound check guy was most amusing! He'd try all the different instruments, very aware he had center stage but acting applaudingly calm. He'd then go to the microphones and say, "Test! 1, 2, testing! Yo! YO!!" Which was mildly alarming when you didn't expect it. He'd then make a bunch of random hand signals, either to someone in the loft above or to god, we never found out, and then move on to the next piece of equipment or disappear and reappear like the toy of a whimsical child.

Finally the concert started! And if you're looking at the above picture and going, "HUH?", yeah well my cellphone is not top of the range, it was the best pic I could get! *sulks*
I also got a few videos but the sound is ghastly, it makes you think you're in a rock n roll wind tunnel with the Hound of the Baskervilles wheezing away behind you, so me thinks it best not to post them!

But the concert was DYNAMITE!! We danced to every song, sang along (well close enough, there was some improvisation and ad-libbing but I don't think the band's heart was broken by it), and I had a total ball! The sound was excellent and the music fantastic! (Though after a while one song started to sound suspiciously like another...)

All in all it was really wonderful! And the small, slightly apathetic audience, at least meant we got to see the band full on and feel far more a part of the music then with Rammstein. So see? There are some pluses to going small and local!

Below I've included two links to two of my more favorite Parlotone songs! The first has a fantastic music video and was the song that hooked me onto the band! The second is just pretty and well worth a listen! Seriously give them a try, who knows, next time they come round I might see you there! ^_^

Friday, May 27, 2011

Pretoria Zoo - Early May 2011

Mother's day happened to come swinging by and we decided to go to the Pretoria zoo to do some swinging of our own! (And you know I don't mean THAT kind of swinging!! - That's for another blog!)

Here was our chariot going up the cable cart at the zoo! They were alternatively green and red and 100% given over to advertising and merchandizing! It was a max of 4 people to a boat, so two of us went in the first and three in the second. I wonder if they kick up a ruckus if the 4 people were ever, say, really, really big lads, who'd been into their chocolate and gravy too much?

Off we go!! The start reminds me of the start to roller-coasters, halting and jaunty and then you start going up and up and up! Luckily we didn't have any plummeting sensation or this blog would have had to have been done from a hospital bed as I pushed the keyboard with a pen between me gnashers! (Teeth)

They were having a mini show of ye olden day type cars. I liked the garish, 'Ah-my-eyes' colours! Imagine owning that bright green one? Or the orange one? You might forget where you parked but every airplane in a 4 mile radius won't!

Here's an empty cart coming back the opposite way. Gives you almost an ominous thought of, "What happened to the people inside?!" I was saying maybe there's a canning factory at the top! It makes franks and beans - 100% pork - well mostly....
Mind the lion and tiger enclosures are at the top of the hill so install a trap door at the bottom of the ride and hey presto, zoo saves a fortune on feeding!

It's really rather picturesque! Each time we went past one of those pillions the cart would shake in a very satisfying way that tended to remind you how high up and helpless you are!

Here' we're heading back down! I love the way this blokes hand is positioned, almost like he's pushing off the cart, trying to hold back tears, "Go my child! Go free!!"

The Pretoria sky line. Not, I'll admit, a ravishing sight of city and nature in perfect harmony, but still rather interesting to look at underneath that fine fluffy layer of smog!

I tried to take pics from the cart but it wasn't very easy and I ended up with some lovely smears and vague things that could be animals, could be bananas. I did get this one though! Isn't the wee baby cute? And yes, that would be our shadow passing by, like a full metal angel!

Our other three cohorts in the boat in front of us. Enjoying the ride ALMOST as much as we were!

Now tell me you don't want to go for a ride as well?!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens - April 2011

Friday (29 April 2011), Rob and I decided to go to the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens! They’re out in Roodapoort, so not even on the other side of the globe! (Unless you’re reading this from another country, not South Africa, in which case, never mind!)

Oh my unholy cheeses but these gardens were gorgeous!!! I think it’s because you have to pay to get in! Emmarentia Botanical Gardens is free, but alas it doesn’t have a penny’s worth on this one! (Sorry Emmarentia!! < - -grew up with these gardens so feels a bit of a traitor. But just a bit!)

Below are some pics to help me explain the whole thing better!!

Aren't they pretty? There were herb gardens and rock gardens and butterfly gardens and a whole feast of different plants and goodies to look at!

Oooooh! Lovers getting close and snuggly! Now that's the way to do it!

Here is the dandy little bridge we had to cross to get to the waterfalls! Doesn't it look shady and peaceful and make you think that any time now a murder mystery is going to play itself out with you as the main character?

Off to see the falls! Aren't they huge?! Can you imagine having a picnic just nibbles away from all that free flowing water? Think it would make you need the bathroom every ten seconds!

Here we saw a bunch of kids lining up to be executed.
Okay no not really... sigh. There were classes of kids going all about the gardens, looking about and writing in books and behaving pretty much the way all kids do when on a field trip and out of class and having to bother to concentrate!

We came onto the restaurant from the back and observed this nifty criptic sign! Can you tell what it's supposed to say?*

The restaurant itself! Rob ordered a meal and my my, did they do him proud! No small portions of funky, week old veggies here! (Or if there were, they were nicely fried so you couldn't tell!)

I spent a large amount of time trying to take photo's of butterflies! They're not very obliging and my camera was filled with blurred action photos with maybe a colourful dot somewhere about it! Still look! Look! Not too shabby hey?!

And yes, I took other photo's of other strange critters as well! They were a lot easier then the butterflies!!

You can almost taste the greenery and beauty of the whole place! And considering the day before and the day after were grey and over cast, didn't we luck out big time?

So why not give the gardens a visit sometime? And if you get the idea, hey we should take Jo as well - seriously, go with it!