At first thought, ‘Fruit Vendor’ as a band name didn’t seem exciting. In fact, it seemed bland. However, as they quickly slid into a groove, my opinion seamlessly shifted. A melting pot of culturally charged lyrics had the audience in their palm, putting you either into fits of laughter or bopping to energetic beats. A night of giddy warmth ensued, with Fruit never looking so colourful.
Fruit Vendor played at the Jagger Lounge, a chic venue coloured by soft turquoise lighting, green bamboo wallpaper, and warm hanging bulbs, creating an atmosphere of comfort. Small cacti decorate each table and the elegant bathroom is neon pink. A projection of water reflecting shattered light ambiently lit the stage, setting things up perfectly in a warm hue.
As the band hopped onto stage, the first thing I noticed were their socks. Each a different bright colour of fruit, it had me jealous and thinking of the Cherry Happy Socks I had left at home. The band immediately stood out.
It didn’t take long for an energetic performance to take control. A strong start had us all singing “vendor” after Joshua Prinsloo, lead performer, sang “fruit”. Allegorical lyrics then painted a picture of identity and teased references to ‘braaing’ and bunny chow, creating pockets of laughter.
Their self-titled song effortlessly had Josh transition from a ballad-like performance to jokingly singing verse in a purposefully amateurish baritone. One song saw him leave the stage and sing in the crowd with absolute ease. Smooth composure and soulful energy created an infectious sound to get the shoulders rolling. Their influences were clearly diverse, switching from jazz riffs to hip hop and an occasional guitar background bringing out a sense of indie band Two Door Cinema Club.
A high energy ending to the evening saw band and audience sing together. From getting caught in the energy and singing along to Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, or finishing lyrics to Oliver Twist – appropriately chanting “can I get a little bit more?” – the night saw Fruit Vendor take full grasp of the audience with their vibrant tunes and lively feels.
As the show came to an end, early lyrics stood out – “was a child entertainer, wanna be a crowd serenader”. Ringing true, Fruit Vendor did just that, serenading all in a wash of fun and colourful melodies.