What does a crowd of 12500 look like? A completely full field at Val de Vie Wine and Polo Estate, a queue of hundreds of people out of the gates, and a slight traffic jam in the road outside. Teens, couples, moms with kids and everything in between had gathered in Paarl for what is clearly one of Cape Town’s most popular music festivals: KDay.
GoodLuck kicked off the show with their hit song ‘Hop On, Hop Off’. Despite a performance in Bellville the previous night, and a place in the line-up at the International Jazz Festival later that same evening, talented members Ben Peters and Juliet Harding looked as if they were having the time of their lives on that stage, and their audience interaction got the crowd going right from the start.
The Arrows were next, then Loyisa Bala (cue lovestruck lyrics making the ladies swoon) followed by Danny K who turned out to be a great performer. I highly doubt that the kisses he was blowing were intended for any specific female audience members, but in the minds of his fans, each shared a moment with him. Danny K also performed ‘Shout’ the Artists for a Safer South Africa song, although I wondered why other SHOUT members including the Parlotones and Prime Circle had not joined him. I was in for a surprise later on.
Dance-friendly music came in the form of DJ Kent who entertained the crowd with songs by artists including David Guetta and Avicii. Val de Vie’s polo field was instantly transformed into a club, with young and old dancing and singing along happily to the well-known hits. This up-beat vibe was continued later on by Mi Casa, but when they became the third artists of the day to cover Avicii’s ‘Levels’, interest in the song was wearing thin.
Elvis Blue brought a much-needed injection of rock into the pop-dominated first half of the show. Listening to his voice, I have no doubt as to why he won the sixth season of Idols SA, this guy can really sing. His set seemed very short, but that was probably just because I wanted to listen to his voice forever. He was joined by young blues legend Dan Patlansky on guitar for one song, and the pair were a great combination.
The Parlotones, fresh from their climb of Kilimanjaro, gave their usual flawless performance, and even treated the audience to a couple of songs from their upcoming album Journey Through The Shadows. Although some members of the crowd seemed less than enthusiastic at first, by the time the band started ‘Push Me To The Floor’, everyone seemed to have forgotten about trying to act cool, and had begun jumping up and down and singing even louder than frontman Kahn Morbee.
The sun had set somewhere between the Parlotones’ set and that ofFlashRepublic, and the atmosphere of the festival had changed along with the lighting. The vibe was now one of an actual concert, and if Tamara Dey and company’s ‘Twister’ didn’t get you dancing, then nothing would! Another solidly entertaining performance, and even though the temperature was dropping rapidly, no one was complaining about the fact that there were still two more bands to go.
Prime Circle was the highlight of the day. They put on a performance of international standards, having just returned from yet another tour ofGermany. Frontman Ross Learmonth interacted easily with the audience, talking about the meaning behind the songs, and dedicating ‘Turn Me to Stone’ to friends whom they had lost. After a set that had probably been heard by all of Paarl’s residents, my quiet inquiry of “Why didn’t they play ‘Consider Me’?” was drowned out by screams of fans, as the band returned for that very song.
Danny K surprised everyone by re-appearing hours after his set, to perform the latest SHOUT song, ‘The Voice’, along with members of almost every other act that had performed during the day. The result was spectacular, enthralling, and a fantastic way to promote the SHOUT initiative. It would have made for a grand finale to the entire show, but the audience still had Locnville to look forward to.
Locnville ended the day off on a high note, their identical voices working together on favourites including ‘Sun in My Pocket’ and ‘Stars Above You’. Those who still had any energy probably left in the mood to party, and headed for the nearest club.
It was unfortunate, however, that Locnville were the last act, as many people had begun to leave already, in an attempt to avoid one of Val de Vie’s infamous traffic jams. The traffic was almost non-existent, though, and most cars managed to make their way out of the estate within less than 20 minutes. Great organization on the part of both Val de Vie and KFM resulted in a most enjoyable day, and I have no doubt that KDay will continue to grow in popularity, as it showcases the very best in local talent for many years to come.
Photos by Lauren Granger
KDay 2012 took place at Val de Vie Wine and Polo Estate in Paarl on 31 March.
You can support the SHOUT initiative by smsing ‘VOICE’ to 49300 and downloading the new song.
View our photos of K-day 2012.