Review: The Parlotones Rock Kirstenbosch


THE PARLOTONESSouth Africa’s leading pop/rock band is always one of the first shows to sell out at the Kirstenbosch Summer Concert Series. And when they took the stage last Sunday, the crowd went MAD.

The concert area was chockablock full, the skies were clear, the air was fresh and the Kirstenbosch plants were well fed (seeing it had rained the whole morning). Everyone was relaxing after a great weekend in Cape Town – even a little 4 year old girl behind me was singing along to the Parlotones’ first song, ‘That’s Life’, at the top of her voice.

The Parlotones were not very talkative with the crowd, but worked through their set list systematically. A few songs were interrupted by birthday dedications, or loud sound effects from the DJ. But their lack of verbal participation was made up for by their ability to draw the crowd into their music. A few of the songs were accompanied by a continuous bass drum kick or a backing beat track which enabled the unembarrassed to dance and the shameless to let loose. A crowd had formed at the mouth of the stage and the screaming fans could, on occasion, be heard even through the stage mikes.

It’s great sitting in front catching all the action, seeing the performers close up and watching even the stagehands at work. At one point a sound man came rushing onto the stage to collect Morbee’s electric guitar. Professional and experienced, the band kept jamming until the rogue guitar was returned in working condition.

The best song of the set was ‘Welcome to the Weekend’, for which there was added entertainment for those with a clear view of Glenn Hodgson, the backing vocalist. Hodgson’s mouth was glued to the mike as he sang backing vocals and his fingers moved around on the keyboard despite the guitar hanging around his neck. Now that’s cool.

Most of the songs they played were catchy and typical of the pop/rock style that the Parlotones have made their own. And of course they included a token emo song accompanied by the keys. People of all ages were having a good time – from that 4 year old avid fan to her grandparents enjoying the atmosphere with their family. Whether a rock fan or not, no matter what’s playing, a Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concert is always a guaranteed good time for you and your friends.

Maike Gevers

The Parlotones performed on 11 December 2011 at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens during its Summer Sunset Concert Series.

If you liked this review, read our review of Lira at Kirstenbosch.

See what else is on at Kirstenbosch

Discussion2 Comments

  1. Not only is their music fantastic and great to sing along with, but they also care about the environment, and that says alot. It’s great when a band so popular thinks of others and is caring and giving, love their attitude!!

  2. I have to say for a band that has just come off a major US tour they were a little rusty or maybe the KB crowd is so undiscerning the band thought “hmm we have this one in the bag anyway” and only fired on half their cylinders. Acrobatics aside, last years show was WAY better. And who knew they had such a lesbian following

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