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Written byNick Trethowan

“Bubble livin’ upper-case AMAZING; Falling over crazy; future mad pretty though.”

PHFAT – CHURCH

This past Friday (14th of October) saw the first event by Rare Cassette, bringing us a lineup of live bands that felt like an essential breath of something different. Although we have been emerging out from under the pandemics’ crazed effect on the live music industry, COVID wasn’t the only thing to impact live music – venues even before Covid were becoming more and more scarce. But with the recent discovery and launch of the Factory in Party Island (Paarden Eiland) I was back for my second weekend in a row and revved up to see one of my personal favourites, PH FAT after an extended hiatus from the events scene.

With an insane lineup of Dirty Disco Records, Internet Girl, HoneyMoan, PHFAT and After Hours, the industrial set venue and stage felt grungy and real. Familiar faces and members of the scene were dispersed among a new wave of party-goers who were there to discover what on Earth older generations were talking about: After the show, I met a young man named Connor who was both fulfilled and blown away at the same time for having finally watched PHFAT. He told me of his older brother’s influence, listening to old albums and watching videos online, imagining what it’d be like to see for himself and finally being able to. He was pumped.

HONEYMOAN were electric with a rare show home before heading back overseas.

While Zach Lees of Dirty Disco Records opened the evening, it was Internet Girl who set the tone. With only a handful of live shows, the hugely successful Spotify group of artists blazed their way into the audience’s heart. Young, exuberant and engaging, Internet Girl flung the mood into overdrive at the end of the set, much to the crowds glee. While the bands changed, I was once again reminded of the beautiful faces that make up the community behind live music. Old faces and new, those who think the live scene is “dying” just aren’t looking close enough. There is a wave that has been building over the past few years and it’s high time for it to crest.

Next was HONEYMOAN, who (as they have every single time I’ve watched them) just blew it away. Although Cape Townian, the band has seen success internationally and has been pushing global expansion and world success, which just made this show even better. With the incredible and captivating lead singer Alison Rachel, HONEYMOAN took to the stage and was joined by guests Mikhaela Faye and Greg Abrahams for a 5 piece set up. Fun, funny and groovy, the set sped by as I joined 3/4ths of Year of Dogs to cheer from the crowd. They were barking the loudest for HONEYMOAN bassist and Cape Town sound wizard Josh Berry.

Soon however the main act was upon us and as the clock struck 10:30, the synths started and the lights faded. Now it’s been some time since I’ve been in a FAT dance floor and while the music is a familiar favourite, it’s safe to say I danced like a bellend for the whole set. Curiously nostalgic, seeing Smooth Mike Zietsman killing it on stage with Luc Vermeer again righted some things that felt off for the past while. Not to mention the absolute POWERHOUSE performance of SA’s next biggest artist, Moonga K.

The whole evening felt like a new and exciting input to the live scene. Although groups like FoulPlay, Revival Co as well as venues like Evol have been doing the MOST to spark the fire, it felt exciting to taste something completely different. We hope to see more from the Rare Cassette team and the events they bring.

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