Ons is jammer. Or more accurately: I am sorry. For it’s all my fault. This no-updates on the websites business. Truth is, busiment has been afoot. Books had to be put out in the marketplace - to be properly bedded down for 2010, is what our publisher said. Now it’s bedded down. It was a big weekend for Bafana, and for the oke from the British Lions whose eyes were gouged out by Schalk Burger - and why the hell did we go watch the horror flick Drag Me To Hell last night? See, some things have no explanation. A quick update then, in the year that was the tenth in the eventful existence of The Buckfever Underground.
Our bassist Gil Hockman moved to Johannesburg. He closed down his legendary club, the Independent Armchair Theatre, here in Cape Town after much embattlement to keep it going. It was a gallant fight and we were all there towards the end trying to keep the bar rolling, but in the end it was just too much. So that was a blow to us all, not just to Gil and the business part, but also to everyone who loved that place so much, who spent nights there watching radical bands rock the living heck out of their pants and boots and hairdos. The Buckfever Underground played there frequently, it was our home turf if we ever had another after those heady early days - now a bloody decade ago! - at the Rhodes Union during our student days in Grahamstown. And a decade from now, when The Buckfever Underground is still around and putting out records and gigging when you least expect it, we’ll look back at the Armchair days and reminisce and smile and proceed. So that was that blow. It wasn’t nice. But we have all moved on and grown new beards, shaved them off, grew them again etc.
We only played two gigs during the rest of 2008, ie post Armchair-closure and post our tour up to the Not Quite Easter Oppikoppi. We (me, Righard and Stephen) played at the Matjiesfontein Show & Tell weekend with Andy Jamieson and Miss Texas 1977 and Ella Joyce Buckley somewhere in the surrounds too. It was cold, it was good and moody and we drank wine and played air guitar later, or was it the night before? This was late September, or was it early October? Fiction is fact.
Then, on a good day in that same month, our email rang and we picked up and it was someone from Bloemfontein who asked if we could please play at their wedding. There was no other thought but yes, of course, just fly us up. Riaan and Nicola, they were the lovely couple. There wasn’t enough cash to fly us all in, so again it was just me and Stephen and Righard. It was a great wedding, with their clearly eclectic music taste (I mean who ON EARTH invites The Buckfever Underground to play at their wedding?) reflected in plenty of Radiohead and Muse and whatnot filling the dancefloor later. We played during the meal - YES!, folk were tucking into a tasty plate of something as we tried to not be too morose, moribund or morbid or some other words which start with m. And Riaan and Nicola came to sit right at the front for a rendition of “Love In A Time Of Visas”, their favourite. It was all so rad upon rad.
The next day, Sunday, we’re supposed to fly back to Cape Town and due to a confluence of unfortunate events we missed our flight. Yup, and that’s a shitstreet to be in, let me tell you. Sunday in Bloemfontein isn’t exactly teeming with flights back to Cape Town every half an hour. And we all had jobs to be back at the next morning, girlfriends to snuggle with that night (I mean, Righard had just gotten this nice new big double bed and there was EXPECTATION if you know what I mean) and so forth. Tempers flared. Cigarettes were smoked. Calls made. Pleas were put in at the check-in counter. The plane was still on the runway, see. But of course, computer says no.
The best and cheapest and fastest option was to hire a car and drive back. Yup. We got in the car at 2pm and hit that 1016 km stretch back down the N1 to our beds like we meant it. Rain came somewhere in the Karoo. Tunes were limited to obscure Scandinavian glitchrock or whatever it was called which Righard salvaged from his tunepocket. Nothing helped. Oh how we grimaced. But we made it, we clocked in at midnight. This was December, December the 14th. And it was night and it was morning, and it was the 15th.
Shortly after, Righard decided to leave the band. He has spent some radical years with us and there is no doubt that he’ll still play with us on occasion in the future, but he decided to unlock from the band to concentrate on his solo outputs which were already considerable before he joined us and is growing by the minute thanks to his excellent new album “Strung Like A Compound Eye”, which you can check out and order from righardkapp.co.za/jauntedhaunts (update: link no longer valid).
Yes, so it became 2009, and busiment wreaked havoc. We have only played one gig so far - as part of the Chimurenga Sessions in the Cape Town library the other day. It was just me and Stephen this time, experimenting with a keyboard-only soundscape. Like the Pet Shop Boys, but different.
And now we are looking at some gigs to promote this new live album of ours, which we dig quite a lot. The package even comes with a fold-out poster:
Yes, you thought you would never see the day. Also, Gil and Jon have been tinkering on their laptops and new tracks have been sent this way and that for comments and ideas, so you never know, a new Buckfever album might just come right along some year soon.
Besides Righard’s new album, Stephen has also released another solo album under his moniker Myrid Ambre. It looks like this:
and it’s got 17 rather interesting electronica tracks on it. I do vocals on two of the tracks and the album also features other friends like Tracy Baving (bass) Smallz Mancotywa (guitar). You can order it by emailing Stephen on firstname.lastname@example.org. He also has a space in the furniture business at myspace.com/myridambre.
Also, our dearly beloved Jon Savage and his other band, Cassette, have also released a brilliant new album of pop classics. It’s called “Who Do You Trust?” and looks like this:
and should be in all decent record stores. You can check out their site playcassette.com (update: link no longer valid) for gig info, news and all the rest whambang.
And then there’s the new Buckfever live album, but sail over to Music for full track listing and ordering info.
So you see, we have been busy. In all manner of ways. And we still like you. Yes.