Despite the “reputation” which certain genre’s of Afrikaans music do have, I can assure you that Bittereinder is in a complete league of their own. I yet have to see an act that is like Bittereinder. And on 28 May 2017, they delivered certainly one heck of a show at Jock in Nelspruit.
Being the avid fan of Bittereinder that I am, friends in tow we made our way to Jock. It was a lovely change of scenery for Jock’s usual Friday night that is usually ruled by the DJ’s of South Africa. Bittereinder is so much more than ‘doef-doef’ as someone described it. There were people from Mozambique, Pretoria, Cape Town and towns from the Lowveld. After many years on stage, rapping, digitally and musically taking our minds on a trip the Bittereinder boys had us hopping like it was ’99.
Jaco van der Merwe on vocals and lyrics, Louis Minaar on visuals, music and vocals. And Peach van Pletzen on music and vocals they are a trio like no other in South Africa. And you really don’t have to understand nor speak Afrikaans to enjoy their music. The packed dance floor was proof that their fan base in Mpumalanga is a strong one. Performing songs like “Kwaai Naas“, “Die Berge Brand“, “Hartseer Gangster“, “Skerm” ( a personal favourite), and “Dink Dans” the crowd loved it. As always their visuals, which forms a big part of Bittereinder’s show was simply mind-blowing. It is hard to keep an eye on both Jaco and the screen behind him. But it’s not hard to do either because Jaco’s energy held the crowd captive. He had them in the palm of his hand.
“What surprised me is how many fans knew the lyrics” Jaco commented after the show “That was really amazing to hear”. Yes, Lowvelders that is amazing and especially for the diverse group of people that were there. If anyone still doubts that music has any sort of boarders think again. Bittereinder managed to bring together all ages, people from different backgrounds together on the decks of Jock.
Despite the chilly weather, they had us sweaty and horse after the show. I feel it was the perfect warm-up to their upcoming show at Innibos. Friday 7 July at the kykNET Nou stage (the old MK rock stage). Because if you liked what you saw at Jock in May then be ready to be blown away at Innibos.
Bittereinder’s live act is certainly one that you can take home with you and relive in your head. Their songs are a perfect combination of current life, lines and electro beats that will make your pants drop. If you haven’t seen them live yet, you are certainly missing a big part of South African music right now.