By Marley

Secunda is a small town which is about a 3 ½ hours’ drive from Nelsparta and 2 hours from Johannesburg. Lake Umuzi is one venue that stands out, not only for its size but it’s beauty. What stood out for Secunda were the freezing nights and warm, friendly people. This is where Misty Water music festival is home too.

Misty Waters Festival 2019 - Photo by Small Town Music
But it’s fun
(photo by Small Town Music)

Arriving on a cloudy, slightly windy day at Lake Umuzi, I was really blown away.  Driving through the town of Secunda it felt industrial, not that it mattered anymore, gazing over the beautiful lake made you forget that. After camp set up on the greenest grass I’ve seen at a music venue. The vibe is very relaxed as the music only started around 17:00 so it was beer o’clock early.

First band up is also new favourites, Zebra.  Their music and stories in between were original, it stood out as much as their zebra print onesies. If you can watch their show, do it.

Zebra band performing at Misty Waters Music Festival 2019 - photo by Small Town Music
Zebra – new favourites
(photo by Small Town Music)

Deon Bakkes and the Stolen Horses were up followed by all-girl, all rock band – Saarkie. This was the first time I’ve seen their show with their new bassist, Mjon Blommestein. Their set was tighter than skinny jeans and it was like seeing family. Albert Frost & Tubatsi Moloi really took the stage for Friday night. The perfect balance between Albert’s shredding and Tubatsi unique African flavour. I was told by many in the industry to watch this show and I’m glad I could. It was one of the best.

Tubatsie Moloi performing at Misty Waters Festival 2019 - photo by Small Town Music
Tubatsi Moloi
(photo by Small Town Music)

Taxi Violence took to the stage and it was mind-blowing. I haven’t seen them in a while and it was good to hear all the hits again. Raygun Royale had my attention for a full song and then I found my tent. Shutup it’ Sunday sounded fantastic as I drifted off to sleep.

George van der Spuy of Taxi Violence performing at Misty Waters Festival 2019 - photo by Small Town Music
George van der Spuy – Taxi Violence
(photo by Small Town Music)

Saturday, was a beautiful sunny day, with an icy wind nipping around. But I made a point to see the talented Adelle Nqeto. It’s been a while since I’ve seen her and I’m happy to report her debut EP “Home” will be released soon online. Imagine seeing a young Tracy Chapman with the sweet personality of Andra. That is Adelle for you.

Adelle Nqeto performing at the Misty Waters Music Waters 2019 - photo by Small Town Music
Adelle Nqeto
(photo by Small Town Music)

Jerry and the Bandits are making a turn at Innibos this year. Basson Laubscher and the Violent Free Peace sunset was deliciously blues rock, served with a heavy talented case of guitar shredding. It was sexy, blues and rocking. Wolfgang Marrow was followed by an amazing Black Cat Bones set. Their new bassist, Casey Rothman, is nothing like we are used too, but he brought his own tempo. It was tight and rocking, the old BCB we know and love. Minus a beer can to the ribs.  Fokofpolisiekar pulled everyone together like a birthday cake. The band, who are celebrating their 16th birthday, didn’t need any introductions. The fans were singing every song back loudly, you could hardly hear Francois’s vocals. I returned later for Hellcats where I saw steam and sweat mixed together to have the rock refill my veins again. Kings of Improg is a band that has no vocalist. It was good but it was cold and time to greet the night.

Basson Laubscher performing at Misty Waters Festival 2019 - photo by Small Town Music
Basson Laubscher
(photo by Small Town Music)

Sunday was a chilled vibes day since most of our camp was only leaving the next day. But it was sad to see the colourful tents and people of Misty Waters packing up and heading back to their own lives again. My first band of the day was Floris, followed by Emile Swiegers. Tidal Waves at 16:00 lifted the whole vibe and the small crowd that was still sticking around were swinging to the music makers.

Tidal Waves performing at Misty Waters Festival in Secunda - photo by Small Town Music
Tidal Waves
(photo by Small Town Music)

Sean Koch had our attention and then, Spoegwolf. I can write a whole page just on Spoegwolf’s show during Misty. This was only my second show of theirs but it was one for the history books. So instead of just playing their show to the crowd, they invited the crowd onto the stage. Yes, they placed some of the benches on stage, invited the ± 200 fans to surround them and be part of their show. I’ve never experienced something like this in the 9 years I’ve been doing STM. It was fantastic. They ended up playing a full hour for a crowd who couldn’t get enough. I eventually put my cameras away and just enjoyed what I was seeing and hearing.

Spoegwolf performing at Misty Waters Festival in Secunda - photo by Small Town Music
Spoegwolf made history
(photo by Small Town Music)

Misty Waters was one of the smoothest run festivals I’ve been to. It was actually comfortable. We had a proper bathroom and toilets available in campgrounds. I never saw a dirty bathroom either or never had to worry about no toilet paper. There was proper lighting pretty much everywhere so no need for a torch at night. Also, it was clean the whole time, I didn’t see empty anything laying around and the fires at night were a welcoming warmth and atmosphere.

Misty Waters festival with the Sasol Plant in the background - photo by Small Town Music
Misty Waters stalls with the Sasol Plant in the background
(photo by Small Town Music)

The people that attended the show, all have the same mindset as you, to listen to good music. I forgot that we ever had elections just that week even. I forgot about racism, wars and the petrol price. Misty kind of took it away for a few days. The security was super awesome and helpful with info and late night chats. VIP took such care of not only the artists and media but of their whole crew. My only change will be to book into the beautiful Lake Umuzi chalet accommodation which also received high praises from our network of friends.

Marley is the founder and owner of Small Town Music. Born and bred in Nelspruit aka Nelsparta. Marley loves music (rock being a firm favourite), tattoos, festivals, animals and South Africa. Self-taught photographer and writer.