Gone are the drunken and cloudy mind days of grunge/punk/rock of an angry-sounding boy whose father is a pastor. Gone are the days of torn jeans, living from hand to mouth. Gone are the days of sleepless days, party nights and waking up red eyed.
What Francois van Coke was and the man he has become is a journey that many have followed. For so long he was the face of a band that teenagers loved and their parents hated. Now the teenagers are parents themselves in their adult years and give Van Coke’s new album “Dagdrome in Suburbia“ as a gift to their parents. Sounds like an upside down world, doesn’t it? But it’s not and in my ears (and hands) is the latest release from Van Coke “Dagdrome in Suburbia” (Daydreaming in the Suburbs). Released on Friday 08 October 2019 at a sold out FVC en Vriende show (9 700 people in total) in Pretoria, making it the biggest album launch show to date. Rock ‘n roll is not dead my friends.
With the opening track after Riaan Cruywagen reading the news, “Ek Probleem” is my kind of song. Anyone can relate to the lyrics because we all have that uncertainty in our lives. Despite the marriage, the high walls and late mortgage payments.
Van Coke has shown us more than once that he can write a love song or two. “As Ek Kon” is written for his little girl. Guys, a piece of advice from a woman here – ANY man can be a father but it takes a special man to be a daddy. This is what Francois is, daddy Francois. A beautiful song so early in the album.
“Daarsy Boys” has received a LOT of criticism from the old school FOPK and Van Coke fans. However I like the song, I actually expected a song that local radio will rape over the next few years. “We’re punk dads from the burbs” is the comment on the song from Van Coke. No, this song is a song that will play at a braai and you’ll end up singing with. What specials does Spur run now?
“Dagdrome In Suburbia” that features Spoegwolf has been on repeat since the release of the song a month or so ago. We wrote a review on it and please play this song at my wedding and funeral. I want people to rock ‘n roll. Spoegwolf and Van Coke mix as well as brandy and coke. Gin and tonic. Weed and rockers. Beer and braaivleis. By the way, RSG has playlisted this song #justsaying
In “Een Lewe” I love the lyrics of the chorus;
Net Een Lewe
Net Een Kans
Elke mens moet sy eie hemel maak”
“Bomskok” what a guitar solo from Jedd Kossew and Francois, I feel you in this song. We are part of a generation that will always be the “in between” generation of the old and the new. What a Monday mood lifter song. While you at it, play “Wilde Tye” as loud as possible when parking at your office job.
Okay, let’s talk about this co-lab between Riky Rick and Francois. “Not Like Them” is a mix between good solid rap lines from Riky and then Van Coke’s slightly ruff vocals – all in English. Some of it reminds me of the old school rap we used to listen to growing up. Excellently produced and written. I’m loving it. Does this mean Riky will perform at Innibos 2020? Change the game as the Bellville boys keep on doing?
And finally, the last track “Hey Babe” that features the vocals of The Voice SA season 3 winner, Tasche. Van Coke was her coach and she is busy making her way in the bustling music scene in South Africa. Their voices go well, smooth. Tasche is still young but I’m sure giving her a few years. Her voice is going to be unforgettable. “Hey Babe” I can relate to my own private life, of how my partner came into my life.
All in all “Dagdrome in Suburbia” is the 3rd delivery from Francois and it has impressed me. Not because of the ‘name’ or the ‘brand’ that he has become but of the human being behind the songs. His co-song writers and band support him beautifully and Francois has become a new voice for the older (30 somethings) and our lives. Because to the critics, like every other human out there, we grow older, we grow up and we go on. Rock never dies in our hearts. Our energy levels are not like yours but generate energy that refuses to die. If Francois can be one example then I’m happy to follow it and create my own. Like FOPK taught us back in 2003.