By Marley

They have been labelled ‘rebels’, ‘the Bellville Boys Club’, ‘a cult band’ and yet Fokofpolisiekar still doesn’t give a fuck about that. They are 5 guys who still make music even if they are nearly 40 (or in their 40’s). They just released their latest project “The Sound of Fokof Unplugged”. A collection of their songs they performed during a live stream concert.

At the Sound of Fokof Unplugged band (Photo by: Liam Lynch)
At the Sound of Fokof Unplugged band
(Photo by: Liam Lynch)

Live streaming is the new way of the music world since Covid is still hanging around like an ex who can’t accept that the world broke up with her months ago. The recording was done at artist Lionel Smith’s studios with a braai going on outside and Fokof Lager flowing freely. The band wanted to bring their songs to the fans in a new way. I will always enjoy acoustic versions of songs because it forces the bands ‘out of habit’ play and brings it back to its roots.

To hear the ‘I’m pissed off with everything” songs we listen to out loud in our cars to be turned down brings to me a new feeling. We are older, I mean us the fans from the start, but there are still things we can relate to in the songs from Fokof. Many I know feel they are now just about brands, wearing their own brands, again they (and me) couldn’t give a fuck – this is about music and always have been music.

With the release of The Sound of Fokof Unplugged comes to the new music video “Teen Die Wet”. Here you will get a visual of the set up of the album, Lionel Smith’s studio and see some of his pieces scatter between the band members. Johnny de Ridder is back on the piano in this song and it just gives that emotional edge. The video shows photographic images from Albert Retief. He managed to capture hard lockdown in South Africa, the uncertainty we all experienced. The harsh realities of places of work closed and remained closed. The video was also released in a very sad time amongst the SA music community – photographer Henry Engelbrecht passed away due to Covid. Something that hit me personally as he was a friend and fellow media pitter. He was one of the biggest Fokof fans I knew. He owned every single Fokof shirt every released, he knew all the songs and he had the eye to capture the moments on stage. “Teen Die Wet” is just a reminder of Covid and her lengthy arm of destruction. He would have loved this, he would be shy about the dedication because he was like that. Excuse me while I wipe the tears from my face…

During their live stream the band asked their viewers via social media for song suggestions which ended up being the setlist for the album;

  1. Ek Glo In Die Son (Selfmedikasie 2017)
  2. Wintersdag By Die Seer (Monoloog in stereo 2005)
  3. Klipgooi Glashuis (Brand Suid-Afrika single 2006)
  4. Teen Die Wet (Kajuitkoors 2020)
  5. Paranoia (enkelsnit 2014)
  6. Hemel Op Die Platteland (As jy met vuur speel sal jy brand 2003)
  7. Ek Dink Aan Jou As Dit Reën (Monoloog in stereo 2005)
  8. Vasbeslote Korporasie (Deel 2) (Swanesang 2006)
  9. Bel Vir Middelvinger (Swanesang 2006)
  10. Monogloog In Stereo (Monoloog in stereo 2005)
  11. Die Illusie Van Veiligheid (Monoloog in stereo 2005)
  12. Dag Dronk (Vanfokkingtasties 2012)
  13. Ek Skyn (Heilig) (Swanesang 2006)
  14. Komma (Selfmedikasie 2017)

“Hemel Op Die Platteland” which has been heard acoustic before is now better for me. Francois van Coke’s voice has aged but it’s not a bad thing. It now brings more emotion to the song, a mature feeling as we all been to the platteland. I live on the platteland, but I’m okay, I’m not a doos. “Ek Dink Aan Jou As Dit Reën” have been covered by Die Heuwels Fantasties and Vanfokkingtasties but hell I enjoyed this version so much more. Again every song sung this way sounds now like life advice.

Fokofpolisiekar in 2021;
Hunter Kennedy, Johnny de Ridder, Jaco Snakehead Venter, Francois van Coke, Wynand Myburgh
(Photo by: Jaco S. Venter)
Fokofpolisiekar in 2021;
Hunter Kennedy, Johnny de Ridder, Jaco Snakehead Venter, Francois van Coke, Wynand Myburgh
(Photo by: Jaco S. Venter)

If you need more convincing of Fokof Unplugged then there will be two shows one in Stellenbosch and one in Pretoria. Of course, the tickets will be limited and strict Covid rules apply. You can check out Fokofpolisiekar’s Facebook page for more details on this. In the meantime buy The Sound of Fokof Unplug at your favourite online store.

Do I think the band is a cult or even if they are still rebels? It’s our generation’s blood that will forever be a cult and our DNA to be rebels. Fokofpolisiekar will forever hold the position of both.

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.