By Marley

“The days of make believe have come to an end and you see now they are done”. Lyrics to a weekend that can only be described as make-believe because the No One’s Arc one-night-only reunion was just about that – almost a dream.

Soul Taxi performing live at Bohemian Groove Cafe, Kaapsehoop in January 2024. Photo credit - Small Town Music 2024
Soul Taxi at Bohemian Groove Cafe – photo by Small Town Music

On a personal level, No One’s Arc (NOA) is partly why Small Town Music was started, that and because of the three wonderful people at Blue Moon, and one pirate in Sabie. I was lucky to be on the Avontoer bus with NOA and a time or two on events including their appearance on 5Live (a radio show of live music on a Saturday afternoon broadcast live from the SABC studios in Joburg). There was a band that used to practice in a house next to mine when we moved into ours and this was the start of my journey with NOA.

Thus, on Saturday 20 January 2024 it was like a family reunion at Bohemian Groove Café in Kaapsehoop where No One’s Arc played. Soul Taxi opened the day with some beautiful acoustic blues vibes that were just simply perfect. So many familiar faces it felt like I was back at the Blue Moon bar. Older, black and pepper hair, kids of all ages – all connected to one band in some way or form. At 15:00 a small gathering in front of the tiny stage at Bohemian felt like all times and from the first note to the last, we sang and danced. I wonder how many knees were sore after jumping to “Stanley”, I know mine was out of order.

Gagu of No One's Arc's performing at their reunion show which was held at Bohemian Groove Cafe. Photo credit - Small Town Music 2024
Gagu of No One’s Arc – photo by Small Town Music

The only thing missing from the stage was the Madluva’s – Bongani and Mimi as they had their family reasons. But Bongs was there with a bucket of smiles and supporting the band. Dylan shared stories off the stage of the time they played in front of 4000 people at Kirstenbosch Gardens in Cape Town once. And the times with festivals where I remember a thing or two. I just always remember how people were surprised when you told them, they originate from Nelspruit.

Vocalist of No One's Arc, Dylan Bolton, performing at Bohemian Groove Cafe, Kaapsehoop - photo credit Small Town Music 2024
A happy crowd in front of No One’s Arc – photo by Small Town Music

7 years ago, was the last time the band was on stage together and it’s almost like they never left. By the time their last song, which was “Stanley“, the band was back like a well-oiled machine. Older, wiser but the jol didn’t end till way into the night. The stories shared among friends are embedded in the mist that rolled onto the mountain later in the evening. The show was viewed by people from across the world and the country. STRAB would like them to play on their shores again in Mozambique – that will be beachy peachy.

No One’s Arc, let us not wait another 7 years otherwise we need some pensioner discount or something. Sorry, Bohemian that we drank all your beer, but it was such jol.

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.