Public holidays are good excuses to have a party, and Back 2 Basix hosted Half Price's album launch last night. Since I hadn't been to a rock gig since Thornfest, I decided to check this out.
Juggernaught looks like a hard core rock band; but they mumbled through a 40 minute set; with some pretty mediocre music accompanying the mumbling. The potential was there - the combination of blues and rock can be really good (like Death Valley Blues Band), but this really requires very strong vocals in both ability and clarity. Neither the vocalist, nor the backing vocalist demontstrated such ability. Maybe they were drunk; who knows - their music was rather uninspiring and, in my opinion, not very good.
The Mean Streets doesn't seem to have a website (well there is a band from Philadelphia with the same name); and while they did not look like hippie rockers, they played a lot better rock music when compared to Juggernaught (they do seem to have a facebook page). The music was not particularly memorable, but they had a good stage presence, and good rapport with the crowd. They claim to be "not afraid to take on Government and authority and proud to admit that they hate both", but their lyrics seemed to be pretty simple and not very confrontational.
Half Price is a punk band based in Cape Town, and I was very impressed with their show. The music was great, very good stage show with some decent lyrics. There is quite a bit of Ska influence, and their songs generally have a good party vibe. They seem to have a lot of supporters in Johannesburg, and the club was packed.
Pestroy was the main motivation for going to the gig, and like Thornfest, a large portion of the crowd had all left by the time they came on stage. Despite the smaller crowd, Pestroy played a great 45 minute set with quite a few older songs; and was a great gig. The fact that they have a fairly big repertoire helps, and many of the songs didn't feature on their original set list.