A few years ago I was awakened in the middle of the night by the sounds of loud partying in the street. I was currently living in Guelph in a part of the south end that at the time had a low student population; I was actually pretty sure that the homeowners association was going to kick me out soon if I didn’t get 2.3 kids and a golden retriever. When I finally made my way to the window I was surprised to find a large group of naked, drinking men, festooned with green accessories. They were having a fine time streaking for St Patricks Day and had stopped for a quick party on my lawn. After waiting for a bit for them to clear out, they began to seat themselves on my vehicle and explore the property. As I didn’t think it wise for a single female to confront a huge group of intoxicated men, I called the cops to corral them off my driveway. When the dispatcher asked what they were wearing, I said ‘uh, a few of them have green hats and ties, but as I said, they are naked‘. The dispatcher asked if there was anymore identifying features to help the officers she was sending find them, I tried to stifle my laughter and replied ‘No, they are the sadly the only group of naked men on my lawn at the address I gave you’.
I’m not a huge St. Patricks Day fan. I used to be, I went to St. Pats elementary here in Guelph and we were a fiercely patriotic school. My love of the irish has been well documented, but alas the day all their western counterparts vomit green beer on my sidewalk is not something I have much appreciation for. Besides, I don’t look very good in green. One of my very favorite qualities of music will always be its transportive qualities. I’m not just talking about being brought back to a moment associated with the previous listening of a song. No matter where you are, you can put on a particular band or song and be right where they are, especially if you know where they wrote or recorded the music. You can hear the sounds of their location and influences and be right there with them.
Today, I spent the day in South Africa. I spent it with 4 brothers, Dylan, Daniel, Jesse and Johnny, who make up the band Kongos. The sons of popular 70s south african singer, John Kongos, they have been making music together under their moniker since 2007, but somehow I only managed to find them a few weeks ago. They’ve made huge waves in their native Johannesburg, the UK and in their adopted home of Arizona. Their eclectic, unusual sound blends African beats, Eastern European influences, and pure unbridled driving rock.
The first song I’ll be sharing with you is their popular single “Come with me now”. Half frat-party anthem, half perfect summer song, it alternates addictive, repetitive lyrics with a storytelling voice, all laced over a strangely played accordion. It’s sounds a little weird, and it is, but done really well. The second is ‘Escape’ is certainly my favorite of their songs, it’s full of airy drums and lyrics that make me want to run away tomorrow. The third is ‘Hey, I don’t know’ and while the song is great, it’s the video that makes it truly stand out from the pack. Filmed entirely on GoPro cameras attached to instruments, it might make you a little a dizzy to watch, but gives a really unique view of their on stage show and a look into their huge fanbase. So go pour that leftover green beer down the drain (it’s gross, guys), hit play and leave that St. Patricks Day hangover behind, come away to South Africa with me.