What a surreal 24 hours this has been.
Anyone who knows me knows that White Lies are, arguably, my favourite band on the planet. The first time I saw the video for To Lose My Life on the brilliant MTV.alt channel back in 2009 (now sadly defunct), I was smitten with their dark, brooding, post-punk sound, and have been pretty much obsessed ever since. Then last night, at a seriously phenomenal gig at a (now no longer!) secret location in City Deep, just south of downtown Jozi, not only did I finally get to see the boys doing their thing live on stage, I actually managed to get backstage - that's right, backstage, baby!! - and asked them to sign all three of my CD covers for me.
Wary of coming across like a desperate little groupie - which I've read they hate, and would probably freak them the hell out considering I'm old enough to be their mother! - I had a very brief chat to Charles (bass) and Harry (vocals, guitars) on the couch, while Jack played with his drumsticks on a chair nearby. Tommy and Rob - the sidemen who make up the five-piece when the band perform live - must've been amongst the group of half a dozen other guys in the tiny, bright white room, tucked away in the murky labyrinth of the container yard, but I didn't recognise them. They were all so polite and unassuming. The kind of lads ANY parent would be happy for their daughter to bring home.
The organisation of this event which, a little birdie told me, cost the sponsors, Converse, a sweet R2.3 million, was absolutely flawless. Lee and I have been going to gigs and concerts and festivals together for a little over two decades now, and we both reckon this was by far the most well-managed affair we have ever encountered anywhere, locally or abroad. I really hope the London-based band enjoyed playing for us here on the tip of the Dark Continent as much as we loved having them. It was SUCH an amazing experience all round. For me it felt like all my Christmases had come at once :-)
Below are some pics I snapped on my trusty Cyber-shot and my iPhone (the later which I lost in the crowd in front of the stage during the band's performance - but more about that saga in a screenshot further down...)
Above: Inside one of the quirky converted shipping containers
Below: I just love the way they sign every cover in exactly the same orderly way: Vertically on the artwork...first Harry, then Charles, then Jack, haha!
Above: Frankie Panda, the amazing human who reunited me with my iPhone this morning. Dude, I cannot thank you ENOUGH.
Below: What actually happened...
For those of you not familiar with White Lies yet, and who want to see what all the fuss is about, check out their official music videos here. Be prepared to be blown away. You can thank me later ;-)