Middelburg, South Africa: the “super-fans” who power South African metal can often be found as coming from the smaller towns otherwise thought of as the outskirts of the local scene. But just what is a super-fan, and what happens when these people cross over from the fringes and into the limelight themselves? Well, usually, some pretty great things! These are the people who bring the life-pulse to the literal front-lines of live entertainment. Today, as we hit the final countdown of three days until Gauteng gets to experience the LordBoo Metal Extravaganza on 05 November at Wolmer Bush Lounge in Pretoria North, we decided it was only apt that we should trace down Christiaan Bronkhorst, a.k.a ‘LordBoo’ himself, to find out about this event and how it came to be.
Of course, super-fan is a name which longer established operators in the scene tend to pin to certain individuals. They themselves do not necessarily think of themselves in that way, as LordBoo quickly pointed out when we pitched a few questions at him, like, how long has he been enthralled by metal?
“I don’t consider myself anything more than any other fan. I just love supporting the bands and the music. It’s difficult to remember how long, but I think since around 2006 is where I started. One of my friends had a brother who was – still is – a metalhead, so from there we both started listening to metal. I always wanted more. Something heavier. Or something more brutal. Or something more melodic. And that really made me open up to more and more bands. Eventually I met Darius and Dominic from Displeased Disfigurement and Bleeding Spawn, and they both introduced me to even more bands.” ~ Christiaan ‘LordBoo’ Bronkhorst (event coordinator, LordBoo Metal Extravaganza)
Of course, with Bleeding Spawn and Displeased Disfigurement both being based in Middelburg, this tells a certain story about our friend who many on the Johannesburg and Pretoria metal nightlife circuits think of as a local of their own. He’s got to be pretty committed to his passion in order to travel to the city so frequently to support shows.
“Yeah, that’s true. In the beginning, I used to go only to shows where Bleeding Spawn or Displeased Disfigurement played, because I’d catch a ride with one of the members who also stay in Middelburg. I didn’t know many people back then. In more recent times, I’ve met a couple more metalheads and friends from here who also enjoy going to metal shows, so I travel with them.” ~ LordBoo
And so, years ago, the legend of local metal’s very own ‘cookie monster’ began to take root. LordBoo, known to most people and always with a playful (albeit sometimes gory) twist and an insatiable appetite for metal and biscuits, plus a somewhat mad twinkle in the eye, has gradually been granted some accolade by other operatives in the scene. This gained momentum in 2016 when LordBoo was invited to act as guest judge in the Gauteng leg of the Wacken Metal Battle, and has led to others recognizing his potential; including himself. We asked him how this event came about and why now?
“It has been something I thought about many times before. I just never knew exactly what I wanted. When I became a guest judge at the Wacken Metal Battle, I was asked to announce a few bands. After that, Chelsea and Alec from Draconem Media approached me and asked if I wanted to MC at their gig. As time progressed, I thought that I should take the risk and get my own gig going. And just as you say, I did feel like I have more to offer.” ~ LordBoo
All in all, the line-up is also quite a telling affair. For those who know LordBoo from events, he gets quite intense in a physical way about expressing his appreciation for the live music. Band members can find that very gratifying; or perhaps in the case of having LordBoo right in front and often in-your-face, maybe even slightly intimidating! Either way, we were not surprised to see a line-up which can be largely summed up as “Extreme”, to say the least. We asked LordBoo if he could tell us a bit more about the who and why. With his enthusiasm for each, it was hard not to just post the whole thing in his words rather than editing it down:
“There are quite a lot of local bands I’d want to see on a line-up. And I’m constantly discovering new bands as well. Ranging not only from Gauteng, but from Cape Towm, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein even. My choice for the line-up was extremely difficult, having twenty-plus bands in mind and having to reduce it to eight. But that’s what I want: not just another metal gig, but a decently good party.
First up, Deadline. I only recently saw these guys playing at Smugglerz Pub for the first time, and I was already a fan. They know how to entertain a crowd.
Next up, Resurrection Of Fetal Remains. These guys are quite new to the scene. I think they’ve only done five or so gigs this year. They are also one of the few Middelburg bands, and the best way to describe them: ‘Groovy Bone Crushing Romance’. Haha!
Next is Riddlebreak. I’ve seen them a lot of times, and each time they amaze me with their skills. They’re band so full of energy that you might just end up breaking yourself while they play. I speak from experience and an almost broken skull!
Then there’s Adorned In Ash. One of South Africa’s favorites. One of mine, too! They have been criticized and ridiculed for what they believe in and what they do, and yet that has never stopped them from moving forward as a band. That is what I call dedication. People always love headbanging to them just as much as I do.
PSordid. A band who existed before I even became part of the local metal scene. They broke up before I could ever see them live, as I only had an EP that they recorded. Or so I thought. They came back this year, and with a vengeance. Powerful and melodic, these guys will get any crowd moving from the first song to the last.
My Columbine. Where were these guys when I first started out? At first glance, they look like just another band, but hearing them play and seeing them move on stage, that really gets my blood pumping for more.
Displeased Disfigurement. If not for these guys, I probably wouldn’t be here. One of the heaviest bands in South Africa. Not much needs to be said here, except MPUMALANGA DEATHGRIND RULES!!
Last but not least, BloodBeast. I have witnessed how these guys have grown. I’m amazed at how Van kept this band going, even after losing a few members over the years. Old School Death Metal at it’s finest! If people are still able to stand after this band, they’re in for a good time!” ~ LordBoo
With all systems set to “go”, the LordBoo Metal Extravaganza should be nothing short of it’s namesake. As with many events at the awesome and often underestimated Wolmer Bush Lounge, this well facilitated venue also offers a camp-over option for the most die-hard of punters. For only R80, there should be no excuses. Check out the official facebook event page for the full splash and regular updates. Live music starts at 16h00.
“On a personal note, if it looks like I might have some tears on my face, it probably is. For me, this is a personal accomplishment. So tears of joy would be natural! To the public, rock up early and support all the bands, Bring extra money to buy some of their merchandise. And let’s all have a good time! To the bands, thank you guys and girls for your support too. Without you, there wouldn’t be an event. And this goes for all the bands, not just the ones on the line-up!” ~ LordBoo