Gig Review Smoke, Dust & Whiskey Tour 1 & 2 @ 99 FM Playhouse Theater Windhoek Namibia

The Smoke, Dust and Whiskey Tour The “Smoke, Dust & Whiskey Tour” was a two-show production showcasing bands and individual artists from various musical backgrounds and styles, all going on a border-crossing tour from Cape Town to Windhoek.

You may be asking yourself “why are you posting this review on a metal bands-only website?” but here’s the thing, the members in most of the bands are metal musicians and the thrash/groove metal band Bulletscript showcased their skills internationally for the first time, and in a country that is in dire need of a solid metal following.

The tour started on the 29th of June with all Cape Town based players heading out on the long lonely road to Windhoek, Namibia, a small dust-swept African city that offers great memorable times for any band on tour.

This first show, “Smoke, Dust and Whiskey Tour 1” kicked off on the Friday 1 July, a show that was pieced together by artist Redeye Riaan, formerly of death metal band Azrail, and now bassist for Bulletscript as well as front man for blues rock band, Crimson House Blues.

Skip a few spaces forward to the metal and the show was brought to a decisive close with Bulletscript decimating the remnants of a blues crowd who could appreciate the progression of how the blues has and will be influencing almost all modern music genres especially metal. The crowd, however, was not to experienced in the ways of metal, and so duly moved to the back of the venue allowing the younger and more energetic metal-at-heart fans to filter through to give the front of stage a well deserved headbanging moshpit. The metal part of the Friday night was just a teaser of about 20 minutes to entice the fans for the onslaught that was going to follow at the same venue the following night.

Saturday, the town is brimming with talk of a long awaited metal show. A while had passed since last locals had seen any metal bands showcase a well put together metal event. The stage was set and the doors were opened and the relatively young but enthusiastic crowd filtered in, anticipating a show that would melt their faces.

The opening of the show was heralded by no other than local metal act LockJaw, whose members mostly hail from the Pretoria metal scene and includes remnants of long time Namibian metal stalwarts Submission, who as it seems once disbanded, so the Namibian metal scene followed suit. They provided a solid set of brutal death metal with a crowd that was baying for blood, their performance along with some great songs was exceptionally well practiced. Their inexperience does shine through here and there though, but all in all, with more shows and time they will be a force to be reckoned with in Namibia and in South Africa.

Just before the changeover from LockJaw to Bulletscript, the organizers borrowed an idea from the Metal 4 Africa godfathers by hosting a short impromtu “shredder showdown” between one of Namibia’s best and one of SA’s fastest. It was a good move, quickly strung together it got the crowd even more warmed up & ready to rock out for the next act to follow.

The second band to charge the stage was hardcore thrashers; Bulletscript, with their own brand of powerful, groove-inspired brutality ripping through a set ready to take no prisoners. The crowd was spurred on to do some stage dives & form a moshpit by none other than a Bulletscript instigator found prowling in and amongst the fans. I would be bold enough to say that they enjoyed it thoroughly, based on eye-witness account – so prove me wrong! The only drawback of the show being a couple of sound complications here and there, and a much smaller crowd than the one at the gig on the Friday night.

Out of Nowhere
The metal mayhem of the show drew to a close with a band still young, yet coming up fast through the ranks of metal and rock. Out of Nowhere are a band which has unrelentingly, pounded the Namibian metal and rock crowds for the last year. Provided that they are the only band to use initiative to constantly play – and you’ve just got to remember in Namibia you got to keep it fresh or they won’t come to your shows. The bands blend of energetic and clean songs appeals immensely to a young yet hungry fan base. The only drawback with their set being last band is that Namibians come early and leave early. Especially the kids, so an early short and sweet show is key. They will be out later this year in RSA on a tour doing what metal and rock bands do best. Check them out.

Big thanks in this review goes out to all the bands, venues, crew, organizers and anyone who was not mentioned you know you never go unappreciated and especially the fans they do it for you so keep supporting!