Thursday, August 7, 2014

St. Dog and the Day

 The weekly column on South African bands and live shows.
 by Omri Ismail Cassiem
This week: 
St. Dog and the Day



Punk! For the regular readers of this column (you know who you are) you should already know my opinions of the genre. For those who are reading for the first time, I don’t like it! That being said, I recently watched a punk band that really stood out with their ability to get a crowd going through their bam, in your face style of music and a rock-star stage presence (well when they were on stage and not running around the crowd entertaining us). St. Dog and the Day are a punk band who specialise in rabble rousing songs such as "Amandla", that have social commentary as well as the ability to get you out of your seat dancing with everyone.

The first time I watched them I thought, meh... until halfway through their set when their music grabbed me by the short and curlys with their interesting guitar interplays and crowd interaction. You can’t really call it stage presence when the lead man Burt Fraser is in the middle of the crowd making people dance or even for that matter out of the door getting people to come to the stage. I liked that about them, their not giving a single fuck attitude, as well as the fact that they are entertaining to watch despite being a punk band, and the fact that you really do want to get involved in their show, even me the hardcore punk hate machine that I am.

Something else that really interests me about the band is their back story: 4 Durban-born boys who moved up to Johannesburg to pursue their dreams of becoming musicians, they ran into many difficulties along the way and… Wait just one second, that will be told in next week’s article on them which is an interview of the band. For now all you need to know is they are a very fun band to watch with a charismatic lead singer, an interesting guitarist and a punk-inspired rhythm section that will get you off your ass and in the crowd dancing like a maniac.

Oh and if you are wondering about the name like I was, their lead guitarist Jimmy Andrews Sutherland told me the following story: “We decided to do a tribute to the Blue collared worker. South Africa is a Third World country with spots of First World. And we cannot escape the fact that the lack of education in our country, for me, is the number one fact. People look down on dogs; in squatter camps and townships you always see malnourished dogs living on the streets, living off scraps that people have thrown on the ground. Street dogs are the number one sign of poverty and we decided to give them a Saint’s personality. Which was a really cool contradiction because dogs are always kept down, sick like a dog or getting kicked like a dog, and Saints are really revered. And "the Day" is literally where we are right now in the world. Every single day is The Day. A lot of people plan for the future and what you really need to be thinking about is what makes you happy now and not where you are going to eat next week, sleep next week. You have to do what is going to make you happy in the future and what makes you happy now in your life. That’s all you have to do.”




Stay tuned for the full interview with these interesting musicians. As always follow me on twitter @Omri_Cassiem and feel free to comment, like, share or even drop me a mail at Omri@culturecrit.com. Especially if you are a young band just starting out and you want me at a gig.