Unapologetic venue meets gypsy jazz, 1930's swing with a modern attitude rooted in Hard Bop Jazz, Punk and Rock 'n Roll.
It was my first time at Railways: Eclectic at best, or at worst a bit weird in a cool way. Decor is whatever they could find in the second-hand store, and they just decided to hang it up. Steel bath tubs and spring-loaded bed frames line the walls like blocked out windows - each an art installation in their own right demanding a moment for its classiness to waft over you.
An uneven floor, beer crates for chairs and a bible underneath the salt and pepper holder sets the allure to the stage; humbly protected by an old farm style wire-mesh gate that adds to the ambiance that typifies Railways - a quaint live music venue. And tonight I will bask in all its glory.
Cue the mesmerizing sound of gypsy jazz, 1930's swing with a modern attitude rooted in Hard Bop Jazz, Punk and Rock 'n Roll.
Deon Bakkes and The Stolen Horses bring their chaotic energy into the crowd, spilling off the stage in bursts of jumps, stabs and kicks. Their set is seamless. Each song flowing harmoniously into the next challenging you to stay on the dance floor, clinching when natures calls cannot be ignored any longer. I will hold.
Deon Bakkes steps over the wire-mesh farm gate and blows his trumpet amoung the crowd. The stage gets more occupied with dancers flaring illuminated hula hoops and florescent balls. Enchantress! I yell as I am taken deeper into a trance that is the personification of European gypsy jazz. Deon, now playing the guitar; snaps a string, but he keeps strumming - waiving the stagehand away when he brings a back-up guitar. I am perplexed.
In the corner of my eye I see an incapacitated fan being carried outside like a child in a mother’s bosom. In the middle of a smoky, caliginous stage a stagehand brings the fallen microphones upright. The band members taking turns dancing on the monitors. Granting access to what seemed to be an intimate Q&A session of their instruments. The crowd’s appreciation is felt in resounding pleas for more.
Their EP "Thrice a pair" solemnized by Deon Bakkes saw a patron casually walking on stage to hug all The Stolen Horses. They kept the room on its feet and the energy high. A violinist, a drummer, a trombonist, a bassist, a saxophonist, a guitarist, and Deon Bakkes came together and like a flame, they manifested. They brought the venue to life and drove the cold away with their demanding stage presence.
It was impossible to be stagnant.
It was physically taxing to keep dancing.
Driving home... nostalgic.
"I write what I like." - Steve Biko