Goldfish Live - Submerged Experience in South Africa - Review

Words by: Stephen Flynn
Posted: 10/1/14 10:52

GoldfishGoldfish are the South African duo who've been making waves in the live electronica field for over half a decade now. Since they first came to the attention of Pete Tong et al at Pacha, the intervening years have seen the duo release a string of albums, the latest of which is Three Second Memory; a dizzyingly diverse LP that demonstrates their love for all things house, disco, electro and even, pop. Natives of Cape Town, the pair consists of David Poole and Dom Peters, two best mates whose friendship was formed at music university thanks to a shared appreciation for jazz musicians such as Miles Davis and John Coltrane.

It wasn't until they encountered bands such as Bassment Jaxx and tracks such as 'Man With the Red Face', however, that they truly became obsessed with gearing their sound in an electronic direction. It's an eclectic take on the scene that's endeared them to legions, and it's in the live domain where the guys truly earn their stripes.

And as I Voice touches down in Durban ahead of Goldfish's appearance at the Fun In The Sun festival, we can't escape the feeling that there's something uniquely positive and South African about all they represent...

''When we first went to Ibiza'', Dom tells us, ''we were expecting to be wowed by a range of guys with a similar live outlook as ourselves. But for whatever reason, we were pretty let down that we were pretty much the only guys working on a live show like ours”.

Let down they might have been, but it's clear that Goldfish's unique way of working – and the music that accompanies their unique live show – is what's made them stick out from the crowd. Back in Durban, it's all showcased with some verve too, as the lads call on a wide-range of equipment to whip the crowd in to a frenzy.

Full of twists, turns and high-points aplenty, Dave and Dom manipulate everything from the saxophone to an electric double bass to work the crows into a sweat. It works a treat too, with the crowd singing along to the vast majority of their productions In South Africa,including those that have only just seen the light of day courtesy of Three Second Memory.

In South Africa, we soon find out, Goldfish are far from your average band, but rather, are bonafide pop stars instead.

Having enjoyed the Durban show, the duo are at pains to point out that it's in their home city of Cape Town where they'll truly spring to life. As we catch up with them for a lengthy chat over lunch ahead of the show, they're in gregarious humour, and as you'd expect from two best friends, the constant ribbing between the two is non-stop.

Good company and full of humour, they don't hold back from speaking their mind either, with everything from what they perceive as a “lack of originality” in the EDM scene to the ''throwaway'' aspect of much of modern electronic music occupying their thoughts. Such opinions are hilariously showcased in the duo's most recent single, with the video of 'One Million Views' painting a not always pleasant picture of the likes of Steve Aoki, Deadmau5 and a range of others. ''Throwing cake in to a crowd isn't for us'' opines Dave. ''It sounds cliched, but we'd rather spend out time in the studio and making an impression through our music than for being known for that sort of ridiculous excess''.

As the sun sets on another glorious Cape Town evening, it still seems slightly odd that we're catching the guys in 25 degrees heat with Christmas but a fortnight-or-so away. Their destination of choice is the Shimmy Beach Club, a somewhat lavish spot where Cape Town's fashionable crew get down on the weekend.

That said, the atmosphere at the opening of Submerge Sundays is as fervent as you'd expect, and in spite of the presence of emerging Dutch starlet Bakermat on the bill, it's very much Goldfish who the majority have come to see.

They don't let the side down either, with a frantic live set that sees the crowd go nuts to the likes of the aforementioned 'One Million Views' as well as other party-starting anthems such as 'Fort Knox', 'We Get Together' and 'Three Second Memory'. Full of smiles and purpose, we did say that there's something uniquely and wonderfully South African about how Goldfish operate.

And with Nelson Mandela passing during our stay in Cape Town, Goldfish's live set serves as a potent reminder of a country that despite having its fair share of social issues, still manages to let its hair down and celebrate life like the best of 'em.


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