By Ilana Koegelenberg
The impatient crowd is about to reach the end of their tether, but then it happens: four men suddenly jump on stage, pick up their instruments and start playing. The three hour plus wait is finally over and Jo’burg band Wonderboom is swiftly making it up to the audience by doing what they do best – providing an amazing live performance!
Wonderboom stopped by The Union on the 2nd of March to complete the Grahamstown leg of their promotional tour for their new SAMA-award-nominated-album, City of gold. Produced in only 12 days by Lucien Windrich, the album is described by lead singer Cito as being “like a story or a sort like movie of where Wonderboom is at this moment.”
The rather small but energetic crowd moshes up and down as the bouncer tries to keep the screaming girls behind the banners. Cito loses his shirt, baring his tattoo covered torso; you can feel the trance like state of the rock-like music spill over the students. The transition between popular song and classic only gets separated with a quick drink or two.
“Predictable spontaneity”. That is what Cito calls their untamed live performances. Wonderboom needs no introduction after 10 years of rocking up the local music scene but still they protest that they are not old. “It’s long in SA terms, but not in world terms,” lead guitarist Martin Schofield explains. They are planning to go to America somewhere in the future, but Cito stresses that they need go get into a better financial state before doing so. When asked about their bad image of typical rock behavior however, drummer Danny de Wet has only one answer: “This band has saved us from ourselves.”
The band ends off with an explosive version of Rabbits’ “Charlie”, one of their most famous songs to date. Martin moves to vocals with Cito; Wade takes lead guitar. They jump, they scream, they bow: the show ends. A last encore. Danny hands his drumstick to a faithful fan and then they are off the stage – almost as sudden as the came on. Until next year of course.