They slouch, they pose like they’re in the Libertines, and they effect a nonchalance which projects an air of ‘I’ve just had a hit of brown in the toilets and you lot are about as interesting as watching the lawn grow’. And they all – every last motherfuckin’ one of ‘em (thanks for that, Quentin) - wear that ubiquitous indicator of pseudo-übercool, the skinny jean pant.
They are the new generation of indie music wannabes and by god, but my grandmother would give them a run for their money. With a cooler-than-thou attitude and a carefully cultivated air of importance, they’re the result of a good clean upbringing and the desperate need to project a bit of cred. The only thing is, they’re about as authentic as the twenty-buck Oakleys I bought off that Congolese carguard at North Beach last week. Ladies and gents, I give you... drumroll... the Indie Winkie Brigade!
For a bunch of supposed late-nite lurkers who by all rights should be hanging out at dingy bars and having ‘character-building experiences’ like taking cheap speed and getting into scraps over beers and babes, they’re awfully diet. With all the accoutrements of the New Romantics – scarves, badges, hats, belts, blazers and teased hair, they have assumed the mantle of swaggering white youth.
That said, they’re certainly not punk – at least you can say that the real punks out there go in for a bit of a punchup and rough and tumble. Give you the finger, sneer a bit – that at least is attitude. The Indie Winkie isn’t really dispossessed; they just wanna look like they are. They’re from good homes, they’ve all got cash and cars, and most are either students in the new rash of private colleges or else work in one of the creative industries. This explains the art-school mentality and the excessively expensive T-shirts emblazoned with either Ramones logo’s, punk-style scrawls or antique graphics. Off the back of which a number of clothing labels are laughing to the bank. Now, correct me if wrong, but mass-produced ain’t very indie, now is it?
The funny thing is, a lot of them do play in bands. None of which are particularly remarkable, as is obvious by the fact that they’re still here in Durban, gigging at nondescript church hall events and haven’t yet graduated to playing in real bars and clubs where – god forbid – people actually get raucous and occasionally get down and dirty. Probably a problem, coming home at 5am with a split lip, when you still live with mum and dad. A rough night for this lot is three apple sours and a Windhoek light, and home to bed. As I said, my grandmother etc etc...
All in all, there ain’t much rock ‘n roll in their rock ‘n roll. No nose bleeds, no public brawls and press-worthy shitkicker antics. They’re not really in it for life, the Indie Winkies. It’s just a phase they’re going through. Soon enough they’ll grow out of it and get shacked up with a nice girl named Tammy or Cindy and settle down to become good little consumers. Which brings me to my point. As William Burroughs once said about gods – ‘You’re not a god unless you can do it.’ And to be rock ‘n roll, you’ve gotta do rock ‘n roll. You can’t buy it and put it on, like a Truworths T-shirt.
That’s not rock ‘n roll – that’s just Indie Winkie.