I really thought the 'ol Winnie had fallen off the map after Burn moved to Stamford Hill. Turns out, it's still rocking hard in the next couple of weeks for The Uprisings Festival preliminary competition. Twenty-four bands are taking each other on for the privilege of being one of the five chosen to play at Uprisings.
We went to check out a heat with Lowprofile, Black Die Grace, Go Go Bronco and Mea. Like always, I missed a couple of sets due to being out in the carpark or generally involved somewhere else, but managed to grab a complete song by Lowprofile, which is here for your perusal.
"Lowprofile - When Art And Culture Died"
Here's something I only picked up while watching this video: Was it supposed to be ironic that a song about South African culture and identity was dedicated to the "Transformers", a 1984 American cartoon show? Because if so, bravo, but I think that everyone except us hardcore fans may have missed that one.
I thought I'd do some research on The Winston and write a bit about it's history. Turns out there's not a hell of a lot of information on the Internet. My mate swears his old man used to watch bands there, so that must make the venue well over thirty years old. There's probably some rich history out there, existing only in the minds of bullys.
If you're that bully, please, tell us what you know. Don't take the secrets to your grave. Share now.
What I did find through a quick Google was that The Winston has it's own MySpace page, and that the Uprisings Prelims has itself a great sponsor this year in the form of Blunt magazine. They've produced this fantastic little video which makes my clip look rather feeble by comparison:
Nice one! Great event promotion speaks volumes about the calibre of the organisers; and from experience I can tell you these guys pour their hearts and souls into this festival. It has really shown over the years, a fine example is the fact that Corne and Twakkie will be back to do their hilarious stage comedy show which had us all in hysterics last year, and of course the fact that they attract some of the biggest bands in South Africa.
Anyway, back to the corner of Clark and Umbilo for a second. I found an old venue description on the Powerzone website, which also happened to mention "From Dusk 'Til Dawn", the chillout place that was located next door. Now that place was something! Remember the long corridor that led to the enclosed courtyard smoking area? You know, SMOKING area? With the bean bags, bongs and bubblys?
Click this image and you can clearly see the Dusk Til Dawn logo on the wall!
Gone are those days, tell you what: now The Winston is enforcing a strict "No Smoking" rule, apparently due to a number of fines being dished out by the man. So the air is now clear and fresh-ish (if you ignore the heat and sweat from the band area that is).
Good for me, but sorry for all you nicotine heads out there. Have fun outside in the cold guys.
The upstairs area is now closed, which means the crowd inside can get rather sizeable. As much as I loved upstairs, this is better in the long run for the bands and overall atmosphere when the turnout isn't huge.
Do you fancy yourself a "skolliejoller"? Head down on a Wednesday night and smash four beers into your face with the other skolliejollers. If you're the fastest, you can have your name jotted down on the back of a used till slip and prestiked to this trophy! Awesome!
But back to the Uprisings again. I feel compelled to warn those mature readers out there that last year there were flocks of under-18's swarming everywhere. If diving into a mosh pit with hundreds of teenagers is not your thing, then don't go to Uprisings without preparing yourself mentally for the inevitable. It's a young crowd.
Of course, you could always join us in the beer tent which is strict on ID and has a great view of the bands. Probably a bit safer over on our side.
The Winston MySpace Page
Uprisings MySpace Page
Powerzone Venue Information