Vida e Caffe Mugged

Article written by the brilliant on the 13 Jun 2007 , in the Design and Advertising category

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Mike Pearson of FoxP2 advertising agency, pondering the meaning of art, and detoxing on organic wine

I sometimes wonder how I get invited to various things around Cape Town, and sometimes wonder why exactly people invite me. So when I received an invite from Mike Pearson at FoxP2 advertising, I stalled for a while on the invite. Mike had let me know that it had to do with the design of coffee mugs. Which is great if you drink lots of coffee, of which I don’t. It’s also great if you have some sort of mug fetish, of which I don’t. Anyway, I can always trust Mike and decided that this would be worthwhile. I enquired further, got the invite and went through.

One of the selling points was that it was starting off at Vida e Caffe in town. It’s quite well known that Vida in town is basically the place where all the good looking people go. I was treading in dangerous territory here, as I was bound to bring the beauty rating down a couple of notches here. Anyway, I decided it must be done for work, and it would pay off in the end.

And pay off it did.

I arrived at Vida in my ever so classy ride, the Palio, Cape Towns most feared vehicle. I managed to get a parking spot right opposite Vida, which is unthinkable usually. I stepped out, in my finest attire(Which for me is jeans, old Adidas and some sort of T-shirt) and realised that I had parked directly in front of Mike. I did not have to mention that, but I did. I strutted(You don’t walk to Vida, you strut) over the road to Vida and was immediately welcomed by the warmth of the venue. Gas heaters were blazing outside and everyone was looking very happy. I think the look of contentment on most peoples faces was due to the fact that they were so ridiculously good looking, and most probably so ridiculously rich from modelling in Milan. I dared not even try talk to any of the women, as I knew that I would develop a pathetic stutter and possibly pass out. I also knew that I had no chance of striking up a conversation as I did not know the current thread count of Egyptian linen, which seems to be all the rage amongst the model types.

I was truly amazed that there were so many beautiful people in one coffee shop. Anyway, it was great as there was some sort of free food and wine thing going on, of which wine was consumed. Later on I was told we were drinking “Organic” wine. Very classy, very classy indeed. I immediately felt like my body was healthier. Although I was still getting a little drunk, I felt like it was a good drunk. A sort of holistic/detox type of drunk.

I eventually had enough of Vida when yet another model walked in, and I realised I was not exactly David Beckham or Clive Owen. I would need to move down the road, to Biblioteq, a book store of sorts, to get away from this mass good-lookingness(Yes I can use a word that does not exist). I transgressed(Correct use of the word? Who cares, it sounds good and I’m the editor, so it is correct) across the ever so suave Kloof Street, and made my way about three blocks down to Biblioteq.

Biblioteq is unlike any book store I have ever seen in my life. Upon entry I noticed that we were being served more “Organic” wine. Fantastic. I was now starting to feel the effect of the organic detox and was in top speed. I was confident enough to chat to Gisele Bundchen if she were to have appeared, but not yet quite confident enough to chat to these girls. They were that great. I had arrived thinking I would escape the craziness of Vida, but it got worse here at Biblioteq. I was now surrounded by books with price tags that were quite excessive. Right. This is exactly what I was looking for. I noticed a delightful book by a certain David LaChapelle, entitled “Artists and prostitutes” It would have made a great addition to my grandmothers coffee table, except that my grandmother has a penchant for getting drunk and spilling her gin and tonic all over the table. And the floor. And the balcony. And on the ceiling. So I decided not to purchase it. Had I wanted it though, it would have cost me R20000. It is a limited edition, as only 5000 copies were made, in the entire world. And Biblioteq has a copy. So if you want to have a vulgar display of wealth sitting on your coffee table, head down to Kloof Street and purchase this piece of work. It is truly remarkable. Another book was one of boxing photos( I think) retailing for R40000. It is the book you want, the one you need. Go get it.

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R20000 worth of artists and prostitutes, a delightful combination for a life of sheer excess

I never really intended to look at the coffee mug designs, and as is so often the case in journalism, you go out to write a story and come back with a completely different story. And so this article contains nothing about coffee mugs but rather focuses on the experience. What an experience it was.

It was quite a treat when we saw Crazy Monkey star Gavin Williams chilling at Biblioteq, complete with red wine stained teeth. He was just kicking around, drinking wine and laughing quite a fair amount. Intrigued as to what was so funny, we shimmied over in his general direction and made contact with the enigma, the foot skating legend. Quite soon he had us literally rolling around in laughter, telling us the craziest stories ever. When I say he is one of the funniest people I have ever met, I don’t lie. He was telling us about various advertising stuff he has done, I heard him say “Benoni”, but most of all, I think we were all laughing at how crazy he really is. Especially a certain ad idea he had for Nike, which is way too funny to put down here. If you ever bump into him, just ask him about the javelin.

I am always a touch nervous about the whole advertising set of people. They are always trying to assert how creative they are by being all funky and crazy. This is a generalisation, as the ad guys I know at FoxP2 are seriously relaxed. I was mildly shocked though when some guy arrived in a tweed jacket, complete with a cotton carrot attached to his pocket. You are so creative and funky for doing that! I’m lying, what are you doing wearing a carrot on your jacket for? Better vision at night I suppose.

Anyway, by the end of the evening, I realised I had learnt nothing about coffee or design, but had consumed some free wine. That rhymes. I had kicked it with Gavin Williams, seen two books collectively worth R60000, been exposed to the world best looking people and in between I had a good laugh.

Well then, another fantastic evening, in good company. I went home and rested. We had worked hard.

Thanks to Vida e Caffe and Biblioteq for accommodating us for the evening, for providing wine and food and for providing enjoyable company.

Visit both of these great venues, Kloof Street, Cape Town.

It’s definitely the place to be, and I will be back in daylight hours, dressed up, and I will try talk to one of the models.

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Gavin Williams, of Crazy Monkey fame, like a kid in a candy shop upon meeting Sean Lloyd

Sean Lloyd


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Rory Eliot and The Reason- Live recording

Article written by the brilliant on the 06 Jun 2007 , in the Cape Town Live music, parties and events category

The first time I saw Rory Eliot playing live was at Sobhar in Cape Town sometime last year. My friends had been telling me about Plush for ages, and had invited me to many of the live gigs that they were doing around Cape Town. This was still in the time of Chas Smit, the lead guitarist who was tragically killed while crossing a street in in Pietermaritzburg in 2005.

I was unfortunate to have never seen this duo play live but I had read all the media reports surrounding Chas’ death, and I had to see this band playing. They started playing nearly every Thursday for a period of time last year, and I made my way to Sobhar in Claremont nearly every one of those Thursdays.

The gig’s started off pretty small and quiet but soon they were playing to a packed Sobhar, and more people were joining these gig’s every week. And every week it seemed that we were having more fun. Some people would come through just to watch the show, then go home again as they were supposed to be studying. Such is the dedication of the fans of this band.

I believe part of their success is that they are so accessible. Every week before they play you will find Rory and Ben chatting with the crowd. Every week is the same, always a smile, always a laugh and after the show they stay on to speak to everyone. And the crowd involvement is great as well, with Rory getting the audience to sing parts of the songs, and the audience wanting to sing most of the lyrics anyway. They are not one of those bands that run onto the stage drunk with a cigarette in their hands. And yet they have proven, without all of this, that they can play to a packed out club, and their music can make it to the top on our radio stations.

Rory Eliot and The Reason rocking The Bang Bang Club in Cape Town

Rory Eliot and The Reason kicking it at The Bang Bang Club in Cape Town

You know they have a good relationship with their audience when you hear guys at Sobhar shouting “Ben we love you!” I’m pretty sure I have heard people saying they want to marry him, but let’s not speak about that…

It’s also great that they know and remember most of the people who go watch them, as they take the time out to chat to everyone.

So I was privileged to be invited to the Bang Bang Club on the 4th June to be part of their Grace Grew Tall music video live recording. The name has changed from Plush to Rory Eliot and The Reason, but the energy is still the same.

Grace Grew Tall is their single which spent four weeks at Number 1 on the 5FM Hi5@5. I first heard it at Sobhar and I think everyone who was there knew it was going to be good. Sometimes you hear a song so many times that you come to like it. Others you hear once and immediately enjoy them. I believe that for a lot of people, the first time they heard it they would have already decided that it was a great song.

The Bang Bang Club seems to be the hot place to go at the moment and they are attracting quite a number of big names to play at their club. Arno Carstens, Lady Lea, Goldfish and The Dirty Skirts are some of the names that have played, and will be playing at The Bang Bang Club.

Bang Bang club is situated in Loop Street, Cape Town, and it was strange going in there to see that it was a club. The last time I was in that building was a few years ago for a casting, so to go there for a video recording was quite cool.

We were told that we had to really rock out for the video. We had to be jumping, throwing our arms in the air and just going a little bit mad. We were wondering how far we were allowed to take the acting though when we noticed two rather spectacular girls who were in front of our “crew”, let us say. Adam was wondering if it would be rude to start dancing with these girls properly, as they were getting seriously close to us. We were packed into a small space between the stage and the track that the camera was rolling on. I was also wondering how far we would be able to take this “acting” thing. I realised my mind was taking it too far when I saw myself, in about two minutes time, nibbling on this girls ear. I think that goes beyond acting, and that’s when I decided we should just jump around and shout a little bit.

It’s strange that at 8pm at night, in a club in Cape Town, three band members are playing to a real crowd, while cameras film them and they call this “work” It seems this is the lifestyle to live! You don’t realise how mad musicians lives are until you are there with them, experiencing first hand what their lifestyle entails. Whenever you see them playing live, they are actually working. They are living the dream. I was happy to be a part of the recording, as for me it also counts as work. Obviously without all the girls and marriage proposals. And girls. And girls.

News last night was that Louis Roux, the bass guitarist, is leaving the band. Rory mentioned that the video recording was his last show, so it was good to be there for that. We wish him luck for his next career move, where his interests no doubt lie.

We will definitely be at the launch party for the video, where I’m sure I will be able to see the back of my head and my left arm waving somewhere in the video! I can’t believe it…maybe my arm will be on MTV.

I knew I would be famous one day.

For more information on Rory, Ben, Louis and the band, you can visit the following links:

If you are on Facebook, search for the group “Rory Eliot and The Reason Gig Guide”

Thanks to the band for having us round for the recording last night and we will write up on this again after the launch party for the music video, where I’m quite confident we will get a few questions in with the band.

Sean Lloyd


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