EMERGER – Round We Go

This might come as a surprise to some but I take my ‘art’ seriously. Publishing a blogpost every day could be perceived as a tendency towards quantity over quality though I still have standards to maintain. If I’m not happy with the content of an article, I will start again. I can’t say that I’m ever up all night poring over my words to get the tone just right but there’s more teeth grinding and general grunt-work going into these short daily outbursts than the average Joe might think. 

I’m sure that Emma and Gerry, the emerging South African duo of EMERGER, would understand. Indeed, their wonderful latest offering ‘Round We Go’ is all about that creative process we go through to come up with our end-produce. “We wrote this song for all the creators out there.“, says Gerry. “The song chronicles the creative process and all of its intricacies. Everything involved with the creation of a work of art has so many layers of complexities, which we feel a lot of people have taken for granted.

Admittedly, when the song is as fine as ‘Round We Go’, it’s quite a challenge to take it for granted. Synth-based and drawing influence from the 80’s, Emma’s vocal comes to  the fore from the off before a big, bold chorus gets into your head. A word of warning – it’ll be one that goes round and round in your head after a listen or two. The lyrics of the opening verses especially , taut and neat, deftly describe those initial creative flurries as if it’s the first throes of a romantic relationship. 

Starts off with one idea, Tame at first, But then it evolves to, One million thoughts for every hour, Spinning ‘round no turning back from here. So much there is to say, The smokescreen fades, And colours come into play, I’m lost in conversation, With my word constellations.” 

I take the opportunity to ask Emma and Gerry how things have been in South Africa seeing as we hear lots about the potential Covid variants in our news broadcasts. “Yeah, things are going okay-ish over here.“, they say. “Happy that we have more time to create during the pandemic, but yeah the loss of income due to no gigs/touring have been a massive blow. The South African variant is definitely a real thing. The first batch of vaccines our government ordered proved to be ineffective against the mutated strain. So it was a huge fail and put a massive delay on the vaccination process. Things have started returning more and more to normal. There are isolated instances of gigs that are starting to take place again. But there’s some serious predictions of a third wave that’s still to come, because our government can’t vaccinate enough people soon enough.

That does sound serious. Clearly, world leaders need to bash their heads together and ensure that vaccination rates are more equitable across the globe. The triumphant xenophobia evident in the Daily Express (‘our vaccine deployment is better than yours’)  is no way to fight a global pandemic. But that’s probably a blog post for another day. 

For now, let’s all allow our creative juices to flow with the sweet sounds of EMERGER. 


ESNS 2017 – First Hate – Holiday

I’ll be heading to Groningen in the Netherlands in less than two weeks. Knowing this, I probably should have taken it a bit easier over Christmas.

Eurosonic Noorderslag has been a festival I’ve wanted to do for some time now. There’s something particularly attractive about the idea. Whilst others are finding ways to get fit and limit their expanding waistlines, I’ll be partying with festival bookers, up and coming bands and writers just like me in Holland. 

This is apparently where the festival industry goes to do their summer deals. I’ll be doing my utmost to unearth the best rumours for eFestivals. 

But, I’ll be honest. The scale of it all feels a tad overwhelming. 350 bands or so promoting their wares over a few days during which I’ll have to get my bearings in a strange city. It could be carnage if I had no plan. 

And I have one (of sorts).

(Click on page 2 to read that plan)