Wanlov the Kubolor live at Slave Church, PASS 2009

From the PASS archives, Wanlov, one half of FOKN Bois, with band back in ’09.  Makganwana Mokgalong recalls the experience(s). 

My first Wanlov the Kubolor experience was not quite an out of body experience, possibly not a once in a lifetime one either but a firmly unique experience it definitely was. From the back of the room all I could see was the back of people’s heads, and I numbed my irritation by convincing myself that I did not hear music with my eyes. When the show was done I left the building asking myself what the hell just happened. I still do. To pacify my confusion, I made sure to catch their next performance making room for the explanation that my confusion could have been as a result of the denied full sensory experience that a performance is supposed to be. I arrived early for the show and perched myself right up front, so that between me and the band was just a slither of air.

In walks the dreaded caramel deluxe in a neon blue Speedo. He imparts the back story of the swimwear as having taken a groupie up on an offer to go frolic on the beach, a date which owing to reasons of a slumber nature he didn’t make. So he performed his entire set in this Speedo to honour the failed date. The sincerity and boldness of the epilogue opened the portal to understanding the spirit of his music.

Sometimes things get to the heart first before they make their way to other processing assemblies. Those things are the hardest to explain, because once the heart has been moved, all other faculties are rendered powerless. It was marvellous to easily fall into the music. Was it the AFRIKAN sound! The drums, the xylophone, the Akan harp, the cas-cas that resonated on a DNA level? It couldn’t have been the Pidgin rapping because that actually created a language barrier that made for a lot of misses in meaning. Even with that absence of meaning there was clarity in the message. It is a quality of something that comes entirely from a place of truth.

Inside this vacuum of wonderment, the touched ones touched us all. Legend has it that Wanlov’s band got together a mere week before heading out to these here southern parts. You must agree that such cohesive dopeness that floats one into the open glories being put together in such a short time can only be attributed to magic. I sat there vowing to myself to no longer be a sell out punk. There is infectiousness to Wanlov’s vulnerability and openness that danced in my chest for days. Today in my iTunes, outside the vacuum of wonderment I still find the music beautiful and unpretentious. The bare lyricism that makes no attempt to be hugely poetic is completely natural. For different reasons on different days the music without fail strips me down to my most basic self.

That is beyond the senses.

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