The Hives @ Rocking The Daisies Festival, Cape Town, South Africa – 5th October 2013

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When I saw that The Hives were playing in South Africa, I urged my cousins to go and see them…..thankfully, they headed the call……

My long spell of seeing ‘decent’ bands was finally broken when I was blown away by The Hives at Rocking the Daisies in Darling SA last weekend. I had heard some of their tracks before but wasn’t overly impressed. That changed when I saw this ‘spectacle’ (at least ten levels above a performance).

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Just like a theatre production it consisted of elaborate costumes, moments of excruciating suspense and of course ninja roadies. It was either an extremely lucky or (more likely) a perfectly planned showcase with drumsticks flying in the air, guitars swinging on straps and the lead singer diving off of the monitors all in perfect synchrony to some fabulously fast beats.


As if this wasn’t enough, every break in this high energy thrill ride is filled with Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist’s mind breaking propaganda. With quotes such as “in this next song we are going to make the universe explode” or “what should I call you? South Africa? Cape Town?… I know – Hives Fans”. Every note, every word, even every pause is perfectly constructed to convince you that they are the best band you will ever see. Be warned they have the confidence and manic arrogance to make you believe them.

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By far the best act of the festival, I went in thinking that they were just another simplistic ‘punkish’ rock n roll band but I left truly impressed with their amazing presence and showmanship. Definitely a must see for anyone brave enough to embrace brainwashing.

Matthew Mayne

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