Like clockwork, man-about-town and Hg2 Cape Town author Keith Bain tells us what’s going down this Friday night in the Mother City — does the man ever get any sleep?
Tonight, one of Cape Town’s legendary live music venues reopens in vastly better digs. Zula Sound Bar — unpretentious breeding ground for up-and-coming bands and regular hotspot for established stars — has closed the doors to its grungier former premises and shifted down Long Street, into a magnificent heritage building that will significantly expand its capacity. The revamped space will be a serious upgrade, with superior facilities and a more dynamic design to cope with bigger crowds and more demanding technical challenges. There’ll be two stages (Upstage and Downstage), multiple bars, food outlets and plenty of room to connect and discuss the politics of rock ‘n’ roll.
Although work on the venue has been notoriously sluggish (some say Cape Town is called the Mother City because it takes nine months for anything to get done here), the new Zula will launch this evening with a powerhouse line-up (running over two nights) that includes internationally acclaimed rock band Springbok Nude Girls, as well as The Rudimentals, St Fearless, Hot Hoggidy Hog, Ashtray Electric, and Wolftown. There’s also a compelling line-up of electronic acts and DJs, with Markus Wormstorm and Haezer headlining the Upstage on Saturday night.
While it’s raison d’etre has always been music, for many Zula is the city’s quintessential meeting ground – a place where students, hippies and hipsters congregate and commingle in laidback and unselfconsciously mellow surrounds. Expect more of the same (with much better toilets) from the new, improved venue. Zula will continue to host a comedy night on Mondays and acoustic singer-songwriter sessions on Tuesdays, and some of the country’s top bands are already booked for upcoming weekend sessions.
From tonight, Zula Sound Bar will be at 98 Long Street; avoid the inevitable queue by booking for the opening nights (one ticket covers the entire weekend) at www.computicket.com.