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Vintage Words: Falling in love is hard on the lungs

Okay, so I’m going to start posting some of my older blogs and writing from various sources, just because I want to. You gotta protect these things for posterity, you know! I’m calling it “Vintage Words”.

First up: a blog I did for heat magazine on Oppikoppi 2009, Smoorverlief.

Oppikoppi 15: Smoorverlief
Oppikoppi 15: Smoorverlief

Falling in love is hard on the lungs…

Smoorverlief (n)

–       To be head over heels in love with someone

–       To be smothered by dust because Oppikoppi loves you so

–       Something you put on your hotdog

–       To love someone so much you want to kill them

 (Thanks to random Oppikoppi bands for definitions)

 It’s no accident that the 15th Oppikoppi was themed Smoorverlief. I really got to appreciate this round about the time that the second chord of the song that inspired the name in the first place filled the starry night sky. (I’m gonna break into song any moment now, I tell ya.) Riku Latti and Albert Frost charmed us with Smoorverlief while a wobbly guy (booze AND love) celebrated having just asked his babe to marry him from the stage.

 If you don’t feel your heart shoot all the way past the moon and back to root itself somewhere in the dusty duwweltjies and klip around you in reaction to something like this, you’re dead. (I’m a romantic, what can I say…) Or you’re one of the idiots who insist on playing rave music from the boot of your car while an icon like Koos Kombuis burns up the stage… As much as Tassies allowed him to!

I was Smoorverlief. We were Smoorverlief. Every single random weirdly dressed hippie and emo kid and rocker and kugel was Smoorverlief. In love with the dodgy tent, upright despite missing one pole, the shroom-addled student/spawn-of-Satan that stole my cellphone (and my water, and my cough syrup), the late-night pizza that kept my friend Jo from eating for two days and the 20 bands and counting we had to interview while missing the action on stage.

In love with the guy in the pink latex suit, the guy in the blue latex suit, the guy in the chicken suit, the long queues at the toilets, the cold water in the showers, the stoned photographers and journos in the media camp, the hydration station with cold water on tap, the dust that got stuck in my chest, the philosophical random midnight conversation with FHM’s Gordon Laws in the middle of the road regarding the Parlotones’ rendition of Liza se Klavier….

In love with the cane-and-cream-soda mix that kept us buzzing and had other people shuddering, the thorns I picked out of my socks, the beanie that kept my head warm at night, the drunk dude in the bar that did his best to grope up my friend, our next-door campers who recreated medieval Sherwood Forest with bongo drums and a penny whistle, the scruffily hot dudes… Even in love with the dude that broke my car window with a hammer and screwdriver after I locked my keys in it. Okay, so I asked him to do it, but still…

It’s impossible to describe to non-Oppikoppi disciples why we do this to ourselves every year. We drive for hours, get pulled over by distrustful cops who eye your boobs more than your driver’s license, coax your poor car over the sinkplaatpad, struggle to get your accreditation right, pitch a tent in blerrie harde ground… And then you start boozing and filling your lungs with dust and your feet with mud. And you mission. From stage to bar and back again. Thrilling in the sounds of Zebra & Giraffe, The Dirty Skirts, aKing, Kidofdoom, Shadow Club… Listening in awe to Rebirth, four black dudes from Soweto redefining your idea of who can do metal and how it should be done… Wishing Belgian band Balthazar would get their butts in gear and release a CD so that you can introduce friends to their sound…  Lying in your tent listening to the late-nite DJ ending off his set with Roxette’s Dangerous, and feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. Feeling at home.

Okay, so a friend told me long ago that I have an overdeveloped sense of drama and that I constantly live on the edge of a catastrophe curve. Which is probably why I love Oppikoppi so much, and gush about it ad nauseam. It’s bigger than life, constantly teetering on the brink of total drunken chaos and fist fights, filling your head with anarchic thoughts set to a soundtrack of Fokofpolisiekar/Van Coke Kartel/Die Heuwels Fantasties or any of their incarnations.

You’ll carry moments from it with you for the rest of your life. Like the weirdly tunnel-like tent next door giving birth to a pasty-skinned, plumber-cracked dude in way-too-small purple skinny jeans. With a muffin top. And a huge scrape on his butt. Did I mention the disturbing whiteness of his plumber’s crack? Oh man, some things will never fade off your retina…

Or watching Jacques from the Shadow Club onstage. Sex on legs. Or even seeing sweet & serious Richard from Kidofdoom lose all inhibitions on stage to turn into a total rock legend.

Watching my friend’s face as she realizes her shirt’s on inside out and not being sure how or why that happened…

And yes, Odlaw*, we’ll also never forget you stripping off your jeans to show off your boxers, thus showing off way more than you (or us!) bargained for. Camp legend…

It doesn’t even matter that I came home sick. Very sick. Acute Dustilitis. And that most of this was typed lying in bed with an intravenous drip of chicken soup stuck in my arm. Next year, we’re doing it again. That’s a promise.

  • Name very shabbily disguised to protect from further embarrassment.
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