HOMETOWN GUIDE: PHFAT on Cape Town, South Africa


Hailing from South Africa, PHFAT will this month be found away from their home town of Cape Town and in our back yards, as they tours the east coast of Australia extensively.

Having dates in Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and all throughout NSW, all 11 shows will ensure a massive schedule for the duo, and will have them spending a lot of time in places that are vastly different to their native land.

PHFAT have a lot to love for South Africa. Apart from providing the perfect launching pad for their interest in music through a vibrant nightlife, they stress that any city’s night scene only tells you 10% of what an area is really all about. These are the most interesting things/places/hangouts that South Africa has to offer as according to the act…


1. Suicide Gorge 

‘Suicide Gorge is a two hour hike up into a mountain that ends at the top of a narrow valley with a river running down it. You then spend the next three to four hours following the river back down the mountain and jumping off no less than ten waterfalls. It’s only open during our summer and the weather is always epic. The jumps range from about 3 metres to 22 metres and all of them end up in REALLY deep coca cola coloured pools that is literally also world class drinking water.

One day when I quit rapping and drop off the grid I’m going to buy a tent and go live up here and hope that they don’t find me and kick me out cos it is literally my most favourite place in the world.’

[Photo Credit: BEEOUTDOOR]


2. The Assembly

‘The Assembly is kind of the night club in Cape Town where people get their chops up and launch careers. Most successful bands start out as opening act and work their way up to becoming headliners. If you can fill up The Assembly – you are doing alright. The capacity is about a thousand at a pinch and the sound is nasty in the same way that fast food is nasty. It’s like… loud slightly distorted and more-ish.

The crowd’s always keen if you are and there is a shitload of bar space. Everything happens – from rap and rock shows, with internationals like Diplo and Public Enemy – to weird movie nights and ping pong tournaments. If you haven’t been to a sold out night at Assembly you haven’t experienced a proper slice of Cape Town nightlife.’

[Photo Credit: Stewart Innes]


3. Long Street, City Bowl

‘You have to experience Long Street to understand it. It is always bustling with people from absolutely every single walk of life. The road is lined with night clubs, restaurants, sketchy flat blocks, back packers and scary looking drug dealers. Everything is within walking distance and the heartbeat is fairly palpable on a busy night.’


4. The Garden Route

‘The Garden Route is the national road that heads up the east coast of the country. The N2 winds between different versions of small town paradise. Everything from two horse towns at rivermouths with empty beaches that stretch for kilometres, to forests that have occasional leopards and elephants in them to fancy little holiday towns filled with rich yuppies holiday homes and restaurants that cost too much.

It’s literally the type of place where a wrong turn can land you in paradise or a sold out club night. I have no other way to put it. I fux with the Garden route and if you ever come here so should you!’


5. The Festival Circuit

‘Every country reckons that their festival circuit is the best. I’m not gonna do that cos it’s lame. Every festival circuit is special and has a history. My least favourite festivals are the ones that just pull the biggest international headliners that they can one year and then disappear (either because they made enough money to retire or lost enough money to go into hiding). My favourite are the ones that have history and culture linked to them. If you are in South Africa, these two are the ones that people talk about:

  • Oppikoppi: Been around for decades. It’s the roughest festival you will ever go to. Not huge by international standards but by far one of our biggest. 20 odd thousand attendees all head north to deal with more dust than you can fathom in a place that is way colder than you would expect in Africa. But the acts that play always put their hearts in. It has had several monsterous international performances but it is really about the festival as a whole that you will remember forever.
  • Rocking the Daisies: Not as old as Oppikoppi but just as rad. It is kind of a counter to oppi’s harshness. It is green and comfortable and immaculately organized. All of the attendees somehow manage to carry on looking like a million bucks for the duration of the festival because showers and toilets are so well organized. Also packs a couple international headliners each year but the locals who go all in somehow manage to stay remembered.’

[Photo Credit: Abel Scholtz]

Words by Ed Kirkwood