In May 2018, in a sticky-floored pub in Linden called The Irish Club, Klaas van der Walt and the team that would eventually become the shepherds of the Uncle Mothers events community, plugged some jacks into some amps and turned up the volume on another scruffy, loud, punk show. Now, Jozi’s monthly Uncle Mothers boogie is the anchor to which the rollicking kids of the northern ‘burbs tether their social lives.
Why’d they start an events community? To encourage others to do the same. The aim of Uncle Mothers is “not to be the only people that put on the shows, but actually showing [the scene] it wasn’t hard to do.” Starting off with a lineup featuring Raygun Royale, The Deadly Bites, and The Lebowski, Uncle Mothers shows have provided a stage for a dizzying number of local bands, as well as a dancefloor for some spectacularly enthusiastic jollers. Merch On Demand sent one of these jollers to chat to Klaas about what Uncle Mothers is vibing with, in the wake of whatever the fuck 2020 was.
“People lost the art of putting on a show, which isn’t a hard thing to do – but there are certain elements you need to get right”– and that’s precisely what Uncle Mothers is about. Without ramped-up production values or excessive in-venue branding, when you go to an Uncle Mothers show, you’re paying a very reasonable price to watch your mates make loud, lekker noises. Uncle Mothers shows find their success in their simplicity – a good lineup, good sound, and the right venue. Though the first Uncle Mothers show took place on a borrowed sound system, the sound team has remained the same from day 1, which means that bands and fans alike expect a consistently good experience. When booking bands, Klaas tells them this: “[the audience] is gonna be here, and the sound won’t disappoint. It’s up to you to make sure they’re inside watching.” Klaas offers a word of caution to anyone looking to put on shows though; “it’s so easy to go wrong, it’s a lot of effort for very little return in the beginning” – but the message that Uncle Mothers stands for has established the community’s longevity. Uncle Mothers is just “trying to consistently provide what we feel is good music.”