Cape Town band Peachy Keen are surprising South Africa with their enigmatic blend of Rockabilly Punk.  one small seed contributor Aimee Vogelsang visited Peachy Keen on the set of their new music video ‘Shot a man down’ for the following exclusive review.

Those who know me are aware that my appreciation of music is exceptionally limited. Sometime during my childhood obsession with Backstreet Boys and that one song by Britney (which appeals to some deeply repressed desire to emulate a stripper), my taste in music withered up and died. So on that rare occasion when I discover enjoyable music that I’m not the solitary fan, it has to be so supremely good that it can woo even the likes of me. Peachy Keen is one of those bands; one that I discovered when attending the recording of their very first music video several weeks ago.

Wondering who Peachy Keen is? Relative newcomers to the Cape Town music scene, Peachy Keen is a five-piece band consisting of Dominique Otto and Alex Wise – the feisty blonde duo fronting Peachy Keen; Greg Abrahams, who rocks da bass; Brandon Shore on drums and the elusive ‘Cousin Nici’ on guitar. Going to a Peachy Keen performance is an incredible experience, and anyone who has had the privilege of seeing these relative newcomers strutting their stuff, hip-swinging, legs-kicking and skirt-twirling to a sincerely new sound, would know exactly what I was talking about.

Peachy Keen are just a little over six months old and have already headlined events such as the Flamjangled Tea Party Festival and Cape Town International Tattoo Convention as well as playing opening night at Splashy Fen music festival. Their success is the envy of many a grungy garage band… and adding insult to their already injured egos – Peachy Keen was also voted Best New Break-through Band by LMG Magazine. After recording their LP in March, it was only natural that a music video would be next on the list. When Director Ian Morgan, aka Bean, wrote Peachy Keen a proposal for their song ‘Shot a Man Down’, the band went for it. ‘Shot a Man Down’ is one of Peachy Keen’s most popular tracks, even featuring on the Splashy Fen Compilation Album 2011. Dom and Alex explain that the song, with its fun and cheeky lyrics, has always stood out for them and was chosen because it best reflects the band musically. After listening to the song play during a take, I had to admit that it was pretty catchy. By the fifth repeat, it had firmly wedged itself in my head where it proceeded to haunt me for the majority of the following day.

The band’s music is a dynamic blend of Rockabilly and Punk, something which Greg believes makes the band stand out from others. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have two hot blondes fronting the band, another unusual dimension to Peachy Keen’s presentation. But the thing that is instantly noticeably is the band’s Fifties infused appearance. The girls both share a love for Fifties flare – everything from the simplistic lifestyles to the vibrant music and of course, the fashion. This is showcased through elements of rockabilly sound, old school props and retro-inspired looks – courtesy of Dom and Alex, who sometimes have to give the lads assistance in the wardrobe department.

When chatting to the band members, I ask how much they credit their stylized image for stimulating audience interest. Their response is fervent. From Peachy Keen’s very first photo shoot – before they had played a single gig – curiosity was ignited. The pictures even resulted in sponsorship by Sailor Jerry Rum. Pretty sweet eh? However, the girls are quick to assure me that they don’t rely on their image alone. Music is the most important factor and the band is intent on creating a standard of international quality. Having played in various bands since they were just fourteen years old, it is immediately clear that Dom and Alex who spend their talent on the guitar, trumpet and vocals have a passion for music that sets them apart from most muso’s and highlights their natural born abilities even further. Peachy Keen allows the girls the opportunity to create their own unique sound, which is something that they clearly relish and thrive on.

The music video for ‘Shot a man down’ was filmed at several locations, including infant Club Voom Voom, situated in Long Street. My arrival on set is greeted by carefully constructed chaos. Opposed to the usual remnants found strewn around after a good night out –broken bottles, arbitrary articles of clothing and the solitary drunk passed out in the corner, the club is littered with various pieces of equipment. Bean frantically lurches around, shouting out for more male extras. I offer my services, but am politely declined. I guess my womanly wiles just don’t cut it. Squeezing past the scattered disarray I wander off in search of the band. It wasn’t hard to spot them. In true Barney Stinson style, they were suited up and totally awesome.

Sitting down with Dom and Alex, I admire their perfectly coifed hair and bold red lips; they’d be authentic replicas of fifties fashionistas if it wasn’t for the canvas of intricately drawn tattoos etched into their skin. Dom points out her favorite design, a retro cowgirl straddling a barrel. Hanging above the image is the declaration “A Well Behaved Woman Rarely Makes History”, something which Dom feels strongly relates make to their music. Alex shows off a recent design of a gun, drawn on her “gun”… gedit? Both designs were done by the tattoo parlor Sins of Style, sponsors of Peachy Keen. The clothing brand Miss Happ is another sponsor of the band, which means that the girls regularly get to flaunt their retro resplendent designs on stage. Ignoring my utter lack of musical ability, and the reality of a voice that sounds like a warbling crow, I resolve to find myself a band to join.

The concept of the music video, Dom and Alex tell me, is a collaboration between Bean and the various band members. The story revolves around two females – the lovely leading ladies of Peachy Keen – making a dash from the evil clutch of law. Yeah, they might have brutally kidnapped a guy – but totally irrelevant right now. So, our two beautiful blondes are escaping justice in a Pulp Fiction meets Fifties Rockabilly world, which means grandiose shots of glossy vintage cars, fifties diners and extras inexplicably perfect at performing complicated dance moves.

Click HERE to listen to ‘Shot a Man Down’ and stay posted for the video, which will be released soon!

Chatting to Bean, it’s revealed that though the set was plagued with set-backs and restraints (kind of like the girls accidentally slicing up the throat of their kidnapped ‘victim’) he’s confident that the video created is a high quality production. Describing the band as vibrant and fun, he believes that they have tapped into a new and original market in the Cape Town music scene, something which is sorely needed. Tempted to go check out the band live? Have a look at their Facebook page to see where they’re next visiting. And when you do go, make sure to bring your dancin’ shoes.