1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

Just another music list

Hoenderman – Kobus!

Kobus! – Kobus!

Kobus! – Kobus!

The word quirky sometimes comes to mind when I think of Kobus!. But not the sort of clean cut quirky of bands like Devo or early Talking Heads. Neither is it the obscure rock quirkiness of people like Frank Zappa or Captain Beefheart. There is a sort of sinister quirkiness to Kobus! They sit on the darker side of the quirky spectrum. Just have a look at the video for ‘Hoenderman’ (see below) and you will surely come away a little disturbed.

Not only are the images in the video a little nightmarish at times (although interspersed with girls dancing in various environments which reminds one of The Spice Girls’ video for ‘Say You’ll Be There’) but the different vocals also unsettle one. A sort of witchy voice has a conversation with the rough growl of a voice that has escaped from a Slipknot track and occasionally a goth growl also has a look in on this strange tale of an encounter with die hoenderman, a devilish character.

And then there’s the frenzied clucking of chickens against thudding industrial beats that pops into the song every now and then. One is not sure whether to laugh, cry or run away. ‘Hoederman’ does have a kind of car crash attraction to it. You know you shouldn’t stare, but you can’t help yourself slowing down to look. It’s bizarre, weird, enticing, scary and exciting all in one. There was nothing like it before and there has been nothing like it since.

The song made it to number 2 on the SA Rockdigest charts and spent a record 30 weeks on those charts. The album from which it came, simply entitled ‘Kobus!, made it to the top of the SA Rockdigest charts and was only beaten by Moodphase 5ive’s ‘Steady On’ for weeks on the charts (46 compared to 54). Listen to ‘Hoederman’ if you dare, it’s a song for those who are not chicken.

Where to find it:
Kobus! – Kobus! (2002), ENT Entertainment, CDENT001


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