When one hears the word ‘gangs’, one thinks of rap music, knives, tattoos, motorbikes, drugs and such like. When one hears the word ‘ballet’ one thinks of tutus, grace, beauty and ‘boy those guys are muscular’. So, Gangs of Ballet must surely be tattooed muscular guys in tutus pirouetting on their motorbike while rapping and taking drugs. Well, the answer to that is no, Gangs of Ballet are a bunch of clean cut guys who make catchy rock tunes and there is not a tat in sight (well not on any of the photos I saw of the band on the internet).
‘Always’ is a strong rock track with a rousing chorus. There are shades of Springbok Nude Girls in this, but it a is somewhat cleaner sound. Where the Nude Girls have a scuzzy sort of edge to their music, Gangs Of Ballet live up to their name and have a kind of gracefulness to their sound. Based in Durban, the band bring a bit of sun and surf to keep the song feeling bright despite the video depicting a guy parting from his girl to go and explore the big wide world. The girl is left somewhere in the Cape (judging by the dramatic mountain scenery) while he wonders around London looking a little lost without his girl. However, when he sings, ‘Always, always, always I’ll be waiting here for you’ and, although the video suggests that she will be the one waiting for him, you feel that his heart is always there for her.
They may have a strange name with ballet juxtaposition-ed with gangs, but they made some great music and despite calling it quits as a band in 2018, the song will be around for, well maybe not always, but certainly for a while to come (but ‘a while to come’ does scan as well for song lyrics as ‘always’ does).
Where to find it:
Form & Function Part 1 (EP) – Gangs of Ballet, (2015), Universal Music Group, UMGCD 131