The South African music industry is tiny, but the talent is immense. There are also many people working behind the scenes to grow the industry and often for these people, it’s more a labour of love than a job. Problem is: once the bug bites, it’s difficult to walk away.
There are still many challenges we face as an industry, but there are a group of passionate individuals who continue to make a difference. These people invest exorbitant amounts of time and money to put together legendary events, simply to create a platform for local musicians. Guys like Tecla Ciolfi, Gareth Wilson, Sean Hayz, Jack Rahme, Julian van Plato, Justin Serrao are just a few of these goodhearted individuals, and the list is extensive, but for the purpose of this article, I want to focus on Mike Pocock.
In January 2017, Mike was hanging with a bunch of mates when they conceptualized the idea of Brochella. The music series started as joke, meaningless banter between friends, but before they knew it, Brochella took on a life of its own.
The team held their first show at Rumours Rock City on 15 April 2017. Since then, Brochella has hosted three successful major events and two small weekday events. The most recent edition, Bangers ‘n Mosh, was headlined by Cape Town’s OhGod and Red Helen and this paved the road for two more major events later this year, including international act I See Stars on Friday 19 October 2018, presented in association with RAM.
But let’s not jump the gun. This month, 21 September, Brochella presents The Narrow, Knave, I Believe In Giants, New Skyline Fire and Hiraeth. It will be The Narrow’s first performance at Rumours Rock City in five years, and Knave will also be making their much-anticipated return to the stage after a lengthy hiatus.
We chat to Mike to find out more about the event and what it takes to make it a reality.
INDIE DOES IT: The event has since evolved into more of a metal show, why so?
Mike Pocock: Metal and alternative supporters are some of the most loyal music followers. We noticed a gap and wanted to fill it by putting together metal shows with a difference, plus give upcoming bands a platform to perform alongside established acts.
INDIE DOES IT: You run Brochella as a part time project, how do you manage?
Mike Pocock: It’s purely a passion project. Luckily I have some awesome support from Fred at Rumours Rock City, Alexander Wolf Photography, Merrick Kyle who does the stage management and Ruan Rabie from New Skyline Fire who does the promo material. I pretty much want to put on cool shows that I would love to go to and luckily other people want to attend them as well. Managing it all can be tough at times, but I have an amazing team that takes pressure off.
INDIE DOES IT: How do you select which artists to perform at your events?
Mike Pocock: Each Brochella event has an underlying theme and this will influence the artist selection. For example, Bangers ‘n Mosh was intended to be a mixture of progressive metal and core metal bands. The upcoming shows have more of an alternative theme to them, but we will be going back to our rock roots for future shows.
INDIE DOES IT: Tell us about your DJ’ing project, M-Plode?
Mike Pocock: M-Plode has been DJ’ing on and off for a few years. It’s by no means a full time thing. I’ve been lucky enough to perform at events which have featured international artists such as Lamb Of God and Asking Alexandria. I used to perform at Zeplins Rock Shack on a monthly basis, as well as Arcade Empire. Genres showcased during my sets are nu metal, metalcore, and rock favourites.
INDIE DOES IT: What do you want to achieve with the Brochella brand?
Mike Pocock: Brochella is all about creating memorable events for people at an affordable price. We strive to cement the name in people’s event calendars as well as a name that people associate with quality and a good party no matter what.
INDIE DOES IT: How did the I See Stars connection come about and why the decision to bring them out?
Mike Pocock: Brochella was approached by RAM to host the Johannesburg leg of the I See Stars tour. We immediately jumped on board. It was a no brainer. We are delighted that RAM had the belief in us to take this show on.
INDIE DOES IT: Who are some of the top SA acts to look out for at the moment?
Mike Pocock: There are so many to name but Deity’s Muse are doing amazing things in SA and around the world. Deamhorth are just in a class of their own. Some other ridiculously amazing acts to go check out are Hellcats, Riddlebreak, OneDaySky, Dirty Moonshine, Facing the Gallows, Atlantic South, Ill System, Ohgod, Truth & Its Burden, The Tainted and Hiraeth.
Check out Mike’s interview with Papa G’s House below: