The first things that struck me about Zeplin’s Rock Shack in Pretoria North was how hard it is to get to. Okay, granted, it’s in a better area than where it used to be, the centre of town. But it’s still complicated and we did get lost. And it’s nestled among car dealerships.


The next thing that struck me was the name. Sorry, I’m finicky about apostrophes and spelling. Does it belong to someone called Zeplin? If it’s a reference to zeppelins or Led Zeppelin, then the spelling is wrong. If it does, indeed, belong to one Zeplin, and the person got their nickname as a reference to Led Zeppelin, the spelling is still wrong.


After extensive research (ie, one Google search for “zeplin”) the only possible scenario where “Zeplin’s” could be correct is if it belongs to a person called Zeplin, so named for the ZEPLIN (ZonEd Proportional scintillation in LIquid Noble gases) programme (or someone with parents who can’t spell. After all, I have seen a Micheal or two in my time. Or Zeplin could be an incredibly obscure surname). The programme has something to do with dark matter. Emo enough, I’ll let this one slide. But I do expect there to be a person called Zeplin behind all this, because that apostrophe is certainly not a contraction.


The place is littered with NO SMOKING signs which no one obeys. An irritation for the non-smoker like myself. And the website is painfully bad. Painfully.


Dear every club ever: making the music ear bleedingly loud does not make it better. Just saying. I am capable of appreciating music without having a headache.


Another issue for me is that of the slogan “for people with a mind of their own”. Really? I think we can safely say that NO ONE who subscribes slavishly to ANY subculture can totally say they have a mind of their own. I’m sorry, it’s just not gonna happen. If you spend three hours on your appearance to give the impression of being hard core, then I’m afraid that little mind is not completely yours. But that’s another post entirely.


The worst part of my evening was definitely the people. More specifically, the 14-year-old girls on ecstasy who are standing the front row desperately trying to get the attention of the trendily bored vocalist. It’s scary how the “mind of your own” crowd seems to be just as misogynistic as the car shows and beer crowd. Aw, you guys have something in common. Okay, so now I’m just finding reasons to shoot the place down. Sorry. If you like Zeplin’s, by all means keep going, (and keep supporting local metal, fuck yeah) just don’t claim it’s because you’re so totally alternative and unique.


Metal: like the music, hate the scene. I’ll stick to CDs, thanks.