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A Quick Chat with Francois van Coke

Francois van Coke

Francois van Coke at Hermanus Craft Beer Festival

The season is in full swing! And, with so many things happening, it’s almost difficult to choose what to attend… but if you want to escape the Mother City, the Hermanus Craft Beer Festival, is just for you! This boozy festival is happening on the 22nd of December. It’s an exciting event with top craft beer and an excellent line up of local artists in a beautiful coastal town.

I caught up with Francois van Coke, who is also on the line up, to chat about the event and a few other things…

Hi Francois. First of all, I just want to say I’m so sorry to hear about your beloved Ringo’s passing. What sad news to wake up to on a Monday. Loved seeing his beautiful face on all your photos. Thank you for taking some time to chat, though. This is actually my first “interview” with you, however, we’ve been to many, many of your shows. Haha.

Thanks for the condolences. It was a seriously sad week in the Van Coke’s home and he is going to be missed terribly. Also, thanks for hanging out the shows, always great to see your faces in the crowd.

So, from Joburg to Cape Town and Amsterdam, it looks like it has been a hectic year for you and Die Gevaar once again. You really put in the hard work. Have you done everything you wanted to do this year, and what are some of your personal highlights?

Yeah, it was a very busy year. I think I have done everything I wanted to do this year. Very happy with the music I released this year. “Hierdie is die lewe” came out in February and “Selfmedikasie” in October, I have never worked on 2 full length albums in one year and it took quite a lot of time and energy. It was great to work with the Fokof boys again and also great to end off Van Coke Kartel. Headlining Oppikoppi with my Die Gevaar boys was also a highlight and doing 3 international tours. I also made it onto a 30 Seconds card and was rewarded a ‘Sanger van die jaar’ Award at a very Afrikaans award show, I never expected either of those things. On an even more personal note, it was a highlight being a husband and father and part of a great familiy.

Wow, that’s crazy, and congrats on everything! You’ve said before that Amsterdam is really special to you. What is about the city (or perhaps the Netherlands) that makes you want to go back?

I just love everything about the city. The party used to be a big part of it, but these days I enjoy the beauty, the people and the European culture. European crowds are very open to new music, and great people to play to.

With only one month left of 2017, what are you currently busy with?

I am playing shows around the coast of SA until NYE. It is going to be a busy one and also easy. December tours doesn’t really feel like work, cause we can hang at the beach and shit.

Francois van Coke

You’ll be playing at the Hermanus Craft Beer Festival on the 22nd of December. This is actually my old hometown! Have you played there before and, if so, how was it?

Yeah, I have played there a couple of time in my career. Not as much as I would have liked to. I really love Hermanus. Had some great shows there, for sure.

For all your young fans in Hermanus, what can we expect from your performance, and specifically the setlist? Any surprises?

We will be doing an acoustic set at the beer fest, so you can expect stuff from both my solo albums, some Fokof, VCK and a cover or 2. It is definitely different to our regular rock set, but we really like it. Hope the peeps will too.

Besides the music, there will be craft BEER! You and Fokof launched Fokof Lager some time ago, so you have to know a thing or two about it… What made you guys decide to craft your own beer, and why do you think craft beer is such a popular thing these days?

We actually did 4 other craft beers before launching Fokof Lager. So, we have been in the game for a while. A brewery approached us to do some beers together, back in 2014. In the end of 2015 we launched Fokof Lager and people are loving it. I think people always want to drink beer and more so than buy albums. I think people just want to party and have a good time.

That’s right! Haha. So, with two super successful solo albums behind you, can we expect the third one soon?

Definitely, that will be my focus of next year. I am going to start writing in January and will probably have something out early 2019.

Lastly, what’s happening in 2018? What can we look forward to?

I am going to work on a couple of new projects next year. I am going to try and do more collaborations and write with more people. Play loads of shows and work on the 3rd album!

Hermanus Craft Beer Festival

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A Quick Chat with Francois van Coke


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