The Ships engines deep thrumming in the distant background - the sound and smell of the Ocean lapping against the Harbor wharfs, while its distant body rages itself against the shore, lights glinting across the bay and the murmur of people after a satisfyingly relaxing Sunday chilling to all of the above.
That’s what greeted us as we arrived at Zacks @ Wilsons Wharf. After helping Loz unload and set up his drum kit we took our beers around the side of the building and sat with our legs dangling over the worn concrete wall that dropped down to the harbor waters.
Absorbing it all as we sat there four, the shear size of the cranes used to load the ships against the size of the ships themselves which aren’t small, the realization that this part of the city never sleeps and as such the city doesn’t sleep. Just rests, there has always been a vibe about Durban, a great one, and I’ve always had the sense that it never sleeps, merely moves into moments of restfulness (which are beautiful when you’re in them).
Now I was looking at its heart surely, the clank and clunk and deep thrumping sound of the engine that drives the blood of this city, surely Durban is a tourist town – but this is where it started this is where it grew from, the rest is just the prettiness that has been appreciated. This is the biggest shipping port in Africa, and you can tell, though so often we don’t see it as we’re absorbed in one of its other many beautiful distractions…
I liked seeing the grit of what pushes its pulse though, attractive to me in its own right, the same way that a fathers sweat work streaked arms are attractive to his young child. There’s a security there in its solidity, as Loz said so long as you see the Ships lining up to get into Durban Harbour you know the economy is doing okay.
We finished off our beers and headed inside to tune up our guitars and get ready for the show, it was our first performance in Durban as the band, and we didn’t want to disappoint.
We gazed back over the water at the bump and clang just as we’d loaded the last of Loz’s drums back into his Car, sipping at the last of our beers. The shake of hand and hugged shoulders for a shared experience, then a drive like slumbering pushed blood into one of the city’s resting organs.