SA ROCK DIGEST ISSUE #120
3rd September 2001
The South African Rock Music Digest
is a weekly, free, subscription e-mag,
edited by Brian Currin and Stephen Segerman
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IN THIS ISSUE
New Little Sister MP3... Rabbitt on TV... Venessa Nolan plays benefit gig... Saron Gas and Justin Bergh head for America... David Helfgott comes to South Africa... African Trance Parties... Awesome Africa, Aardklop and Rustlers Equinox Festivals... Shiloh remembers Roger Chapman & Family... Kurt discovers the Moon is a Spoon... John Samson walks in the Ancient Dust... Rodriguez tour starts next week...
1.NEWS - Little Sister, Rabbitt, Venessa Nolan, Saron Gas, David Helfgott, African Trance Party, Awesome Africa, Rustlers, Justin Bergh, Ashton Nyte
2.CHARTS - Top SA Albums & Songs
3.NEW RELEASES - Even Flow
4.CLASSIC ROCK - Family, Sunways, Edi Niederlander
5.FORUM, REQUESTS & FEEDBACK - Smokie in SA?
6.LIVE REVIEWS & GIG INFO - Subtitle
7.ON THE WEB
I BELIEVE - LITTLE SISTER
A 30 second MP3 sample of Little Sister's as-yet-unreleased new song
'I Believe' from their upcoming Lionel Bastos-produced album is available for download at the official Little Sister website at http://www.littlesister.co.za. Visit the site, listen to the sample and leave your messages in their guestbook. Debbi and Jenni are currently gigging around the USA, and they read the messages in the guestbook often.
RABBITT RULES, OK?
"Should there be a Rabbitt reunion?" was the question asked on Carte Blanche last Sunday night. Within 12 minutes a total of 4952 people phoned in, 4822 of them voting "yes".
The "Rabbitt Rules" insert featured in-concert snippets, and interviews with some fans, producer Patric van Blerk, and all 4 ex-Rabbitts, Trevor Rabin, Duncan Faure, Neil Cloud and Ronnie Robot, together for the first time on camera in 25 years.
It is amazing that the debut Rabbitt album, 'Boys Will Be Boys' which went gold in SA and includes the classic track 'Charlie' is not available on CD. There is, however, a 21-track Rabbitt retrospective CD compiled by Gallo available from One World <http://www.oneworld.co.za> which includes all their hits and some other great album tracks.
VENESSA NOLAN TO PLAY BENEFIT GIG AT CHILLI N LIME
Venessa Nolan and her band will be performing a special benefit concert
at Upstairs at Chilli N Lime in Green Point, Cape Town on Saturday
September 8. The concert has been arranged to raise funds for Morné
Smit, the bands bass player, who was injured in a serious car accident
a few weeks ago. Morné recently replaced David Adamsom in the
Venessa Nolan Band line-up. Adamson will be standing in on bass for the
The rest of the band is: Venessa Nolan (vocals and keyboards), Yolande
Glover (keyboard and backing vocals), Carl Treunich (drums), and Bruce
Muzik (guitar). The VNB will play three new songs as well as a selection of the addictive, piano-based rock ballads off the album Burn, including Emptiness High, Losing Control, and recent SARD #1 hit Glorious Gem. The guest support slot will be filled by Mikanic, a duo comprising Mike and Nick from the band Sons Of Trout (hence, um, the name).
Time: Circa 22h00
Tickets: available at door for R20
BURN is available in all Musica outlets nation-wide and the CD will be available for purchase at the venue.
VNB Contact Details:
Management: Nicolette Strachan 082 964 1632
SARON GAS SIGN TO WIND UP
Top SA heavy rock band, Saron Gas, has just concluded an exclusive
seven-album artist deal with US label Wind Up Entertainment. Wind Up,
who are best known for their success with bands like Creed, Finger 11
and Drowning Pool, are currently rated as one of the top independent
rock labels in the United States.
Saron Gas will be relocating to New York in late 2001 where they will
immediately add some extra, final touches to Fragile, their smash
debut album released in South African in 2000. Their new hit single,
Gasoline, is due for release in South Africa this month.
Saron Gas - Shaun, Dave and Dale - formed in May 1999 and emerged on to
the SA rock scene, rapidly established themselves as one of South
Africas top hard rock outfits. The band independently released their
first demo in late-1999, featuring the single 69 Tea. The track was
well received by radio stations nation wide and climbed to #2 on the
5FM charts. The band signed to SA label Musketeer Records in August 2000 and worked with producer Brian OShea for two months at the Farm Studios in Johannesburg on their debut album, Fragile.
Saron Gas and Musketeer Records began negotiations with the US label
after the SA trio had performed a showcase concert in New York in June
2001. Although the band may need to adjust or change their mildly
contentious name for the international audience (especially Japan), they still have a great opportunity to take SA rock further then it has ever been before.
Saron Gas contact:
Ingrid N Roding
Frontline Entertainment Management
Frontier Sound Management
tel/fax: +27 11 673 5787
mobile: 082 883 0535
SHINING STAR - DAVID HELFGOTT IN SA
David Helfgott, the pianist whose life was immortalised in the film
Shine, is in South Africa to perform three concerts in September. The
first concert was in the Baxter Theatre, Cape Town on 1 September and
the next two are in the Old Mutual Hall, UNISA in Pretoria on 8
September at 20h00 and 9 September at 15h00.
To coincide with his visit, Look & Listen CD Warehouse in the Atterbury
Value Mart in Pretoria is having a special promotion of Helfgott's CDs,
including his latest release 'Inspiration'.
Visit Look & Listen CD Warehouse, Atterbury Value Mart, Atterbury Road,
Fairy Glen, Pretoria, or phone them on (012) 991-6626 for more
AFRICAN TRANCE PARTY ON TWO CONTINENTS
Zulu Warrior Records will be staging an African Trance party on two
continents on Saturday September 8. The Cape Town leg will be held at the Drum Café [47 Glynn Street, Gardens], and the European leg will be held in the historical town of Nuremberg, Germany. Both parties will be linked via the internet. The event will be broadcast to Kloof Online, an internet cafe in Tamboerskloof, Cape Town, and to Nuremberg in Germany, where they will have the first ever African Trance party in the Z-Building, a former barracks of the SS.
DJ Kevin King from Zulu Warrior Records will be playing his first set on European soil, in the Z-building. In Cape Town at the Drum Café, the
trance-action will be initiated by Zulu Warrior Records latest
discovery, and newly signed artist and composer, Jesse, who will be
serving his homemade music to an unsuspecting audience. Cape Towns musical warriors, who are soon to be released on Zulu Warrior Records world-wide and distributed via Cosmophilia in Munich, will also be represented with live acts from Afro-trance artists Nagual and Jorge Carlos.
There will also be sets by public relation whizz kid Kim Saville and
Shona (aka CA 140). Last, but not least, there will be en-trancing sets
by DJ Jonny be Goode and Madame Cooks, two veterans of the Goa-trance
scene in Africa. Also queuing up to get a chance to excite the
dancefloor are DJs Garth and Justin and an unspecified number of African drummers, led by Anthony of the Drum Café.
Tickets are R40, presold for R25 at the Hempshop, Ska-Clothing, Kloof
Online, and Call-a-Pizza.
THE AWESOME AFRICA EXPERIENCE
The Standard Bank Awesome Africa Festival Shongweni: 29 & 30 Sept
Full Programme of Events: 23 Sept - 1 Oct
Following on from the successful first two Awesome Africa Festivals -
dubbed "Africa's Greatest Music Festival" and held as part of the
millennium celebrations in Durban 1999 and for the second time last
year, the organizers are hosting their third event at the end of
September at the Shongweni Resources Reserve.
This year the line-up for the Standard Bank Awesome Africa Music
Festival features gifted musicians from 20 different countries with the
focus on the African continent. As in previous years, one of the most
exciting elements is the multi-cultural collaboration featuring
musicians from different experiences and genres performing together.
These special features includes Irishtambul - a French-based hybrid
comprising Turkish and North African elements around a Celtic music core with a techno-rave edge, and guitarist Knut Reiersrud from Norway
leading three outstanding Norwegian musicians collaborating with
maskanda and Indian raga forms. There will be a feature on West African
drumming with drummers from Ghana, Senegal, Swaziland, Denmark and South Africa all performing together.
West Africa has a strong presence with Senegal being represented by
afro-pop superstar Ismael Lo', kora wizard Lamine Konte and
percussionist El Hajji. Master drummers Nii Alabi Bortey and Nicholas
Kokei Djanie from Ghana also form part of the drunmming extravaganza.
Exotic tastes are catered for with the inclusion of the highly acclaimed Canadian / Chinese world music ensemble ASZA, who feature
multi-instrumentalist Randy Raine-Reusch and Chinese zheng virtuoso Mei
Han amongst their illustrious members and Bolivian folk musicians Los
Kusis de Bolivia, who will feature Roger Lucey as a special guest.
The strong SA contingent gives the festival a slick, powerful and
boundary-breaking edge. The indomitable Ray Phiri is back due to popular demand, diva Busi Mhlongo performs in her traditional Festival finale with ace guitarist Jimmy Dludlu as her special guest and Blk Sonshine feature their acoustic hip hop. Other big names include kwaito
trendsetters Mandoza, Chiskop & Bongo Maffin, new young gospel sensation Deborah Fraser, local heroes THC, Landscape Prayers (playing with members of the Modena City Ramblers from Italy), Meghan McCrae and David Birch performing a solo acoustic set, maskanda guitarists Madala Kunene and Mfiliseni Magubane and Phoenix bred bhangra fusion singer Ashok Ramchunder.
In keeping with the Festival credo of spotlighting up-and-coming talent, Phakami Africa get the opportunity to perform in the big league - and a special feature will be the mesmerizing performances of the Amanazaretha Shembe group. Esteemed USA bluesman James Wheeler kicks off the festival's link to its sister city Chicago and the blues with a
collaborative performance with Will's Blues Band with Jerry Kunene on
Of special interest to clubbers and ravers this year is the incredible
Sensurround Experience from Manchester in the UK. For the first time
ever, on Saturday the festival will host the biggest outdoor trance,
rave, house and techno dance party to take place in the African bush.
Described as the future of clubbing, this is a unique live multimedia
sound and image experience with 18 of the UK's new generation of
musicians. The Sensurround Experience has been made possible through
funding from the British Council.
The Festival closes on Sunday with the "Home To My Roots" reggae
component featuring a myriad of reggae artists including Azania with
Dawit Menelik Tafari from Jamaica and Harley and The Rastafarians.
It is not only music that gets to enjoy the spotlight. At this year's
festival there is a special celebration of the spoken word with a focus
on contemporary, hard-hitting and beautifully profound poetry. The stage is shared by local and international wordsmiths. Awesome Africa director Prof Pitika Ntuli shares the spoken word with the beautiful Sarah Jones - a talented and confrontational Afro-Caribbean poet as well as locals Zolani Mkiva and Sandile Dikeni.
"The general theme of the music focuses on collaboration generally from
the African continent and particularly based on Zulu music styles - and
represents a massive cross-cultural fusion of energy that attracts
musicians and music lovers both nationally and internationally. We've
put away our begging bowls, the world is coming to us and together we
are pushing the boundaries of musical collaborations to the limit. We
wait to see what sort of alchemy results so we can export it to the rest of the world," said festival director, Dan Chiorboli.
The Living Treasures Africa Trust is an umbrella body which embraces a
range of initiatives including The Standard Bank Awesome Africa Festival project which has been broadened to extend a comprehensive sustainable lifestyles philosophy. This year there will be a skills transfer programme to enable emergent eventers to present their own festivals. A programme of 14 concerts/workshops is scheduled for the weeks leading up to the Shongweni festival.
There is also a mini Buskers festival as a lead up to the main Shongweni event, with Buskers from near and far being encouraged to come to Durban beachfront and secure their spot in the first ever SA international Buskers festival.
As well as the music and live performances, a strong focus will be on
the Traditional Healer's village, the Environmental-village and the
Crafters co-op on the Festival site.
There is also a major International Music Symposium planned from Monday
1 October at which some of the key festival participants join academics, music practitioners and members of the local and international music media in a day-long conference about issues, challenges and opportunities facing the music industry.
Tickets are R60 a day and R110 for both days. Booking is through
TicketWeb or by calling 0861 400 500. For more info call the Awesome Africa office on (031) 2062494. For more detailed info and full artist line up with performance times check out the web site http://www.livingtreasures.co.za
mobile: 083 326 3234
PO Box 30547, Mayville, 4058
tel/fax: 031-261 5518
FIND THE ROOTS OF RHYTHM AT RUSTLERS EQUINOX FESTIVAL
The Rustlers Spring Equinox Festival, 21 to 24 September, has been
collaborating with West African drummers for the past four years.
Performances by three West African Drum Masters will form the core of
this years celebration. El Hadge Diop of Senegal will be leading the
Bubaha Drummers, an exciting new drum group drawing together music from
Senegal and Brazilian Samba. Nicholas (Afrika) Djanie and Nii Alabi
Bortey from Ghana are dynamic, enthusiastic performers who live, eat and breathe traditional African music. The rhythms run through their veins.
Rustlers Valley has become a favourite venue to welcome the change of
the seasons and every year this Equinox Festival attracts more and more
people who come to find the roots of their rhythm with world class
drummers. Spring Equinox 2001 falls on Saturday 21st and Rustlers will
be playing the best of world beats to keep people dancing into the night and through Sunday night too with dance party in the Rustlers party zone featuring DJ's In-da-skys, Dog Star and DJ Politix.
Nii Alabi Bortey and Kotei Djanie, more popularly known as Africa will lead dynamic drumming workshops. The workshops will be tailored to suit the level of the participants and will include techniques and exercises for beginners, as well as more advanced rhythms and cross-rhythms for intermediate and advanced drummers. Song and movement/dance will be integrated into the workshop, to allow the participants to better understand the dialogue between the drum rhythms and dance in West African traditional music.
So don't miss this opportunity to celebrate the coming of spring in the
awesome setting of Rustlers Valley, in the foothills of the Maluti
Entrance is R180 per person. For those participating in the Drumming
Workshop, festival entrance is free. Tickets @ Computicket.
JUSTIN BERGH HEADS OFF TO AMERICA
Cape Town-based rock sensation, Justin Bergh has been invited by a major American label, RCA, to work with international song writers in
Vancouver, Los Angeles and New York with a view to producing new songs
for a new album to be released through RCA on a worldwide basis. Justin
begins his journey on 1 September 2001 with the first stop being
Justin has already written over 20 new songs, which he will be working
on with the above international writers. He will then be spending one
month in Atlanta with Farshid, the manager of Collective Soul, who will
also now be managing Justin, to record the final demo of the new album.
Then its off to New York to present the demo to Dave Novik, the senior
Vice President of A & R at RCA. This represents a major opportunity and
breakthrough for a South African-based artist, to be managed by the
manager of a major group such as Collective Soul.
For further information, reviews, audio and video clips visit Justins
Or contact Gerry Davis on:
Tel: 083 628 7678
Fax: 021 674 1851
DISSOCIATIVE IDENTITY DISORDER ON TOUR
Fans who have followed the career of Ashton Nyte over the years may have noticed that he has approximately 130 different personalities and
musical side projects, all clamouring for attention in his troubled
psyche. The next few weeks will present us with the opportunity to see
two of these most popular personae on tour in the Cape, the Free State
and Gauteng. The "Unsinkable Ashton" will be taking both The Awakening
and The Ashton Nyte Inevitable Decon Experience on the road this week,
on a tour that must rank among the most schizophrenic ever.
This tour will be our chance to see and hear new material from The
Awakening's Electro and Goth-Rock catalogues and to see and hear Ashton
Nyte performing revamped versions of old favourites as well as his new,
deconstructed material from the upcoming album, Dirt Sense.
The dark, brooding Uber-Goth of The Awakening that has brought them
international recognition, overseas chart success, inclusion in some top international compilations, and an ever-growing local fanbase will
alternate with the deconstructed, stripped-down honesty and rawness of
Ashton's new solo material on a tour that would give anyone following it a pretty good insight into the creative soul of one of South Africa's greatest songwriters. The Awakening on one night, The Ashton Nyte Inevitable Decon Experience the next. Will the strain of constant and brutal change take its toll on our hero? Will the music-loving
population of this country be able to deal with such diverse passion and quality? More importantly, will you be there to watch dissociative
identity disorder have its wicked way with the man behind some of our
The dates are as follows:
Tuesday 4 September: Ashton Nyte Inevitable Decon Experience at
Independent Armchair Theatre, Observatory, Cape Town
Wednesday 5 September: Ashton Nyte Inevitable Decon Experience at the
Mystic Boer, Bloemfontein.
Friday 7 September: The Awakening at "Sinister Bliss" massive
alternative party, Zepplins, Pretoria.
Friday 14 September: Ashton Nyte Inevitable Decon Experience at Grey
THE SA ROCK DIGEST TOP 20 SOUTH AFRICAN ALBUMS OF THE WEEK
This week [last week] (highest position) Title - Artist (Label)
1.  (1) Voortvlugtend - Akkedis (SSS Records)
2.  (1) Snowflake - Zen Arcade (Indie)
3.  (3) Soul Taker - Lucky Dube (Gallo)
4. [-] (4) Bongolution - Bongo Maffin (Sony)
5.  (5) Live Fact - Rodriguez (Sony)
6.  (2) Poles Apart - Karen Zoid (EMI)
7.  (7) Tassenberg All Stars 2 (Live) - Various Artists (Trippy
8.  (8) Afrika Not For Sissy (sic) - Syd Kitchen (Indie)
9.  (9) Listen - Ssshh (EuropeAfrica)
10.  (1) Showcase: 3 Unearthed - Various (Sony)
11.  (5) Kuyatsha - The Branch (Rhythm)
12.  (9) African Footprint - Original Cast Recording (First Night)
13.  (1) Burn - Venessa Nolan (Rhythm)
14.  (4) Mother's Daughter - Kate Normington (Sheer/SAFm)
15.  (4) Best Kept Secrets - Dog Detachment (Retro Fresh)
16.  (1) The Moon Is A Spoon - Sunways (Fresh)
17.  (1) Rising Above The Madness - Lionel Bastos (SAFM)
18. [-] (18) Oomblik Van Waansin - Mel Botes (Janus)
19.  (1) Steady On - Moodphase 5ive (African Dope)
20. [RE] In The Meantime - Watershed (EMI)
Sponsored by Networld
THE SA ROCK DIGEST TOP 20 SOUTH AFRICAN SONGS OF THE WEEK
This week [last week] (highest position) Title - Artist (Album/Label)
1.  (1) Put A Little Love - Lucky Dube (Soul Taker/Gallo)
2.  (2) Sweet Stellenganga - Akkedis (Voortvlugtend/SSS Records)
3.  (3) She Can't Let It Go - Lionel Bastos ('Rising Above The
4.  (2) Why - Garth Taylor (Why?/PT Records)
5.  (1) Glorious Gem - Venessa Nolan ('Burn'/Rhythm)
6.  (6) Settler - Syd Kitchen (Afrika Not For Sissy/Indie)
7.  (1) Not About You - Zen Arcade ('Snowflake'/Indie)
8.  (8) Colour Me In - Sunways (The Moon Is A Spoon/Fresh)
9. [-] (9) Brave True And Strong - Bongo Maffin (Bongolution/Sony)
10.  (7) Khululuma - The Branch (Kuyatsha/Rhythm)
11.  (6) Waiting For A Miracle - Dog Detachment (Best Kept
12.  (8) Stormsee - Mel Botes (Oomblik Van Waansin/Janus)
13.  (1) Set Of Wheels (Karoo Anthem) - Karen Zoid ('Poles Apart'/
14.  (3) Indigo Girl - Watershed (In The Meantime/EMI)
15.  (14) Rock And Roll Man - Bedrock (Recovery/Criminal Records)
16.  (8) Conquistador - Circus (In The Arena/RetroFresh)
17.  (2) Undying Light - Edi Niederlander ('Dreamland'/Indie)
18.  (2) Long Holiday - The Sunshines ('Long Holiday' EP/Tel
19.  (1) Crazy Over You - Zen Arcade ('Snowflake'/Indie & 'Showcase:3 Unearthed'/Sony)
20.  (6) She Says - Cutting Jade ('Showcase: 3 Unearthed'/Sony)
Sponsored by Networld
3. NEW, RECENT AND UPCOMING RELEASES
Second release from this young and adventurous hard rock outfit from
Gauteng. Their first EP from 2000, Almost Human, was an impressive and confident debut that featured grand rock ballads like Endless and
Burn. On Almost Human, Mark Dumbletons lead guitar and Melody Kayes surprisingly mature vocals evoked the heady 60s rock sound of bands like early Jefferson Airplane, while still retaining a strong
contemporary rock feel.
This eponymously-titled 5-tracker, the bands second EP, is a tougher,
less melodic effort that finds Melody Kayes vocals seeming to struggle
against these swirling nu-metal arrangements. If the band can find a way to harness all their positive elements, and give Melody more tunes and space, then their first full album could be something special. (SS)
For more reviews of new and recent South African CD releases and re-issues please visit:
4. CLASSIC ROCK
FAMILY (the genius of Whitney / Chapman)
Retrospectively someone once said that rock and roll had come of age in 1967. A deliberate statement if one considers that more emphasis was placed on the album market than the overnight hit singles. The progressive improvisation era emerged and occasionally with such overwhelming surplus that delicate masterpieces may find themselves overlooked, shelved or misinterpreted. Such would be the case with the progressive creation of an album called "Music in a Doll's House" by Family. The roots of the family are traced to a Leicester art college, 1962, where John Whitney (guitar and vocals), Jim King (sax and vocals), Tim Kirchin (bass) and Harry Overnall (drums) jammed together as a beat group called the Farinas. After an unsuccessful release of two singles Kirchin left and Rick Grech replaced him. The year was 1965 and Greg, who played violin in the city Youth Symphony Orchestra added a new dimension to the group. The following year the powerful vibrating octave of Roger Chapman was included on vocals.
Changing their name to the Roaring Sixties they caught the attention of hippie mentor Kim Fowley. Due to the fact that the group resembled a bunch of gangsters, Fowley re-initiated them as the Family. By 1967 they were favourites at the Round House and the UFO Club. With a loyal following that supported them no matter which town they played in, the Family went from strength to strength in the London underground. In 1968 John Peel introduced them on his show Top Gear where they featured some of their material for their forthcoming album. Their debut album "Music in a Doll's House" was released in 1968 and from that point onwards they featured as the preceding show for Jimi Hendrix at the Woburn Festival. Their charisma made them a favourite choice for live performance and they proceeded to support Tim Hardin at London's Royal Albert Hall, while their major breakthrough was a free live concert at Hyde Park to 10 000 fans. The Family's energy was a combination of rhythm and brass soul deviating between John Whitney's soprano and double necked guitar, while Roger Chapman blasted all the hell out of his vocals, bending notes and reaching into the deep octave of improvisation. Once their album had become entrenched in the UK top twenty Rick Grech decided to leave to join Blind Faith.
A disastrous tour in the United States resulted in the Family withdrawing to consolidate their vision for the seventies. Roger Chapman's ability on three octave vocals was awesome in every sphere of penetration. One of the few English vocalists to overpower the notorious Chris Farlow, he perfected the noble art of tambourine trashing and the destruction of microphone stands. They featured in a movie called "Stomping Ground" which was recorded at the Rotterdam Festival. From that point onwards Family went through a number of internal changes with the arrival of John Weider on bass who left shortly afterwards and was replaced by John Wetton from Mogul Thrash. A brief period with none other than Tony Ashton on keyboards gave rise to some wonderful but non-commercial singles such as "My Friend the Sun" and "Boom Bang". Many believed if Roger Chapman had been given the opportunity to sing at Woodstock, Joe Cocker would not have had his day. The group retired in 1973 and leave us with a lodestone of articulate gems.
Shiloh Noone, Cape Town
Blues and Variation
Fine Music Radio 101.3 FM
Wednesdays 10 pm
USA FOR AFRICA
Texas-based Kurt Shoemaker gives his unique views on SA music
THE MOON IS A SPOON - SUNWAYS
At last I ordered a CD quickly enough to be in on a current hot band.
This is one of the new generation of South African rock, and proof enough for me that creativity and rock are both alive and well, livin' in the RSA.
The single from this album, 'Colour Me In', is literally a rock thrill
-- I can't stop listening to this two-minute rocker. It has a running punk pace with a classic rock sound, while being positively modern. It bops with a chanting teenage hook, veers into an urgent instrumental break, and has guitars and drums enough to satisfy, yet leave me wanting to play it again, just one more time....
But wait, that's not all. You also get a cool video of 'Colour Me In' (playable on a PC). The lead singer has a Jaggeresque mouth and the stage presence of one born to rock, and it's cool how the bassist hops and dances as she works her bass. The hardworking backbeat looks like a no-nonsense guy, like a bouncer, as he pounds and plays away on the drums.
What of the rest of the 'The Moon Is a Spoon'? About half of the CD is of introspective and quiet songs earnestly sung, while the other half is straight-ahead rock that ranges from rhythmic, up-tempo guitar stuff to grinding rock that beats along.
The lyrics are generally thoughtful, and well-written, using personal
pronouns such as "I" and "you". Interesting lines and turns of phrase
abound, such as: "When I see you standing there/With your eyes 48 hours
away" or Everyone goes out of style/Everyone goes in", both from 'Style'.
With some ups and downs, the album's tempo and hardness on the rock
scale generally rises through the tracks until one crests rocking mountains. During the course of the album, Sunways demonstrates both a talent for passionate, quiet songs, as well as a talent for driving the place nuts with wild rock.
The CD begins with the Sensitive and Tender title track, 'The Moon Is a
Spoon', using understated instrumentation, as if the band were easing slowly into rock water. Track 2 moves us on to a more rocky ballad, 'Style'. Then Sunways lets loose on track 3, 'Hands', which rocks and chugs along on a thumping bass and flailing drums.
Track 4, 'The Magic' has a big rock-quiet interlude sound, and a hint
of Amersham. Track 5 resumes the Earnest and Introspective style, while on 'Rocketship', a song that builds as it takes off. The musicians sound like they are almost falling over the verge into chaos in their rock frenzy, but they carry the careening song through.
'New Animal' is a well-crafted, angry rock number with a throbbing,
chugging bass -- nicely ominous, nicely sinister. When 'New Animal' slides to a quiet end, as if the rage were spent, this provides a nice breathing moment before they launch into the manic-tempo and climactic 'Colour Me In'.
Having slowly risen throughout the album to ceiling-level rock, Sunways
maintains the rock with 'Felt the Same', which takes a neat rebellious turn during its last minute and refuses to go quietly into the good night of last call.
Overall, 'The Moon Is a Spoon' ebbs and flows in tempo, volume and
energy. The songs build to peaks, ease off, and build again. The harder
tunes bunch up near the end -- akin to how some English teachers draw the rising action of a story as a horizontal lightning bolt that peaks just past the middle.
With that English major thought in mind, the technical climax is
'Colour Me In'. After the rocking 'Felt the Same', the CD ends with the
soft and lovely 'Daylight', and we end where we began: with the quiet
resolution, or denoument, of a sensitively-played guitar and sincere vocals.
'The Moon Is a Spoon' is half singer-songwriter and half rock, from
Sunways and the friendly folks at Fresh Music. A promising first release.
Sunways are a catchy new band with a new sound. In alphabetizing of my
collection, even though they don't sound like them, they come right after Springbok Nude Girls and Sugardrive -- new music with classic rock stylings.
Kurt Shoemaker, Blanco, Texas
London-based John Samson gives his own twist on SA music
ANCIENT DUST - EDI NIEDERLANDER
If Johnny Clegg met Annie Lennox in Steve Newman's lounge, who knows, they may just put on Edi Niederlander's 'Ancient Dust' to listen to. Then again maybe not as I've heard that Steve Newman lives in a house with no electricity.
Not the most prolific of artists with only 3 albums in about 15 years, Edi tends to go for quality rather than quantity. Opening with the classic 'Ancient Dust of Africa' which peaked at number 16 on the Radio 5 charts, the album contains 8 tracks of beautiful, acoustic led tunes textured with some laid back electric guitar which all belies the undercurrent of anger, sexual tension and political tirade.
The rhythms of this album are exceptional. 'Ancient Dust of Africa' ebbs and flows like a calm ocean while the cyclical rhythm of 'The Wheel' fits in with its title. The cover of Linton Kwesi Johnson's 'Come wi goh dung deh' features some jerky strums and 'guitar bongos' that make it edgy. 'Mabel (Mahogany Eyes)' is a rocker somewhat in the Status Quo mould and features some fine guitar work from Tim Parr.
The opening lines to 'Bitter Fruit' ('Bitter be the fruit of an angry
land/when bitter be the seed it sow') are as relevant today as they were in 1986, probably more so. Along with 'The Wheel' and 'Come wi goh dung deh' these songs form the nucleus of the political content of the album and, despite the changes in the country in the intervening years, all remain pertinent.
But why the reference to Johnny Clegg, Annie Lennox and Steve Newman in the opening paragraph other than a cheeky tipping of the hat to "Brian Currin's beginner's guide to writing CD reviews" (see the Mel Botes review in issue no. 118)? Well the guitar work is quite similar to Steve Newman's style, there is a feel of Johnny Clegg's rootsy afrorock sound, especially his early Juluka work, to the songs and Edi's voice has that strong resonance that rocketed Annie Lennox to fame. A quite special album.
John Samson, London, UK
SPRINGBOK RADIO CHARTS: 30 YEARS AGO
Friday, 3rd September 1971
This week [last week] Title - Artist
1  Co Co - The Sweet
2  He's Gonna Step On You Again - John Kongos*
3  You - Peter Maffay
4  I Did What I Did For Maria - Tony Christie
5  Banner Man - Blue Mink
6  Rain, Rain, Rain - Gentle People*
7  Hold On To What You Got - Peanut Butter Conspiracy*
8  Lady Rose - Mungo Jerry
9  Me And Bobby McGee - Gordon Lightfoot
10  How Can You Mend A Broken Heart - Bee Gees
* South African Artists
While still clinging onto the top spot, the Sweet did however lose their 2 hits in the top 10 status as 'Funny, Funny' dropped to 12. After having had 4 top 10 hits in 1969 (including one number 1), the Bee Gees returned to the charts with 'How can you mend a Broken Heart'
SA's John Kongos was making a strong challenge to the Sweet's stranglehold on the number 1 position as 'He's Gonna Step On You Again' jumped 2 positions to number 2. Another strong contender was Peter Maffay's 'You' which ended up being the 9th biggest song of the year.
3 Neil Cloud (1955)
5 Freddie Mercury (born in Zanzibar in 1946, died 24 November 1991)
6 Roger Waters (1943)
7 Buddy Holly (1936, died 3 February 1959)
17 David Scobie (1964)
KAROO ANTHEMS (Laat Die Wiele Rol)
The lastest issue of Q magazine includes a free CD entitled 'Essential Drive' and it got me thinking about compiling an imaginary South African CD (or cassette) about being on the road and/or for listening in your car. Send in your ideas for songs to be included to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. The only criteria is that the songs must be by South African artists. The great thing about imaginary compilations is that you don't have to worry about licensing problems...
Here are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
Laat Die Wiele Rol - Piet Botha
Hot Tin Roof - Famous Curtain Trick
Ossewa - Johannes Kerkorrel
Take Me Down To Cape Town - Ballyhoo
Set Of Wheels (Karoo Anthem) - Karen Zoid
Born In A Taxi - Blk Sonshine
Die Reisiger - Mel Botes
Ukuthula (Live In Peace) - Busi Mhlongo
16 Rietfonteins - Des & Dawn
Deur Die Donker Vallei - Valiant Swart
Datsun SSS - Akkedis
Wild Warrior - Arapaho
Kudu Junction - Amampondo
What'ya Gonna Do When The Reggae Breaks Your Heart - Beanstalk
Highway Blues - Falling Mirror
Binneland In - Spinnekop
Long Holiday - The Sunshines
Road - Sugardrive
I Like You Madly - Just Jinger
April - Jack Hammer
Down Rockey Street - Moses Talwa Molelekwa
On The Road Again - Delta Blue
Blueprint - Off The Edge
Remember, send in your favourite SA driving songs to mailto:email@example.com.
2 lucky subscribers will win the recently released '5FM Showcase: 3 Unearthed' CD, thanks to Sony Music SA. This compilation of unsigned new up-and-coming SA rock bands is also great for in-car listening. Sing along to The Flowerheads, Zen Arcade, Spoon Feedas, Tweak, Fruit Fly Navigators and 12 other great SA bands in your car where no-one else can hear you. You might get some funny stares at the robots, though.
5.FORUM, REQUESTS AND FEEDBACK
NAME THAT SONG
I was listening to Radio 2000 the other day and heard a local song but as it is with R2000 you never know who it was. I remember the chorus though and thought perhaps you could help.
"....en ek ruik die soet geur van muskus
wat hang in die gang
en ek dink aan die perels aan jou lyf"
Do you perhaps know who this is?
SMOKIE COMING TO SOUTH AFRICA
We are two Danish women, who have a website about the band Smokie. We know that Smokie is going to play in South Africa in December 2001 and January 2002 - do you know where we can find any information about the tourdates?
Berit and Linda Jacobsen, Denmark
A Cape Town-based music resource that offers two main areas of expertise and assistance:
1) Music Searches - Assists in recommending and finding relevant music
soundtracks for television, cinema and radio commercials and
2) Music Licensing - Assists in obtaining the publishing and recording
rights for music to be used as soundtracks for commercials and other
For more info, please contact:
Stephen Segerman or Graham Katz
6.LIVE REVIEWS AND GIG INFO
Okay so it's not quite Trevor Rabin performing in Yes, but should Subtitle ever make it big, South Africans the world over will be quick to point out that their female bassist (Fiona) is from Brakpan. The remainder of the band is from Croatia. This hard rocking grunge combo were quite impressive on stage at the Bull & Gate in Kentish Town last night. With a great stage presence and a barrage of tunes that see-sawed from full on hectic guitar laden rock to quieter, somewhat darker growlings the group were reminiscent of Pearl Jam of the early nineties. The lead guitarist is barely out of school, but he knows how to handle his axe, and can only get better. Those of you who are still bemoaning the demise of the Springbok N*de Girls would do well to check them out and support a promising band with SA content.
Subtitle will be playing a support slot at Water Rats Theatre, 328 Grays Inn Road, Kings Cross on 4 September at 9pm.
Monday, 03 September Time Square, Yeoville 9pm
Cover charge: R10
Friday, 07 September Nile Crocodile. Pretoria 9pm
Cover charge: Not known
Rui @ 082 670 1895
PO Box 221, Mondeor, 2110, JHB, South Africa
2nd to 6th October
CASTLE LOUD - NAG VAN DIE LEGENDES
Van die groot geeste van rock is almal op een verhoog te sien: Piet Botha, Koos Kombuis, Anton Goosen en die Bushrock Band, en Valiant Swart. En van die jonger orkeste maak ook hul stemme dik: Brasse Vannie Kaap, Beeskraal, Die Radiators en Karen Zoid. Ondersteun deur Geraas.
Joolplaas; 5 Okt Vanaf 15:00 - R40
Al die vertonings word by die Heimatsaal aangebied en is sowat 60 min. lank.
VALIANT SWART 2 en 3 Okt - 14:45 en 21:30; R40
FROSTED ORANGE 2 en 3 Okt - 16:00; R25
DIFF-OLIE 2 en 3 Okt - 17:30; R25
SPINNEKOP 2 en 3 Okt - 19:00, 5 Okt - 16:00; R25
PIET BOTHA 2 en 3 Okt - 20:15, 4 Okt - 16:00; R35
BEESKRAAL 2 en 3 Okt - 23:00, 4 Okt - 19:00; R28
SCICOUSTIC 4 Okt - 14:45; R25
WOUTER VAN DE VENTER 4 Okt - 17:30, 5 Okt - 19:00; R25
DELTA BLUE 4 en 5 Okt - 20:15, 6 Okt - 16:00; R25
AKKEDIS 4, 5 en 6 Okt - 21:30; R25
NOT MY DOG 4, 5 en 6 Okt - 23:00; R25
ANIKA 5 en 6 Okt - 14:45; R25
WESS-LEE 5 en 6 Okt - 17:30; R25
KAREN ZOID 6 Okt - 19:00; R25
ANTON GOOSEN 6 Okt - 20:15; R40
Barleycorn Music Club, River Club, Observatory
Monday, September 3rd, 8.00pm, R10 at the door
BILL KNIGHT, moving on from his mastery of the Skollie Rock genre he
plays some of his new work, confirming his place as one of our most astute and insightful poets.
WAYNE PAULI, whose recently released CD "Farewell Station Road"
demonstrates his unique and original singer-songwriter talent.
and then in the second-half WAYNE PAULI will be joined by his friends
from the BOULEVARD BLUES BAND to play some cheerful upbeat material.
GENERATION NOW CONCERT
8 Sept 2001, Cool Runnings, Wonderboom.
Intervention Arts presents Generation Now, a rock concert at Cool Runnings, Wonderboom, featuring five of South Africa's hottest new rock acts - Cutting Jade, Zen Arcade, Primal Urge, Fruit Fly Navigators and Four Ounce Freedom. These five hot new SA rock bands will share a stage for the first time at Generation Now, the first official gathering of the next generation of South African rock heavyweights. These five bands are currently making waves in the world of SA pop/rock with frequent radio play, rave reviews at festivals, appearances on the 5FM 'Showcase 3: Unearthed compilation, and manic live schedules in and out of South Africa, confirming that they are indeed the next wave of South African Superstars.
Generation Now - 8 September 2001 at Cool Runnings, Wonderboom, Pretoria. Bands start at 8pm and entrance is only R30.
Oppikoppi Kleinplasie-Worcester 21-23 September (To Be Confirmed)
Whale Festival- Hermanus 26-30 Sept
LIVE IN LONDON
SA artists performing in London
21-23 September 2001 - Oppikoppi - Worcester @ Kleinplasie
PEDRO THE MUSIC MAN
Pedro Espi-Sanchis tells enchanting stories that teach children about African Music.
Where: High Street Theatre, 19 Bella Rosa Street, Bellville
Reservations: (021) 914 7030/1
The mermaid from Zanzibar: 5 September
Fudge, Ill System and Antipathy will be playing at the Purple Turtle on
Saturday the 8th of September. R15 will get you in. Be prepared for a loud and hardcore evening!
LIVE FACT: RODRIGUEZ SOUTH AFRICAN TOUR
Fri 07 Sep 01 - JHB - Carnival City
Sat 08 Sep 01 - JHB - Carnival City
Sun 09 Sep 01 - PTA - Bundu Inn
Wed 12 Sep 01 - Pietersberg - Pintoburg Theatre
Fri 14 Sep 01 - Vereeniging - The Portuguese Hall
Sat 15 Sep 01 - Bloemfontein - Callie Human
Mon 17 Sep 01 - Mossel Bay - Whale Hall
Tue 18 Sep 01 - Port Elizabeth - PE Tech Theatre
Wed 19 Sep 01 - Port Elizabeth - PE Tech Theatre
Thurs 20 Sep 01 - Strand - Strand Town Hall
Fri 21 Sep 01 - Cape Town - 3 Arts
Sat 22 Sep 01 - Cape Town - 3 Arts
Wed 26 Sep 01 - East London - Orient Theatre
Thurs 27 Sep 01 - Durban City - Bar Go
Fri 28 Sep 01 - Durban City - Bar Go
Sat 29 Sep 01 - JHB Woodstock 3 - Heidelberg Kloof
SA Tour info:
ROEKELOOS - GIG GUIDE
Sat 8 Sept - Cloud 9 (Umhlanga Rocks)
Sat 29 Sept - Woodstock (Heidelberg)
2 Oct onwards - UK Tour
UP THE CREEK
Restaurant and Music Theatre
Tel/Fax: (012) 362-3712
Monday 3: Buskers Evening: Open Stage
This is a new event that is taking place at Up the Creek every Monday of the month. All bands who would like to play are welcome to come in and enjoy the fun. Come out and support SA's up-and-coming.
Wednesday 5: Afrikaans Talent Showcase
This is also a new event at Up the Creek and will be taking place on the first and last Wednesday of every month. Two Afrikaans original bands will be performing the own music. Should be interesting!
Friday 7: Nardus du Plooy en die Kaalkop Waarheid
Nardus performs good Afrikaans folk rock songs, all original and makes for a very entertaining evening
Saturday 8: BLK Sonshine
This is the big one and it is a great pleasure for us to host musicians of this calibre. You'll remember that one of their hit songs "Born in a Taxi" was used for the Santam Bank advert. Not to be missed. Tickets are R35.00 per person and can be bought at the door. Just a tip, but come early.
THE WHAMMY BAR
Open Mon-Sun 6:00pm till late
The Whammy Bar is a live music venue that features original SA bands.
Bands start at 10.00pm Fri & Sat.
ZEN ARCADE'S LIVE CAMPAIGN
Tuesday September 4 - UNPLUGGED
Saturday September 8 - Intervention Arts: Generation Now Fest
Cool Runnings, Wonderboom, Pretoria
With: Primal Urge, Cutting Jade, Fruit Fly Navigators, Four Ounce Freedom
Friday September 14 - UNPLUGGED
Up The Creek, Pretoria
Saturday September 15 - from 4pm - Spring Festival
Roxys Rhythm Bar, Melville
With: Even Flow, Three Weeks Anaemic, 340ml, Half Man Half Beetle + more!
Friday September 21 AND Saturday September 22 - Bosberock Festival, Nelspruit
Saturday September 29 - Woodstock Festival, Heidelberg
7.ON THE WEB
3rd EAR MUSIC
A TO Z OF SA MUSICIANS
Original African, jazz, hip hop, reggae & kwaito artists
SA ROCK DIGEST
Quick and accurate, highly recommended
JOHNNY CLEGG THE PICTURES
FOUR JACKS AND A JILL
NOT THE MIDNIGHT MASS
OFF THE EDGE
PEDRO THE MUSIC MAN
RODRIGUEZ: CLIMB UP ON MY MUSIC
A site dedicated to Rodriguez, the Sugar Man
3rd EAR MUSIC
SOUTH AFRICA'S ROCK FILES
The online archive for the History of South African Rock
SOUTH AFRICAN RADIO CHARTS 1969-1989
SA ROCK DIGEST CHARTS 2000 onwards
SOUTH AFRICA MUSIC MESSAGE EXCHANGE
News, views, reviews and interviews
Arts news from Kwazulu-Natal
This newsletter is posted weekly on Sundays and looks at the
world of Jazz in South Africa and beyond.
Selling South African Music to the World
RECORD COMPANIES, LABELS & STUDIOS:
Kevin Shirley's virtual cave
STRANGER THAN FICTION
SUNSET RECORDING STUDIOS
Recording Industry of South Africa
SOUTH AFRICAN SLANG
THE HISTORY OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
Garth Chilvers and Tom Jasiukowicz (TOGA, 1994)
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"Ek is verslaaf, ek is verslaaf, ek is verslaaf...
aan ruk en rol"