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In this issue:
Questions from Oz
Visiting Cousins
Roger Lucey
In Concert
Just Jinger review requested
Upcoming releases
Off The Edge screensaver
Splashy Fen CD
UK Report
True Confessions
Riester Records
USA For Africa
Intervention Arts
The Homegrown Band
Pop Quiz
Voting Booth
SA Rock album
SA Pop and Rock song
McCully Workshop album


This is a discussion forum for anything about
South African rock music; past, present and future.

Read it, digest it, enjoy it, send in your comments
and tell your friends....

"Rock" is a very general term encompassing rock and roll,
pop, folk, rock, ethnic-rock, prog-rock, jazz-rock, country-rock,
soul, R&B, metal, indie, alternative, new wave, reggae, etc, etc.

Don't get hung up...if you want to say something about the music
YOU like, go ahead, say it.

I've made it even easier for digest members to submit their contributions...
go to: and fill in the form.

If you've sent in a contribution or request and its not here yet, please be patient,
it should appear soon.



The 5th annual FNB SAMA awards, which were presented at a glittering ceremony in Gauteng on Tuesday night, produced some interesting results as well as some dynamic live performances featuring artists who would not normally find themselves on the same stage. E'smile and Kaolin Thompson gave the song 'Naked' a new twist and contemporary jazz album award-winner Moses Taiwa Molelekwa joined the big kwaito winners, TKZee, for a jam, amongst others.

The ceremony was slick and entertaining and showed highlights from the previous years' ceremonies, illustrating how quickly the SA music industry is moving to be able to compete with the best. TKZee cleaned up with awards for "Best duo/group", "Best kwaito album", "Best Kwaito single" and "Best Single". The "Song Of The Year" award, which was the only award voted for by the general public, was won by Brenda Fassie for 'Vul'indela'. Karma won "Best pop album" for 'One Day Soon' and Battery 9 took the "Best rock album" award for 'Wrok'.

Complete List of Winners:

Best Female Artist - Brenda Fasi for Memeza
Best Male Artist - Ringo for Mamelani
Best Duo/Group - TKZee for Halloween
Best Boeremusiek - Nico van Rensburg for Legende
Best South Sotho Music - Makaota for Makaota No. 10
Best Tsonga Music - Thomas Chauke na Shinyora Sisters for Mati-Endla (Shimatsatsa No. 18)
Best Tswana Music - Stiger & Sister for Mamelodi
Best Venda Music - Amon Mvula for Makorokoto Vol. 3
Best Traditional Xhosa Music - Inkunzi Emdaka for Konakele
Best Mbhaqanga Album- Soul Brothers for Amanikiniki
Best Maskandi Album - Phuzekhemisi for Phans'imikhonto
Best Newcomer (artist or group) - Tasché for Tasché
Best Vocal Choral Album - Singkronies Kamerkoor for Pieter van de Westhuizen
Best Isicathamiya Album - Hlanganani for Wezinsizwa
Best Music Video - Lee for Byala Bya Xintu by Jeff Maluleke
Best Instrumental Album - Soweto String Quartet for Millenia
Best Traditional Jazz Album - Winston Mankunku Ngozi for Molo Africa
Best Contemporary Jazz Album - Moses Taiwa Molelekwa for Genes & Spirits
Best Kwaito Album - TKZee for Halloween
Best Kwaito Single - TKZee and Benni for Halloween
Best Adult Contemporary Album, English - Lionel Bastos for Simple
Best Adult Contemporary Album - Afrikaans - Lucas Maree for Mot om die Kers
Best Adult Contemporary Performance, other than English or Afrikaans - Sibongile Khumalo for Live at the Market Theatre
Best Pop Album - Karma for One Day Soon
Best African Pop Album - Bongo Maffin for the Concerto
Best Rock Album - Battery 9 for Wrok
Best R&B Album - E'Smile for Mi House
Best Contemporary Dance Album - M.I.C. for Millenium...Gone and Beyond
Best Popular Dance Album - DJ's at Work for DJ's at Work
Best Contemporary Gospel Album - Ioannis Dekas for Icarus
Best Traditional Gospel Album - Z.C.C. Female Choir for Nantsi le Nqola
Best African Gospel Album - Rebecca for Somlandela
Best Album Package - Hilton Tennant, Oliver Schildt, Susan Shaw & Lou for Oppikoppi Bushveld Blast by Compilation
Best Producer - Craig Dodds for New Anthem by Egyptian Nursery
Best Engineer - Peter Pearlson for Move Moves by Unofficial Language
Best Single - TKZee & Benni for Shibobo
Song of the Year - Brenda Fasi for Vul'indlela

-- Stephen Segerman



I told a colleague of the digest and he had a couple of questions to ask
you South Africans!

An Australian folk singer, Tina Lawton was supposed to have toured South
Africa in the late 1960s. She recorded on CBS in Australia, so we were
wondering if any of her music was released in SA?
There is also an unconfirmed report that she was killed while on tour over
there in a plane crash. Can anyone recall any news items about this circa

Secondly, Did any of you buy or go to any John Paul Young concerts? Were
many of his albums released there? How many charted?

-- Chris Spencer

{Editor: I Hate The Music by John Paul Young was a huge SA hit in 1976, in fact it appeared on the very first Pop Shop album...see


VISITING COUSINS you or any of your readers know anything about a group called
Visiting Cousins. I have a 7" single of theirs call "When You're Young". It
was released in 1982 on WEA, and was probably the only South African New
Romantic record ever released. Did they do anything else? Who was in the
group? Did any of the group members go on to do anything else?

-- John Samson

{Editor: When You're Young is available on the Sharp Cuts Volume 1 CD compiled by Benjy Mudie and released by Tusk in 1992.}



I wonder if anyone can remember when Roger got back from the States, this was in the late 70's, he did a couple of concerts at the Market Theatre and he put together this incredible band, who were Jethro Butow on guitars, Steve Spanenburg on drums, I think it was Denny or Les Goode on Bass, who was the keyboard player, and was there a recording made of this concert? I remember working on this concert as a follow spot operator.

And does anyone out there remember The Band Of Gypsys?

-- Tony Groenewald



Anybody see the Just Jinger concert at Velodrome on the 15th May?
Also on the bill were The Led, Black Diamond, The Honeymoon Suites and Liquid Sky.

Will somebody please send in a review?



Lesley Rae Dowling is on the comeback trial and will be releasing a new
album tentatively titled Clear at the end of July. The album features
all new material and was recorded at Sunset in Stellenbosch and produced
by Jurgen von Wechmar.

Freedom's Children has recorded a new album. It was finished quite a
while ago. The record will be released as soon as we've tracked down
Ramsey to get PRS details, photoshoot etc. If anybody knows where he
is, we'll greatly appreciate any contact info.

Sugardrive will release the follow-up to their FNB South African Award
winning album, on 21 May. The new album is titled When I
Died I Was Elvis. The first single Disco Lazarus is currently a hot
favourite on radio.

Squeal is busy recording an EP. It is as yet untitled but should be in
the stores by end July. The album will feature seven tracks - four
newly recorded and three unreleased tracks.

-- Deon Maas, Gallo


Off The Edge screensaver available for download at:



Mike Fellows has informed me that the following people have confirmed to
play on Monday night 24th May, others still to be confirmed.
We will be starting at 8:30 pm at the newly renovated River Club (upstairs).
Food available at the bar, all under R10.

Rob Drake's "Blues Connection" (with a drummer)
Sue Joubert
Brian Finch & Lena

-- Steve Murdoch

Guitar & equipment sales/repairs, P A Hire & Party Music.
Tel: +27 21 6836144
Cell: 083 4487292



New Splashy Fen CD released.

"Splashy Fen - 10 years of music under the mountains"

Review and full track listing are at:



I recently met up with another digest member here in the UK (Nigel Walsh)
and it was great to relive/relate our experiences and memories of SA music
(we've both been away for about ten years now!) If anyone else is
interested in meeting up please let one of us know.

We listened to extracts from the new Off the Edge CD and compared versions
of the same tracks as my original 1983 LP - we both felt that the older
offerings were musically better arranged/performed!

Does anyone remember a venue on the Alberton/Heidelberg road, just past
Leondale (where I grew up) and near the drag strip - was it called Spiros?
- anyway, I remember being awe-struck (well, I was young!) by the
"resident" band there - Band of Gypsies, featuring father and son - I see
they are also mentioned in Garth and Tom's book - they performed some great
rock covers and some pretty mean original numbers.

I was also recalling many a "jol" at the Chelsea in Hillbrow - Morocko,
Circus, David Kramer come to mind and Rocky Street just down the road.

I was recently listening to a 4-track recording I made of one of the very
few live performances by Steve Linnegar's Snakeshed back in about 1984, in
Rosebank somewhere, I think. I also dug out a recording by them of a number
featuring Braam Malherbe (ex-Hawk etc.) on drums and vocals - both
inspiring stuff!

-- Stephan



This in response to (the editor's) naff confessions (in issue #15)

Included in my CD/vinyl collection are several albums which I'm not
especially proud to own but am basically too dumb to ditch. Some of them
were bought at the time of release, others were bought later because they
rekindled such amazing memories, and some were just bought because they were
cheap. Are you ready?

Herb Alpert ­ The Very Best Of (includes the excruciating 'Rise' but also
features several quite memorable tracks which received a lot of radio
airtime when I was an impressionable yougster)

Clint Black ­ Killin' Time (just had to find out what that 'big hat' scene
was all about but couldn't bring myself to buy Garth Brooks)

Several Mary Black and Nanci Griffith albums (no excuse really though did
see both live and Mary Black is rather gorgeous in a different sort of way,
and that Irish accent just kills me)

Nat King Cole/Perry Como/Sinatra (once naff but sounding better as I age)

Lots of Joe Dassin (French covers specialist who dressed like Elvis, a bit,
and sounded like a cross between Serge Gainsbourg and Maurice Chevalier ­
though he's cleary a Tony Joe White fan)

40th Anniversary of the Dutch Swing College Band ('cos my mum liked 'em,
I've yet to work out exactly why)

Eddie Grant ­ Walking on Sunshine (because Frontline Symphony took me back
to my first inter-varsity week where drinking, sex ­ if possible ­ and
sport/dancing etc; in that order, filled the week, I still preferred him
with the Equals)

John Holt ­ Pledging My Love (bought when anything with dreadlocks on the
cover caught my attention, superb voice, even now, but rather twee,
lovers-rock-style arrangements)

Several mid-eighties Elton John albums (appalling then and no better now, oh
for a repeat of Tumbleweed Connection or Honky Chateau)

Leon Redbone ­ Sugar (thirties-style music by a weird-looking eighties-type
bloke ­it was on sale and I liked the cover)

The Carpenters ­ Greatest Hits (naff then and naff now, but Karen's is/was
one of the best voices ever in popular music and was ever-present on-air in
the early to mid-seventies)

Seriously uncool or what?

On another matter, I've long wanted to locate a copy of the track
Tugela Rail (Darius Brubeck and cohorts). Any idea whether it's available?
I'd buy a compilation album just for that track.

-- Nigel Walsh



We're a new indie label in Cape Town.
Visit our site at
Our first release is FRANKIE'S PLAYGROUND and we are under negotiations
to license the new Glenn Hughes album for SA.

-- Frank Riester

{Editor: Glenn Hughes was the bassist in Deep Purple from 1973 to 1976}


USA FOR AFRICA, part 27 (or thereabouts!)

It's amazing reading about all my old favourite bands, and I cannot wait to get my records from SA (they include African Day; Africa She Too Can Cry, and Hotline's debut).
A friend has a set up that can copy vinyl onto CD, improving the sound as
well, so at least until I can get hold of this material officially (in the
year 2????) I may be able to play them for my Yankee listeners!

I've been going through some of my old e-mail (I'm a squirrel, keep
everything) and have received mail from people telling me they were sending
CD's to me. I haven't received them, and hope that I can put a message on
the Rock Digest which will attract their attention. As soon as I do receive
anything, I immediately confirm receipt, and follow up when I play anything.
So, if anyone reading this has sent me stuff, and has not received a
confirmation - PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!!

Anyone else wants airplay in the USA, send your music to me at:
2720 Roosevelt Blvd, Ste N1
Eugene, OR 97402

-- Leigh Barrett

(Check out the web site on - my name is there under
"volunteers", if anyone thinks I'm just scouting for free CD's!) I promise,
I will play EVERYTHING that is sent to me!



My name is Helgard de Barros, manager for Intervention Arts, a new South African independant record company who releases the following South African bands:
The Awakening, two albums so far, Risen, which featured the number one hit "Sounds of Silence" originally by Simon and Garfunkel, and the hit "Standing". The second album features the number one hit "Rain" and the singles "Maree" and "Safety Dance". Both albums have been released in America by the Tudor Princess label. The third album will be out in July.
Cane Halo, to be released within the next six months, album is completed, just busy with artwork, etc.
Syrens, currently in the studio, album will be out early next year.
Ashton Nyte, solo album from lead singer of the Awakening, to be released November?
Poets and Visionaries, EP with four tracks scheduled for August.
Juliet's Other Lover, scheduled for October.

Go to for more info on Awakening.

Our company will also be releasing some classic South African Alternative Music, and are currently planning the release on CD of all the Gathering material.

More info to follow. I am a collector of SA Music personally, and will send a list of what I'm looking for and what I have to swop/sell if there are other collectors out there.

-- Helgard

{Editor: anybody else want to swop/sell vinyl, CDs, etc? Let me know, let's see what we can do to connect collectors}



The ‘Homegrown’ in the title has less to do with the obvious natural implications and more to do with the ‘muso’ feel of this album. Steven Baker wrote all of these emotive and strong rock ballads and assembled a classy bunch of session musicians and leading lights to flesh out his compositions. Jarrod Hassett’s gruff and experienced vocals, reminiscent of those of John Hiatt, add a range of emotional undercurrents to these songs. John Paul Destefani adds a whole range of guitar licks and tricks to Steven Baker's keyboards and Bert Askes underpins the whole exercise with a steady beat.

These ten songs all work off a classic rock sound with short, taut arrangements.
‘The Youth Are The Future’ opens with its yearning vocal and “Oh Yeah” chorus responses. This runs straight into the chugging energy of ‘I Heard It On The Radio’ and the poppy ‘Me And Nicole’. ‘I Believe In Love’ is a subdued ballad and ‘Celebrate’ soars on Hassett’s emotional vocals. Although a low-key production, ‘Homegrown’ is a musicians album but manages to avoid being too esoteric thanks to these interesting and evocative rock songs and the professional but empathetic musical arrangements. A quality piece of work all round.

-- Stephen Segerman

Visit the Indie Music Explosion website for more info on this SA rock band.

{Editor: please feel free to send in a review of your favourite SA album, old or new, popular or obscure...we'd love to hear your opinions and impressions}


Last week's question:

What does "Harari" mean?

Answer: Lone Wanderer

The first correct answer came from Nigel Walsh who wins Harari's Greatest Hits Volume 2 supplied by Derek Smith from Gallo.

Harari fused the sounds of Africa with a polished American sound not unlike Toto.
They dominated the late 70s/early 80s scene in South Africa, headlining their own shows and supporting various overseas visitors like Wilson Pickett, Brook Benton and Percy Sledge.

This second volume of hits includes such powerful songs as Get Up And Dance, Soweto Sunset, We've Got the Rhythm and Rock Steady. Funky tunes with incredible rhythms and some soaring rock guitar. Highly recommended.

This week's question:

I Need Someone was sung by....? And in what year was it a big SA hit?

The lucky winner will get a copy of the 2CD set The Best Of SA Pop Volume 3 kindly supplied by Gallo. This CD features some great SA pop and rock songs from 1960 to 1990. Includes tracks by a diversity of artists such as Four Jacks and A Jill, Billy Forrest, John Ireland, Jonathan Butler, Joy, David Kramer, The Staccatos, Johnny Kongos to name but a few.

49 great nostalgic songs to bring back those memories of growing up in South Africa.


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Vote for your favourite McCully Workshop album at:


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The SA Rock Digest is compiled by Brian Currin from the
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