SA ROCK DIGEST ISSUE #71
The South African Rock Music Digest
is a free, subscription e-mag, edited
by Brian "Vagabond" Currin and Stephen
"Sugar" Segerman and delivered direct
to your e-mailbox.
Established January 1999.
To unsubscribe: reply to this issue
with "unsubscribe digest" as subject
1.WHAT'S NEW - Jack Hammer, SA Music Week 2000, Arts Alive Festival, Pathways Crossing, SA Festival in Oregon, Studios open doors to unsigned musicians, Four Jacks And A Jill website
2.CHARTS - Top 10 CDs, Top 20 SA songs, Top 20 Rock Albums, Top 10 SA MP3 downloads
3.ON STAGE - Sonja Herholdt, Jack Hammer, Aquarian Quartet
4.NEW RELEASES - Tassenberg All-Stars, Wildebeest
5.USA for SA - Kurt Shoemaker goes to the McCully Workshop
6.CLASSIC ROCK - John Samson remembers Juluka's African Litany
7.FORUM - Sample Division sale
8.REQUESTS - Pantsula, Coffee Song
9.ON THE NET - Georg Voros, Vetseun
10.WHAT'S ON - Sonja Herholdt, No ID, The Aquarian Quartet, Little Sister, Not My Dog, Halcyon, Sunways, Fruit Fly Navigators, Authentic gigs, Woodstock SA
11.LINKS AND ADS
JACK HAMMER - BOOTLEG
The official live album by Piet Botha and Jack Hammer, titled simply 'Bootleg', will be available very shortly. This album was recorded at various venues over the last 2 years and will be released on the Pofadder Records label and distributed by Intervention Arts.
Piet Botha and Jack Hammer on the net:
SA MUSIC WEEK 2000 (August 28 to September 2)
Anyone wishing to get involved on any level with the SA Music Week 2000 can do so by contacting:
Rosie Katz/ MIDI Trust at:
Total Exposure at:
THE 9th ANNUAL ARTS ALIVE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL
The 9th annual Arts Alive International Festival welcomes spring 2000
with a rich and varied programme. Musicians from Brazil, home grown
legends, wild and wacky street theatre performers, poets, artists and
dancers from all over the world will converge on the Johannesburg to
celebrate the arts during one of Africa's leading cultural events.
Hosted by the City of Johannesburg, the Festival runs for the month of
September and includes ever-favourite events: Jazz on the Lake, Dance @
Arts Alive, the Soweto and Alexandra Community Festivals and an
outstanding music and theatre programme. Also featured this year are
exciting new elements such as a special focus on music from Brazil,
performance art, a video conference performance linked to a simultaneous live performance in Britain and the Eargasm Hip-Hop concert. For the first time the Joy of Jazz Festival sponsored by Standard Bank will be held in conjunction with Arts Alive.
Jazz on the Lake has become one of the most successful events on the
South African cultural calendar. The line up for 2000 has a distinctly
local flavour and includes Judith Sephuma, Selaelo Selolta, Joe Nina,
Lebo and George Sax and the Funk 4. The smooth sounds of South America
are the focal point of the international music concerts. From Brazil
comes the "Queen of Samba" Beth Carvalho; singer, composer, guitarist
and national treasure Joyce and the jazzy notes of Doisde Ouro's
Peru sends the beautifully cool vocals of Susana Baca and one of the world's most accomplished percussionists, Efrain Toro from Puerto Rico, collaborates with a selection of South African artists to create a unique and exhilarating sound. Senegalese world music luminary, Cheikh Lô and all star European jazz band, the Michel Portal Trio, consisting of France and Switzerland's most famous jazz musicians, as well as mesmerising local talents Busi Mhlongo and Blk Sonshine join the South American artists on stage. Dead Prez, hip-hop revolutionaries from New York, perform with local artists and DJs at the Eargasm Hip-Hop concert.
Arts Alive runs from 1 to 30 September 2000, bookings for all the paid
events open at Computicket on 9 August 2000. The main sponsors for Arts
Alive 2000 are the Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Council, the Ford
Foundation, Prins Claus Fund, the French Institute, the Government of
Brazil, the Netherlands Embassy, the Swiss Arts Council, Business Arts
South Africa, National Arts Council, Metro FM, Gauteng Tourism and the
Department of Arts Culture, Science and Technology.
Bridget van Oerle
Buz Publicity and entertainment Consultants
PATHWAYS CROSSING: A tribute to MIKE MAKHALEMELE
Pathways Crossing formed by guitarist/ singer/ songwriter Cliff Shain &
Swedish guitarist/ composer Peter Nordling is a stylish fusion of musicians from different backgrounds, places & cultures. In 1998 Peter & Cliff extended the core to include legendary jazz saxophonist Mike Makhalemele. Together they produced an album that had a unique South African identity yet simultaneously incorporated elements of jazz, classical & folk. The coming together of all these influences is 'the crossing point'.
Mike Makhalemele sadly passed away on the 6th May 2000 before the
official launch of the album. Cliff & Peter dedicate this project to his memory & invite you to join them at a TRIBUTE gig for Mike & CD Launch.
Where: Bassline, Melville
When: Thurs 24th August
GODFREY MGCINA - drums & perc
ANDRE ABRAHAMSE - bass
CHINA PHASHE - trombone
VIVIAN MAJOLA - tenor sax
LERATO MOLAPO - backing vocals
and of course CLIFF SHAIN - lead guitar & vocals & PETER NORDLING on guitar
Pathways Crossing - the album - also features Isaac Mtshali on drums,
Tapelo Khomo on keyboards, David Lilly on trumpet, Dan Selsik - Trombone, Kenny Mathiba - Harmonica, Zama Mbutho, Marilyn Nokwe,Debrah Fraser, Mandisa Dlanga - backing vocals and Steve Diar.
Jazz broadcaster & critic, Mesh Mapetla said the following of Pathways
"Currently SA is a political miracle, and much is being discovered about this land - one being music. The rich cultural diversity is captured on this album, a tapestry of kaleidoscopic music style that make Cliff & Peter a major influence in the concept of world music. This is a 'must have' crossover CD in anybody's collection"
For further info please contact
cell 082 455 3447
SOUTH AFRICAN FESTIVAL IN OREGON
For many of you, I dont need to introduce myself, but as this is going to be read by new subscribers to Rock Digest, here it goes again:
I am a South African, now living in Oregon, USA. Since Nov 1998, I have been presenting a radio show called Women In Music on KRVM, a community radio station, broadcasting to a large area of Oregon (http://www.krvm.com). It is one of the top stations in the area, and has a very high listenership of all ages.
For the last 3 months, I have also been presenting a news/ music show on another station, KWVA (http://www.kwva.rebelpilot.com), called Africa Digest, dealing with news, views and music from all over Africa. My partner, Tim, presents a show called Planet Soup on KWVA, which focuses on mostly traditional and trad-contemporary music from all over the world. Being one of the directors of the station, he also gets to fill in for other DJs.
All of these opportunities allow us to play as much SA music as possible - something which has been received very well by our listeners. This area of the country is very open to all types of music, and the number of international bands playing in the area is quite amazing. Recently, weve seen Vas (Iran), Yungchen Lhamo (Tibet), Tarika (Madagascar), Altan (Irish trad), to name but a few.
I am now planning the next onslaught of SA music and culture, and need your help. Next summer (the main music time here, as it seldom rains for at least 4 months of the year!), I am hoping to put on a South African Festival. This will be an opportunity to present our music, art and culture to America. Not only will all genres be represented, from traditional to alternative rock, but I would also like to see art and craft booths, and workshops for those who would like to learn traditional dancing, how to play musical instruments, etc.
If youd like a better idea of what I have in mind, check out http://www.zimfest.org. The Zimbabwe Festival is being held here
this month, and although it is on a smaller scale than the SA fest would be, it gives a general idea. The annual African Festival in Portland is also very popular, although it focuses on west and east Africa, instead of south (http://www.homowo.org).
I cannot do this alone. If you want to get involved in getting this off the ground, I need you to put finger to keyboard and tell me what you are prepared to do to help make this happen. Whether it be financial support in sponsoring musicians or artists to get here, or if you can offer advertising, or moral support, or anything else, I would love to hear from you.
E-mail me at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org, and lets make this a total onslaught on America. South African artists CAN make it in this country, but you have to be prepared to work for it. We have a platform here to do just that, and its the perfect part of the States from which to launch.
1641 Wilson Street
Eugene, OR 97402
STUDIOS OPEN THEIR DOORS TO UNSIGNED MUSICIANS
The South African Music Week Studio Recording Project affords
previously-unrecorded musicians the chance to work in professional studios to lay down demo tracks. During South African Music Day 1999, studios sponsored their services and recorded 22 groups of various genres, ranging from maskandi to rock. South African Music Week is a joint project of the National Arts Council and The Midi Trust
The main objective of these demos is to assist unrecorded artists/ groups to market and promote themselves. Groups that have been together for a reasonable time and are currently performing their own compositions will get first priority. Studios nationwide have once again been approached to sponsor time and expertise; and South African Music Week will also see the release of the second CD compilation of these recordings for distribution to record companies scouting for great, potential and new local talent.
Bands wishing to participate in this initiative need to complete an
application form available the Midi Trust and should be returned not later than 21 August 2000.
Contact EMERGING SOUNDS on
(011) 789 7499 or
THE MIDI TRUST on (011) 482 7037
Issued by K.S.P. World
Tel: (021)461 8950
Fax: (021)461 8979
FOUR JACKS AND A JILL
It's finally on the Internet. The world's first Four Jacks And A Jill
Go here and click on the Four Jacks And A Jill link..
TOP 10 SOUTH AFRICAN CDs
Based on sales at the Seedys and One World "offline" stores in Pretoria
and http://www.oneworld.co.za online
1. Solly Moholo - Motlhang Ke Kolobetswa
2. Mandoza - Nkalakatha
3. Trompies - Mapansula
4. Wonderboom - Never Ever Ever Ever
5. Kekana,Linda - Rebirth
6. DJ Christos - DJ Club Classics
7. DJ Nasty - 2
8. Juluka/ Savuka - Best Of
9. Laurika Rauch - 19 Treffers van 21 Jaar
10. Glen Lewis (Mixed By) - Numero Uno
Supplied by One World
THE SA ROCK DIGEST TOP 20 ROCK ALBUMS OF THE WEEK
Recent albums from around the world that keep us rocking
This week [last week] Title - Artist (Label)
1.  Anthology - Jack Hammer (Wildebeest)
2.  Reconstructing Alice - Sonja Herholdt (Universal)
3.  Smile - The Jayhawks (Sony)
4.  In The Meantime - Watershed (EMI)
5.  Showcase 2: the 5FM Singles Collection - Various (Sony)
6.  The Best Of Robin Auld Vol. 1 (TicTicBang)
7.  White Ladder - David Gray (Gallo)
8.  Control Yourself - Hit The Ground Running (Smash)
9.  Cape Mystique - Tim Hoare (Gallo)
10.  The Best Of Juluka/ Savuka featuring Johnny Clegg (EMI)
11.  Lungiswa - Lungiswa (MELT2000)
12.  Masque Of Shadows - Yoke Shire (Zygo)
13.  Just Another Band - Off The Edge (Independent)
14. [-] Tassenberg All Stars (live) - Various (Trippy Grape)
15.  Binaural - Pearl Jam (Epic)
16. [-] While No One Was Looking - Little Sister (Gallo)
17. [-] Best Of The Decade - Big Sky (Epic)
18.  Serial Boyfriend - Frank Opperman and Prime Time Addiction (Gallo)
19.[-] Bushrock 1 (live) - Wildebeest (Wildebeest)
20. [-] No Security (live) - The Rolling Stones (Virgin)
THE SA ROCK DIGEST TOP 20 SOUTH AFRICAN SONGS OF THE WEEK
A current and random list, based on accessibility, availability on CD,
and general like-ability
This week [last week] Title - Artist (Album/ Label)
1. (-) Fundal - Lungiswa (off album 'Lungiswa'/ MELT2000)
2. (1) A Million Lights - Tree (off album '63'/ EMI)
3. (-) Yesterday Again - Watershed (off album 'In The Meantime'/ BMG)
4. (18) Sonny Boy - Sibongile Khumalo (off album Immortal Secrets/
5. (7) Opus 3 in Dmajor (Spiders Waltz) - Mauritz Lotz (off album
6. (19) What Do I Do Now? - Sonja Herholdt (off album Reconstructing
7. (-) Let It Bleed - Justin Bergh (off album Love The Sinner/ BMG)
8. (2) Don't Lie To Me - Watershed (off album 'In The Meantime'/ BMG)
9. (4) Perfect Day - Robin Auld (off album Best Of Vol 1/ TicTicBang)
10. (8) Fiesta - Tim Hoare (off album Cape Mystique/ Gallo)
11. (9) Dr Malombo - Tananas (off album 'Seed'/ SonySA)
12. (10) Homeland - Miriam Makeba (off album Homeland/ Sheer)
13. (11) Born In A Taxi - Blk Sonshine (off album 'Blk Sonshine'/ Fresh)
14. (12) Never Ever Ever Ever - Wonderboom (off EP 'Never Ever Ever'/
15. (13) Trying To Believe - Semisane (off album 'A Life Less
16. (3) In My Heart - Off The Edge (off album 'Just Another Band'/ Off
17. (15) 69 Tea - Saron Gas (off compilation '5FM Showcase 2'/ Sony SA)
18. (17) Inner City Blues - Lungiswa (Xhosa version off album
19. (16) Touch - Lesley Rae Dowling (off album 'Clear'/ Gallo)
20. (20) Deur Die Donker Vallei - Valiant Swart (off album 'Deur Die
Donker Vallei'/ Wildebeest)
Sponsored by Networld
Networld are webhosts for the Koos Kombuis, Valiant Swart and Robin Auld websites as well as the SA Rock Files group of sites. Networld also ensure that the Digest gets to your e-mailbox every week.
TOP 20 SOUTH AFRICAN MP3 DOWNLOADS
This week [last week] Title - Artist (Style)
1.  Hypnotic - Benguela (Instrumental)
2.  Party On - Ashaan (African Hip Hop)
3.  Margarida - Choppa (Latino Kwaito)
4.  Pretend/Cynical - A>e>B (Alternative/Electro)
5. [RE] Lucki - Boo! (Munki Punk)
6. [-] Nothing Seems To Shake Me - New Clouded Yellow (Modern Rock)
7. [RE] Stagefright - Boo! (Munki Punk)
8.  Wena U Bani...? - O'Da Meesta (Kwaito)
9.  Where Aloes Hold the Earth - Benguela (Instrumental)
10.  Beautiful Thing - E'smile (African R&B)
11. [RE] Motherhush - Fetish (Alternative)
12. [RE] Happy When I Smile - Ethel My Love (Punk)
13. [-] I Suck - Ethel My Love (Punk)
14.  In the Mood For Oud - Strings 'n Skins (Afro-Asian)
15. [RE] Say-Grin - THC (Modern Tribal)
16. [-] End of Summer - Sound (Electro)
17. [RE] How Rude - Fuzigish (Ska/Punk)
18. [-] He's In It - Scrape (Punk/Ska)
19. [-] Alien Love - Fuzigish (Ska/Punk)
20. [RE] If I - Damn the Icebergs (Cinematic Rock)
Supplied by Digital Cupboard
SONJA HERHOLDT - RECONTRUCTING ALICE
The High Street Theatre, Durbanville
Firstly, let me start off by saying that I have absolutely no plans to rush out and buy the whole Sonja Herholdt back catalogue of 30 albums or so. The Doris Day of Afrikaans Pop has never been one of my favourites... however 'Reconstructing Alice', which is basically a one-woman live performance of the recent CD of the same name, was stunning to say the least.
Sonja's only cover of the evening was a wonderful version of Louis Armstrong's 'What A Wonderful World', including a Satchmo impersonation at the end!
She had a lot of fun with the new remix of 'Trein Na Matjiesfontein', running around the audience and dragging some of them up on the stage to dance.
Much to my surprise I found myself even singing along to the Millennium Mix of 'Ek Verlang Na Jou' - I guess some songs just stick in your brain whether you want them to or not.
Sonja sparkled and glowed and though most of the songs are very personal, intimate and some might even say dark in content, the impression I got on Wednesday night, is that this is a woman having fun and enjoying new-found freedom in life and living. (BC)
Sonja on the net:
Read a review of the new CD here:
PIET BOTHA AND JACK HAMMER
The Dorp Street Theatre, Stellenbosch
Piet Botha (known as "Hammer" to his friends and colleagues) has been playing, performing and recording his own brand of South African pop, folk and rock music since the late 70s. He has teamed up in the last few years with some young and very talented musicians including the 22-year old Jonathan Martin (this duo was credited as "Piet and The Kid" at the recent Oppikoppi Festival!).
On Thursday night a 3-piece acoustic Jack Hammer consisting of Piet on vocals, guitar, piano and mouth organ, Jonathan Martin on vocals, guitar and cello and Tertius du Plessis on bass, played a selection of songs from the 5 album Jack Hammer back catalogue as well as a number of Afrikaans folk-rock songs from Piet's 2 solo outings, 'Suitcase Vol Winter' and 'Jan Skopgraaf'.
One of the highlights for me was the incredible 'Goeie Nag Generaal', which Piet dedicated to all the guys who were in army. This is song that captures the feelings and emotions that surrounded the Border War, especially the futility of the whole f****g exercise. Similar in essence to Billy Joel's 'Goodnight Saigon'.
The band also covered a wide range of songs including 'Dead Flowers' by The Rolling Stones, 'Sweet Child O' Mine' by Guns N' Roses, 'Wish You Were Here' by Pink Floyd and Nick Drake's 'Northern Sky'. This last song is available on the brand new live compilation 'Tassenberg All-Stars'. It is credited to Jonathan Martin, but actually performed by Jonathan and Piet at this year's Oudsthoorn Festival.
Jack Hammer never fail to entertain and another great evening was spent in the company of one of South Africa's true legends. (BC)
Piet Botha and Jack Hammer on the net:
There are 3 "Piet at Oppikoppi" photos here...
THE AQUARIAN QUARTET
The Troubadour, Kalk Bay
The Troubadour in Kalk Bay was the place to be on Friday night, and it looks like everybody got the message. The place was packed and we were treated to a wonderful evening of original Acoustic Rock (thanks to support act, Soul Range) and Acoustic African New Age Greek Jazz Fusion Instrumental sounds (pick one, or all of the above) from the fingers of Tony Cox, Steve Newman, Greg Georgiades and Syd Kitchen.
All four are accomplished musicians in their own right with back catalogues of CDs to be proud of. Together they produced sound images that bordered on the telepathic.
My personal choice usually tends towards the harder rock side of the musical spectrum, but these guys showed how to make acoustic instruments stand up and talk. Each artist had a solo spot which were all superb, but Steve Newman deserves a special mention for producing sounds like I have never heard on an acoustic guitar before.
The Aquarian Quartet are so-named because they were all born in February (so was I, maybe that's why I like them), and are playing at the High Street Theatre in Durbanville on Monday night and at The Zanzibar in Knysna on Friday the 25th August. See them if you can.
There is going to be an album released later in the year, recorded at the recent Grahamstown Festival, so I guess it will be a live album... look out for it. (BC)
Tony Cox on the net:
Syd Kitchen on the net:
Rhythm Records, RR/001
A live compilation of tracks recorded at this year's Oudtshoorn Festival. Most of the alternative Afrikaners are here: Koos Kombuis, Piet Botha, Gert Vlok Nel and Valiant Swart. Valiant's 9 minute 'Die Mystic Boer' is stunning. One of my favourites on this album is 'Jannie Cocaine' by Akkedis, an anti-drug song they tell us, just in case we miss the point. The lone female voice on this album is that of Laurinda Hofmeyer with a haunting song called 'Moment'. I don't know the band Mikanic, but they get 2 tracks which are pretty good. Other artists include Theuns Jordaan, Jonathan Martin (accompanied by an uncredited Piet Botha) and Delta Blue. (BC)
BUSHROCK 1 - WILDEBEEST
This forgotten classic album from 1981 is now available on CD. Hard and heavy and featuring the vocals of Karlien van Niekerk, this is an album for serious collectors of vintage SA rock. New recruits should first try Jack Hammer's 'Anthology' or Freedoms Children's 'Astra' before attemping to get into this album, though its worth the effort.
Colin Pratley's drumming is incredible especially on 'Living Drummers' ("we are all living drummers"). This album also features the wonderful violin-playing of Dave Tarr and the superb guitar-work of Boet Farber. On bass and mouth organ is one "JP Botha", now better known as Piet "Hammer" Botha. (BC)
Wildebeest on the net:
5.USA FOR SA
McCULLY WORKSHOP - BUCCANNEER
Micmac Sound, MS001
As a SA music neophyte a year ago, I first listened to the original
version of 'Buccaneer' on disc 2 of 'The Best of SA Pop Volume 2'. I was hooked immediately. Not only is that song an favorite of mine, but it is also one of the singalong favorites in the Shoemaker household. It is in good company... among the many SA songs "sungalong to" here in Texas are 'Paradise in Summertime' by Just Jinger, 'Sugarman' by Rodriguez, 'ZX Dan' by The Radio Rats, 'Shosholoza' by Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and 'Master Jack' by Four Jacks and a Jill. 'Buccaneer' has a dramatic rising riff, and powerful male vocals that put it in a category all by itself, that of the rock sea shanty.
I have read about McCully Workshop on the net at http://www.rock.co.za/files/mccully.html. After I read about the band, I wanted to purchase McCully Workshop CDs. But the only work available was this CD of six re-recorded songs and six new ones -- which fact, I freely confess, put me off. I thought: "Ag, all that's available is not the original stuff." However, another thought occurred to me: "But if all I know is the original 'Buccaneer', I have nothing to compare the re-recorded and new songs to, so they'll be fresh." With that thought, I sought the CD from One World.
Frankly, I was apprehensive about the opening track. How could the
McCully Brothers and Friends possibly better 'Buccaneer'? I didn't believe they could top the original 'Buccaneer' because it was too perfectly wonderful in the original.
So I played the CD. And was almost knocked over backwards by the wall
of sound that hit me like a main's'l blown free by a Cape of Good Hope gale: palpable male voices, thick strong guitar, booming rock! I sang along happily over the storm.
The rest of the CD 'Buccaneer' is full of bright, even clever, rockers
and melody tunes. I have come to realize that it's unfair to compare
'Buccaneer' to these other songs. To make a further comparison, imagine
'Stairway to Heaven' opening a CD of The Hollies or Byrds songs. They are fine rock songs in their own right, but 'Buccaneer' casts a long shadow.
'Buccaneer' is the biggest and boldest tune on the CD so it was just as
well to put it on as the first track. No other song on the CD upstages it, no matter how fine they are. 'Buccaneer' gets better and better with each listen. Furthermore, the original does not dim in comparison. Both are powerful versions. The new one has a bigger sound, but the older one has a pretty big sound also. 'Buccaneer' is also the tune most people want to hear first. Nope, it's best as the opener, then we can move on to listen to the rest of the songs.
What about the other tunes, the ones that weren't #1 hits like
'Buccaneer'? Here's my take on them:
'Chinese Junkman' -- A bouncy tune, with a double entendre in the word
'junkman'. Fun song, interesting lyrics, the kind of song that makes me
think, "Gotta dance!" A #8 hit.
'She' -- Lovely and sincere rock ballad. Sometimes soft and pretty,
then the rest of the time it cranks up high on the rock scale.
'Free' -- A tinkling piano, then a startling crash of music. They sure
got my attention. This is a straight-line rock song that does not yield. As much as I enjoy The Beatles' 'Free As a Bird', I do wish it had rocked like this song.
'Why Can't It Rain' -- A theme song of this part of Texas nowadays -- I
can identify with the arid feeling and the wish for relief. Pretty melody, strong rock, interludes with the lead singer followed
by mountains of male choral vocals. Wow.
'Maneater' -- Talking about an old girlfriend of mine, I'm sure. She
was a young lady with an aggressively self-centered world-view.
The clever lyrics of this poppy song contain references to films and
'Sweet Fields of Green' -- This song is a sort of a signature McCully
Workshop tune: male harmony vocals cut through by a sharp guitar, thunderous rock alternating with the solitary male lead singer, and Mike the drummer breaking a sweat all over the place. However, the pattern is more than the standard rock formula in the hands of these veterans. Their creativity makes each tune different.
'Guinevere' -- A lovely ballad, but it does go on a tad long before the
fade. Because the refrain is pretty enough despite going on a bit, I
suspect some people call it one of their favorite songs. People like girls -- without which, where would rock be, I ask you?
'Heat' -- Catchy, brisk walking rhythm, solidly written rock lyrics.
Lyrics and music work well together here. The ensemble sound is
well-separated yet the players are tight.
'The Miller's Tale' -- A touch of pub rock sound -- the concertina
sound, perhaps. The lyrics and melody echo classic ballads or drinking
songs, Tully McCully has a knowing, world-wise tone.
'Birds Flying High' -- Starts softly, sparse instrumentation (for
McCully Workshop) accompanying the singer. The music climbs as everyone
joins in. Back to soft, with a flute. Lead singer again. The chorus sends their voices to the heavens. More flute, very pretty, no lead singer, big finish. Classic McCully Workshop, disemboweled. The song sounds much better than this implies, just as people with flesh look better than skeletons.
'Weather the Weak End Down' -- The set finishes on a strong note. I
still get a kick about songs that use the word "revolution" -- even if it sounds funny: "Join the revolution, be the only one." On the Buccaneer webpage this song is described as a jam -- sounds like a well-practiced piece to me. Slightly different sound for McCully Workshop on this closing track, a rocking finale.
All in all, a strong rock album of bold and inspiring vocals, music by
determined and creative musicians, and well-written rock lyrics.
I'll bet the original McCully Workshop albums are full of other songs
to my taste. I'd like to find out, so I suggest to the guys out in the
workshop of Spaced Out Sound Studios to re-release the original McCully
Workshop albums on CD, okay?
A couple of days ago I went back to my South African rock roots. I
listened to the third CD I bought from One World: The Best of SA Pop Volume 2, disc 2, in particular 'Buccaneer' by McCully's Workshop. The original still stands in my mind as a classic, while the new version big, bold, and more dramatic is also a classic, without diminishing the power of the first one. They remade the song, but didn't mess with success.
It's likely most of us would agree that 'Buccaneer' is, as I have said
before with that rock critic's cliché, "a killer tune". To use another
cliché, it is "worth the price of admission." But, I must gladly also admit that the rest of the CD's songs, old and new alike, give the title track a good competitive run. They have sweet melodies, powerful male harmonies, strong guitar and other instruments, all wielded by musicians who know one another well and who really get driving rock workouts with these tunes.
With this album you get the hits and six new tunes. After my initial
misgivings I'm pleased. These songs reward both the casual listener, or one who gives them a close listen.
As a postscript: follow the superfluous advice that used to appear on
LPs way back when: Play Loud.
Kurt Shoemaker, Blanco, Texas
This and any other SA CD is available from One World
6.CLASSIC SA ROCK
AFRICAN LITANY - JULUKA
'African Litany' was Juluka's second "English" album and was released in 1981. It opens with one of my favourite Juluka tracks 'Impi'. The first strong cry of 'Impi' is a dramatic start to the album and the listener is not disappointed by the song that follows. The song tells the story of the Battle of Isandhlwana, where the Zulu's defeated the British in dramatic fasion, but the song is more of a victory celebration rather than the tragic story of loss that white South Africans had grown up with. The songs combines strong tribal rhythms with a great rock tune and typifies the Juluka/ Savuka sound.
The rest of the album is a mixture of more of this great afropop and some really rootsy "afrofolk". 'African Sky Blue' is a simple yet beautiful song, stripped down to guitar, drums and a great penny whistle tune. It tells the story of the Zulu's move from Warrior to Miner where's "his war is underground". At times I was reminded of Simon & Garfunkel (long before Graceland), usually during the verses where Johnny Clegg is singing to an acoustic background, yet the choruses with their great Zulu chanting are always there to remind you where this album is coming from. (As an aside, my cricket mad
brother always mistook the chanting of yum-bo-hum on 'African Sky Blue' as being Ian-Bo-tham)
There is a strong political tone to the album with much of it directed at the "Imperial Colonists", England, but Johnny & Sipho's love of Africa shows through quite clearly.
This is not as polished as Clegg's later work with Savuka, but it's rawness and simplicity is it's appeal. It may take a little while for those used to the Savuka sound to get used to this earlier work, but it is worth taking the time to do so as it has been for me a rewarding experience.
This and any other SA CD is available from One World
Johnny Clegg on the net:
Sample Division will be having a sale at Paul Bothners new shop in Plumstead on Saturday 26th August
Now I'm going to open myself up again by displaying some ignorance
like I did when innocently asking, "What is dagga?". I keep running across references to "Pantsula". Is that a town, region, dirty word, or what?
Kurt Shoemaker, Blanco, Texas
If anyone out there has Freedoms Children's first single ('The Coffee
Shop/ Satisfaction'), please contact me by e-mail.
9.ON THE NET
Georg Voros is a professional drummer, teacher and author with over 25 years involvement in the music industry.
In South Africa Georg has worked with: eVoid, Neill Solomon, Mara Louw, Geraldine Brannigan (national tour with this Irish country singer), Pierre de Charmoy, René Arnell (Via Afrika), cult seventies band Steve Linnegar's Snakeshed, and worked with musicians from top South African bands such as Hotline, Zia, Buttercup, City Limits and Backtrax.
Find out more at:
Piet Botha, Koos Kombuis, Valiant Swart, Battery 9, etc, etc
Afrikaans website about Afrikaner Rock. Needs shockwave and the navigation is not that obvious, but well worth a visit.
THE HIGH STREET THEATRE, DURBANVILLE, CAPE TOWN
21 August - Aquarian Quartet
22 August - Gert Vlok Nel, Valiant Swart and others - Tassenberg All Stars CD Launch
25-26 August - 2 Stroke Ducktails, Boere Rock and Tjank
30-31 August, 1-2 September - Johannes Kerkorrel
Bookings through Computicket
SONJA HERHOLDT - RECONSTRUCTING ALICE
23 Augustus - 2 September
Jargonelle's Brixton Johannesburg
Vir besprekings skakel (011) 837 3770
Sterrewag Teater Bloemfontein
Vir besprekings skakel (051) 448 9150
Vir besprekings skakel (011) 787 1984
19 August - Armchair Theatre, Observatory, Lower Main Rd, Cape Town
27 August - Cafe Camissa, Kloof street, Cape Town.
THE AQUARIAN QUARTET
Tony Cox, Steve Newman, Syd Kitchen and Greg Georgiades
MONDAY 21 AUGUST
20:00 HIGH STREET, Durbanville
FRIDAY 25 AUGUST
20:00 ZANZIBAR, Knysna
26 August, Key Largo, Cnr North Rand & Trichardt St, Boksburg
2 September, Satellite Friendly, Cnr Eleventh & Charl Cilliers Street, Boksburg
23 September, Glenn Marais, Cnr Veld & Dann St, Glen Marais, Kempton Park
24 September, East Rand Traders Center
25 September, Summerfield, Cnr Braun & Jim Fouche Streets, Verwoerdpark, Alberton
27 September, Kimberley Show
30 September, Richards Bay
7 October, Cotlands Gala Night and draw for Harley Davidson motorbike
14 October, Upington "Raisin Festival"
NOT MY DOG
7 Sep - Evolution, Pretoria
9 Sep 23:00 - Opgerok Technikon, Pretoria
22 Sep - The Nile Crocodile, Glenwood Rd, Pretoria
30 Sep - Boogie Nights, Lynnwood Road, Pretoria
5 Oct - Tuks Joolplaas, Pretoria
FRUIT FLY NAVIGATORS
25 August - Zappa's (Pietermaritzburg) with Sideshow
16 September - Rockafella's (Port Shepstone)
24 September - Woodstock (Heidelberg)
30 September - Zappa's (Pietermaritzburg) with Sideshow
01 October - The Jam (Margate)
02 October - Durban Folk Club (Unplugged)
14 October - The Bat Cafe' (Durban) with Jane Doe
Management: Dave Campbell
Tel : 031-3048958
Fax : 031-3360812
Fan Mail: mailto:email@example.com
September 23rd - Woodstock Festival
September 30th - Burn with Sunways
COLOUR ME IN TOUR 2000
fri 25 AUG ABELARDE SANCTION (Jhb)
wed 30 AUG MYSTIC BOER (Bloem)
fri 1 SEPT KIMBERLY
sat 2 SEPT ABELARDE SANCTION (Jhb) SA MUSIC WEEK
wed 6 SEPT BASSLINE (Melville, Jhb)
with choral group Boyfriendz from Mamelodi
fri 8 SEPT BUGSY'S (Randburg, Jhb)
sat 9 SEPT BOOGIE NIGHTS (Pretoria)
thurs 14 SEPT UP THE CREEK (Pretoria) with choral group
Boyfriendz from Mamelodi
fri 22 SEPT WOODSTOCK (Heidelberg)
sat 23 SEPT FESTIVAL OF LIVING TREASURES (Shongweni) with choral group Boyfriendz from Mamelodi
sun 24 SEPT FOLK CLUB (Margate)
mon 25 SEPT TUSK INN (Durban)
wed 27 SEPT RIVETS (Durban)
sat 30 SEPT BURN (Durban)
AUTHENTIC BAND GIGS
Tuesday 22 August
Plum and Lunge - Roxy Rhythm Bar, Main Rd, Melville
Wednesday 23 August
Watershed - Boogie Nights, Lynwood Rd, Pretoria
Friday 25 August
Karma - Rhythm and Brew, Farramere Centre, Sheridan Rd, Benoni
Friday 25 August
Ohm - Waterats, London, UK
Saturday 26 August
Ethel My Love, Plum, Shifty - Thrashers Skate park, Pretoria
Saturday 26 August
Karma - Bugsy's, Cnr Republic and Rabie, Randburg
Saturday 26 August
Ethel My Love, Plum, Leek and The Bouncing Uptones - Thrashers Skate Park, Pretoria
Tuesday 29 August
Watershed, 57 - Roxy Rhythm Bar, Main Rd, Melville
Wednesday 30 August
Ohm - Borderline, London, UK
This year's SA version of Woodstock will take place at the Heidelberg Kloof - Gauteng from 22nd to 25th of September. Bands can submit demos to: P.O.Box 91657, Auckland Park, 2006. There will be four stages/arenas. Contact mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
11.LINKS AND ADVERTS
SA ROCK LEGENDS
SA MUSICIANS ON THE NET FROM A TO Z
Piet Botha, Koos Kombuis, Valiant Swart, Battery 9, etc
PIET BOTHA & JACK HAMMER
OFF THE EDGE
SPRINGBOK NUDE GIRLS
THE LEGENDS OF SOUTH AFRICAN ROCK
Where SA rock legends still live
SOUTH AFRICA'S ROCK FILES
The online archive for the History of South African Rock
OZNET MUSIC CHARTS
Archive of Australian, UK & US #1 Hit Singles from 1956 to 2000
TOO GOOD TO BE FORGOTTEN
Post your message on the SA Rock message board
News, views, reviews and interviews
Arts news from Kwazulu-Natal
News, classifieds and much more...
WALL OF SOUND
Up-to-date news on the International music scene
Cape Town's Music Club
THE BIG TREE
Gant's Centre, Strand
HARBOUR MUSIC CLUB
The Troubadour, Kalk Bay
Every Wednesday night 8:30
Entrance R15 - bar available
Rob Anderson (021) 7891021
Nadia Scaillet (021) 4489834
HIGH STREET THEATRE
Durbanville, Cape Town
Pretoria entertainment guide
What's on around South Africa
SA's music retail chain
Selling South African Music to the World
OUTLAW RECORDS, CAPE TOWN
Second-hand vinyl and CDs
Strand concourse Cape Town
N1 City Goodwood
N1 City, Cape Town
RECORD COMPANIES, LABELS & STUDIOS:
The cave for Kevin "Caveman" Shirley
INDIE MUSIC EXPLOSION
MIGHTY MUSIC PRODUCTIONS
MUSIC FOR THE MASSES
Off Centre * Tic Tic Bang * Season To Taste * Shrapnel
Private Bag X10
RIESTER INTERNATIONAL RECORDS
STREET LEVEL RECORDS
Digital Mastering, Editing and Remastering
082 701 5096
PEDRO THE MUSIC MAN
sound - lights - dance
African Music Magazine
The radio show, the CDs, the website
CAPITAL RADIO 604
Sugar, the Digest co-editor, chats to Bruce Millar every Wednesday at 10.30am
THE HISTORY OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
Garth Chilvers and Tom Jasiukowicz (TOGA, 1994)
KOOS se SONGS
SEX, DRUGS AND BOEREMUSIEK
CLIMB UP ON MY MUSIC
A site dedicated to Rodriguez, the Sugar Man
PIOTR'S GREEN PAGES
Discographies and lyrics for the legends of rock
The festival, the CD, the book, the website
CD Database Online
CD player for accessing the online CD database http://www.mindspring.com/~clark_tisdale/CDmax/
MP3s of South African artists
Links to download sites
Online and keyword searchable
This e-mag is a discussion forum for rock and pop music --
South African and International -- past, present and future.
All contributions are welcome, send them to:
or email Brian Currin at:
All contributions in plain text e-mail format with no attachments, please.
The following types of contributions may be ignored
as they take a while to fix:
HTML format e-mails (Outlook users, please note)
e-mails all in lowercase
e-mails all in CAPITALS
e-mails with attachments
Any e-mail with an ".exe" file attached will be automatically trashed so please don't even try.
Send an e-mail to mailto:email@example.com with any words or phrases that vaguely indicate acceptance or... visit http://rock.co.za/sarockdigest and fill in the simple form.
Want to unsubscribe from this e-mag?
Surely not, but if you really must, then just reply to this e-mail,
saying "I'm bored" or "get me out of here" or "I've had enough" or whatever. I'll get the idea, eventually.
"unsubscribe digest" has been known to work too...
Back to Index