Monday, May 18, 2009


The ROOTs Cause

I pretty much use this blog as a reference site, as I recently started a fresh 'New Worldly Music' blog at The ROOTs Cause.

I will be updating there as often as I can, as I am unfortunately not able to sustain myself in the music industry alone, after we were forced to close down Peak Performances at the beginning of 2009 due to a whole stack of clients who didn't pay for the music after the fact. A sad state of affairs.

But the music continues, and so at The ROOTs Cause I will carry on the stories, giving the inside track to so many of our wonderfully talented musicians, and reminding you of some of our musical history.

The fat lady hasn't sung just yet!

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Thursday, November 01, 2007


Chris Chameleon's Flight of an Extraordinary Alien

I am very excited! I have just received a copy of Chris Chameleon’s newest DVD – “Flight of an Extraordinary Alien” – released by Rhythm Records and distributed by Select Music Distribution… and it is awesome!

Chris Chameleon who has always been one of Peak’s favourite artists, appeared at Mercury lounge on Thursday the 11th of last month, and the Peak’ers went off to enjoy some of his SAMA winning tracks with about 120 other eager fans. That’s because we couldn’t make the show that was recorded for the DVD, that was filmed on the 2nd of March this year in Stellenbosch. There were over 1000 fans there for the recording, and apart from a really top-notch production, I can see that it was a highlight in Chris’ performing career. He was enjoying himself!

His show, in English, but also in his language of choice, Afrikaans, was frikken awesome, real cross-over stuff, with him even bringing out some of that old alien material that made Boo! such a big name with the reworked track OOAA! I thoroughly enjoyed it!

From the moment he steps on the dimly lit stage; I knew I was in the personal space of the man, Chris Chameleon. Yes, his band was in full swing too, with Warren Leicher on Bass with Kevin (not brothers) Leicher on lead and Duncan Shelwell on drums, but it is the changing colours of the man that holds us mesmerized.

He was at the centre of my stage, to take me on a journey through his songs, and his world.

He sashay’s and minces; he mimics all the expressions he feels inside; bare-chested and almost exposing his inner self, to us, out there in the darkness.

the trick is in the hips
in the licking of the lips

tricks that twist the wrists

wrists of my will to resist

surrender is bliss

(Paragraph four from the track Loving Fool, off the album Shine)

My girls tell me he’s sexy… honestly, their words. And, well, I suppose I have to admit that he is. Or to put it more professionally, he knows how work his audience well!

Even the eldest member of the audience at the Mercury Lounge, 85-year old (Ouma) Mrs Joyce Wait, who after the show walked all the way back up two flights of stairs to go and get a drukkie (that’s a hug to my foreign friends) and meet Chris Chameleon – thoroughly enjoyed the show! Her granddaughter, Monica, told us that it was her first ever Rock concert, and that she didn’t want to wash the stamp off her arm till she had shown her daughter!

The press release for the new DVD, “Flight of an Extraordinary Alien”, says, ”Chris performed tracks from his first solo English album “Shine”, tracks from his Ingrid Jonker album “Ek herhaal jou” and a special version of popular Boo! song OOAA. Fans of “Ek herhaal jou”, will be pleasantly surprised by the new rock versions of songs “Korreltjie Sand, Pop val Stukkend” and “Opdrag Dwaling.”

Shine”, an album loaded with power and passion, produced various singles on national commercial radio stations and was nominated for a SAMA 2007 for ‘Best Alternative Album’.” - and live, I can only say its all good!

Chris is currently overseas to perform 25 shows in 6 weeks in the Benelux countries, as well as 3 shows in London. And they are lapping up his music; Mirjam Adriaans for the Folkforum Festival in the Netherlands said that Chris was the surprise of the festival when he appeared there in August – just him and his guitar on stage – I can imagine they were blown away.

Strangely, after his show, I don’t miss Boo! so much any more. The sound is still alive is his show, it’s just become more mature.

But I would say, go and get the DVD “Flight of an Extraordinary Alien” – this is a hot example of what South Africa can do, never mind the fact that it’s another Chris Chameleon classic!

17h10 UPDATE: I forgot... apologies - I have the press release for all the Chris Chameleon shows in November, including the three in London - so I think its best that I put it out as is - just so I dont get anything wrong!

Chris Chameleon will be touring the Benelux with popular Dutch band SPINVIS from 19 October to 28 November. Chris has been to the Netherlands often in the past few years to perform at selected venues and festivals. His phenomenal solo performances have gained him many fans in Europe and at a recent festival in Folkwoods, Eindhoven, a Dutch publication wrote that “Chris Chameleon was the surprise of the festival.”

There are also three shows scheduled in London from 19 to 21 November: Chris will perform two solo shows and one show with a band.

In August 2007 Chris signed a contract with Excelsior Recordings in the Netherlands for the distribution and marketing of his new Afrikaans album “EK VIR JOU”. The fact that Chris will have a physical presence on stages in the Benelux during the next 6 weeks, together with the infrastructure in place with regards to marketing and distribution, makes it certain that this upcoming tour has everything in place to maximise the potential for Chris`s success in Europe.

Executive Director Ferry Roseboom says that Excelsior Recordings is very happy with having signed Chris Chameleon. “ We recognize the immense talent of this man and we are proud to be able to bring his work to the audiences in the Lowlands.”

With Excelsior Recordings on his side, rave reviews and a growing fanbase in the Netherlands, Chris Chameleon is set to be a pioneering force for South African music in the Benelux countries.

01.11.2007 Het Varken – Edegem (Antwerpen) B Solo show

02.11.2007 Theater De Maaspoort - Venlo NL (Support Spinvis)

03.11.2007 Theater aan de Parade - Den Bosch NL (Support Spinvis)

04.11.2007 De Kleine Komedie – Amsterdam NL (Support Spinvis)

05.11.2007 De Kleine Komedie – Amsterdam NL (Support Spinvis)

07.11.2007 – Utrecht NL Solo show

08.11.2007 De Meenthe – Steenwijk NL (Support Spinvis)

09.11.2007 Schouwburg De Kring – Roosendaal NL (Support Spinvis)

11.11.2007 Frowijn – Nijmegen NL Solo show

14.11.2007 Theater Junushoff – Wageningen NL (Support Spinvis)

15.11.2007 Stadsgehoorzaal Vlaardingen – Vlaardingen NL (Support Spinvis)

17.11.2007 Philharmonie – Haarlem NL (Support Spinvis)

18.11.2007 De Kobbe – Mortsel B (10.30 uur) Solo show

18.11.2007 Effenaar – Eindhoven NL Solo show

19.11.2007 Aardvark – London, UK Solo show

20.11.2007 Aardvark – London, UK Solo show

21.11.2007 Halfmoon – Putney, London, UK BAND show (only one in Europe!!!)

23.11.2007 Agora – Lelystad NL (Support Spinvis)

24.11.2007 Theater in de Muze – Noordwijk NL (Support Spinvis)

25.11.2007 Musicon – Den Haag NL Solo show

27.11.2007 Theater de Mythe – Goes NL (Support Spinvis)

28.11.2007 Schouwburg Amstelveen – Amstelveen NL (Support Spinvis)

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Rugby, renovations and the sound of music

I couldn’t start my first blog in months without mentioning just how great it is to be a South African rugby fan at the moment. I felt it in my heart during the whole tournament, that this was the team to be able to do it for us, and damn, it’s so good to be right!

There has been such an energy pulsating on the streets of Cape Town, and you can feel the proud glow of everyone around you. I took my boys to Newlands on Monday to see the team, along with some 40 000 other people, and it was a real ‘frog-in-the-throat’ emotional high! Its good for this country.

The Peak girls have been very patient with me while I’ve been renovating the bathroom, as the Nice Toilet that was parked in our driveway for 6 weeks, has been collected. Being a male its quite fun to stand in a shady spot in the garden, closely inspecting the resident insect population going about their day-to-day business while ‘watering’ their tree; but I just couldn’t get the girls enthused to my level of bunny-hugging status…

We closed up our home for three weeks and camped in the garden, because when you start a little DIY in the home, more and more projects jump up to bite you, so our kitchen got a face-lift and the rest of the house new flooring; while we were at it.

It was fun. It was messy. It was very educational. But that’s it for me. The finger-nails have been manicure, the grout and plaster-paint has been washed out from under my cuticles, and the music has rid me of that incessant drill-induced ringing in my ears (right - more about Chris Chameleon's concert coming!). I’m also finding welcome relief in the costumes of our entertainers, as opposed to Mr. B’s builder’s crack that smiled at me daily during the whole project!

So here’s to summer, to music and laughter, and getting back to some real hard work again!

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Mimicing KFC Popcorn

Its Denise’s birthday today (Happy Happy D!), so last night the office went out for a bit of a night on the town. As a special treat for D, we arranged that Ferdinand Rabie, who we have been working with of late, to come and join us for a drink (or a few). And the character that everyone thinks he is, is pretty close to the character that he is – he had us all laughing within 2 minutes of arriving; apart from greeting everyone as if they were long lost friends, and all the ladies as if they were ex-girlfriends!

As an update, Ferdi arrived for lunch too today – getting all the girls into a tizz – of which we had to take a few shots to prove it! (Right - Ferdi was gryping Denise and Angie)

I was also sent a video clip yesterday of an ad I did a few years ago (by Fresh Water Films), in which I made KFC’s Popcorn so famous that they had to change the name!

The day of filming was such a cool one – I was at, what I regarded as my regular haunt, at the V&A Waterfront, and all I had to do was enjoy myself! Its not like the performing was foreign to me, or that the crowds that the film crew attracted made me nervous! We even had a rent-a-crowd; a set-full of extras to fill up the plaza, and for me to use as victims, which attracted more people, until it almost seemed like a normal day at the office. That is, except that on a normal day I don’t usually have a towel-slave, who would dab me down, fan me cool, and bring the straw in my Red Bull to my lips… But we all have dreams!

So here’s a copy of that ad – ahhh nostalgia for the past! Twas lots of fun!

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Thursday, July 12, 2007


Bergie birthday!

Its my birthday. Hoot hoot, hooray hooray, and hip hip yippee! So all day I have been getting calls, Facebook messages, emails and all kinds of exciting wishes from friends, family and artists - wonderful stuff! (Right - I even got a cake!)

Its always nice getting pampered, and when you’re the only male in the office it is much more fun getting hugs and kisses from your co-workers! Eat your hearts out boys (and girls)!

I think that this is also a good time to introduce the newest member to the Peak Performances team, Miss Jamie Van der Walt. Jamie joined us at the beginning of July and has successfully survived the first 2 weeks of normal, every-day Peak office life – and that includes another of our team building/staff training days with Mark Berger at the Blue Peter Hotel, where we get down and dirty with the nitty-gritty of realizing the Peak dream.

Jamie is going to be the first point of contact on the phones, and we already have to set out a diary of appointments with all the people who have had contact that want to meet her! With a couple of City and Guilds Diplomas under her belt for Hotel management as well as a college course in Advertising, Jamie brings a number of skills to the Peak setup – apart from being the youngest chicken in the office.

So to all those who sent wishes – Ag dankie man – and hope everyone has a doppie tonight!

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Watching rugby with Bill Flynn

It is always a sad thing when a well known artist passes away, and Bill Flynn has been a big part of South Africa’s comedy scene for a long time, and so will be missed.

I met him a few times, but the first time was the most memorable. It was during the Tri-Nations, and the Bokke were playing the Aussies. I was sharing a house with a mate of Bill’s, Murray Stewart from Milestone Studios (who had MNet), and because I was performing until just before the game, it meant I'd have to watch the first half with the white face. Murray asked me to just arrive and sit down without saying anything.

The game had started when I came jogging up the stairs, made-up and looking swanky from my show. I just walked into the room and sat down to watch the game, without even looking at the guys.

Bill looked at Murray, questioning, his face asking, “Wat die jel?”, and Murray shrugged his shoulders as if he had no idea where I had come from… Bill had a good chuckle when I eventually introduced myself, and we settled into watching the game, shouting a the highs, vloeking at the lows; watching with possibly the biggest Springbok fan out there.

Thanks to Zoopy, here is a short farewell to the big man…

Update 70/07/18 - In case there is anybody who doesn't yet know. There is a Memorial Service for Bill Flynn, who died of a heart attack just last week, on Friday 20 July at the Plumstead Methodist Church at 10a.m. and the wake to follow at the
Baxter Theatre at 12.30p.m.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Zimbabwe crumbles, yet the music plays on

I received the following article from my dear friend Steve Sparx in Zimbabwe last week, and with all the news that we've been hearing about how Zim is collapsing, he gives us scary insight into what life is like that at the moment!

Well blow me down with a feather duster…. I got back to Zimbabwe and there it was…the extra nought. Perhaps at this point to talk of survival is almost too abstract , the facts on the ground are alarming.

It has gone stir crazy - just last Friday the price of petrol went up 4 times in a day at one service station - at the end of the day it was 50% more expensive than the start. Prices are changing as I write so to give too many examples would be worthless as they will be out of date before you can say “so how does the ‘simply add a nought’ school of economics work?”

I bought some CD’s for stock last week because the price was going up 50% the next day, the same amount it went up the week before and the week before that too. But I was lucky, they went up a further 80% this week.

Bracing for increases is a daily thing, there needs to be a move towards paying everybody daily - money needs to be disposable, spending what you have has become the order of the day.

One does not have to be a rocket scientist to guess who is being seriously affected - the poorly paid artist of course but still, the show goes on.

All the talk locally is about the upcoming album from the king of Sungura music - Alick “Razor” Macheso.

This particular style of Zimbabwean music is the “working man’s music”. You will hear it at every bottle store, and shopping centre and in the minibuses and on the radios all day, all over Zimbabwe.

The style was adopted shortly after independence in the ‘80’s and the groove appears to have been imported from Congo and Malawi, although the lyrics are all in Shona (and mostly proverbs) - it was the new style of music for a new era in the post independent country and was rapidly popularized by the likes of the late Simon “Chopper” Chimbetu and Leonard Dembo.

With it’s constant bass drum beat, chattering hi-hats and snazzy rolls, and rapid fire guitars; the music is characterized by a 4-5 minute introduction where the lyrics are introduced with the riff going along; thereafter there is a further 6-10 minutes of guitar/bass/drum lead section - during which time the dancing happens.

The groups normally comprise 2 or 3 lead/rhythm guitars, bass guitar, drums, lead singer, 2 backing singers and perhaps 3 dancers who have there own particular style of dress and hairstyle (sometimes bleached and with ‘nicks’
in their eyebrows). They lead the audience with the dance routines. The most popular dances are the “Borrowdale” (named after the local horse racing track where they imitate a horse running) and an offshoot “Razor” dance (something to do with barbed wire) - both of these have been made popular by Alick Macheso and both involve some natty footwork and body movement.

So to the new album… when Alick releases it is expected to sell hundreds of thousands of units - with a large portion of sales being made up of cassettes -still popular in households throughout the country. Every member of a family would want to own an Alick album so all ears are tuned to the new release which, for the first time , he has had recorded in South Africa and will be accompanied by a DVD.

This guy appeals to a legion of fans and his shows are a real blast. There are 2 launch gigs set for the coming 2 weekends - I will let you know how they go.

That’s the word from the Zimbabwe music scene - until next time gotta go I feel another “nought’ coming


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The music keeps on playing...

I’ve had a break from blogging for awhile, and it’s been great – taking time off in the mountains (right - the Stadsaal Caves, Cedarberg), along the coast and focusing on things other than the blog. Music carries on with or without what I write, I am pleased to say, and there have been some amazing moments for South African music as a whole over the last few weeks!

How about Arno Carstens and New Porn opening for the legendary Rolling stones in Spain a few weeks ago? Damn! Talk about a highlight in ones performance career! Can just imagine Arno parking off in years to come, his grandkids bouncing on his knee explaining how he’d opened for the grandfathers of rock!

New Porn was invited to fill-in for a last minute cancellation at the massive UK music festival Isle of Wight, in front of some 65 000 people. I have heard that it was the Stones manager that got them in there, and that when he registered how the audience rocked, he booked New Porn to be the main support act for The Rolling Stones on the June 23rd in San Sebastian, Spain at the Estadio De Anoeta. Frikken awesome!

South African actress, poet and television personality Lebo Mashile has won the 2006 Pan African book prize, the Noma Award, for her first published collection of poems, In A Ribbon Of Rhythm, published in 2005.

There was also some wrong info that went out about SAM Award winners Lark, and their suppose break-up… “Speculation suggests it’s because lead singer, Inge Beckmann, wants to do her own thing. Semi-official sources claim she's ‘Just going overseas for a month’”, but I am glad to be able to say from an official source that:

It’s rumours and lies…. The band is taking a break and that is all. Inge is going overseas for a while but she will be back. (Dominque Gawlowski - Lark's manager)

So there you have! No more lies!

On an international note, one of our sexiest groups, The Aerial Showgirls was invited, for the second year in a row, to choreograph and perform aerials with Carmen Electra and her dance group in Palm Springs – I will get some footage of this show soon!

We’ve also been invited to a couple of Coda shows in the last few weeks, and it’s always great to see how audiences are enjoying the group. Last night they appeared at Madam Zingara’s Mirror Tent on the foreshore to a packed house – and it was a pretty cool show.

And if the audience knew that half the group were as sick as hell, they would’ve been even more appreciative, because its damn hard to sing ‘ting wid a blocked dnose’ and to shake it all on stage when you haven’t been able to get out of bed for three days! Respect guys!

Coda was followed by the very funky Iridium Project, with sassy Lou Chase sex’ing up the front of stage, and DJ’s Nick Mathews & Craig da Sousa laying down a bed of orgasmic beats from the back.

If there is any group in Cape Town that brings all the passion of summer to an event, even on a chilly July night, then its Iridium Project.

They ooze sex appeal, getting their audience off their butts and onto the dance-floor, where they gyrate and bop right until the end of the set.

You cannot sit still.

And you cannot claim to have kept full control of your feet during the show. Every part of you wants to move; get down and funky; and in my case, my body starts to think I am as cool as John Travolta in the Pulp Fiction scene at Jack Rabbit Slim’s…

I hope everyones week is going to be as great as I am sure mine is going to be!

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Brother Number gets a rave review!

I thought I would just bring to your attention the following review of Brother Number, written by Zane Henry for the Cape Argus Tonight and published today, June 5 2007:

Brother Number is a comedy set in the world of Home Affairs. Doesn't sound like much on paper, but, oh boy - in execution it is a brilliant surrealist allegory set in an epic story world. Rob van Vuuren and James Cairns play Stan and Harvey, two brothers who were kidnapped and sent to work in the bowels of the Department of Home Affairs.

For 16 years, they have been sitting in a little windowless room making ID books. They are the only two people in the world who know how to knock up those nifty green documents. When an explosion blows their tiny world wide open, Stan and Harvey must try and find their way out of the labyrinthine Department of Home Affairs. It's hard to convey the immense scope of the plot without giving away essential details.

The play addresses the nature of freedom and identity framed in rich allegory. The story is thoroughly absorbing with nuanced characterisation, limber dialogue and intricate narrative arches. All the characters are wreathed in archetypal familiarity a la Vladimir Propp. Brother Number moves like a Grimm fairytale, jocular on the surface but undercut by a sinister edge. if the story was ever to be adapted for the big screen, only Terry Gilliam would be able to negotiate its delicate balance between light and dark.

The performances are uniformly excellent. Van Vuuren and Cairns totally inhabit the host of characters populating the play. They manage the disparate accents and mannerisms with verve. They have excellent chemistry and their alacrity smacks of intense rehearsal. The occasionally wordy script is enlivened by their superb physical theatre and facial gurning.

Brother Number is throughly satisfying, both emotionally and intellectually.

Cool hey?

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Monday, June 04, 2007


Zimbabwe: if in doubt add a nought

Steve Sparx here continuing the dialogue on “surviving an economic meltdown” - it’s been 3 weeks the only thing that changed was the extra zero on the cost of everything.

The phenomenon known as hyperinflation has led to the introduction of the “simply add a nought” school of economics with the main rule being… “if in doubt add a nought“.

Predictions are that inflation will rise even more and pretty soon we gonna run out of “noughts” on the computer again… suppose we will have to start again from “nought”.

I said it before but the hour before dawn is the darkest and it is at these times that we closest approximate the truth - as the veils fall away the truth is revealed. Expression prevails and creativity emanates. The survival instinct is paramount in us all.

So despite the challenges of everyday survival it is our duty to look to the outcome we desire the most - recognition, success and bringing joy through entertainment.

I have been in England now for a couple of weeks, further promoting our musical cause - sending out promotional literature, talking to promoters and getting our music out to all the contacts made over the past years.

Hopefully this will translate to a tour here later in the year and we are hoping to make it something of a special one too. One of the strengths we developed in Zimbabwe was in utilizing our artists more practically so that by small changes in the backline we could showcase individual artists at the same show without having to move around with complete bands for each showcase act. A good example of this has been that Busi Ncube effectively uses the same backing band as Willom Tight and Dino Mudondo, whilst the same backing group (with a couple of extras) forms the backline for The Collaboration (left). We have made shows where we have showcased 5 different acts each with 5-8 artists using only around 20 performers.

Our plan then is to put together a tour of Scandinavia for Busi and Band Rain in Oct/November and then to come to UK for a series of shows, at which time we will fly in Willom and Dino and then do “double headers” with a focus on the Zimbabweans living in the so-called ‘diaspora’ who would really enjoy that combination. Whilst for those ‘non-Zimbabweans’ in the house they get the chance to enjoy a wider spectrum of Zimbabwean music styles as portrayed by each act.

There are an estimated million Zimbabweans living in UK believe it or not, and they have been sustained on a diet on Oliver Mtukudzi (right) and Alick Macheso - the 2 existing “superstars” of the Zim music scene - they travel here 2 or 3 times each a year. There is definitely a demand for something fresh and that’s the gap we want to fill. But that's not to say we only want Zimbabweans - we hope our music will hold some wider appeal too.

So that’s where we are up to so far - I return to Zimbabwe next week - expecting to be shocked by the changes - a month in one’s life here can truly be defining. Until next time


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Saturday, June 02, 2007


The Mt Everest team at CTIA

John Brand, Mike Patterson & Ronnie Muhl

Last night saw a very thin looking, but happy, South African team arrive safely in Cape Town, after their unforgettable experiences on Chomolungma, or Mount Everest. We were part of a relieved group of families, and I am sure that everyones first thought was to get the guys home to fatten them up!

Cape Storm, who sponsored some of the teams gear, was also there in force and even had a poor guy standing there in a full high altitude down suit...

They are going to be chilling this week, but I understand that there will be a press conference at KFM on Wednesday morning.

I have no desire to ever attempt climbing a mountain such as Mount Everst, but is searching for information about guys has really given me a lot of respect for everyone who goes up to challenge her slopes. Every person who does, I believe, is a hero; but we will never really understand or be a part of what they have gone through, because every journey is a personal one. We can just admire them, and understand that life will never be the same for each.

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Friday, June 01, 2007


Eat or be eaten - life in Kruger

Yesterday our designer Gregg Coppen from iaminawe sent me this amazing YouTube clip taken at the Kruger National Park. It has got nothing to do with music, I know, but then it’s a Friday and just another absolutely stunning day in Cape Town! And a change is almost as good as a holiday!

This 8:23 min clip is a celebration of life! This poor buffalo calf gets to discover 1st hand the dangers of being a little guy in the bush, when he has to deal with hungry lions, crocs and their inability to agree on who is actually going to get to eat him. But then, as with most fairytales, this one too has a great ending!

Really worth the stream-wait. Have a wonderful weekend folks!

(Grrrr - for some reason I couldn't embed the YouTube clip - so here is the link!

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Thursday, May 31, 2007


EverestSA2007 Final Update - Coming Home

The Everest SA 2007 team of my uncle John Brand, my 2nd cousin Michael Patteron, and team leader Ronnie Muhl will finally be arriving at Cape Town International Airport at 19h35 tomorrow.

There hadn’t been much news of late after Mike & Ronnie had successfully summitted on the 23rd of May. John obviously didn’t have any way of communicating with home after he had gone down to Base Camp from about 7 800 meters, and from there to Kathmandu, and only after Mike & Ronnie were on their way down did updates come in.

The trio was reunited on Sunday the 27th, and have been spending this week relaxing and getting their energy back.

We’re incredibly proud of all 4 of the team; Ronnie, Mike and Andy van der Velde for reaching the summit, and John for going almost a 1000 meters higher than he had been before. If John (58) had reached the top he would have been the oldest South African to summit, but this time the honour had to passed on to someone else, and younger in the family with Mike (55) now holding the record.

Amazing stuff!

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94.7 Raw Rock Concert With Rapport

I wrote a post a few weeks ago about this concert, but got blixem'ed (in all my excitement) because it went out before the official press release and so I was asked to remove it. But I did keep it, and now that the official release is out, I can let it all hang out again!

Here’s the scoop! We have finalized the line-up for the 94.7 Highveld Stereo Afrikaans concert, in association with Rapport newspaper, to be held at the Sun City Superbowl on 23 June 2007! They have united some of the hottest names in the Afrikaans music industry to bring listeners a rock concert they'll never forget.

The artists that we are pleased to confirm, that have been booked through Peak, are ddisselblom, Nadine (below right), Amore Vitone (left) and one of our most successful Afrikaans artists, Kurt Darren while it has also been confirmed that Karen Zoid, Klopjag, and Joe F will be performing at this RAW Rocks Rude Awakening music initiative!

Afrikaans music has literally exploded in the last decade with hundreds of extremely talented musicians emerging every year. 94.7 Highveld Stereo commands a huge following among Afrikaans-speaking listeners - almost a third of its audience speak Afrikaans as their first language.

"We love our Afrikaans listeners and we thought this would be a great way to give them what they want," said RAW presenter, Jeremy Mansfield. "This is the first time 94.7 Highveld Stereo will be hosting an Afrikaans music concert. The talent that is going to be showcased is truly amazing and the team is very excited to be hosting this event!"

94.7 Highveld Stereo station manager, Ravi Naidoo, added that while the main objective of the concert will be to have fun, a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Tapologo Aids Hospice in the North West Province and Abraham Kriel Kinderhuis in Johannesburg.

Nearly 40% of Rapport's Gauteng readers choosing to listen to 94.7 Highveld Stereo. Over the past two years Rapport has become more involved with the Afrikaans music scene, with more than 250 000 copies of its four 'Sing Jou Taal' CDs and two DVDs already sold. Therefore a partnership on RAW Rocks was a logical move for Rapport.

"We are very excited and are looking forward to being a part of one of the most memorable music events of the year," said Lani van Staden, Rapport Brand manager. "Rapport is currently experiencing growth in readership, and we would like to give something back to our readers. They are passionate about their Afrikaans music and the rock angle will also be popular among younger readers."

Denise has been working on this project for a few months now, and we are lucky to have been able to secure these performers. An artist like Kurt (left) is booked up months in advance, but this was an opportunity they couldn’t miss.

Kurt’s latest album Lekker Lekker, recently nominated for a SAMA, was put together by Kurt working closely with the hit-making duo of Marc Brendon & Don Kelly– they’ve had more than a fair share of success over the last few years, building Kurt’s brand into a very powerful profile.

So to get you all lekker lekker for a week full of music, here is Kurt’s Meisie Meisie (Girlie Girlie…)! I will be posting lots more info about the concert as the time comes closer!

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Just Jinjer’s June Jol’s

Its always exciting hearing about South African groups kicking some ass on the international music scene, and Just Jinjer is one of the hottest exports at the moment. Based in the USA for most of the year, the guys are doing gigs at some of the top clubs and music festivals, there.

They will be coming back to our shores later this year, and as we have said, they’ll be available for gigs in SA during November and December. (And we’re going to have some exciting news about this a little later, once all the contracts have been signed, and the deposits paid… suspense!)

In the meantime, if you aren’t lucky enough to be on this wonderful continent and the word ‘BUSH’ makes you want to be Canadian, as opposed to thoughts of Deurmekaarbos, Dwerg-blinkblaar-wag-'n-bietjie bos and Kameeldoring boom, then you can get excited about some of the gigs listed below:

JUST JINJER kick off June at LA's legendary Viper Room this Friday night (June 1st) at 11pm. This month, JUST JINJER will also be hitting up Toronto (for the NXNE music festival), Buffalo, and New York City's famous Mercury Lounge.

JUST JINJER @ The Viper Room
Friday - June 1 - 11:00pm
The Viper Room
[West Hollywood, CA]

JUST JINJER @ Thursdays At The Square in Buffalo NY
Thursday - June 7 - 5:30pm
[Buffalo, NY] Free show!

JUST JINJER @ The North by Northeast Music Festival
Saturday - June 9 - 1:00am
[Toronto, ON, Canada]

JUST JINJER @ NYC's Mercury Lounge
Tuesday - June 12 - 10:00pm
Mercury Lounge
[New York, NY]

Here is a recent clip that was featured on CNN:

But back at home, hierso innie bos, don’t forget that you can vote for JUST JINJER's "Till I'm Done" on 5FM: Text your vote as many times as you like and watch JUST JINJER's latest single "Till I'm Done" conquer the charts!

SA residents text: Hi5justjinjertillimdone to 33345

US residents text: Hi5justjinjertillimdone to +27 33345

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007


The secrets of Home Affairs revealed!

Here’s something to keep the chilly weather at bay! A new comedy called Brother Number is opening at the Kalk Bay Theatre tonight, and running during the latter part of every week (that’s from Wednesday to Saturday…) until June 23.

Featuring Rob van Vuuren (from the wonderfully nice T*M*A*S), James Cairns and Jaco Bouwer, Brother Number explains for the first time why it takes so long to get an ID document – and it took a lot of convincing to get them to divulge this nationally sensitive information.

No matter how much Minister of Home Affairs, Mrs. Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, or her deputy, Mr Malusi KNOWLEDGE Nkanyezi Gigaba, protest, the time has come to let the world know as to why these talented brothers will probably never be allowed to leave the Home Affairs building.

If they did, we would probably end up with a dual presidency – Brothers in Arms!

So – just to make life easy for you, and because we do enjoy sharing this most wonderful and nice information, I would suggest getting to the Kalk Bay Theatre! At least before the Scorpions arrive to drag these prodigies back to the room from where they came.

VENUE: Kalk Bay Theatre, Kalk Bay
DATES/TIMES: Wednesday to Saturday nights May 30 – June 23 at 20h30. Doors open 18h45.
TICKET PRICE: R90 to R200 depending on meal ordered.
BOOKING: 073 220 5430 / / 021 788 4936

Don’t forget, this piece was directed by Jaco Bouwer, winner of the prestigious Fleur Du Cap award for Best Director, and one Wilhlem Snyman once said him to be “one of the most exciting and innovative talents in the country”. Not bad. Then, of course, it is best that I quote the Cape Times, who said that “In his presence, one’s senses aren’t quite one’s own anymore”, and they could have only been talking about Rob van Vuuren, while said that James Cairns “flawless interpretation of his characters is astounding”.

So has your ID document been ‘lost in the post’, have the queues lengthened since you were last at Home Affairs? The answers to all those questions that have puzzled you in the past will be provided at this show, and more – you can even have a meal!

PS – Home Affairs is in abit of a tizz since the brothers have taken this project on, and so have set up a website where you can check your ID, Passport AND marital status… I kid you not!

So please go and see the show so that the brothers can be safely delivered back to their department – it’s for the better of our country, and all those people who don’t know if they are married or not! And of course, it's the right thing to do!

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Fokofpolisiekar and the dancing fat lady

I had mentioned earlier that I thought that the Fokokpolisiekar’s were going to be calling it quits, and following their own directions, and that after what was probably their most successful year.

Today Denise sent through this article from, in which they not only touch on some of the local and international skinder, but also had this to say:

Contrary to popular belief, (and recent press statements) premier SA Afrikaans Rock act Fokofpolisiekar are set to play a few more shows before going their separate ways.

Lead singer Francois van Coke has already been performing extensively as a solo act, gently numbing the pain of grief-stricken fans throughout SA.

Be sure to catch them at these shows:

9 Aug 2007 - Oppikoppi (Northam)

10 Aug 2007 - Coca-Cola Dome (Johannesburg)

11 Aug 2007 - Velodrome (Bellville)

29 Sep 2007 - OppiAarde (Potchefstroom)

Our only question is this: are they going the way of the Nude Girls? Who released an album called The Fat Lady Sings, but didn't actually disappear. It turned out the Fat Lady would sing anytime the price was right.

Some groups are better left un-together, but I didn't hear anyone complaining that the Police got on stage with each other earlier this year?

So if the fans still love the Nudies, and if Fokokpolisiekar want to get together again in 5 years time to play Die Dik Dame Dans, so be it then! Arno is doing very well with New Porn, and I am sure that if Boo ever had to get back together again, Chris Chameleon's solo success would certainly help sell tickets and albums!

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Promoting South Africa internationally

Over that last few months Lenny has been making the most awesome contacts, and last week one of these people, Andrew Cerino pictured right, came and spent a night with us to talk about some exciting projects that he is involved in.

Andrew, who is Head of Production of the film company Panthera Productions in Dallas Texas, oversees a library of 12 awards winning wildlife films, thousands of images and stock footage (here are some samples). Since he and a partner started this venture in 1994, his passion for South Africa has developed to a point where he wants to make a difference here by creating projects that’ll promote S.A.’s talents to the rest of the world.

Andrew has been making films in South Africa for nearly fifteen years and have developed a real passion for this country, its people, and its music. He says that African music as a whole is not well known in the States, despite the popularity of dated album's like Paul Simon's "Graceland" featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and groups such as Johnny Clegg & Jaluka, and so he wants to change this.

Andrew is producing a feature-length documentary on South African music, as it’s his desire to have an international audience fall in love with South Africa and its musicians, and so we will be helping him find the right combination of artists and music to make this happen. He intends to bring the artists featured in the film to a new and broader audience worldwide, first through a theatrical release and then television – which we think will be awesome!

We are discussing a potential soundtrack album spun off from the film which would undoubtedly do very well, as was the case of the "Buena Vista Social Club", and with some of the contacts he has, such as with Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, and Bill Clinton among others; he really wants this to go far.

Just after he arrived at our offices (left - the girls working on a standard international greeting...), he wrote the following:

“I just arrived in Cape Town and am at the house of some fun, kooky people. This a couple that I met over the internet, having contacted them about a musician I was trying to reach. I started talking with this guy named Lenny who was very nice and very helpful. When I told him I was coming to South Africa, he insisted that I come and stay with him and his husband. Yes, his husband... and no, they are not gay. Lenny, it turns out, is a woman! hehe. Anyway, they run a record / performance company, and I am sitting in their house / office right now and it is a hoot... utter chaos. Two dogs, five cats, employees, and as near as I can tell- some sort of circus performer. Good times!”

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Saturday, May 26, 2007


Shannon Mowday on tour!

We haven’t seen Shannon Mowday since the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, where she gave an amazing performance on the Basil “Mannenberg” Coetzee stage with an international backing of Karin Hammar on trombone, and Hildegunn Øiseth (both from Sweden) on trumpet.

But the wonder that email is, delivered this little note to us this week:

Hope you are well. Am in Australia at the moment-back on Thursday and then all heel breaks loose. My festival dates are as follows:

26 June 04 July
- Grahamstown Jazz Festival (Am playing with that Dutch pianist, Jeroen van Vliet)

08-12 August - Silde Jazz Festival Norway
20-25 August
- Joy of Jazz festival - Joeys (workshops and performance)

06 October
- Leipzig Jazz Days Festival Germany

22-30 October
- Washington/New York standard bank conference in Washington but staying on a week to check New York.

Have got a horde of material from here to give to Rouvanne, so would be great to hook up when I get back

More info as we get it!

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South African Blog Roundup

Big Blog Directory and SA Rocks are co-hosting a South African Blog Roundup and I am participating…”

1. Why does South Africa “rock”?

South Africa rocks because this country is in the first phase of a new period of history.

No learning curve is without accident, speed-wobble or hot-headedness; the point being that it is a learning curve, and we have to deal with issues that have always been avoided in the past, in new and creative ways. But the lessons we have learnt, and those still to learn, will make us stronger of character, determination, and hopefully give us a more focused will to ensure that we create our own destinies.

SA rocks in that within one generation people have the ability of rising out of poverty and creating wealth through entrepreneurship & ingenuity; where the child of a domestic worker can go to university, where a goat-herd can become president…

I want to be a part of a rocking South Africa because my heart lies beneath the vast expanse of this blue sky; it travels fondly over the dusty roads that lead to nowhere and back; it beats to the ever-increasing urban-groove that is waking a giant of the future; it soars over the peak’s and ridges, swooping through the lush valleys and smokey townships where mass-action spurs the grand-mothers, the social workers, the street-side sellers, the neighbours and families to reach out their hands in ubuntu; where children smile together because they have hope; hope that we will all follow our hearts, to make this the place where we all want to be.

South Africa rocks, and I am going to carry on rocking with it!

2. Why do you blog?

I blog because I am passionate about being part of an age where information can get to the furthest reaches of humanity in moments. I am able to give voice to thoughts, opinions & make suggestions for change; to provide a platform on the world stage to those who do not have the means; and to become part of a broader international community that shares for the good of that community.

I blog because I want to make a difference.

3. What are two of your favourite posts?

Is SA Rocks bullshit - A Post By Ian Gilfillan
This post sums up so much of what I want to say, but often can’t, because my arguments don’t want to stand tallest-to-shortest!

Mavis is clearly on drugs
I think Mavis must be a favourite local comedian – telling her buddies of how she mind-f**ked her boss for the day – and that she will ultimately release a book titled “How I got Seth committed”.


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