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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