stephen is 'amuzed' beatspeak

The passing of our fair first lady

Been feeling sad this week. It's not because the team in red who are galloping toward the English Premier football league title is Arsenal and not our glamorous high-flying Manchester United. I know this is predominantly a music column but, as previously discussed, football is and always will be the other rock 'n roll. So the results of games played by two teams with different coloured shirts and interchangeable faces in London are as important and interwoven into some of our lives as music or movies. Nick Hornby in his soccertastic 'Fever Pitch' book gave Arsenal the glory and sympathy they've never really experienced from anyone but their fanatical supporters. You didn't just support a team, you also had to mention that you hated Arsenal. But Nick changed all that and one can't but marvel at the power football that Arsenal are currently churning out as they sprint for the title.

No. The reason I've been feeling sad is because I read the news the other day, oh boy, and was stunned to see that Linda McCartney had died. We knew she was sick but, all the same, it just seemed so sudden. She was always so cool, like this sweet, gorgeous, blonde, freckled, tanned and denimed American princess who married a Beatle. Yoko is OK and becoming more accepted and forgiven, not that she cares, but Linda eased Paul's separation from his "family" and we felt that, with Linda at his side, Paul was going to be alright. And he was, for 30 years of togetherness. So Linda has as much claim to being one of the First Ladies of Rock, along with Yoko and Priscilla, as anyone else. So strike up your Zippo, or a handy match, hold it above your head and have a quiet moment of silence and thought for Paul and their children.

'Omnisofa' is here!

After months of rumour and other clever marketing manipulation, the new Springbok Nude Girls five-track CD is in the stores (and already on the stereos of a large bunch of drooling fans). Currently the only SA band who look capable of keeping up with Just Jinger at the top of the SA poprock league, the two Arnos, Theo, Francois and Adriaan are quietly and justifiably confident that 'Omnisofa' will do as well as their previous four releases. 'Neanderthal', their first album, sold on the back of a series of legendary and mosh-tly magic concerts. Then followed the two EPs, 'It Became A Weapon' and '' (terrific title, girls!), both excellent and ultimately contributing much to the big, great and noisy 'Afterlifesatisfaction' album that appeared in 1997.

They played an incendiary set supporting INXS on their South African dates but fought a losing battle against a sub-standard, secondary sound system. The material on this new EP has been premiered in some recent appearances by the Nude Girls and explores a new direction away from the hard (but fair) rock of 'After…….' (can't even abbreviate it, you know what it's called). The songs on 'Omnisofa' are 'Blue Eyes', 'Lonely', 'Blondie', 'Enemy In Time' and 'Run Run'. The CD was produced by Theo Crous and the Springbok Nude Girls and was recorded at the Sunset Recording Studios in Stellenbosch under the engineering skills of Jurgen von Wechmar. A review of 'Omnisofa' will appear as soon as I have spent some time getting well acquainted with it.

Sheer Sound pleasure

In their comparatively shortish but sweet period so far as distributors and suppliers of fine music into the SA market, Sheer Sound have managed to pick a constant string of winners. From Pops Mahomed's wonderful 'Ancestral Healing' and Paul Hanmer's 'Trains To Taung' to the Ry Cooder-inspired Cuban trilogy 'Buena Vista Social Club', 'Introducing……Ruben Gonzalez' and the 'Afro-Cuban All Stars'. Then there were the two compilations 'African Jazz Men' and 'Sheer Jazz', which featured Hanmer, McCoy Mrubata, Landscape Prayers and others on this strong roster of quality acts.

Some recent releases include Armik's Euro guitar pluckings on the castanet-sequenced riffs (just kidding) of 'Malaga'. Special EFX's 'Here To Stay' is a seamless glide down the "soft jazz" stream. Finally, there's ICE, which stands for Incubated Cyber Energy (didn't ya know that??) and the tough beats of 'Ageless Dance Anthems'. These Sheer Sound folk switch genres quicker than Pat Boone and one of these days they're going to get behind a mega SA 'Tubular Bells' kind of album and that will be just reward for the good work they are currently putting into SA music. I believe that Sheer Sound will also be releasing and promoting the eagerly awaited debut CD by Virtual Jazz Reality, which is great news for all those who have seen this amazing jazz ensemble live.

It's time again, for Splashy Fen

The 1998 Splashy Fen music festival will be happening next week from April 30 to May 3. This broad expo of contemporary musical talent is expected to attract over 10,000 people from across South Africa to the foothills of the southern Drakensberg just near Underberg. A wide range of assorted styles will be on display including folk, acoustic, traditional and folk-rock. Shiyani Ngcobo, who performs in the popular Maskanda tradition, is expected to repeat the show-stopping success he experienced at his recent European concerts in Nantes and Norway. There is also Maalesh, an acoustic guitar and percussion trio from the Comoro islands and Nzalabanthu, a 10-piece female group from Kwazulu-Natal who sing isigekle, which is their special form of isicathimiya for married woman.

Gonna Make You A Star

We have already received some demos for our soon-to-be-appearing Demo Zone page. I have already told you about the Repo debut CD which is now (officially) called 'Piesac' ('the pie-fi experience'). I also received the new Benguela cassette 'Sputnik' which is essentially a live recording of this exciting new band. Ross Campbell, the ex-drummer from Urban Creep, and Alex Bozas from the Dynamics cram this album with some amazing guitar licks and percussive work-outs. The tape sells for R35.00 and can be ordered from Ross at: It is highly recommended.

We also will be hearing from the Durban group Anarchy who contributed a song to the recent C-Weed compilation and a new group from Stellenbosch called Grunt. Remember that GMYAS is for anyone who would like to bring their demo tape or CD to the attention of A&R people, musicians and record company execs and the global listening public. You can email me at or just mail your music to Stephen c/o PO Box 2670, Cape Town, 8000.

Daniele Pascal competition results

Thanks for a great response! Thanks also for some strange answers which were not really necessary as the correct answer was in the Lager Mentality interview with Mdme Pascal. She met Leonard Cohen and not Alanis Morissette or Edith Piaf or Jacques Brel.

The five winners of a CD copy each of the recent Daniele Pascal collection 'Broken Dreams' are Glenn Ortell, Wallace du Plessis, Richard King, Lori Gie and Johan van Tonder. Congratulations to all these winners and thanks to everyone who entered. Look out for a Lithium competition happening soon on these pages.

Some Amuzine highlights of the week

This week we Review the new Lithium album 'Zennon Supertroopers'. There's new film and video reviews as well as an outpouring of Dowson emotion at the Bioscope page. Browse through the Gig Guide to find out all the concerts that are fit to be seen. All music mentioned on this page as well as any other SA or international CD is available at One World, the largest SA CD store on the Net. Drop any review you have onto our Show Must Go Online reviews page. There will be a new look to our Alive site this week. Got to keep you and us on our toes as the internet is a rapidly evolving animal and there are a lot of Joneses to keep up with.

'Omnisofa' beckons, so have a cool weekend, and, as always, your comments, criticisms, praise (preferably), news and views will all be welcomed if emailed to

Stephen "Sugar" Segerman

Five of the best from my CD chest:

Led Zeppelin - the BBC Sessions

Besides the soundtrack from 'The Song Remains The Same' and various bootlegs, this double CD is the only live Zeppelin available and is, therefore, essential. Listen to the version of 'Going To California' and be moved.

Lithium - 'Zennon Supertroopers'

I was told to give this multiple playings to really get into it. Now I can't get it out of the CD player so I just keep listening again from the beginning.

Penny Penny - Yogo Yogo

Due to the incredible and non-stop interest in this 1996 album, I felt I should find out what is so special about it. It is mostly the effervescent and energetic style and vibe that Penny Penny exudes in buckets on this hour-long opus. This CD is a little difficult to get hold of but One World has managed to get its paws on some copies so order quickly!

Benguela - Sputnik

I just leave this on rotation on the tape deck for the weekend (while I try and squeeze the Lithium out of the CD player). Long jams, traditional soundscapes and an indication of big music to come from this new band.

Piet Botha - 'n Suitcase Vol Winter

My friend Brian has been hakking me to get this album and give it a good listen so I did. Pik's son has moved away from his Jackhammer roots and turned out a Springsteen-ish collection of quality Afrikaans songs. Another feather in the cap of good, Afrikaans music alongside Koos, Valiant, Laurika and that churchorgan ou.

The One World Top Ten
(based on sales at Seedys and One World in Pretoria and One World on the Net)

1. TKZee - Palafala
2. Just Jinger - Something For now
3. Sibongile Khumalo - Live at the Market Theatre
4. Rebecca - Somlandela
5. Ringo - Sondelani
6. Gong - LM Jam Goes Gong
7. The Awakening - Request
8. Masekela, Hugh - Black to the Future
9. Untouchables - Mafra
10. Makhendlas - Jammer

CDs available at One World online CD store at:

Amuzine Danièle Pascal competition:
5 copies of her latest CD, 'Broken Dreams', to be won!

Question: Who is the legendary Canadian singer that Danièle met in Montreal?

Send your answer to (Closing date:
April 20). The winners' names will be published in Beat Speak. You can find the answers by reading the Lager Mentality inteview.

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