Foot(ball) and Mouth disease
Look, I know this is mostly supposed to be a SA music column but this is football time and with South Africa having just ended their first ever World Cup campaign, it's time to reflect on a few things. The general mood and collective ego of us Rainbowians has always been permanently harnessed to the paradoxical fortunes of our national sporting representatives like a snail on a yo-yo. The rugby World Cup victory in 1995 sent a wave of optimism and pride through the entire country. Bafana Bafana, the nation's football team, carried our over-hyped dreams and expectations on their young and inexperienced shoulders. Those fortunate SA fans in the stands cheered and partied for us all.
In the end, we did satisfactorily. Not embarrassed and plenty of opportunities to yell and scream as we do when Bafana score a goal (don't you??), specially Benni's nutmegging of the esteemed Danish 'keeper Peter Schmeichel for our first ever World Cup goal.
The SA fans in the stands however, did us all proud. They dressed up in bright rainbow colours and sang, danced and showed the world that there is a spirit and a rhythm in South Africa that cannot be ignored. "One nation one soul, one beer one goal" That can only mean more global attention to our music and artists and one hopes that these musicians utilise the pressure of this scrutiny and curiosity to raise their "games" and find the inspiration, flair and faith to go to the top in the burgeoning arena of world music.
TKZee and Benniiiii!!!
The top-selling single in South Africa this week, 'Shibobo', is the product of the collaboration between kwaito stars TKZee and the person now simply known in South Africa as "Benni". In the unlikely event that you still don't know who "Benni" is (and, gasp, there are those…), he's the young South African goalscoring sensation from the Cape Flats who led Bafana Bafana's attack in the World Cup. His speech is in the loose and colloquial style of the kids who grow up under those conditions. His vocals on this single coupled with the irresistable and infectious TKZee beat, saw it shooting to the top of the sales and popular charts nationwide. Anyone still disagree that football and rock are indelibly and emotionally linked?
Tanana Tanana are back
Since the overwhelming critical and sales success of their 1996 highpoint album 'Unamunacua', there's been a long silence from the eclectic Cape-based (musically and physically) jazz wizards Tananas. Ian Herman has been away for a while and there has been the odd solo project and album from the remaining members.
Now, it seems, Tananas has gone back to its roots and its original (and sometimes volatile) line-up. There's Steve Newman on guitar, Ian Herman "on drums and percussion", which is such an inadequate four-word phrase to describe the actions of possibly one of the most exciting and innovative drummers in the world and Gito Baloi on bass. Baloi's two solo albums were very well received but somehow Tananas has never fully recaptured the magic of its early days under this line-up.
Tananas is just one of the many acts appearing under the Des and Dawn Lindberg banner at their prime Fringe venue at this years National Festival of the Arts at Grahamstown. They will be in Grahamstown from 6-11 July and then move on to perform at the 1998 Oppikoppi festival (August 9).
Big do for Des And Dawn duo
The Lindberg team's contribution to this year's cultural smorgasboard will take place at the 5 Roses Tea Junction at the St Aidan's Chapel. Among the varied and outstanding entertainers performing at these "soirees" will be comedian Mark Banks, SA folk legends Jeremy Taylor and David Marks with his Hidden Years Band, guitarist Tessa Ziegler, Michelle Maxwell, Tananas and Des and Dawn themselves. Steve Newman and flautist Chris Tokalon will give Master-classes and workshops.
Frank Frost is again hosting the very popular annual Martell Blues and Rock Festival which will be showcasing the best bands currently plugging the popular live circuit like the Springbok Nude Girls (with new material), Dorp, Lithium and, of course, Frank's own pride and joy, the unofficial winners of the Nobel prize for good-times inducement, the Blues Broers. With their new live album just out, it could be the Blues Broers chance to move up that notch to mainstream acceptance and purchasing. They've certainly earned it.
For all the news, line-ups and general festival info, pop over to the Artslink site at http://www.artslink.co.za
All that (live) jazz
So you don't live in Cape Town and can't get to this wonderful concert at the Blue Note jazz club on Sunday but you can at least sit back and dream of seeing the following hot South African artists all in one evening.
In order of appearance Blue Note presents (drum roll…brrrrr) Step Ahead, Virtual Jazz Reality, The Winston Mankunku Quartet, The Harold Japhta Quartet, Robbie Jansen and Sons Of Table Mountain, Jimmy Dludlu and C-Bass collective and, finally, Duke Ngcukana and Mkhaya. This celebration of contemporary Cape Town talent is a feather in the cap of this progressive and committed jazz club.
A quick look at "the Beautiful Game"
This is a slightly shortened Beatspeak this week as I've been fortunate enough to find myself off to Paris this weekend to watch Nigeria vs Denmark at the World Cup stadium at Saint Dennis (thanks Henri!). If Bafana Bafana or Philippe Troussier had or hadn't etc etc then it would be South Africa against Nigeria on Sunday night, sob!
Hopefully I'll be able to grab a quick visit to the Virgin Megastore (that's a free plug Mr. Branson!) to buy myself a virgin, sorry, to see which South African CDs are currently doing the business in France. You see, if I do that it can be construed as research for this column. Then I write a quick but detailed piece on the French football fest and voila!, its official work business and tax deductable.
The truth is that this will be my first visit to the World Cup and I'm overwhelmed. I've always been as passionate about "the beautiful game" as I am about "the beautiful music" (anything since the war) and I feel ready to embark on my football pilgrimage. You'll appreciate why I can't quite keep my mind on the game.
For your Amuzine-ment
So what else is there "net" for your surfing pleasure here on Alive this week.. Firstly it's payday time so why not check out our online shopping mall Two Oceans Trading for a cool range of SA books, clothing, Springbok merchandising and the biggest range of South African CDs on the pla-Net at One World. There's a Review of the latest Corrs CD and some interviews at Lager Mentality. Ian and Karon have been watching the new movies and videos as fast as their eyeballs can rotate and the products of their labours are equally viewable at the Bioscope page. You can't keep Rodriguez down since his re-emergence and the latest news on our adopted folk legend, as well as a message board, is always fresh at The Great Rodriguez Website which is also to undergo a minor facelift shortly.
Any thoughts, requests, problems, complaints, praise or interesting and relevant SA music news, please email it immediately to: firstname.lastname@example.org
So keep your eye on the ball, don't chirp the ref, don't tackle from behind (?), the games not over till the final whistle and as a special message to all our musicians, play as if you're playing for your country because you are!
Ciao for niao or should I say au revoir,
Stephen "Sugar" Segerman
The Five CDs definitely coming with me to France (oh shut up already about this trip please! -Ed.) (You're just jealous heh heh heh! -me.)
Various - Kwaito Hits
Still on my hot list and still the best introduction to the new big dance sound of kwaito in one complete hits package.
Embrace - The Good Will Out
The eagerly awaited debut by the new pretenders to the Oasis/Verve crown. Packed with great songs, this demands some good airplane listening as does…
Jeff Buckley - Sketches for My Sweetheart The Drunk
I'm still busy working my way through the first CD of this double-CD set and it's going to take a very pleasurable while. 'Sketches' is rockier than 'Grace', and actually sounds better. This unfortunately highlights the wasted potential and the tragedy of his untimely passing.
Paul Hanmer - Trains To Taung
Perfect, soft and mesmerising for those early morning hours on the plane when they pretend to let you sleep but know that everyone is, unfortunately, chaffing.
Juluka - Universal Men
I don't go anywhere without this by my side, The first, the best, the finest SA album ever, period.
The SA CD Charts The One World Top Ten (based on sales at
Seedy's and One World in Pretoria and One World on the Net)
1. TKZee and Benni - Shibobo
2. Various Artists - Kwaito Hits
3. Boomshaka: 'Words Of Wisdom'
4. Rodriguez - 'Live Fact'
5. Sibongile Khumalo: 'Live At The Market Theatre'
6. Rebecca: 'Somlandela'
7. Springbok Nude Girls: 'Omnisofa'
8. Makhendlas: 'Jammer'
9. Awakening: 'Request'
10. Just Jinger: 'Something For Now'
(CDs available at One World online CD store at: http://www.oneworld.co.za )
The Original Evergreen
Qkumba Zoo online interview
Theatre Sports interview
Honeymoon Suites interview
Scabby Annie interview
Elephant Sun interview
Danièle Pascal interview
The Great Rodriguez Website
Your online CD store
Lager Mentality - Interviews, Features and previous Beatspeak and News articles