David Kramer



  1. Is Jy Bang (4:20)
  2. Krisjan Swart (4:10)
  3. Bokkie Bokkie (4:43)
  4. Onder Op Die Plaas (4:04)
  5. Tjoepstil (3:30)
  6. Koba (5:23)
  7. I Had a Dream (4:25)
  8. Biscuits and Biltong (4:19)
  9. Annette van der Wa (2:45)
  10. Frikkie (4:02)
  11. Bellville Blues (5:45)
  12. Botteltjie Blou (4:00)

All songs written and arranged by David Kramer

Produced by Paddy Lee Thorp and David Kramer
Recorded at Hi-Z Studios, Cape Town and the Barleycorn Folk Club during September and October 1980.
Engineered by Malio Celotti


  • David Kramer: Vocals, acoustic guitar, mouth harp
  • Malio Celotti: Keyboards
  • Phil Smiedt: Bass
  • Edi Niederlander: Bass
  • Richard Devey: Drums
  • Gary Horne: Saxophone, flute
  • Zayn Adams: Congas


'I asked Edi [Niederlander] about the credit for bass on 'Bakgat', about a million years ago (say, 10?) in Cape Town and she said, no Phil Schmit should have had the bass credit, she was only on electric (on the live Barleycorn side).'

Scherritt Knoesen

Release information:

1981, Mountain Records (MOULP (L)10)

Download David Kramer albums at:
Rhythm Online - South African Online Music Store
Rhythm Online Music Store


While browsing at www.oneworld.co.za the other day, I stumbled across 'Bakgat' by David Kramer and was quite surprised that this little gem from the early 80's had appeared on CD with hardly a peep from anyone. Long before Koos Kombuis moved into Niemandsland, and even before James Phillips donned some shades and became South Africa's most famous nobody, Kramer was making fascinating Afrikaans folk rock. Sadly this went largely unnoticed, but this was possibly his own fault in that 'Bakgat' was released around the same time as 'Hak hom Blokkies' and Kramer was doomed to be associated with the Sakkie Sakkie sound of Blokkies and his rooi velskoene.

For those of you who can forgive him for Blokkies, it's worth seeking out this half live, half studio, half English, half Afrikaans, pioneering record. Side 1 (of the old vinyl album) is the studio tracks and rocks more than the live side. There are some fine Dire Strait-y guitar sounds and despite his accent, Kramer's voice can take on quite a rawness that most rock stars would be quite pleased with. Mention should also be made of a bass player on the album that goes under the name of Edi Niederlander.

The live side is an acoustic set recorded at the Barleycorn Folk Club and features Kramer playing to an intimate crowd and entertaining them not only with the songs, but also with a bit of humorous commentary on some of his songs. The side starts with him saying 'You know Bob Dylan Used to have dreams. Wonderful dreams. And so many of them' and then going on to sing about his own dream where apart from buying his wife 'one of those plastic brushes to keep the toilet clean', he also had one of those dreams 'that give you a helluva fright, because I dreamt I'd been reclassified non-white'.

On 'Bakgat' Kramer establishes himself as a top class storyteller, telling stories of life in small town South Africa and what it's like being an ordinary person. He also touches on raw nerves of the politics of the day. Not just the black /white issue, but also tackles the English/Afrikaans issue in 'Tjoepstil' where he threatens that if you 'call me a crunchie and I'll take you outside, and show you just how the crunch is applied.' He does all this with a wicked sense of humour and a biting pathos that is top class.

This is possibly Kramer at his best, although his later offering 'Delicious Monster' is also a fine album, however 'Monster' is more rock n bop as opposed to the folk rock to be found here. Sure he's had greater commercial success, firstly with 'Blokkies' and later with his stage musicals 'District Six', 'Fairyland' and 'Kat & the Kings' but for rock lovers, this might be the only Kramer album you can like.

(John Samson - SA Rockdigest #137 January 2002)

Webpage: David Kramer

All info supplied by John Samson, April 2002.

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