As an Engelsman, I battle to pronounce the word Wingerd and would probably
battle even more should I partake heavily of the fermented fruits of the
Wingerd. But hey, do I care? Not really as this summation of the
Stellenbosch music scene of the mid-nineties kicks grape.
Household names like Springbok N*de Girls, Valiant Swart and Koos Kombuis
rub shoulders with lesser known bands like The Led, Ark and Drain to form
this eclectic collection (compiled by Dirk Uys) that ranges from heavy
grunge through to country rock.
A few standout points are Nicole Holm's punky Heather Mac vocals for White
Trash, the thrashy guitars of The Led and the quieter acoustic workout of
Brollocks en Bittergal. I may be going out on a limb here, but I'm sure I
heard shades of a raunchy David Kramer in a couple of songs, Valiant's
'Moelikheid met die Man' and dare I suggest it of the N*de Girls 'Pappa ek
wil 'n Popster Word' in particular? Oh well I never wanted the freedom of
But the highlight has to be Koos Kombuis' tribute to James Phillips -
'Beethoven is Dead'. With it's bluesy verses and grunge rock chorus of
'Beethoven is Dying, Beethoven is Dead' sung in Koos' distinctive
Oom-next-door tones, this poignant tribute is the stuff lumps in the throat
are made of.
Koos also has the last say on the album with the funny but close to the
bone 'Verslaaf'. It somewhat sums up the feel of the album and, I guess
Stellenbosch at the time, with him listing his addictions largely based
around the standard Sex 'n drugs 'n rock en roll, including whiskey, tiete
en alles met an "ol"... "maar die beste van die lot is die ROCK 'N ROLL".
This well-produced, well-chosen collection of songs shows the early promise
of the fast maturing Afrikaans rock scene with hardly a duff note on the
CD. Although the liner notes are full of pictures of lute wielding maidens
frolicking playfully with Musketeers around the Cape Dutch Gabled houses of
the Stellenbosch region, this is not a case of the right place but the
wrong time, rather it is a timely album from that cauldron of talent
affectionately known as Sweet Stellenganga. A vine collection of tunes.
John Samson, October 2001