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In this issue:
Out and About
SA Music book
Ramsay MacKay
Off The Edge
True confessions
Splashy Fen
Song lists
Instant Karma
Little Sister
Koos Kombuis
Pop Quiz


This is a discussion forum for anything about
South African rock music; past, present and future.

Read it, digest it, enjoy it, send in your comments
and tell your friends....

"Rock" is a very general term encompassing rock and roll,
pop, folk, rock, ethnic-rock, prog-rock, jazz-rock, country-rock,
soul, R&B, metal, indie, alternative, new wave, reggae, etc, etc.

Don't get hung up...if you want to say something about the music
YOU like, go ahead, say it.



The Barleycorn Music Club meets every Monday night
at the River Club in Cape Town to give unsigned musicians
a chance of exposure. Entrance is R8 for non-members.

Well, what a treat this non-member had on Monday night (26 April).

Bob Hughes, vice-chairman and tonight's MC opened with a set of
wonderful pop/folk songs about love, romance and magic.

John Caulfield has a quirky sense of humour and some of his songs were
dark and haunting and others were light and even sing-along.
I especially enjoyed his song about the "mad molecule" and references
to "psychedelic breakfasts" and "crazy diamonds". Pink Floyd, anyone?

Next up was a trio led by Robert Drake on vocals and guitar. Original
compositions in the classic old blues style. Superb guitar work, reminding
me of Eric Clapton, BB King, Muddy Waters and Otis Rush. Tertius Pickard
blew his harp (harmonica, to you) like a man possessed. I love a blues
harmonica and this was great. Clive Newton is an incredible bass-player. He is fluid and tuneful like a Noel Redding or dare I say it, Chris Squire. No drummer for this band, but I could hear them in my head, thanks to Clive's bass and the superb musicianship of this talented trio.

Wishbone are a young band with an almost Britpop sound. Diverse in their influences,
they played an original set of reggae, acoustic alternative and soaring newpop sounds. Oasis, Embrace, Nirvana, even Fleetwood Mac all thrown together in this boiling pot of talent.

Catherine Paver with her Joan Baez-like voice closed off the evening with folk music
from around the world and through the years, accompanied by her own accomplished

All-in-all a wonderful evening of original, live South African talent. I guess you know
where to find me on Monday nights in future.

-- Brian Currin


a book by Garth Chilvers and Tom Jasiukowicz,
published by TOGA Publishing in 1994.

After numerous requests for this book, it is
now available to order on-line.

See advert below or...
go to:



Krister from Sweden wrote...

I am 24 years old and a university student.
When I was about 6 or 7 or so I got a hold of this fantastic album,
Jo'burg Hawk's "Africa she too can cry" from 1973. This has haunted me thru
the years and I find it an all time great. I have never had a chance to learn more about
this band so this day when I found your website about their records I got stunned.

I didn't know they had a previous album (African day) but I can tell you
that I could walk thru fire for that album. I suppose that the chance that
their album ever got out on cd are minimal. Thats unfortunate since my only
vinyl is really torn down and scratchy.

{Editor: info on Hawk's albums can be found at:

Any additional info would be gratefully accepted}



If anyone can tell me where I can get a copy of Lesego Rampolokeng's album,
I would be eternally grateful. And if anyone knows when Mike Smith's
album "Empty Factories" is to be released on CD, I would like to
know. I can be contacted at

-- Gary Baines, Grahamstown



In the last issue Michelle Gathercole wrote...

I was wondering if you could possibly help me in finding any lyrics to anti-apartheid songs? Perhaps some of these bands you have on your site were anti-apartheid?

Rod Currin replied...
I have e-mailed her to offer the lyrics of the musical District Six, which
deals, of course, with the Group Areas Act eviction of District Six residents.

The songs are directly anti-apartheid (extracted line: 'All the amenities
in this shop are reserved for whites') or refer to the life and suffering
the residents experienced.


I know that Ramsey released an album called Suburbs of Ur under his own name. I believe that he's in Cape Town, and that he reformed Freedoms Children briefly in about 1997. I have a demo tape from that called "Mummies".

-- Andrew King

{Astral editor: I have heard that Freedoms Children have recorded a new album. Any more information? Derek? Neill? Anybody?}


Leon Economides played 'Running' on the Dinosaur Days program on Sunday night
on 5FM. This track is taken from the On The Run CD, independently released by Off The Edge last month. Phil Wright likes the album, so you should be hearing a lot more of this band on the radio soon. Meanwhile some MP3s are on a the Net at:



What is the uncoolest album or single you have ever paid real money for?

Not the complete Jim Reeves collection you inherited from your mother, or
that Mantovani plays Christmas CD that you received as a corporate gift,
I'm talking about paying good money for something you would really rather not
admit to.

Well here's your chance to come clean and tell all.

OK I'll start...I bought, for full price, on CD...wait for it...The Very Best Of The Osmonds.

Its got all those really twee songs like Puppy Love, Long Haired Lover From Liverpool
and their attempt at rock-cred: Crazy Horses.

I remember pretending to like Donny Osmond to impress the girls at school, and eventually actually enjoying some of their stuff. So I bought this CD for very good nostalgia reasons.

Time for your "true confessions"...come on, what is the uncoolest record in your
collection? South African or international.


Third Ear Music, the dynamic Durban music company headed by Dave "Master Jack" Marks, has announced the release of a 10th anniversary double CD package containing highlights from all the previous Splashy Fen festivals. These CDs will feature 35 acts from over 400 live recordings spanning 8 years, into 2 hours 20 minutes. The music featured on this CD is mainly of the South African cool, folkie persuasion. We will give you the track list and, hopefully, a review, as soon as we can lay our hands on a copy.

-- Stephen "Sugar" Segerman, Amuzine, 26 April 1999


I have received a number of favourites lists from various digest members.

They are archived on the Net at:

You can also vote for your favourite SA pop and rock songs of all-time at:


When we remember the bands that made SA rock history, the obvious bands like Freedoms Children, Third Eye, Hawk etc usually spring to mind. Do any of you remember Museum (previously Come - but forced into a name change by the narrow minds of the time)? I recall catching a train from JHB station to Florida one Saturday night to attend the weekly 'session' at the Florida Town Hall. Because no alcohol was served at the Town Hall, it was customary to stop off at the Florida Hotel for pre-session refreshments! We then ambled up to the Town Hall, and were in time to catch an amazing gig by Museum. They played great heavy underground music. Unfortunately, they broke up soon afterwards and, to my knowledge, did not release anything.

-- Andrew King

Message posted on the Too Good To Be Forgotten message board:


Since its inception the unofficial Karma (Henry Ate) homepage has grown tremendously.

With this growth came the need for a decent URL, so the page has moved to:

-- David Pierson

{Editor: talking about websites, point your browser to:
Digest member Dave Ambrose has a very articulate way of
expressing his feelings and opinions on South African music,
censorship and a number of other interesting subjects...go!}


Debbi Lonman wrote...

I am part of the recording group Little Sister. We have just released a new CD through Gallo titled 'While No-one Was Looking'.

Visit the Little Sister website at:

{Editor: more details to follow soon...I remember seeing Little Sister in the early
90s at Bruma Lake (Late Night Als, I think?). Dear Abby is a classic SA rock song.


Cobus Rossouw, formerly of Sundogs, together with Steve Savage (Cargo Cult
and formerly Mind Astray) have formed a new band called sharkbrother. They
are hard at work perfecting present material and developing new and exciting
material that promises to continue on the trend of their ever-popular

The band, although they have been together since October 1998, are excited
about recent developments and now consider themselves ready for deeper

Cobus is best known for his venture with Sundogs together with Max and
Conrad Loubser. Sundogs was a great vehicle but the punk arrangements never
really did justice to the songwriting and though the musical ideology was
sound the delivery was never true to the nature of the material.

sharkbrother's musical style is a true reflection of the soul and nature of
the musicians, their lives and experiences. Their influences range from
Tindersticks to Travelpack. Instrumentation is simple, displaying a unique
and innovative blend of semi-acoustic archtop jazz guitar (Cobus) providing
the rhythm and electric bass (Steve) accentuating the melodic structure of
the songs.

Their demo album, consisting of 18 tracks is available upon request from
Cobus and include such songs as; Only Yesterday, Torture, Silence and Night
of Secrets.

The band's unique melodies, a product of Cobus's vocals and Steve's fresh
approach to the bass guitar, create a sound that differentiates sharkbrother
from any other band, both local and international.

We'll be performing at Tings & Times in Hatfield Pretoria again on the 2nd
of May (for those surviving the Oppikoppi bash on Friday, perhaps some
mellow moods to straighten you out before the Monday rush?) and at the
Aberlarde Sanction in Brixton on Saturday the 15th of May, followed by Tings
and Times again on the 16th. All gigs will start at 9pm.

Steve Savage
Digital Mining Services
083 305 1136
011 807 5151


Koos Kombuis – 'Mona Lisa (Die Mooiste Love Songs)'

A recent insert on the SABC-TV program 'Pasella', featured the newly married "Baard of Gordons Bay" looking relaxed and content in his new home in the Cape. The songs on his 1998 album, 'Madiba Bay', reflected this love and stability that had permeated his life ("Almal wil 'n huisie by die see hê"). It also closed off the awesome trilogy of albums that began with the "paranoia (in Parow-Noord)" of 'Niemandsland And Beyond' and moved through the wandering (wondering?) minstrel years of 'Elke Boemelaar Se Droom'.

But 'Mona Lisa' is more than just what its sweet subtitle implies. While it does gather together all the softer moments from those albums, as well as a handful of other bonus tracks, it also serves as Koos Kombuis' TRC album. The writer Andre Letoit soon realized that he could make a far bigger impact as the protest-folkie Koos Kombuis, and so he did. His music mixed wistful love songs with full-tilt rock 'n roll. His lyrics mirrored and poked fun at the chaos and angst around him but constantly betrayed his inner desire for peace and harmony. Now that he has found it, it's time to forget the pain and forgive. He vented his anger in the unplanned end-of-recording jam that emerged as 'Blameer Dit Op Apartheid', the companion release to 'Madiba Bay'. By contrast, these 17 tracks on 'Mona Lisa' are packed with simple melodies, warm humour and wonderful words and images. There's 'Lisa Se Klavier', 'Bicycle Sonder 'n Slot', 'Atlantis In Jou Lyf', 'Prayer For Port St. Johns' and 'Onder In My Whiskey Glas', all the old favourites and some unfamiliar gems.

Although he spearheaded the 'Alternatief' music revolution of the '80s with Johannes Kerkorrel, in the TV interview he spoke of his dislike for that term. He said they preferred to think that they were the first normal Afrikaners, and that if anyone should be called weird or alternative in those days, it would have to be PW Botha, and not them! He then flashes that enigmatic smile, just like the lady on the CD cover with the bottle of "Tassies" in her hand.

Stephen "Sugar" Segerman

(originally printed in the Cape Times/Top Of The Times March 5 1999)

See Amuzine for the original review and album cover...


Last week's question:

Name a song from Off The Edge's new album On The Run.

Need help? Go to:

And the winners are:
Nigel Walsh
Andre Fourie
Sean Costello


This week's question:

The Flames took this Jerry Butler and The Impressions song and made it a South African classic. It was #1 on the Springbok Radio charts in October 1968 and spent 11 weeks in the Top Twenty. What's the name of the song?

Derek Smith from Gallo has given the digest a copy of Soul Meeting, an
incredible compilation of great South African pop, soul and R&B numbers.

The CD features songs like The Staccato's Cry To Me, The Flames' For Your Precious Love, Peanut Butter Conspiracy's Amen and Flood's Let Me Into Your Life, to name but a few. Artists include Richard Jon Smith, Lionel Peterson, The Invaders, Ronnie Joyce, Neville Whitmill, Neville Nash, Una Valli, Ricardo and others.


Its election year so go and vote for your favourite SA Rock album at:

...or your all-time favourite SA song at:

Vote for your favourite McCully Workshop album at:


Want to know more about me, my websites and my love for music?

The online archive for the History of South African Rock is at:

Up-to-date news, reviews and interviews on South African and
international music, with a healthy dose of humour at:

Daily news, new releases, classifieds and general music info at: - The Hub of South African Music

Buy your South African (or any other) CDs from:



Are you are a SA musician looking for info or resources?
Gareth's excellent website is for you.

Evan Milton's Gig Guide at
will let you know what's on in Cape Town.

To find out what's on and where, go to...

Try SonicNet's music guide for info on international artists at:

This US-based on-line CD store is at:


a book by Garth Chilvers and Tom Jasiukowicz,
published by TOGA Publishing in 1994.

This book contains 172 pages of South African artist biographies, discographies and photos. It is essential for anyone with even a passing interest in South African music.

This book covers a diversity of artists, from Charles Jacobie to Suck and is a companion book to the 'Best Of SA Pop' series of CDs.

"...a book that anybody with a passing interest in the South African Music Industry will find of invaluable assistance."
-- Chris Prior

The price for this book, including postage by surface mail and packaging, is R140/$24 for International deliveries and R115.00 within South Africa.

You can order a copy of this book securely online from:

This book is listed in the 'Local Pop Compilations' category and can be found by entering the title or author into the search engine.

Or, please email your order, shipping address and credit card details to:

We accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express credit cards. If emailing credit card details, please split the credit card number over two separate emails for extra security.

More info at:

If you're a technophobe or you are reading this on hardcopy then phone
Sugar on: 021-4889426 or Brian on 082 567 8779



Makes your computer sound better if you listen to MP3's, WAV files, music samples, web radio, on-line concerts and much more.

Visit and click on QSound banner.



Need a digest, e-mag or newsletter like this for your company, band, radio station...?
Zap to:



Do you need a presence on the web, but are put off by high start-up costs?
Go to:

Or phone Brian on: 082 567 8779



Don't you find it boring and/or time-consuming to surf the net in search of music information? Don't you hate paging through music references books? Don't you wish your staff sometimes had a bit more passion in their quest for music information?

Well, Vagabond Music Research (VMR) is your one-stop South African-based music research and resource centre. Local and international music information supplied.
Talk to:

Or phone Brian on: 082 567 8779


Visit to listen to On The Run, the latest album from this great SA rock band. Album cover, track listing, a short review and MP3s are all there.


An extensive selection of vinyl and CDs. Big supporters of South African music.
Speak to Neil or Alan on 021-595 3220 or email Neil at:


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The SA Rock Digest is compiled by Brian Currin from the
"Too Good To Be Forgotten" internet message board, e-mails from
Digest members and other varied sources.

For the basic rules of the Digest please visit:
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