SA ROCK DIGEST ISSUE NUMBER 34
The South African Rock Music Digest
is a weekly, free, subscription e-mag,
delivered direct to your e-mailbox.
Edited by Brian Currin and
Stephen "Sugar" Segerman.
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Established January 1999.
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In this issue:
On the net
Links and ads
I Wonder....do you know who'll be next?
Universal SA (previously Polygram SA) has confirmed that they are no longer pressing or distributing the first three Rodriguez albums, 'Cold Fact', 'After The Fact' and The Best of Rodriguez'. This means that the only global source for these three CDs is now, effectively, closed. The 'Live Fact' CD from Rodriguez's 1998 tour is on the Sony label and is currently the only one of these titles available in SA.
The Internet generally, and One World <http://www.oneworld.co.za> specifically, has made these titles available to all those Rodriguez fans overseas. If anyone is interested in picking up the license and distribution rights for these three rare and much requested titles, please contact the Digest.
LIVE AT MEGA MUSIC
Gloria Bosman and the Sheer All Stars will launching their long awaited debut albums at Mega Music on the 1st and 2nd October. The concert will feature material from Gloria's debut album 'Tranquillity' which was recorded at M5 studio's at the SABC. Produced and arranged by Paul Hanmer, the album represents songs written by Gloria specifically for her first release. Gloria is no newcomer to the jazz scene having performed extensively throughout the country and is considered one of the leading voices to emerge from South Africa is recent times. She has shared the stage with the cream of SA musicians including Sibongile Khumalo, Tananas, Hugh Masekela to name only a few. Her range and unique voice is sure to propel her to stardom, 'Tranquillity' is set to make its mark on the jazz landscape to a long time to come.
The Sheer All Stars at this point need little introduction. They have played at no fewer than four festivals in the past two months including the Grahamstown, Joy of Jazz, Arts Alive and the North Sea Jazz Festival in The Hague. 'Indibano' has already received rave reviews, and the concert will showcase the new material featured on the CD.
Comprising Paul Hanmer (keys), Sipho Gumede (bass), McCoy Mrubata (sax), Errol Dyers (guitar) and Frank Paco (drums) the All Stars is a band made up almost entirely of front men, who have over the past few years become synonymous with the resurgence of local jazz.
Doors open at 20:00.
For more information contact Sheer Sound.
Tel: (011) 444-1818
Fax: (011) 444-2275
Aardklop Nasionale Kunstefees - Potchefstroom
29th September - 3rd October.
THE EMERGING SOUNDS CIRCUIT
The Emerging Sounds Exposed Circuit is now heading into its fifth week continuing in its missions of giving emerging bands more exposure.
This circuit is an extension of the Emerging Sounds Exposed Competition and the circuit aims to give bands exposure to four different venues over a month.
Each band performs at a different venue every week so in any given week nine different bands are in action on the circuit. Over the next three weeks Roxy's has another event on the go and the circuit returns to this venue on Tuesday, October 19.
Bands are given the opportunity of proving themselves to the venues, which might even consider hiring a few on a regular basis.
In the first week of the circuit Balance impressed the management of The Big Easy who approached the band with a view to them performing at the venue outside of the circuit.
Another feature of the circuit is that bands are forming friendships, which hopefully will see the bands that have been paired together during the circuit performing together at a later stage.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 31 - TEQUILA SUNRISE IN HATFIELD
For further information concerning the Emerging Sounds Exposed Tour Circuit contact Simon Foulds on 082-770-7524 or mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or Natasha on 082-447-0707 and Greg on 314-5990 from Macintosh & Associates.
Here's Bob Hughes' line-up for Monday 4th October which was scheduled
for 13th September but due to the floods we had almost needed to find a dove and an olive branch.
So, here we go again:
Bob and Chantal
Terry Dean (who was a finalist in our Song Comp)
Hopefully starting as close to 8pm as possible.
HERE'S TO YOU - JUST JINGER
The first Just Jinger album, All Comes Round made an impression on me only because I lent it to my neighbour who played it loud and non-stop until it began to insinuate itself into my brain. Their second release, the five song EP Something For Now, wasnt too bad either and between them, these two CDs sold approximately 130,000 copies, making Just Jinger the most successful SA rock band of the decade (ever?). Add to that the fact that the bands line-up has changed a few times and youll see why this, their second full-length album has caught the interest of all those fans and critics alike. So, Heres To You arrives in a blaze of glory, hype and expectation leaving me feeling a little anxious about reviewing it. I decided to avoid those Counting Crows copyists and Just Art references and give it a few decent listens before spewing forth, and now Im even more confused. While I recognise and respect the effort and skill that went into making this album, its really not my bag. But after hearing it a few times, I must admit that it has its merits and is certain to please all those who bought and loved the first two albums (and that recent live video).
This is definitely Art Matthews album and hes stamped his creativity,
style and ideas all over it. Its a big, strong and bold album with a crisp and upfront production and intelligent arrangements (kudos to Chris Gelakis!). Not all the songs are winners but as a whole it works well. The title track seems a little iffy until we find out that its a tribute to South Africa, which makes it a little more relevant. But Art feels that his "soft-loud-soft" method of rock ballad song-writing has worked so far, so why change it. He wrote all these songs, so they tend to sound a little samey (Art imitating life?). But so do all those Pearl Jam albums, which this resembles, so lets not write it off for that reason.
The band has crammed 13 tracks into 47 minutes so theyve kept it compact and trim. Perfect Ground is a confident opening track followed by Heres To You and the soaring All Around. Those Days is a lovely ballad with some gorgeous guitars lifting the song to epic status. Many Things and Truly Faithful are speedy without being dance-worthy and Feeling Loving and No Friend are no slouches in the head-banging department either. So, after hearing this a few times Im still not completely convinced either way. But a lot of you are going to buy this, regardless, so you decide. I'm more concerned about my neighbour who just bought the Britney Spears and Lou Bega CDs.
Review taken from the latest online issue of Amuzine
Just Jinger's website (if its up!)
Just Jinger tour dates at:
SONS OF TROUT
One of our premier groups has to be Sons of Trout. I urge those who have not seen them do so soon and to take a listen to their album "Ticks on George".
They are totally committed, hard working, creative and unique.
Back in 1983 when I used to go to the JHB market every Saturday, I once saw a group perform alongsode the road running down to the Market Theatre. They were multiracial, which in my cocooned world was fairly unusual as they were not called Juluka. They played a cross between ska and mbaqanga, a really powerful sound too.
There was a tall skinny white guy, Harvey was his name, I think he was a Brit, on vocals. On drums ( and what drums they were.. all split skinned and held together with sticky tape, but wow did they sound good!) was Steve, another white guy. Third and final white guy was called Jimmy, he played keyboard in a great arpeggio way akin to the Specials or other two tone groups of the previous two years in the UK. Two black guys made up the group, Winston on sax (Harvey played horn too) and Herbert on trombone. One of these two also did a mean dance routine when not featuring on his instrument.
They were some group. They were the Dynamics. What the hell happened to them?
They played a gig one night at a JHB new romantic club called Dirtbox, and I was about the only guy dancing to them at one stage with my blue double breasted cavalry shirt and my vodka and lime in my hand (R10 entrance, free booze!)... what a prat I must have looked!
They made an album, 'Switch It On and Wind it Up', on Priority records MOBL100. I treasure it and have just archived it onto Minidisc, so it'll be mine forever. Producer was Ian Osrin, who I now know is behind Oom, another group no-one seems to know much about, but who are also superb from what little I've heard via http://www.mp3.com. Oom's genre (kwaito) is akin to the Dynamics' sound in many ways, so obviously he hasn't abandoned his principles! Ian, I'm told you're on the digest somewhere, fill us all in ek se! Why can't I find any of Oom's albums online in SA, I want to buy 'em all!
Last I heard of the Dynamics was a radio interview with Harvey with Chris whatever his name was at Radio Five, the alternative man who gave SA the Waterboys and Lloyd Cole and the Commotions from the UK. Harvey said they'd recently been in the UK and had started on another album and things were looking up for the Dynamics. I returned to the UK myself shortly after and never heard anything more about them, apart from when I Switch it on and Wind it up myself.
Just a bit of nostalgic ramblings from me, I'll shut up and go back to sleep now!
THE LEGENDS OF SA ROCK
I was married to Julian for 12 years - we recently divorced - but keep in touch as we have a beautiful daughter, Kashya, who is, I'm pleased to say, showing signs of possibly being another SA Great!!!
Julian is doing well with his show "The Legend of Clapton" at the club "Legends Lair" in Emmerentia. He is STILL the best guitarist in the WORLD (as far as I'm concerned - and I really would like someone to tell me differently!!) and a helluva good guy!
The main reason I subscribed [to the Digest] was because I have been trying for some years to find out what happened to Ramsay Mackay. Believe it or not, I did not know freedom's children until I discovered your pages and the list, even though I grew up in SA in the 60s and 70s. I knew the Julian Laxton band, and Mccully Workshop, etc, but somehow freedom's Children never made it into my consciousness. But for years I have had a tape of 'Suburbs of Ur'; one of my treasures. A friend made it for me, and was smart enough to also make a photocopy of the album cover. And I have always wondered who the person was who made it, and wanted to find out if there was any more music he had done. Its intriguing. (I've been living in Scotland for a while, and the desire to find out more has also been prompted by this; the voice on the album is such a curious mix of SA and Scottish sounds... though the material is undeniably african).
It's been wonderful to find out more about Ramsay Mackay, but I know there must be even more. I mean, he must be around and doing stuff. What has happened to the releasing of 'Mummies'? So frustrating ... it exists but is not accessible.
The digest is also great in helping me keep up with other SA music. For example, I have (and love) `six songs from the inside', and it is interesting to know that the Usual is on the up.
USA FOR AFRICA
There is a good chance that I will be invited to host another show, other than Women In Music, on KRVM, here in Eugene, Oregon. It's a show that plays mainly 70's music, and some 80's... guess where my mind is going? Some of the best SA music came out of those 2 decades.
Please let me know where I can send some of these cute looking dollar bills, and get some CD's sent to me! It takes far too long to rely on bands, etc., to send me material to play (By the way, I've been playing "Fetish" on my show - getting a very good reaction!!), so perhaps if I can buy some, I'll get it sooner! That goes for music for my Women In Music show - still looking to play Lesley Rae Dowling, Edi Niederlander, PJ Powers, etc., and some of the more "ethnic" artists, as well.
New postal address for those still interested in sending their music to be played here is:
2459 Haig Street
Eugene, OR 97402
Regards to all you homies back there... missing you terribly.
I noticed an important omission from the family tree. In 1973 my band Nomush was backing group for Freedoms Children at the Florida Town Hall. I remember it well because I got pneumonia after the gig. The guitarist for Freedoms Children was no less than SA´s best guitarist Trevor Rabin. We taped the concert (unfortunately the quality is not very good) I still have it. To be honest it was sensational. I tell you Rabin played the songs much better than Julian Laxton. I to this day do not know why they didnt try to carry on together. Rabin has never played as heavy in his career and never replicated the sound. He used a copycat and blew our minds. If you heard the tape you would freak. They started the set with 'Riders on the Storm' with Colin beating the hell out of the drums.
Hope this is useful to you. Rabin played on old strat with an aluminium
fret board. The Rabbitt stuff is crap by comparison.
Long overdue from me, and as promised, here's some reminiscences... all from the early eighties.
Going to Zippers disco at the Germiston Hotel, aged 16, convincing myself that the door staff really believed I looked 18. Yeah sure. This was my first real exposure to live music, and even though it was de rigeur to pooh-pooh local music, once I'd heard PJ Powers's literally powerful voice, seen Alistair Coakley's 'Die Stem' played on electric guitar, teeth as well a la Hendrix, marveled at how skinny Bones really was, and chatted as if I was an old friend with George about the news of his new baby, I was hooked.
I used to go with a load of pommies a few years older than myself, all in their late teens and early twenties, and we inevitably ended up in a group along the front of the stage. PJ more often than not used to give one of us a tambourine, and it was us who started the tradition of groups playing at Zippers giving in to our demands for a drum solo. And what a drum solo it was the first time we heard it, all ad hoc, although the following week the drummer (sorry mate
I can't remember your name) had rehearsed a full five minute solo...
absolutely magic. When he snapped a stick he gave it to me. I still have it somewhere.
After Hotline finished the first of their three month tours, Ballyhoo
stepped in. Another great band, more democratically demanded drum solos.
I met the Hotline drummer some years later on a trip back to SA outside the Hillbrow Record Centre. I was so chuffed that he remembered me and my mates' antics at Zippers. This was at the time when Hotline had been forced, commercially, to go a bit ethnic, and he actually said to me, "One day we'll be able to play the stuff we want to play again". A bit sad really.
Another band I saw at the Flea Market was No Friends Of Harry. This would have been in around 1986, just befor I left SA I think. They were performing on the back of a lorry. I think they took off commercially soon after this, along with the eVoids and Via Afrikas of the world.
Ah, sweet memories! If only I'd taken more of them in!
Cheers for now, more to follow no doubt!
We are moving to Zimbabwe soon. I was wondering if you had a contact for DAVID SCOBIE... I believe he has a recording studio in HARARE..
Guy & Lesley
Phone: +27 21 585334
Someone at work bought the CD of David's Confession
"About Time". Had a listen to it and I must say it's quite
different. It made me think of Enigma.
Also can anyone tell me on which Afrikaans drama series the intro to "Make
Believe" (which is the "Moonlight Sonata" by Beethoven) was used. It's been bothering me for quite some time.
CHIMERA - DUNCAN MacKAY
Remember those heady days of the early 70s when a trio of keyboard wizards were winning all the polls and dominating the album sales? Keith Emerson (ELP), Rick Wakeman (Yes) and Jon Lord (Deep Purple) were those wizards, all three still very much around today, I might add--much to my father's chagrin. My father, who was and still is a Methodist church organist, said "that music will never last!"
Well this week, thanks to Leon Economides (co-presenter with Phil Wright of the Dinosaur Days programme on 5FM on Sunday nights) introduced me to a fourth keyboard wizard, SA-born and current Cape Town resident, Duncan MacKay.
Duncan MacKay's 'Chimera' recorded in 1973/4 and forever forgotten by all but the most devout is a brilliant slice of 70s progressive keyboard-based rock. All three of the wizards mentioned above are obvious influences, but Duncan clearly stamps his own sound onto this 3-track album. (only 3 tracks? - well this was 1974, the era of 'Tales From Topographic Oceans' by Yes!).
Duncan has played for some very famous international artists including Kate Bush, 10cc, Steve Harley's Cockney Rebel, Camel and Elkie Brooks. He recently teamed up with Neil Lockwood from The Electric Light Orchestra Part II as Lockwood MacKay and released an album which included 'TRex and the Thin White Duke', a musical tribute in words and style to those 70s Kings (Queens?) of glamrock, Marc Bolan and David Bowie.
So this week we have 2 hidden gems from the same artist, 25 years apart, the one easy-to-find, the other near-to-impossible --enjoy the search.
More "hidden gems" (old and new) in future issues...feel free to send in your suggestions.
ON THE NET
THE LEGENDS OF SA ROCK
where SA rock legends still live
another site in the SA Rock Files archives
Last week we had a copy of the new CD from the Usual - 'Born In A Storm' and a poster of the band autographed by all 4 band members courtesy of Street Level Records <http://www.streetlevel.co.za> to give away to one lucky subscriber.
Rozanne Schoeman correctly answered that The Usual are a
Cape Town-based band.
Visit these voting booths and cast a vote for YOUR favourite...
SA Rock album, from the 60s to the 90s and beyond...
All-time Great SA Pop and Rock song
McCully Workshop album
LINKS AND ADVERTS
THE LEGENDS OF SOUTH AFRICA ROCK
Where SA rock legends still live
SOUTH AFRICA'S ROCK FILES
The online archive for the History of South African Rock
TOO GOOD TO BE FORGOTTEN
Post your message on the SA Rock message board
News, views, reviews and interviews
AFRICAN INVASION OF ROCK
News, reviews and opinions
arts news from Kwazulu-Natal
News, classifieds and much more...
News, updated daily
WALL OF SOUND
Up-to-date news on the world of music
THE GIG GUIDE
Whats on in Cape Town
What's on around South Africa
Selling South African Music to the World
5% discount for Digest members!
VIBES MUSIC - N1 CITY, CAPE TOWN
Phone (021) 5953220
OUTLAW RECORDS, CAPE TOWN
Cape Town Central (021) 4238145
Wynberg (021) 7972482
Claremont (021) 6717887
10% discount for Digest members!
RECORD COMPANIES, LABELS & STUDIOS:
Home of Just Jinger and others
Independent multi-faceted music group
Supporting South African Music
INDIE MUSIC EXPLOSION
The Ultimate Independent Music Site in South Africa
Music from and about Africa
The home of the Radio Rats, The Glee Club, the Chauffeurs
and the Pop Guns
Private Bag X10
RIESTER INTERNATIONAL RECORDS
South African independent record company
STRANGER THAN FICTION PRODUCTIONS
STREET LEVEL RECORDS
Cape Town's Independent Record Label
The Musician's Resource
VAGABOND MUSIC WEB
web design and music research consultant
SA MUSIC DATABASE
Over 100 links relating to South African music
sound - lights - dance
broadcast film commercials video music interactive
SA Music magazine
THE HISTORY OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
Garth Chilvers and Tom Jasiukowicz (TOGA, 1994)
JEFF BECK: CRAZY FINGERS
A book by Annette Carson
or call (011) 883 3619
Free musical equipment classifieds ad website
CLIMB UP ON MY MUSIC
A site dedicated to Rodriguez, the Sugar Man
IMAGES OF ROCK
Your Ultimate Rock And Roll Experience
The only known website for Ramases
a music trivia site
PIOTR'S GREEN PAGES
Discographies and lyrics for the legends of rock
The festival, the CD, the book, the website
MUSIC - MP3s, etc:
CD Database Online
CD player for accessing the online CD database http://www.mindspring.com/~clark_tisdale/CDmax/
African music, MP3s and more...
Listen to MP3s of South African artists
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