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This week's contents:

Editorial: The week in brief
News: 'Going Nowhere Slowly', Mothermix, Just Jinger, 'School of Rock' Tour, Smokie SA Tour, Lords Of The Dance, Blue Heads at Spier, Soulfly, Living Music Workshops, Sunways, 12th Avenue, SAMQC, Obituary: Tebogo Benedict Madingoane.
Charts: SA Rock Digest MP3 and Album Charts
New Releases: New SA MP3's and CD's, Rhythm Records, Celeb-Select: Karen Zoid, The Parlotones, Unit:R, Steve Hofmeyr.
CD of the Week: 'Africa She Too Can Cry' - Hawk
Classic SA Rock: USA For Africa; A Naartjie In The UK; Vinyl Junkies; South African Rock Lists
Sound Solutions: A reader's forum - letters, info, questions and answers
Live Music: Events round-up, SA Punk: Durango95 SA Tour, Tait and Justin Bergh, RP Studios Emerging Sounds Competition. Prime Circle, Sharon Tandy in London.
SA Music Links And Resources: Contact Details



All you fans of the hip SA TV travel program, 'Going Nowhere Slowly' (currently in between seasons), can expect the double CD soundtrack with all those SA songs featured in the program, in the next few weeks ... Cape Town indie label, Mothermix Records, is about to release the debut album from Kallitz, we spoke to the Mothermix maven, Alexander Gregori ... A nationwide SA tour in March, to coincide with the SA release of Jack Black's new film, 'School Of Rock', will take place with the likes of The Finks, Prime Circle, Marlowe, The Parlotones, Nemesis and Waverley.

Just Jinger are the surprise selection as the support act for the Counting Crows SA Tour in March! ... With the Smokie 'Hit Box' SA Tour about to begin on February 25, we look back at this very popular '70's band with their long list of hits ... 'Lord Of The Dance', which has played to over 50 million people in 36 different countries returns to South Africa this March, for a whopping two-month tour ... Brazilian rock band Sepultura toured SA last year and now that band's former vocalist, guitarist and songwriter, Max Cavalera, will be bringing his new band, Soulfly, to South Africa for some concerts.

We have some free double sets of tickets available for The Blue Heads at Spier concert on March 11 ... The next series of music workshops, brought to you by CD Wherehouse, New World Productions, and Paul Bothner Music, will be held at various venues in the Western Cape over the next few weeks ... SA band Sunways are plying their craft overseas and occasionally send back an update email for us ... Tebogo Benedict Madingoane, a member of the very popular SA group, Mafikizolo, was shot dead in a road rage incident in Soweto last weekend ... A guy who "ripped" off star Alanis Morissette has landed in a lot of legal trouble.

In the MP3 section this week we profile the Cape Town label, Rhythm Records, with a list of some of their finest songs currently available at SAmp3 ... Karen Zoid kicks off our new Celeb-Select series of "name your favourite SA tunes" ... Retro rock band, 12th Avenue, have just finished two month's pre-production of their as-yet-untitled album at Ripchord's studios in Cape Town ... Robin Auld, the man behind the SA Music Quota Coalition, reports back on recent developments.

SA band The Parlotones are set to release their debut album, 'Episoda', with two special unplugged launch gigs in Johannesburg ... Based on the huge success and sales of his first 'Toeka' CD collection, Steve Hofmeyr will shortly be releasing a second collection of cover versions of famous SA classic tunes, called 'Toeka 2' ... The latest Unit.R CD is a compilation entitled 'Some People Think That' and features the best in accident-prone beats, obstinate electronics and a good ol' dollop of human soul!

Kurt Shoemaker looks back at 'The Storyteller' album by the late SA guitarist, David Hewitt ... John Samson discusses 'Lady One', the collaborative opus from SA poet, Breyten Breytenbach ... Cape Town band Tait and SA pop star, Justin Bergh, will be performing live at the Indie Armchair Theatre on Saturday 28th Feb ... There is an update on the RP Studios Emerging Sounds competition, currently well underway ... Come February 23rd, and mayhem will strike South Africa with an explosive nationwide tour with German Punk Rock troopers Durango 95 ... John Samson and Sean Stanley-Adams were both at Sharon Tandy's historic gig at the 100 Club, Oxford Street last Thursday (19 Feb) and both sent us full reviews ... Carina caught Prime Circle live in Melville and was completely blown away.

There's also the usual weekly mp3 and album charts, recommended SA gigs, letters to Sound Solutions, Digest Classifieds, old SA charts, and what's new on the shelves at Mabu Vinyl and CD and Vibes Vinyl.

And that is some of SA music, this week ...

If you would like to contact us, please send an email to



Supplied by

1. Rodriguez - After The Fact
2. Mafikizolo - Sibongile
3. Kabelo - And The Beat Goes On
4. freshlyground - Jika Jika
5. Various Artists - The Thula Project/An Album Of SA Lullabies
6. Brenda Fassie - The Remix Collection
7. Oliver Mtukudzi - Tsivo
8. Rodriguez - Cold Fact
9. Karen Zoid - Chasing The Sun
10. Johnny Clegg - - A South African Story - Live @ The Nelson Mandela

Springbok Top 10 songs
15/20/25/30 Years Ago

Supplied by John Samson

35 YEARS AGO (21 February 1969)

1 [1] Cry To Me - The Staccatos
2 [3] Sugar Pie Honey Bunch - Johnny Rivers
3 [6] Build Me Up Buttercup - The Foundations
4 [2] Only One Woman - The Marbles
5 [7] Chewy, Chewy - The Tonics

30 YEARS AGO (22 February 1974)

1 [1] The Peacemaker - Albert Hammond
2 [2] Photograph - Ringo Starr
3 [5] Ring, Ring - Abba
4 [7] Little Jimmy - Gwynneth Ashly Robin
5 [4] The Wonder Of Your Love - Jody Wayne

25 YEARS AGO (23 February 1979)

1 [1] Too Much Heaven - Bee Gees
2 [2] My Life - Billy Joel
3 [3] Stumblin' In - Suzi Quatro & Chris Norman
4 [9] Le Freak - Chic
5 [5] Kiss You All Over - Exile

20 YEARS AGO (24 February 1984)

1 [4] Red Red Wine - UB40
2 [1] Karma Chameleon - Culture Club
3 [2] All Night Long - Lionel Richie
4 [3] Say Say Say - Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson
5 [5] Twist Of Fate - Olivia Newton John

* See 'Chart Chat' in 'Classic SA Rock' section below.


Top 50 New SA Music Titles

Available at

1. Mzekezeke - 'Storotoro'
2. Freshlyground - Jika Jika
3. Danny K - J23
4. Tait - 'Back Seat Driver'
5. Arno Carstens - Another Universe
6. Benguela - 'SUI'
7. Skwatta Kamp - 'Mkhukhu Funkshen'
8. Strydom, Amanda - 'Verspreide Donderbuie/Scattered Thunder'
9. Oliver Mtukudzi - 'Tsivo'
10. Various Artists - 'Who Left The Boks Out?'
11. Zen Arcade - 'Release'
12. Kekana, Steve - 'Best Of'
13. Various Artists - 'Meloding'
14. Swiegers, Andre - 'Turn On The Light'
15. Lee, Virginia - 'Spanish Nights And You'
16. Jonathan Butler - 'The Ultimate Butler'
17. Eden - 'Point Of No Return'
18. Sliq Angel - 'Sliq Angel'
19. Andries Bezuidenhout - 'Insomniak Se Droomalmanak'
20. Grant Nuss - 'Diversity'
21. Senyaka feat DJ Bakstina - 'Pay Back'
22. Chris Tokalon - 'Soulbird Sound Journeys'
23. Michael Payne - 'DeCOMpress'
24. My Shade - 'Bedtime Musick'
25. Rodriguez - 'Coming From Reality'
26. Watershed - 'Wrapped In Stone'
27. Soil 7t7 - 'Soil 7t7'
28. No Friends Of Harry - 'Best Of'
29. Saron Gas – 'Fragile' (Revised Edition)
30. BOO! - 'TNTLC'
31. Piet Botha - 'Die Mamba'
32. Ghetto Muffin - 'Paralyzer'
33. Various Artists - African Ivories
34. Mike Ratu Makhalamele - The Very Best Of
35. Jabu Khanyile - Wankolota
36. Swazi Tlokwe Sehume - (In Concert) Mmino Wa Thaba - My First Love
37. Jannie Du Toit - ....So Ver
38. Various Artists - Praise & Worship In Africa
39. Radio Rats - 'Into The Night We Slide'
40. Tribe After Tribe - Power
41. Chiskop - Sunday
42. Soweto String Quartet - Our World
43. Don Laka - The Best Of Kwai-Jazz
44. Skwirmish - The EP
45. De-JaVu - Lilly Dance
46. Bushmen Of The Kalahari - !Ngubi Tietie
47. Tumi And The Volume - At The Bassline
48. Old Mol - 'Rock The Bed Springs'
49. Sacha - 'Sacha' ....and many other SA titles all available at



The 5 Sugar currently recommends...

1 The Rudimentals - 'More Fire'
Dynamic debut album from Cape Town's finest ska-punk outfit. Includes the first single, 'Noh TV'.

2 Piet Botha - 'Die Mamba'
This powerful and emotional collection of great songs from the SA folk-rock legend was the SA Rock Digest's 'Album Of The Year' for 2003, deservedly!

3 Arno Carstens - 'Another Universe'
Former Nude Girls vocalist's debut solo album has a strong mixture of ballads and rockers. With Albert Frost on guitar and Brendan Jury on viola.

4 Zen Arcade - 'Release'
One of SA's best rock band's returns with their second album. And the Gauteng foursome have again crafted an album filled with the same quality of stirring and soaring songs that made 'Snowflake' the sensational debut it was. Includes first single 'Summer Sun' and 'All The World'.

5 Robin Auld - 'Luxury'
Yet another fine album of bright songs, sharp lyrics and all-over cool from SA's surf-folk king. This one Auld produced all by himself, no help from the big boys, and he clearly enjoyed the freedom, turning out his finest work in years.


From Abstract Truth to Karen Zoid, from 'Astra' to 'Zen Boulders', from 'Ag Pleez Deddy' to 'ZX Dan'... visit the online archive for the history (and future) of South African Rock at:

The SA Rock Encyclopedia is an archive of South African pop and rock music - past, present and future - and includes sections on classic albums, rock legends, rock lists, charts, trivia, family trees, a hall of fame, weblinks and more...



The SA Rock Digest list of recommended gigs can now be found at:

If you cannot access then e-mail and we will e-mail the gig guide to you each week.



Sluit aan by deur e-pos te stuur aan

Alle rasionele idees, gedagtes, bydraes, briewe en konsert-/CD-resensies is altyd welkom!



'Cold Fact', the classic album from the 70s, as well as 'After The Fact', the second Rodriguez album, have been re-issued and both are now available at One World.

All Rodriguez Info at:



If you would like to receive all the SA music news on this page, as a free weekly Monday morning email newsletter with no attachments, then please enter your email address in the SA Rock Digest banner on the left.



There is a double CD coming your way with the pick of the South African songs that were featured during the first series of the excellent SA TV travel program, 'Going Nowhere Slowly'. Ripchord's Aidan Harper, who was the sound person for most of the series and is the man behind the acquiring, compiling and releasing of the double CD, tells us that the CD will be in SA stores on the 1st March 2004.

'Going Nowhere Slowly' is a celebration of Southern African people, towns and scenic beauty as discovered and experienced by three travellers moving around the land in a 1970 Chrysler 383 on a loosely plotted route. The new double CD, titled 'Going Nowhere Slowly - Big Red', will be launched officially on March 21 to coincide with the flighting of the first episode of the new second series.

The CD comprises 32 tracks of cool SA music from 32 different SA artists including the likes of Seven Day Story, David Foster, Mann Friday, Rustiband, Jo Day, Burton Lane, Andrew Janisch, Kelvin Declined, Skywire, State Far Better, Jo Martin and many more!

Ripchord's engineers, Dale Byl and Stuart Vermaak were given the task of re-mastering all 32 tracks. Bearing in mind that the original masters came from many different studios around the country and in some cases were recorded at least a decade apart, this digital re-mastering process took more than 36 hours to complete. The final product is a result of months of hard work and dedication to give the finest local music talent the platform it deserves.

Kurt Schoonraad, the Cape Town comedian and one of the travellers for a large part of the first series said: "... it's also a showcase for South African music. During the pretty scenery shots, at least twice in an episode, we'll run a South African song from just about any category."

There's more info about the tracklisting at the series' official website at



In a very surprising move, Big Concerts has announced that Just Jinger, the platinum-selling rockers, have been named as the support band for Counting Crows' South African tour in March. They will be flying in from the US especially for the gig, and are set to rock audiences with "their mature songwriting and orchestrated musicianship".

The decision has caused a major ripple in the SA music industry as a number of current and worthy SA bands who were hoping for that prestigious slot have now been snubbed in favour of old favourites, Just Jinger.

The American super-group, Counting Crows, will be kicking off their tour in Cape Town, on the 17th of March, they will then be performing in Port Elizabeth on the 18th, Durban on the 20th, and finally Johannesburg on the 21st of March. Counting Crows' South African tour in 1999 was sold-out country wide, and now they are on their way back, having just released their "Best Of" collection called 'Films About Ghosts'.

There's no denying Just Jinger's credentials for this support slot. The band (still fronted by Art Matthews, but now in its umpteenth line-up) have already supported numerous acts such as U2, Crash Test Dummies, Toto, and Hootie and the Blowfish in South Africa, and have co-headlined festivals with acts like Skunk Anansie, Stevie Wonder, Spice Girls and Chaka Khan.

The band was formed in 1996 and, after gaining a serious reputation as a live act, they hit the studio to record their first album, 'All Comes Round', which went on to become the biggest-selling rock album in SA music history. Days before the album's release, the band opened as a support act for Def Leppard to a 45,000-strong audience in Johannesburg.

Their second album, 'Something For Now', went gold within three weeks and platinum shortly after! Three tracks became top five singles, and Just Jinger began touring, reaching audiences as far as Germany, Australia, Canada, America and the UK. Back in South Africa the band's third offering, 'Here's To You', yielded two top five singles, and their fourth album, 'Strange World', produced two top five singles.

Just Jinger headed to LA in 2002 to raise the band's awareness in the US, and did a showcase for Capitol Records. It was a huge success and, following two sold-out dates in London, the band relocated to Virginia in March 2003. The band still has a very strong following in SA and pop back home occasionally for some gigs.

But why they were chosen for this gig now, ahead of many other deserving SA bands, is a mystery. There are currently many SA bands tirelessly working and gigging in South Africa, building followings, and starting to get decent airplay on major radio stations (including 5fm, a co-sponsor of the tour). So this strange decision has denied some of them the invaluable opportunity and experience of performing in front of large SA crowds alongside a band of this stature.

To quote 10cc: "Art for art's sake, money for G-d's sake!"

Tour Dates - March:
Wednesday 17th - Bellville Velodrome, Cape Town
Thursday 18th - UPE Sports Arena, Port Elizabeth
Saturday 20th - Westridge Park Tennis Stadium, Durban
Sunday 21st - The Dome, Johannesburg

Book at Computicket



Those who have read the current edition of the Mail & Guardian will have seen a reader's letter from Alexander Gregori, CEO of the Mothermix Group, responding to an article in the previous week's M&G by Jean Barker about the SA Music Quota Coalition. In his letter, Gregori bemoans the fact that SA radio heads have "stopped making hits" and are now dedicated to purely playlisting an endless stream of established hits from overseas, as well as plenty of those "memories"!.

The Digest recently tracked down Alexander Gregori to speak to him about the latest developments within the group as a lot has happened since Mothermix Records released its first album, 'The First Born', by KGB in July 2002. The album had two number one hits (one on, and was nominated "Best Hip Hop Album of the Year".

March 13 will see the CD Launch Party of 'Die Ding Ruk Mal' by Kallitz, another hip hop group signed to the Mothermix Records label. Their debut single of the same name has just been released on

Says Gregori: "Kallitz are very special. They'll be one of the biggest SA acts in a year or two. They premiered their first music video on SABC 2's Geraas in December, and everybody says they can fill a void in Afrikaans music culture. Their music is honest, and even though they already draw crowds in excess of 1,000 people to their concerts, they remain down to earth guys."

The CD Launch party will also be covered by Geraas, whose crew fly down from Jo'burg.

But there have been other developments as well. Alexander Gregori recently sold a share in Mothermix Records to Bevan Moleveld, Kallitz' producer. Alexander explains: "I've been forever looking for a creative partner with a music studio for Mothermix Records. We can now concentrate fully on artist development, for which you need a lot of time and cannot be tied down to rented studio space. I also believe Bevan to be one of the tightest producers out there. We will still hear a lot about him."

Bevan will oversee all creative aspects of the label, as well as music production and studio management. The Mothermix Group believes in doing things themselves. In addition to the record label and Mothermix Music Publishing, there is also a distribution division. They started out a year and a half ago with only one title (KGB's 'The First Born'), but now boast over 100,000 titles of music CD's and DVD's, movies on DVD and VHS and PC, Playstation, Gameboy and Nokia games.

Alexander remembers: "The core of the Mothermix business idea, our philosophy, has always been, to bring music to the people at a price they can afford. Extensive market research backed up our common sense opinion, that 3 - 5 times as many CD's could be sold at a price of around R60 - R70, which would more than double the current turnover in the SA recording industry! Interestingly, internationally there was a rise in CD sales for the first time in years last year - and this was the result of the record companies making their prices more competitive, instead of treating their customers like idiots or criminals."

"Like a 2003 VH1 poll result said: "It's the price, stupid". We retailed our first release for R 49.95 (even at Musica, who were thrilled that a record company offered such an affordable product), and soon got other independents to "buy into" our price strategy. We quickly had 10, 20 then over 30 titles on our distribution catalogue, including Inadiflo, The Rudimentals, Black Noise, African Dope Records, Maiden League Records, Tweak, some Jazz and so on."

"This led to our thinking about our own distribution network. We developed an initial concept, and got all the big names involved, sourcing music CD's and DVD's from BMG, EMI, Gallo, Sony, Universal and Select Music, and movies and games from Nu Metro. The network quickly grew to over 50 independent distributors country-wide. We have now refined the concept, allowing everybody, who buys his/her favourite entertainment products online through the Mothermix Distribution Affiliate (MDA) program, to earn money by referring others to that program. This means, not only do you get music at a price you can afford, you actually get paid for buying it!"

All of this has been achieved in just under two years. What is the success formula of The Mothermix Group? Alexander laughs. "You see, what we call "success" is only a tiny part of the actual efforts. You have to have a vision, and you have to have goals, and then you have to experiment. We tried a lot of things in the past year and a half, which made perfect sense theoretically - like co-operations with certain clubs, radio stations and so on - but which just didn't work out.

Some people and organisations just think of short-term gains and don't have a long-term vision of contributing - the only real way to grow. You will find that these people and organisations don't progress, and they don't last long. Finding the right partner for Mothermix Records took me almost four years, and I lost a lot of money in the process, but I didn't give up. So you become successful simply by getting up and going on after you stumbled or fell."

We'll be keeping a close eye on Mothermix, and Kallitz, as the year unfolds.....


Brought to you by 5fm music

'School of Rock' is the new movie featuring this generation's own John Belushi, the much funnier star of 'Shallow Hal' and 'High Fidelity', and one half of the acoustic-metal duo, Tenacious D.

'School of Rock' is said to be "exhilarating and uplifting ...and is going to be a sure-fire hit with young and old as it raises the bar on rock n roll".

A nationwide SA tour in March, to coincide with the movie's release in South Africa, will take place with the likes of The Finks, Prime Circle, Marlowe, The Parlotones, Nemesis and Waverley. Although the full tour schedule is currently being finalised, we have some provisional dates below. A competition will be held where two winners will receive an autographed Gibson guitar. Other prizes that will be given out during the tour include movie merchandise and hampers with cd's and t-shirts.

We take a brief look a the bands featured on the 'School Of Rock' tour:

THE FINKELSTIENS - 2003 saw the trio releasing their debut album, 'The Dawning Of A New Error', enjoying three hit singles including the infectious 'QQ Me', completing four national tours, countless interviews and two music videos. 'Find Its You', the more recent of the two videos, was filmed on top of a house in the suburbs and included loads of enthusiastic fans getting their groove down to the band's music. To date the band has been featured on MTV World Chart Express, twice, and have performed at some pretty impressive festivals.

The current single, 'Find It's You', is steadily climbing up the charts around the country with their new video on high rotation across South African TV. After this tour the band will be embarking on a record-breaking tour with 100 performances in 80 days visiting every corner of South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. (

PRIME CIRCLE - These Witbank boys are flying the South African flag high! No matter which radio station you tune into - you hear them. Their debut single, "Hello", has been rocking the airwaves and topping the charts at #1 on several radio stations across South Africa - 5fm where they stayed in the High 5 @ 5 charts - in the top 10 - for 21 weeks as well as reaching #1 on the Top 40, RSfm, CBFM, CATS Radio and MFM. "Hello" also charted in the Top 10 on 94.7 Highveld Stereo, on Radio Algoa, RAU radio and RMR. "Hello" is currently playlisted on several other radio stations - TUKS fm, Radio Lesotho, Radio 2000 and East Coast Radio. Fantastic support from all campus, community, regional and national stations for this awesome SA band.

Prime Circle have appeared on local compilations - "The Right Stuff" and 5fm's "Playlisted 2". Great to see South African bands back to back on tracklistings with big international acts AND they are also on the new 94.7 Highveld Stereo album 'Homebru' - dedicated to great homegrown South African talent. (

MARLOWE - Although in essence the band has only been around for a year as Marlowe with the addition of Jason, Conrad, Scott and Rory have been playing together for the past 6 years. Scott Wareham, the band's lead vocalist, has a vocal style so distinctive to the South African music scene that it is leaving audiences captivated. Up until recently they played without a bass player, but with the introduction of Jason, the band is ready to rock and roll with fuller, more intense sounds that welcome the low strumming of the bass guitar.

Sometimes classed as 'Dream Pop', for want of a better name, Marlowe's interpretation of the atmospheric subgenre of alternative rock is very difficult to define. The band debut single, 'Baby's Breathe', reached No.1 on the MTV World Chart Express and the debut album, 'Lines From the Broken Telephone', is available in stores now. (

THE PARLOTONES ( - The band's debut album, 'Episoda', is one of the most anticipated albums of the year. With 'Episoda' they have delivered a selection of songs, characterised by edgy Telecaster-driven guitar riffs, strong vocal melodies, and lyrics that are entertainingly imaginative. The Parlotones are due to support International folk/rock band New Model Army on their SA tour.

WAVERLEY - This band has a unique sound which appeals to people across the board. The simplest way to describe the sound is catchy pop-rock loaded with melodic vocal and keyboard lines. A standout element of the band's sound is an ARP Odyssey - a '70's analog Moog-like synthesizer. Most members are already experienced musicians, Dominic Antelme, Nigel Seed and Bevan Andries previously played in top rock band Manchuri Resin. In 2001 Manchuri Resin's song, 'Slow Down' (written by Antelme and Seed), which was playlisted on 5fm in 1999, was voted no. 12 on the South African top 40 of all time. The lead single, 'Give Back The Radio', has just charted on 5fm's Top 40, and has just been playlisted on Highveld 94.7 and East Coast Radio.

NEMESIS - The Durban quartet has taken the SA music scene by storm over the past year, blowing audiences away with their unique brand of universally appealing alternative rock.

'School Of Rock' Tour Dates:
6th March - Hoerskool Secunda
12th March - Wavehouse Gateway Umhlanga
13th March - St Andrews Welkom
26th March - Hoerskool Montana Pretoria
27th March - Cresta JHB GRAND FINALE



The Smokie 'Hit Box' SA Tour "flares up" {heh heh - Fashion Ed.} from February 25. Who is Smokie, the young 'uns may ask, well kids, here's their story...

Look at the Guinness Book Of Hit Singles and you could be forgiven for thinking Smokie's success story was a 1970s phenomenon. After all, 11 of their 14 British hits came in that eventful musical decade. However, their massive success story has continued to flourish around the globe including Scandinavia, South Africa, Germany and even China. Smokie is a band which has sold-out tours and gained platinum records in four decades - '70s, '80s, '90s and to the present day.

A quick recap then on past glories. Smokie first got together at school in Yorkshire in the late '60s. After going through various names and styles, they signed with Mickie Most's then ultra-hot RAK label and found themselves chartbound. Songs like 'If You Think You Know How To Love Me', 'Don't Play Your Rock'n'Roll To Me', 'It's Your Life', 'Oh Carol', 'Meet You At Midnight', and the worldwide smash, 'Living Next Door To Alice', (all Top 10 entries) became radio staples and gave Smokie their ticket to travel the world.

The sound was a combination of hook-laden songs and Smokie's distinctive but unashamedly Stateside-influenced soft-rock harmonies, their secret being their vocal blend - a rasping, emotion-drenched lead set against melodic harmonies that produces a unique, bittersweet result.

After accumulating worldwide sales of over 30 million, Smokie made 'Wild Horses', a 1997 Nashville-recorded album that cost the band a quarter of a million pounds to produce. It gave them a foothold in US country radio, while hits collections continue to find a ready market. That trend continued with 'Uncovered' and 'Uncovered Too', which were both huge hits throughout Scandinavia - reaching the top 5 in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden - achieving double platinum status.

This year, Smokie released the ultimate greatest hits collection. Entitled "The Hit Box Set", this collection consists of 10 CD's spanning the decades from the 1970's through to today and has already gained Gold and Platinum awards throughout Scandinavia.

However, this is not to say that Smokie have been away from the studio this year, quite to the contrary. Smokie spent a great deal of time between their touring schedule recording a brand new album written entirely by the members themselves, and due for release in the early spring of 2004.

Don't miss Smokie "The Hit Box Tour'04" Nation Wide in South Africa, from 25 February. Support for the tour will be from guest artists Sunette and Guillaume(except Cape Town).


Thursday 11 March 2004

The Digest has arranged for a number of double sets of tickets to be made available to its subscribers for the upcoming Blue Heads Cape concert at Spier on Thursday March 11th 2004.

The Blue Heads are a Johannesburg jazz ensemble, formed under the auspices of the BMW Jazz Club, who will perform as part of the Spier Arts Summer Festival, which is being held at the Spier wine estate which is near Stellenbosch.

The Blue Heads have risen to prominence by arranging and playing the musical compositions of Gerard Sekoto, the well-known South African painter, who lived as an exile in Paris from 1947 until his death in 1993. The nine-member band was formed early last year, drawing on talented jazz musicians and vocalists from South Africa and beyond, including singer/pianist Dimpie Tshabalala, drummer Isaac Mtshali (who has played with the likes of Stimela, Billy Joel, Paul Simon), guitarist Ntokozo Zungu and French Congolese singer Stanley Mwamba.

Since 2003, The Blue Heads have played at several BMW Jazz Club-sponsored events and have also been given an opportunity to record an album via the BMG Africa label, as a result of this exposure. The name chosen for this diverse group of musicians pays homage to the "blue heads" style of Sekoto's 1960's era art, such as 'Woman's Head' of 1963.

To be eligible for a set of the Digest complimentary tickets, please

For more information regarding The Blue Heads




The SA music world has been shocked by the tragic death of Tebogo Benedict Madingoane. Tebogo was a member of the very popular SA group, Mafikizolo, alongside Theo Kgosinkwe and Nonhlanhla Mafu. The popular artist was shot dead in a road rage incident in Soweto last weekend. Police have arrested a man in connection with the murder.

Madingoane (32), was one of the lead singers of the popular Kwaito band, best known for their hit songs 'Sibongile', 'Ndihamba Nawe', 'Kwela' and 'Udakwa Njalo'. The group's future plans are unknown at this stage.



'Lord Of The Dance', which has played to over 50 million people in 36 different countries returns to South Africa by this March, for a whopping two-month tour. The tour by the world's most successful dance show is proudly presented by M-Net, 702 Talk Radio & Big Concerts supporting Unite Against Hunger.

The critically acclaimed dance troupe will be kicking off their SA tour on Tuesday the 16th of March 2004 at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre. They will then be heading on to the Cape Town International Convention Centre on the 13th of April, the Feather Market Hall in Port Elizabeth on the 20th of April, and finally the Playhouse Theatre in Durban on the 4th of May.

Michael Flatley, the creator of Lord Of The Dance, has made way for a team of high-calibre and uniquely trained young dancers. He remains the artistic director of this, the world's most successful dance extravaganza, which now boasts four permanently touring dance troupes, one touring Europe, one touring the USA, one resident in Las Vegas and one resident at Disney World in Florida.

Here are some of the "fast footed facts" involved with putting together this awesome production:
1. It takes six 45-foot arctic trucks to transport the entire set of Lord of the Dance.
2. 3,000 amps of power are required for the shows.
3. 20 tonnes of steel are hung from the roof at each show.
4. Around 770 man-hours are needed to set up the show and run the first night.
5. Lord of the Dance holds the record as the most entertainment tickets ever sold in South Africa, over 200 000.
6. The soundtrack of Lord of the Dance has achieved gold status.
7. In Ireland, the soundtrack won the best traditional album at the IRMA (Irish Recording Music Association) annual awards in February 1997.
8. The soundtrack reached number one on the Billboard's World Music Chart.
9. In 1996, the video was the Christmas number 1 and collected 12 platinum sales awards.

Lord of the Dance supports Unite Against Hunger, a crisis food relief program driven by Food & Health Care Giant, Tiger Brands, providing immediate hunger relief to more than 80 000 South Africans per month. The forthcoming shows feature an evening of spectacular dancing with over 40 dancers delivering an eloquent and stunning interpretation of one of Ireland's most famous legends.

Tour Itinerary:
March 16th to April 4th - The Civic Theatre, Johannesburg
April 13th to 18th - Cape Town International Convention Centre
April 20th to 25th - Feathermarket Hall, Port Elizabeth
May 4th to 9th - Playhouse Opera, Durban

Computicket -
Computicket Call Centre 083 915 8000
Ticket prices- R125 to R250 -exclusive of Computicket service charges

SMS the word "hunger" to donate R10 towards "Unite Against Hunger" 082 003 9040
For more information on Lord of the Dance go to

For further media information, please contact



Following on from the visit to South Africa of Brazilian rock band, Sepultura, that band's former vocalist, guitarist and songwriter, Max Cavalera, will now be bringing his new band, Soulfly, to South Africa for some concerts.

Soulfly are one of the bands out there that managed to survive after a previous break up with a popular band. Max Cavalera, the singer with Sepultura left that band and started SoulFly. Max said: "The hardest part was realising that I had to continue without Sepultura, and I had to find the right people to do that. But the last thing I was gonna do was stop playing music or give up".

After having a long history of doing vocals with Sepultura it was natural that Max continue singing with Soulfly. The band received immediate attention upon their release of their debut CD, 'Soulfly'. Later in 1999 they released 'Soufly' again, but this time containing an extra CD which had live songs and previously unavailable tracks.

Soulfly's sound does resemble a new Sepultura, although Max would prefer we not say that. He wants everyone to think of Soulfly as Soulfly and not as "a new Sepultura". A new edge in heavy rock, the band is quite innovative. "The thing about these guys is that they have the attitude that I wanted in a band, which is to make music, play with fire, and not worry about foolish things. These guys have that. It feels great to go in the rehearsal room and get goosebumps about being in a group again," says Max.

After only releasing one album, along with the Digi-Pak release, fans all over can only wait and see what the band has in store for their next album. Soulfly will be in SA in mid-March for concerts in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

(courtesy Aaron Lewicki -

Soulfly Concert dates: 17th March 2004 - Dockside, Cape Town
19th & 20th March @ the Vodadome in Gauteng

These will be exclusive intimate shows with limited tickets.
For more details check

Durban: Burn (Umbilo Rd), Musikland (Glenwood)
Cape: Space Station (Tyger Valley, Canal Walk, V&A Waterfront, Claremont)
Joburg: Computicket

Online tickets available for all shows from


(SA band Sunways are gigging their way around the UK and occasionally unthaw their fingers long enough to send off an update about their current whereabouts and activities. This arrived this week...)

Hi Everybody

It's February 2004, so in three months' time it'll be a year since we left the blistering sunshine of South Africa for cooler waters and greener pastures. We've been enjoying our first 'proper' winter this side of the world and it's COLD! But apart from freezing our butts off, we've been doing lots of good things.

Arriving on the other side of the planet last year, we hardly had time to catch our communal breath before we began gigging. A massive thank you must go to Sherene who braved the unknown and landed in Northern Ireland with us to play a blitzkrieg of a tour. Beginning in May, the band played venues all over NI and did a great tour to Scotland.

The Scottish leg consisted of two Edinburgh shows (The Mercat & Whistlebinkies) and a stomping gig in Aberdeen (Dr Drakes). Got to play all over Northern Ireland again and one of the biggest spots in Belfast, The Mandela Hall at Queens University. What a great venue with awesome sound and lighting. Amongst others we did shows at Wolsey's in Bangor, Bound for Boston in Derry, Bryson's in Magheravelt and Auntie Annies, The Menagerie, The Front Page, Rosetta Bar & The Duke of York in Belfast. In July we said goodbye to Sherene who returned to South Africa after being part of one of our most important chapters.

During one of the hottest European summers on record, the band kept busy performing Ambient Anarchy (well known to South African audience members as the not-so-unplugged Sunways two-piece show), taking guitar, bass and voices to venues in Northern Ireland. Also on the AA tour, the band played Southern Ireland for the first time, headlining a gig at Dublin's Eamonn Doran's in the Temple Bar district. We were as obnoxiously plugged in as we possibly could be and got a fantastic response. Meanwhile we began snooping around for a new drummer and third member. After auditioning some great candidates, we welcomed Belfast drummer, Tim Rooney, into the band. Howzit Tim! We are currently in the middle of an intensive rehearsal schedule before the start of our 2004 tour, beginning in March.

A huge thanks to cousin Cuan (Robbie's) for all the help in getting us settled over here last year. Cuan helped arrange our welcome back tour & assisted us with late night fires, hot whisky sessions and lessons in craic maximization. Also to Cara for organising our tour dates the first time round on The Moon is a Spoon Tour at the end of 2001. That was the tour which introduced us to the Whitehead/Islandmagee crew who have been involved in all aspects of Sunways' stay so far: photography (Pete & Brush), Guinness, humping gear, welding wire, sound (Barry), push-starting, clapping, equipment loans (Davey), band hygeine (thanks Yank).

Belfast Telegraph photographer, Alasdair McBroom has put two pics of the band up on his website in the portfolio section under music. Alasdair (Brush) is responsible for the Empire Music Hall video clip which appears on the most recent Sunways album, 'Three'. The video was filmed during the band's first international tour - cheers Brush! Check out his cool, newly renovated site

Thanks to all the great fans from South Africa who've been keeping in touch and sending us e-mails. We haven't forgotten you and news of SA is always welcome. Cheers also to the coooool Northern Irish friends and fans we've been making. You've made us feel really at home and we've enjoyed every gig so far!

Next tour begins 5 March and will include dates in March, April, May & June. The band's first London date is on Friday 30 April at the Halfmoon Putney and is guaranteed to be a great show with a number of support bands to be confirmed. Tickets are a mere £3.00 at the door and CDs will be on sale. For ticket bookings see Halfmoon ad below.

If you know anyone who'd like to receive our newsletter, send us their e-mail address and we'll make sure they receive news and gig listings. Alternatively, e-mail us to be removed from the Sunways mailing list. If you are having trouble accessing our website, we are in the process of improvements and changes and we guarantee it'll be problem-free as soon as possible.

Bye for now.

London Gig:
Friday 30th April - Sunways at the Halfmoon Putney



Retro rock band, 12th Avenue, have just finished two months' pre-production of their as-yet-untitled album at Ripchord's studios in Cape Town. Ripchord signed 12th Avenue to its independant record label in November last year and the album is scheduled to be released end of 2004.

12th Avenue is a 4-piece band from Cape Town made up of Mark Haze on lead vocals and guitar, Bradley Masson on drums and backing vocals, Bjorn Faree on guitars & backing vocals and Pieter Minnie on bass guitar. We hear that 12th Avenue's vocalist, Mark Haze, has amazing vocal power and a phenomenal range similar to that of Ian Gillan from Deep Purple (If coaxed, they do a brilliant rendition of "Child In Time"!).

For the low-down on the band and the latest gig info, please visit their new official website at



First up is the matter of the Pick'n Pay station, Fresh, and their alleged commitment to local content, which turned out to be lip service. After the initial promising meeting with Mark Jennings, I sampled Fresh with a wide range of popular SA music which could possibly fit their format requirements of easy listening, familiar sounds. At this stage the playlist manager entered the picture, rejecting every single act with cursory one liners written on the accompanying notes.

These included gems such as:
- "sings too flat" on André de Villier's 'Stand',
- "sounds like a demo" on Henry Ate's classic debut,
- "poor production, nowhere songs" on Wayne Pauli's 'Station Road'
and no reason beyond "not our format' on Louis Mhlanga's 'Shamwari'!

The story was picked up by the Mail and Guardian and it appeared in last week's edition, on page 18 of the media section, in what I consider to be a well balanced article by Jean Barker that is already generating debate.

In terms of delivering the petition this month to the government minister responsible, we have been thrown somewhat by the sudden if welcome departure of Ben Ngubane from the portfolio. As the portfolio currently reads 'Science, Technology, Arts, Culture, Minerals and Energy", it is felt that we should wait until after the election and the new cabinet is elected. Presenting the petition to what will hopefully be a new broom seems a better bet than firing it off now in the run-up to the elections, I'm sure the members will agree.

Membership is continuing to grow at a steady rate from all sectors of SA and we are looking at ways of getting the debate onto TV.

That's the news at present, I am sure that 2004 will offer us the chance to capitilise on the awareness already raised and we will keep everyone posted as the year progresses. Many thanks to everyone for all the messages of support, we really appreciate it.

Robin Auld



The following are the next series of music workshops which will be held at various venues in the Western Cape over the next few weeks. These workshops are brought to you by CD Wherehouse, New World Productions, and Paul Bothner Music

1) Area: Langa
Date: Monday 15th + Tuesday 16th March 2004
Time: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Venue: Gugu S'thebe Arts & Culture Centre
Address: Washington Street, Langa
Presenter: Zakheni Music Trust - Stanley Nkosi, Steve Kekana, Sarona Malope
Subject: The Business Of Music - A two day workshop

Day One:
Intellectual Property Rights & Copyright - Steve Kekana
Structure of the Record Companies - Stanley Nkosi
Collecting Societies Publishing - Sarona Malope

Day Two:
Business Presentation - Sarona Malope
Contracts in the music industry - Stanley Nkosi
(Tea and Lunch will be served).

2) Area: Plumstead
Date: Monday 15th March 2004
Time: 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Venue: Paul Bothner Music
Address: Rishmond Centre, Main Road, Plumstead
Presenter: Matt Allison
Subject: How to start & run your own record label

Matt Allison is a singer/songwriter, studio owner and runs his own record label, Upside Down Records ( out of Cape Town. He has managed to license his albums in South Africa, New Zealand and the USA along with having extensively toured in all of the aforementioned countries and the UK. He also writes a monthly article for Music Industry On-line ( about various aspects of music industry and partners with them to bring you this FREE workshop. In this workshop he aims to lay out what it takes to start and run your own label while retaining your independence and still make money.

The workshop is an open forum, which relies on you to come with the questions you have and would like answered and he will try to do so. A few suggested topics to get you started are: Starting your business, Recording, Publishing, Replication of CD's, Distribution, Marketing and Touring.

Enquiries: phone: (021) 674 4030, email:

3) Area: Woodstock
Date: Wednesday 17th + Thursday 18th March 2004
Time: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Venue: Woodstock Town Hall
Address: Main Rd, Woodstock
Presenter: Zakheni Music Trust - Stanley Nkosi, Steve Kekana, Sarona Malope
Subject: The Business Of Music - A two-day workshop

Day One:
Intellectual Property Rights & Copyright - Steve Kekana
Structure of the Record Companies - Stanley Nkosi
Collecting Societies Publishing - Sarona Malope

Day Two:
Business Presentation - Sarona Malope
Contracts in the music industry - Stanley Nkosi
(Tea and Lunch will be served).

4) Area: Claremont
Date: Wednesday 17th March 2004
Time: 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Venue: Paul Bothner Music
Address: Werdmuller Center, Main Rd, Claremont
Presenter: ADMIT (Artist Development through Music Industry Training) -
Shane Mahoney, Naren Sewpaul
Subject: Artist Management
Getting the Team Together - manager, lawyer, accountant etc.
Record Deals
Copyright & Publishing
Tour Management

Enquiries: phone: (021) 674 4030, email:

5) Area: Guguletu
Date: Friday 19th March 2004
Time: 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Venue: Ekwezi Center
Address: NY2, Guguletu
Presenter: ADMIT (Artist Development through Music Industry Training) -
Shane Mahoney, Naren Sewpaul
Subject: Artist Mangement
Getting the Team Together - manager, lawyer, accountant etc.
Record Deals
Copyright & Publishing
Tour Management

All workshops are free.
Workshops are limited to 100 people on a first-come-first-served basis.
Bookings are recommended and all are welcome.

For bookings and further information please contact Thami Jasone at New World Productions
Phone: (021) 7913985


A story for all the "rip-off" artists out there.....

HELSINKI (AFP) - A Finnish court ordered a 24-year-old man to pay Canadian rock star Alanis Morissette (news) 7,000 euros (8,965 dollars) for spreading unauthorised recordings of her concerts on the Internet.

The judge found that during 1999 to 2003, the man had swapped over 1,900 copies of unauthorised concert recordings, so-called bootleg tapings, with other bootleggers through his private website, news agency FNB reported.

The case was the first of its kind in Finland, and legal experts said the ruling might be the first in Europe where someone who swapped illegal recordings to add to his own collection had been found guilty.

Legal action in Europe has so far been limited to prosecuting people who have tried to make money off the trend.

While the man offered illegal recordings of a number of artists, including Eric Clapton, The Cure, Madonna, HIM and Ozzy Osbourne, he had been swapping no less than seven tapings of Morissette's concerts with others, the court found.

As a result, the Tampere district court, some 170 kilometers north (100 miles) of Helsinki, ordered him to pay a total of 17,000 euros (21,756 dollars) in damages for copyright infringement to various artists and organisations.

He was only fined 408 euros (522 dollars) however, as he had not engaged in the online bootleg swapping for profit but rather as a hobby, and had not made the illegal recordings himself, FNB said.
v On the website, the man posted lists of which bootleg recordings he wanted and what he had to offer in return, as well as his detailed contact information."

Courtesy SAPA
Submitted by Jussi from Finland



One World, in association with New Africa Books, is currently offering a limited special on all three in the 'Urban' books series. The 'Urban' anthology of new writing was initially conceived and edited by Dave Chislett as new short story collections for new writers, and was later embraced by New Africa Books who began publishing an annual collection under its Spearhead imprint in 2001.

You can now buy copies of 'Urban '01', 'Urban '02', and 'Urban '03' at a special price of R249.99, a saving of R25. Purchasers will only pay one shipping charge for all three books if they choose the special offer.

Order from:




1. [2] (1) Lovesong - The Dolly Rockers ('The Heat'/Indie)
2. [4] (2) Met My Stukkende Kitaar - Koos Kombuis & Valiant Swart (''n Jaar In Die Son'/Rhythm/Bowline)
3. [5] (3) Blah Di Blah - Drop Dead Gorgeous ('Melt with Me'/Indie)
4. [1] (1) Sobriety Friend - Old Mol ('Rock The Bedsprings'/Legend)
5. [6] (5) The Countdown - Bluescream ('Bluescream'/Indie)
6. [3] (1) Fokofpolisiekar - Fokofpolisiekar (
7. [10] (7) To Confide In - Lazarus ('Parallax View'/Indie)
8. [7] (7) Step Outside - Luna ('Luna'/Indie)
9. [14) (3) Let's Get Naked - Evolver ('Evolver' EP/Indie)
10. [13] (10) Take You Down - Glow (Witchdoctor Records)
11. [12] (11) Afrikaner Surfer Boy - Vanessa Van ('Leef Die Droom'/Bowline)
12. [11] (11) Antipodean Dirge - Tim Wells ('Elephant'/Indie)
13. [8] (2) Rise - Sonar ('Bitterwaste' EP/Indie)
14. [19] (14) Saad van 'n Psigopaat - Abel Kraamsaal ('Woorde Op 'n Wynboks'/Indie)
15. [22] (15) Gangsta - The Rudimentals ('More Fire'/Indie)
16. [20] (16) Bliss - Toyland ('With Every Breath'/Witchdoctor Records)
17. [21] (17) Close To Me - Six Of Nine (Indie)
18. [25] (18) Gravity - James Stewart (Street Level)
19. [9] (2) Duiwel Kom Ons Haal- Springcan ('Are You Confuzed?'/Indie)
20. [15] (3) Mowgli - Zero Tolerance ('A Perfect Life'/Indie)
21. [16] (1) Hands Down - Track 4 ('Demo'/Indie)
22. [24] (22) The Master Plan - Blood Island Raiders ('For The Sake Of Clarity'/Witchdoctor)
23. [26] (23) Living As Numbers - Zero Tolerance ('A Perfect Life'/Indie)
24. [27] (24) Die Ding Ruk Mal - Kallitz (Mothermix)
25. [-] (25) Gimme Da Weed - Chronic Clan ('African Dope Sound System'/African Dope)
26. [28] (26) Musical Chairs - Serving Suggestion ('Try Whistling This'/Indie)
27. [17] (5) Life Away - My Shade ('Bedtime Musick'/Indie)
28. [-] (28) Parallel - Saturnine ('Silence Is Deafening'/Wicked Rock)
29. [-] (29) FCK - Teba ('Silvertab Harambe Dope Sessions'/African Dope)
30. [-] (30) Diengele (The Generals) - Kalahari Surfers ('Muti Media'/African Dope)

Download South African MP3s at



This week [last week] (highest position) Title - Artist (Label)

1. [1] (1) The Heat - Dolly Rockers (Indie)
2. [3] (2) Humanarium - Bed On Bricks (Indie)
3. [5] (3) 21 Gunslut - Soulja (Indie)
4. [7] (4) As Jy Met Vuur Speel Sal Jy Brand - Fokofpolisiekar (Rhythm)
5. [2] (1) More Fire - The Rudimentals (Indie)
6. [6] (6) Muti Media - Kalahari Surfers (African Dope)
7. [4] (1) African Dope Sound System - Various (African Dope)
9. [8] (1) 'n Jaar In Die Son - Koos Kombuis & Valiant Swart (Rhythm/Bowline)
10. [9] (4) Luna - Luna (Indie)
11. [12] (11) With Every Breath - Toyland (Witchdoctor)
12. [13] (1) Steady On - Moodphase 5ive (African Dope)
13. [16] (13) Boerecountry - Blomkrag (Indie)
14. [17] (14) Africa She Too Can Cry - Hawk (Retro Fresh)
15. [10] (2) Melt With Me - Drop Dead Gorgeous (Indie/Bowline)
16. [11] (1) Rock The Bedsprings - Old Mol (Legend)
17. [15] (3) Power - Tribe After Tribe (RetroFresh)
18. [21] (2) Sui - Benguela (Open Record)
19. [19] (2) Perelsvoordieswyne - Best Of - Johannes Kerkorrel (Gallo)
20. [20] (7) Flat To Round - David Foster (Rhythm/Bowline)
21. [18] (1) Jika Jika - freshlyground (Freeground)
22. [24] (22) I-Ternal Fire - Lions Of Zion (Indie)
23. [23] (2) Hello Crazy World - Prime Circle (David Gresham Records)
24. [22] (1) The Truth - Jo Day (Indie)
25. [30] (25) High Society presents: 14 Steps towards Self Actualisation - Daniel Friedman (Independent)
26. [27] (26) Never Look Back - Brian Finch (Independent)
27. [25] (1) Die Mamba - Piet Botha (Rhythm)
28. [26] (3) Breathe Sunshine - Various (Amabala)
29. [28] (1) Another Universe - Arno Carstens (Epic)
30. [29] (15) Blomdoorns - Derek Gripper (Open Record)

MP3s by all these artists are available to download at


More info on all these artists at:
SA Rock Legends

The hosting of MP3s on the SA Rock Digest website is thanks to the Future Perfect Corporation Building online communities to make the future perfect

Chart statistics at:

New Releases

NEW MP3's:


Over the past few years Rhythm Records, the Cape-based record label, has been building a strong roster of artists, and a diverse catalogue of SA music releases. Credit for that is mostly due to the passion and dedication of label boss, Albert du Plessis. Many of those artists can be heard at and this week we offer you a short list of some of the best Rhythm Records songs currently available for free downloading at SAmp3.

'Andrea' - Wayne Pauli
'Blommetjie Gedenk Aan My' - Anton Goosen
'The Boy From Apricot Spells' - The LED
'Bring Vir Elvis Terug' - SAM
'Don't Push' - Mikanic with Ernie Deane
'Ek en Jy en die Highway' - Valiant Swart
'Fokofpolisiekar' - Fokofpolisikar
'Geraamtes In Jou Kas' - Brixton Moord en Roof Orkes
'Losing Control' - Venessa Nolan
'Made In Africa' - Cape Town Tango Ensemble
'Die Mamba' - Piet Botha
'Met My Stukkende Kitaar' - Koos Kombuis & Valiant Swart
'No Man's Land' - Breyten Breytenbach & Arno Carstens
'Pink Pork Noise' - Benguela
'Sestien Jaar Met ' n Vals Kitaar' - Koos Kombuis
'South Africa' - Eden Brent (International Artist)
'Sweet Stellenganga' - Akkedis
'Write Your Name' - The Branch

All the mp3s listed here are available to download at - the biggest South African mp3 website in the world.


Use the onboard search engine, powered by Google, to search for mp3s on


Email your MP3 reviews to

All the full-length mp3s are available for free download at by kind permission of the artists and/or their labels.


(This is a new series in which we ask some of our SA music luminaries to send us a list of their own, favourite SA songs)

To kick off this new series, we asked Karen Zoid for her top SA tunes, this is what she sent us (in alphabetical order):

'Blue Eyes' - Springbok Nude Girls
'Baby, Baby' - Pressure Cookies
'Dicky' - Jennifer Ferguson
'Hillbrow' - Johannes Kerkorrel
'Johnny Is Nie Dood Nie' - Koos Kombuis
'Maak 'n Nuwe Begin' - Battery 9
'Pick 'n Pay Jingle' - Mynie Grove
'Quick Quick' - MarcAlex
'Shake' - Tananas
'Taal Van My Hart' - Amanda Strydom




SA band The Parlotones are set to release their debut album, 'Episoda', with two special unplugged launch gigs in Johannesburg. Yet to receive any airplay, The Parlotones have succeeded in developing a strong fan base through the old fashioned way, performing. With their debut album, 'Episoda', they have delivered a selection of songs, characterised by edgy Telecaster-driven guitar riffs, strong vocal melodies, and lyrics that are entertainingly imaginative.

Parlotones singer and songwriter, Kahn Morbee, started learning to play the guitar at the age of 17, where he began a journey into song writing that would eventually end up at the core of The Parlotones sound. Viewed as one of South Africa's serious contenders when it comes to indie rock, the band are due to support international folk/rock band, New Model Army.

Join the Parlotones for their album launch for a special unplugged set at The World Famous Blues Room in Sandton on the 26th February and at The Roxy in Melville on the 27th February.

The Parlotones will be joined by High Society as well as other special guests at their Blues Room show. For more info call 011 420 9686 or go to their website at and



Based on the huge success and sales of his first 'Toeka' CD collection, Steve Hofmeyr will shortly be releasing a second collection of cover versions of famous SA classic tunes, called 'Toeka 2'. There will also be a simultaneous release of the DVD of his double sell-out Carnival City show.

The DVD is called "Nag van die Legendes" and features an impressive list of all the legends that Steve Hofmeyr managed to get onto stage to perform their own songs from "toeka se dae". There was Al Debbo, Carike Keuzenkamp, Tommy Oliver, Min Shaw, Gert van Tonder, Bobby Angel, Jody Wayne, Edwil van Aarde (special guest) and Dennis East.

'Toeka 2' features Sonja Herholdt, Cornelia, Dennis East, Billy Forest, Mimi Coertse, Herman Holtzhausen, Lance James and Peter Vee. As with 'Toeka', Steve Hofmeyr has contributed some original songs in amongst the well-loved classics.

Due to much demand Steve Hofmeyr has launched stevEshop at for all those wishing to buy rare CD's and merchandise from his catalogue.

Download Steve Hofmeyr's '4x4' from



The latest Unit.R CD is a compilation entitled 'Some People Think That', and features the best in accident-prone beats, obstinate electronics and a good ol' dollop of human soul! Artists include local producers Seven Ark, Enzo, Humanizer, Markus Wormstorm, R_tek and Dr.Shade, as well as Loden from the Netherlands, and the design is courtesy of Generator New Media.

The CD will be available from selected CD outlets nationwide from Monday the 23rd of Feb, with distribution once again courtesy of Afrotech.

Seven Ark's upcoming 12" EP on Colony should be available for pre-order direct from the Colony site ( in the near near future; otherwise it'll be available thru Warpmart, Groovetech and other online stores the meantime check the Colony site for soundclips and more info of what they've got planned for the future.




Miriam Makeba - 'Live At Bern's Salonger, Stockholm, Sweden 1966'
The film of that historic concert that was broadcast on Swedish television in the '60's is now on DVD, to accompany the first official release of the live album on CD in 2003.

Various Artists - 'Urban Offerings From South Africa'
A welcome SA compilation DVD with 14 tracks by some of the best SA artists including Lucky Dube, Arthur, Joe Nina and Jabu Khanyile.



Various Artists - 'Urban Offerings From South Africa'
The video version of the DVD, see above




Various Artists - 'Tales Of Afrojazz'
A musical journey to the heart of SA Jazz, covering different styles and influences by artists like Jimmy Dludlu, Louis Mhlanga and many others.

Dorothy Masuka - 'Lendaba (This Matter)'
One of the finest divas from SA in the '60's is back with the follow-up to her hit album, 'Mizilikazi', and it's another winner!

Gloria Bosman - 'Nature Dances'
The fourth album from the popular Cape Town vocalist is produced by Wessel Van Rensburg and has some intelligent covers (Bee Gees) amongst Gloria's own material.

Bhudaza - 'Bo-Mapefane'
A great South African saxophonist, who has performed with the best in the business, steps out with this excellent solo album.

Various - 'Best Of South African Jazz'
This album features all the tracks off the DVD release from 2003 – from artists like Hugh Masekela, Letta Mbulu, Jonas Gwangwa and others.

Various - 'African Jazz Standards'
A strong line-up, aimed at the more discerning tourist, with 12 tracks that have helped shaped SA jazz to the present.


Pop & Rock

Luna - 'Luna' Debut album from the Stellenbosch singer with the beautiful voice and the memorable songs.

David Abbate - 'Crush'
A new album from the ex-SA pop singer, now based in LA, where he performs regularly at the Polo lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel, and also at the Miss World pageant.

Wendy New - 'I Dissolve In The Sun'
An impressive new pop album, with a touch of light electronica, by an SA artist who lived in NY for nine years, where this album was recorded.

Andrew Young - 'Touched To Tell'

New album from this hot UK-born and London-educated musician (clarinet and sax) who has performed with Jonathan Butler, Shakatak, Shirley Bassey among others.

Silicon Fly - 'Here We Are'
Debut pop-rock album from a new SA band produced by Cedric Samson and featuring a cover of Fleetwood Mac's 'Little Lies'.

Rise Of Black Dawn - 'Case Study #13'
Sunuoka - 'Me Saki Saki'
Two innovative and laid back albums by Cape Town musician and producer, Dave van Rensburg

Bluescream - 'Bluescream'
Tully McCully, the legendary Cape Town musician (McCully Workshop) and producer (Falling Mirror), returns with a new band and a bunch of great new songs.


Township Pop

BY4 - 'Bhiza'
The ladies release their 5th album, and it is what you may call "a coming of age" album, with a more mature feel and a top class production with that distinct Township Pop sound.

Chicco - 'Best Of' (Limited Edition)
The eagerly awaited and very well assembled 15-track "best of" collection from one of South Africa's favourite pop stars will please his many fans. Includes the smash hit, 'Modjadji'.



Gidigidimajimaji - 'Many Faces'
Is this album the future of Kwaito? 'Many Faces' works off a fusion of Kwaito and Hip/Hop and could find favour across the SA markets!

Various Artists - 'Tales Of Urban SA'
A strong Kwaito collection is always welcome and this one has many of that genre's defining moments - with Mandoza, Zola, Kabelo - worthwhile for both beginners and fans seeking a decent compilation.

Zombo - 'Mamba'
The Ragga-Maffin guru back with his 3rd release, and the title rocks!

Ezasenkambini - 'Maififi'

This tongue-twistingly- titled group successfully fuse traditional Zulu music with Kwaito.

Brown Dash - 'Puff 'n Pass'
Better known as Mzekezeke's sidekick, collectively they call themselves the Thembis Connection. The title track, 'Bomb', features Zola.


Rap/Hip Hop

Various Artists - 'African Dope Soundsystem'
The third in the series of African Dope collections to follow 'Volume One' and Cape Of Good Dope', and another very hip and unique release with a variety of names performing the newest and coolest in SA dub, hip hop – 18 tracks from names like Tim Parr, Black Dillinger, Teba, and others.

Cashless Society - 'African Raw Material Vol 1'
A dynamic, new SA hip hop release with contributions from some of SA's biggest hip hop names including Tumi and Mizchif. Top stuff.

Various Artists - 'Silvertab - Harambe Dope Sessions'
Another release on the African Dope label, this is a compilation that shows off the fruits of their collaboration with 'Harambe', a local youth music program where fans can check out new hip hop.

Spex - 'Nothing For Mahala'
A very popular indie hip hop artist and release, Spex has already been featured on a few SA hip hop compilations and has performed alongside the best in the biz.



Bhekumuzi Luthili - 'Udumo Lwakhe'
A traditional gospel album from this prolific artist, featuring many new tracks.

Women Of Mambazo - 'Mamizolo'
Another traditional gospel album album from this "sister" group to Ladysmith Black Mambazo, founded by Nellie and Joseph Shabalala of Ladysmith, and produced by Joseph Shabalala

Various Artists - 'Tales Of The Mbira (Modern & Ancient)'
The tracks on this album show off the versatility of this fascinating acoustic finger instrument. A Sheer Africa release.

Soweto Percussion Ensemble - 'Tales Of The Drum'
This Gauteng ensemble recorded a series of drum-based tracks for this album aimed at tourists and drum circle fans. A Sheer Africa release.

Various Artists - 'Tales Of The Marimba (Modern & Ancient)'
The tracks on this album are focused mainly on the SA method of playing this xylophone-type instrument but also contain a fusion with the marimba sounds of west Africa. A Sheer Africa release.

Various Artists - 'Tales Of The Kora (Modern & Ancient)'
This album features some of Africa's most accomplished exponents of this fascinating and complex instrument. A Sheer Africa release.

Other titles in this new series of titles on the Sheer Africa label include:
'African Chants & Harmonies'
'African Drum Beats'
'African Drums'

Mosala Kholeho - 'Marimba Mosala'
This album features a range of instruments and sounds in true African fusion.

Gingirikani - 'Gingirikani'
A diverse showcase of the drums and rhythms of SA

Akwaaba - 'Akwaaaba'
Some covers of some famous African songs, performed with drums and other traditional instruments.



Kalahari Surfers - 'Multi Media'
The follow-up to 'Akassic Record' and more musical explorations from producer and musician extraordinaire, Warrick Sony.

Chilled Alaskan DJ - 'Somewhere We Are Alive'
Chilled Alaskan DJ - 'Title X'
Two more titles featuring the musical talents of Cape Town producer, Dave van Rensburg.



Fokofpolisiekar - 'As Jy Met Vuur Speel Sal Jy Brand'
Debut 6-track EP from the most exciting new Afrikaans band on the SA punk rock scene.

Kristoe Strauss - 'Varke, Marbles En Ander Verlore Goed'
Something special from the artist who was last spotted performing with Koos Kombuis at the KKNK

Blackie Swart - 'Pers Kombers'
Blackie is a big favourite in the Afrikaans music scene and this is sure to be another top selling album.

Sumare - 'So Adios'
Debut album from this gorgeous-voiced finalist in the 2003 Crescendo Competition.

Various Artists - 'Groot 5 En Die Lollipop Toer - Ontembaar!'
The "Big 5" are Steve Hofmeyr, Patricia Lewis, Dozi, Ferdi, And Sunette Bridges. This is music from their combined "Lollipop Tour".

Randall Wicomb - 'Oss Wes Tuis Bes'
The latest offering from the very popular Mr Wicomb.

Latest Boeremusiek Releases:
Die Ghitaar Man - 'Kliphard Boeremusiek'
Sollie Marx - 'Lekker Ou Kitaar'
Danie Grey - 'Trap Der Boerepomp'



Thomas Mapfumo - 'Choice Chimurenga'
This veteran Zimbabwean music legend has just released a powerful new album through the South African Sheer label, current home to that other Zimbabwean music star, Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi

Selling South African Music to the World:



More reviews can be found at:
Open Record



LAD, the dedicated webmaster of, throws his regular spotlight on one of the many SA bands currently affiliated to his SA music site.

LAD is away this week but will be back with a new band spotlight next week...

If you're an SA band/artist and would like to appear in this slot please Remember that you can view the wap site by pointing your mobile to:

Watch out for more announcements of interesting things happening at!

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Promoting SA Music...



If you're in a SA Band or are a SA artist and would like to appear in this slot please mail

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CD of the Week

CD Cover HAWK - 'AFRICA SHE TOO CAN CRY' - (RetroFresh, freshcd137)

Here is a quote from an email received in 1999 from Krister in Sweden: "I am 24 years old and a university student. When I was about 6 or 7 or so I got 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 suppose that the chance that their album ever got out on CD are minimal. That's unfortunate since my only vinyl is really torn down and scratchy."

OK, Krister, your wish (and that of many others) has been granted. At last this classic album from the 70's has been re-released on CD. This album has actually been released in 3 different versions; the first was in 1972 a year or so after the phenomenal 'African Day' album. In 1973 'Africa She Too Was Cry' was released in the UK (and Europe) by the Charisma label (home of Genesis at the time) with a revised track listing and credited to JoBurg Hawk. In the late 90's an unofficial CD with the same title was released by the Japanese Never Land label. Despite the fact that this was a pirate CD, it was also more of a compilation than a re-issue, as it featured tracks from all 3 Hawk albums.

After much deliberation and discussion (and lack of master recordings) Benjy Mudie of Fresh Music decided to release the UK version of 'Africa She Too Can Cry' with bonus tracks culled from some singles-only releases and the elusive 'Live And Well' album, which was not actually a "live" recording, despite its title.

The 'African Day Suite' is a re-recorded and extended version of the side-long epic which originally appeared on 'African Day'. It tells the story, in spoken words, lyrics and music, of a rampaging elephant that threatens to destroy a tribal village and has to be killed. The fact that the censors missed the analogy to the oppressive apartheid regime at the time is amazing.

Freedom's Children's Ramsay Mackay wrote a major portion of the material for this album, and though he did not play on it, his influence is strongly felt. Mackay's compatriot in Freedom's, Julian Laxton, was a Hawk member by this time and his guitar work here is subdued but legendary. The catchy 'Dark Side Of The Moon' song has nothing to do with the Pink Floyd classic album, and in fact was released almost a year before that album's debut.

Bonus tracks include the original version of the much-covered 'Orang Outang' (Kenny Henson's Harambee, Margaret Singana, Brian Finch and more have all recorded it) which was also penned by Ramsay Mackay and released as a single in the UK in 1973. The obscure 'Kalahari Dry' song was used as part of an ad campaign for Groovy cooldrink (remember Groovy?) and released as a single in South Africa in November 1972. The original vinyl single was found lurking in Tertius Louw's extensive collection and digitally transferred by him for this CD re-issue.

The Chicago-meets-Osibisa styled 'Mumbo Jumbo' is another Ramsay Mackay composition which deserves wider exposure. The closing track of this CD re-issue is the beautiful ballad 'In My Youth' (from 'Live And Well') which sounds like it could have been written for the stageshow 'Hair'. Audrey Moutaung's voice soars on this one and is then balanced by the earthy tones of Ornellas.

Excellent and detailed sleeve notes are provided by Raymond Joseph including recent interviews with vocalist Dave Ornellas and guitarist Julian Laxton.

This is truly an album of Africa and a must-have for every music fans collection.




This and any other SA CD can be ordered online at One World, the best SA CD store on the pla-Net.


Kurt Shoemaker (Texas), John Samson (London), Tertius Louw, and Brian Currin browse through the best of SA rock - its history, its people, and its music, past, and present.

USA FOR AFRICA - Texas-based Kurt Shoemaker gives his unique views on SA music.


Not rock but South African music that sounds oh-so-beautiful. Here, the late David Hewitt plays classical guitar with finesse, grace, elan, lots of other cool adjectives, and dozens of friends. Perfectly lovely music.

Every song on this work has an aching beauty. Not melancholy, not makes-me-feel-good-to-be-blue music, not exhilarating power like Jack Hammer or The Nudies, but beauty. Beauty so beautemous that one feels good. While listening to this mostly instrumental music, my thoughts become the lyrics to David's musical accompaniment.

This music fits the winter weather here lately in that winter turns one thoughtful... introspective. 'The Storyteller's' intricate beauty matches my busy thoughts and David Hewitt's inspiration aids my imagination in soaring, laughing, singing, meditating, and plain old thinking.

While most of the songs have distinctly African names ('Umzwangedwa', 'Nomkitha', 'Ingududu') in addition to the English translations, the African influence on Hewitt's fine guitar playing and overall sound doesn't become overt, to my ear, until 'Inkosana', then the choir chants become stronger than in previous tracks.

The first song has a country-flavored opening, but soon loses genre classification, as does much of this CD, except as a compound genre: African-tinged classical guitar. Lovely and flowing, this is not Muzak in case you think it might have some resemblance. 'The Storyteller' moves, has all the whimsy, soul, intelligence, and the sense that people were involved, not machines, that the other lacks.

Despite the many varied sidemen and women (over two dozen), choruses, drums, rattles, David Hewitt's guitar is always to the fore in the mix, that's why we came to listen to 'The Storyteller', but among the over two dozen musicians who contributed to the CD is Amampondo doing percussion.

As a testimony to Hewitt's virtuosity, many of his songs are featured on compilations, notably on Gallo's 'Sound Offerings from South Africa' series, including the recent 'Zulu Offerings'. Lovely, beautiful music for these introspective, yet mentally nimble, days.


Kurt Shoemaker, Blanco, Texas


A NAARTJIE IN THE UK - London-based John Samson gives his own twist on SA music:


'Lady One' has got to be one of the most intriguing and alluring albums in my collection. It combines spoken poetry, singing and music with quite remarkable results. Breyten Breytenbach is one of the country's leading poets and he has teamed up with some of the coolest figures in South African music on this, his second outing into this synergetic realm that two art forms co-habit.

One could argue that most decent popular music is the combination of poetry and music, but few musicians have the propensity to produce such stark imagery in their lyrics as Breyten manages in his poems here. The subject matter touches on all the untouchables - Religion (the opening track 'Rededication' is a traditional Buddhist chant'), Sex ('and my desire a snake mousing for your wrinkled nut' from 'Ikhata') and Politics ('nights the dreams are restlessly heavy with barbarians in the south where flames leap higher by the day' from 'Another Day').

Most of the songs have the poems delivered by Breyten himself where he has a unique ability to sound monotonous yet still inject each word with more meaning that should be legally allowed. It's a sun-dried voice that echoes out perfectly formed words that vibrate in your skull and triggers off the spine tingling mechanism.

To accompany this astounding voice there are atmospheric soundscapes that have been crafted by well-known musical figures. Schalk Joubert takes credit for the first 2 tracks, laying down earthly and beautiful guitar sounds, aided by Barry van Zyl and Tim Parr. Barry and Tim also have their own creative input with Barry combining with Concorde Nkabinde to add the reggae-ish backdrop to 'Today I Went Down' while Tim is credited with the sparse, bass-driven music for 'Ithaka'. Laurinda Hofmeyr's piano is aided by Anjulie de Vos' haunting cello on 'Une Vie Sans Ailleurs' and they are joined by Schalk Joubert and Rhythm Records' supremo, Albert du Plessis, on a Gregorian Chant-like chorus.

Also not to be missed are the expansive orchestral sounds that Battery 9's Paul Riekert produces on 'Snow In A Foreign Night' and 'The Song of The Cockroach'. This is a big sound full of foreboding and dripping heavy as it adds meaning to the disturbing lyrics. Benguela contribute beautiful sad guitar sounds to a couple of tracks and Jean Marais' jazzy guitar and sitar lend atmosphere to the last 2 tracks.

However, one could not review this album without spending some time talking about 'No Man's Land' that features N*de Girl Arno Carstens on vocals. Arno's voice fairly soars achingly over the words propped up by Ernestine Dean and Michelin's backing vocals and aided in flight by Piet de Beer's wonderful violin. In a word this song is stunning and we are lucky enough to have it available at

Breyten has been well known and respected as a poet for a good while but it is only when we look at his surname where we get Breyten + Bach, a combination of brilliant poetry and top class music, that creates something as special as 'Lady One'.


John Samson, London



John Samson takes a weekly look at the the SA pop charts from 15, 20, 25, and 30 years ago this week.

The Staccatos notched up a second week at number 1 in 1969 while the evergreen 'Build Me Up Buttercup' by the Foundations (co-written by Manfred Mann's Michael D'Abo) was a multi-million seller. I could find very little information about The Tonic's 'Chewy Chewy' other than it was released on Fontana records (TF842, see and I suspect that it was a cover of the Ohio Express song.

At the tender age of 14, local girl Gwynneth Ashley-Robin strode into the top 5 of 1974 with her tribute to Little Jimmy Osmond. Sadly she died 2 years later in a light aircraft accident near Penge in what was then the Eastern Transvaal. Albert Hammond (father of Albert Hammond, jr from The Strokes) enjoyed his 5th week at the top.

Nile Rogers and Bernard Edwards had briefly performed together as Allah & the Knife Wielding Punks, but eventually settled into what would become arguably the most influential Disco band - Chic. 'Le Freak' was their most successful single, topping the US charts for 6 weeks, and going top 5 in SA this week in 1979. Meanwhile Billy Joel spent a frustrating 3rd week at number 2.

UB40's cover of Neil Diamond's 'Red Red Wine' shot to the top of the 1984 charts. It was only its 6th week in the top 20. This meant that Culture Club had only managed 2 weeks at number 1. Lower down the charts, the Trevor Rabin-penned 'Owner Of A Lonely Heart' by Yes was peaking at number 11. The song had topped the US charts. '90125' the album from which this was taken would fare better in SA where it reached number 2 on the album charts in the last weeks of January.

South Africans at number 1 this week:

Cry To Me - Staccatos (1969)
I Don't Wanna Play House - Barbara Ray (1973)
Substitute - Clout (1978)

South African New Entries this week

23-Feb-73 Two Of Us - Dealians
23-Feb-73 Candlelight - Richard Jon Smith
23-Feb-79 Takin' Me Back - Sweet Chocolate
25-Feb-72 Ek Is Verlief Op Jou - Andre
25-Feb-72 Everything Is Beautiful - Jody Wayne

John Samson



Feb. 25 - George Harrison (1943)
Feb. 26 - Johnny Cash (1932)
Feb. 26 - Fats Domino (1928)
Feb. 27 - Steve Harley (1951), Cockney Rebel
Feb. 28 - Brian Jones (1948)

If you info on any South African artists dates of birth, please send them to

A Reader's Forum: This is a selection of the email requests, questions, searches, and other pieces of random info we receive each week at the Digest. Sometimes we can assist, other times we look to you, our collectively well-informed readers to contact these writers and help out as well. Thanks if you do....!

Send all letters, short contributions, small band-ads, musical questions and other snippets to:




I visited your website and found it really interesting. After reading it, I am quite sure you could help me in the research I am doing now. I am looking for South African - and especially from Cape Town - music schools with a good professional level or with a special South African identity.

I am a French drum player, studied 3 years latin jazz drums (congas, bongos, timbales...) in a jazz professional school in the south of France. I am interested in learning African/Southern African drums and Cape Town jazz. You certainly know great spots in Cape Town or Durban to study this.

Could you please let me know about?




Good day

I am a Miss South Africa pageant collector and I see on this site there are 3 records, 'Richard Sings Anneline' and 'Holiday in Margate'. (I have 'He took off my Romeos').

Will it be possible to get these 2 records from somewhere.
This will be such a nice thing for my collection.

Kind Regards
Louis Fourie




I would like to know where I could acquire the 'Missing Fling' tape by The Nudies. I don't think it was ever sold over the shelf, and I was too slow to order it whilst the band was still together. If you could provide some info on this I would be ever so grateful.

Thanks again




I have just become aware of your excellent site. From 1972-8 I played bass with several second tier bands in Cape Town notably as Dave Nissen's bass player for several years (Alan Faull did a series of gigs with us during Dave's Bowie phase) and Mandy Cohen's brothers' band Kanabash Barn (I remember the night Anton Fig, Keith Lentin and Mandy came to see us play at the Green Point Community Centre - probably Christmas/New Year 1972/3).

Many dance groups (inc. Harlequin 4 and Kassasin Street). Played the Greenpoint Stadium Battle of the Bands. Opened for Pretoria Group "Web" at the Cape Town City Hall - around late '72). Used to hang out at the Clifton and was friends with Dave Gommersall during the period he "guested" with Omega Ltd. He did a one-man band gig for a friend's 21st (where is he now?). I was the UCT Nusas "Arts" co-ordinator (after the esteemed Paddy Lee Thorpe moved on) and booked gigs, etc.

Best known was the one where McCully Workshop recorded "Blues in C Minor" {released on 'Ages' album - ed.} and the Viscounts' "reunion". Played squash with Mike McCully at Kelvin Grove and spent every weekend possible at the Fairmead when they were on. Drank with Eddie and Barry of the Bats at the Rotunda and then hooked up again in Maritzburg late-77/8 when they were resident at the Ansonia.
v "Toured" Namaqualand as Kassassin Street playing for the annual mine dances late '76 after the Blarney Brothers pulled out at short notice. Personal friends with local one-man extravaganza Chris Rowe Wilson. Remember the Orange Hotel on Voortrekker Road in Bellville? He used to be in East London band Strikeforce (?).

Let me know if you want any further info. Band members names, etc.

Keep up the good work.
Tim Holden




Where can I get sheet music of the SA songs?
I need Nianell's 'Paint the moon black', for example.

Magrieta Snyman



Hello there,

Any idea if Duncan Mackay's 'Chimera' is available on CD?
Been searching for years. Help!

Thank you kindly,
Alon Goldsmith

{Ed. - unfortunately 'Chimera' is not officially available - there were some Japanese pirate copies floating around a couple of years ago - but there is a possibility of an official CD re-issue sometime in the near future. Duncan (who played keyboards on 10cc's huge hit 'Dreadlock Holiday') currently lives in Cape Town and is hard at work finishing off his latest CD 'Reunion' in collaboration with vocalist and guitarist Greg McEwan. Read more at:




I am John E Sharpe's daughter. I have much nicer photos and a great bio for your site should you be interested. The first black and white photo really for me does not show you the real man behind the music.

I would however like to thank you sincerely for including my father on this site. Music was so much apart of all our lives. To the point that I got involved in the music industry 13 years ago.

So on behalf of my family I thank you.
Debra Sharpe-Major

John E Sharpe & The Squires




I am trying to find the lyrics for a song called 'Count The Red Car' by Penny Croft. I would like to reproduce them in a novel.

If you can't help me, perhaps you would pass this request on to someone (real or virtual!) who can.

Many thanks.
Lynn Taylor




I recently rediscovered an old cassette copy of Corporal Punishment and Illegal Gathering. I have digitised it for my own use, but the tape is tired and the quality not great.

This notwithstanding the fact that the recordings themselves were pretty primitive anyway. This is really great stuff - I'd love to know if there are better copies or masters out there - any suggestions would be highly appreciated.

Keep up the good work.
Richard Hall

More about these bands at:



Looking for someone with the following LPs in their collection. I am looking to buy or trade? Both recorded by 3rd Ear and then issued on Wea/Atlantic.

Spirits Rejoice - African Spaces (Afro Jazz) [Ath 4010 - 1976]
National Jazz Festival - Various Artists [Atc 8001 - 1974] - (including a track by the Soweto funk outfit The Drive)

Matt Temple




In the middle 70's there was a hit on Springbok radio top 20 with the title: 'San Francisco '69'. According to the website it was sung by the "Love Generation".

I did various searches and even ordered a CD of the group. To no avail... I think the info on the website is wrong (do not confuse this song with the well-known Scott McKenzie song).

Can you please assist?




Thanks for the SA Digest! It is super!

Could you please tell me who did a song in the '70's with lyrics "Shine a little love (light) on me, love has a way of making things brighter so shine a little light (or love) on me ".

Also where can I purchase this song?

Thanks chaps, SA Digest is a blessing to those of us overseas.

All the best for 2004!

Ed. - We asked our resident expert, Tertius Louw, who sent us the following answer: "The song is called "Shine a little light" (1972) by the Dominos. They also recorded the well known "Tabatha Twitchet" in 1967. The band employed various female vocalists, including our own Lady of Soul, Una Valli. (TL)




"The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you've started."

So I looked around the house to see all the things I started and hadn't finished.... and before coming to work this morning I finished off a bottle of red wine, a bottle of white, the Bailey's, Kahlua and Tia Maria, my Prozac, some valium, my cigarettes and a box of chocolates.

You have no idea how freakin' good I feel....

You may pass this on to those you feel are in need of Inner Peace...




I checked out that 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' for the first time the other day, but couldn't see which ou was that Salvesta Stallone oke. Was it the ou what played that Sweet Transvaaler? And was Mister Tea in that one as well?

Johnny from Boksburg


Please email any musical questions to



To advertise in this section please email:



Hi there

For those who don't hear from me often: I'm the SA who does a lot of radio in Eugene, Oregon, and gets to play tons of SA music at every opportunity (I do an average 4 hours of radio each week, so that's easy)!

At the end of April, I'll be putting a special show together for the 10-year SA celebrations. My listeners expect nothing less than something extraordinary from me (or so they say), and I'm appealing to you for help!

I would like to get some audio from you with your reflections on SA. Simply recording it onto a tape or burn a CD would be perfect! Perhaps the record companies could co-ordinate something for me, or simply send it to the address at the end of this mail.

It can be spoken word or if you break into song, that would be just wonderful, too! Here are some ideas:
- memories of apartheid
- election day and your personal experience
- the afterglow of the elections
- where SA is now
- cultural identity in a diverse country
- anything else you'd like to talk about!

Many thanks to all of you for your contribution to the great sounds that come out of SA and head across the Big Pond to people like me.

Leigh Barrett
479 Dublin Ave
Eugene, OR 97404



The 1st ever Massive Music Sale in South Africa will now be held at the end of April...

This "Music Sale" is a brand new independent music market for the retailer/ distributor and anyone in the entertainment industry to achieve more customers, new clients & record sales. Giving you the opportunity by reaching the right people in this vast untapped continent.

You now have the possibility to participate on 7000 sq. meters and hire a stand to fit your need over a 3-day period, on the busiest street in South Africa. Invites will also be sent to various European and other African distributors to come here and sell their product, plus also make new clients in S.A. This invite is open to one and all in the music & entertainment industry. As space is limited, booking is essential. First come, first booked.

Some of the benefits are: Buyers get a better idea of the music selection that is available to them. You have the opportunity to make new contacts and future clients. We bring selected stores and clients together. A chance to promote your music. Doors will be open to the public to come and buy and see what's on offer. Advertising in newspapers, radio and posters. TV interviews are planned. 24 hour security. 450 parking bays on site. Food and drinks available. This will be a bi-annual event, and preference will be given to first time participants. Space will be rented out from 25, 50, 100 or 200 sq meters. Prices start at R39.50 per sq. meter.

The Venue is Madiba Village, 2 Eloff Str. (opp. Dorkay House)
The Dates are: Friday 30th April - Sunday 2nd May
Trading Times: 10am - 7 pm.
Contact: Anton van Dongen
Tell: +27(83) 265 5337
Fax: +27 (11) 880 0996



This is an interesting new SA music business concept.

We suggest you take a good look at this opportunity.

Simply send a blank e-mail to to receive further info.

(Ed. - Nope, it's not spam, but genuine and potentially worthwhile, and anyone can do it!)



Have your favourite LP transferred to CD with full colour label and box printing. We restore the LP music/tracks in order to extract the original sound, before transferring them to CD. Only single copies are made and returned with the LP.

What is done...

1. Firstly, your precious LP is put through our professional record cleaning machine to ensure that we start with as pure an original sound as possible.
2. We then play the record on the very best audiophile equipment (Thorens turntable, SME arm with Shure V15-III cartridge) and capture the music at a high sample rate, into our "Top of the Range" computer.
3. The Vinyl background noise and "Fried Eggs" sounds are gently removed from the recording.
4. Any remaining "Pops" or "Clicks" are isolated and repaired and the tracks are separated as on the original LP.
5. Then, and only then, do we copy the sound to CD.
6. Finally, the LP cover is scanned front and rear, reduced to fit and printed in full glorious colour. A label is printed for the disc itself in full colour, as on the original.

There is a range of prices from R65.00 to R120.00 - depending on the postage costs, and the required and desired degree of cleanup on your single copy.

Contact: Terence
Tel: 021-787-0205 or Cell: 082-939-077




GEMM is your best source for those otherwise impossible-to-find music titles on Record or CD!



Cape Town's finest record and CD store is now at the intersection -
"Where the four streets - Long, Buitensingel, Kloof, and Orange - meet"

Visit our new CD Stall on the Pavement Piazza in front of the shop opposite the Long Street Baths.

Mabu stocks SA and International Record and CD titles, and a growing list of independent SA CD and CD-R releases - including a large range of all the African Dope releases.

Latest Vinyl additions:

Lukas Revenge - 'Trapped' (LP)
Johnny Clegg and Savuka - 'Johnny Clegg and Savuka' (LP)
Falling Mirror - 'Shattered' (LP)
Jeremy Taylor - 'Jeremy Taylor' (LP)
David Kramer - 'Bakgat' (LP)
Ballyhoo - 'Man On The Moon' (LP)
Walk This Way - 'Best Friends' (LP)

Latest independent SA CD additions:

340ml - 'Moving'
Bed On Bricks - 'Humanarium' (Bowline)
Bluescream - 'Bluescream' (Independent)
Daniel Friedman - 'High Society presents: 14 Steps towards Self Actualisation' (Independent)
Brian Finch - 'Never Look Back' (Independent)
Fokofpolisiekar - 'As Jy Met Vuur Speel Sal Jy Brand' (EP) (Rhythm)
freshlyground - 'Jika Jika' (Independent)
Forest Moon - 'Forest Moon' (Independent)
Goema Captains Of Cape Town - 'Healing Destination' (Mountain)
Hog Hoggidy Hog - 'Naked' EP (3 Chord)
Kalahari Surfers - 'Muti Media' (African Dope)
Lazarus - 'Parallax View' (EP) (Independent)
Lions Of Zion - 'Iternal Fire' (Independent)
MoodPhase5ive - 'Steady On' (African Dope)
The Rudimentals - 'More Fire' (Independent)
Not The Midnight Mass - 'Live At The Planetarium' (Independent)
Nukular Stompers - 'Can Of Worms' (Independent)
Soulja - '21 Gunslut' (Independent)
Various - 'Silvertab Harambe Dope Sessions' (African Dope)
Various - 'African Dope Sound System' (African Dope)
Various - 'Cape Of Good Dope' (African Dope)
Various - 'Breathe Sunshine' (Amabala)
Various - 'A Moment In Cape Town' (Revised edition) (Afribeat)
Zero Tolerance - 'A Perfect Life?' (EP) (Independent)

This week's Best Selling CDs at Mabu Vinyl & CD are:

1. 'More Fire' - The Rudimentals
2. 'As Jy Met Vuur Speel Sal Jy Brand' (EP) - Fokofpolisiekar
3. 'African Dope Sound System' - Various
4. 'Sui' - Benguela
5. 'Steady On' - Moodphase5ive

We buy and sell LP's and CD's

Please contact:
Jacques or Stephen
(Ph): 021 423 7635
(Cell): 082 534 6006

Mabu Vinyl & CD
Shop 2 Buitenkloof Centre
8 Kloof Street, Gardens.


Stadium-on-Main, Main Road, Claremont

Our catalogue is now listed on the UK's No.1 Music Marketplace
Netsounds and can be accessed directly at

This week's specials:

Clout - 'Clout' (LP)
Johnny Clegg - 'Third World Child' (LP)
Johnny Clegg & Savuka - 'Shadow Man' (LP)
Johnny Clegg & Savuka - 'Cruel, Crazy, Beautiful World' (LP)
Juluka - 'Universal Men' (LP)
Juluka - 'African Litany' (LP)
Juluka - 'Work For All' (LP)
Steve Kekana - 'Hare Khumameng' (LP)
Steve Kekana - 'Alone in the Desert' (LP)
Stimela - 'Trouble in the Land of Plenty' (LP)

We pay top prices for top quality.
Want Lists Welcome!

Call us at: 021-683 5676
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Website catalogue now also at Gemm and Netsounds: and



Selling South African Music to the World



The very popular Deep Purple Web Index - the ultimate Deep Purple resource on the web - now has a new home at


(now part of the Sugar Music Group)

Get your band or business online.

We design from scratch or take over the maintenance when your hotshot designer gets bored with updating.

Our design philosophy is to create sites that pull people in and keep them coming back, through user-friendly designs, good web architecture and cost-effective web-marketing.

If you want a quick, friendly and fun website, then Vagabond Music Web is your answer.

Vagabond Clients include:
Green Party Of South Africa, Jam Alley Music Shop, Joint State, Duncan Mackay, Bluescream, Street Level, Fresh Music, Rhythm Records, Entertainment Industry Services, Piet Botha, Off The Edge, 25 Hour Studio, Gregs Golf Tours, 4 Sure Golf Tours, James Stewart, Tait, Bright Blue, Jack Hammer, Janie Jones, Brian Finch, Soil 7t7, Rodriguez, Steve Louw and Big Sky, Lorraine Shannon, Joe Public.

Please contact Brian on 082-567-8779 or visit for more info.



Support the SAMQC, as this SA musicians' initiative, looking to greatly increase the amounts of SA music played on the nation's radio stations.

Join the movement, sign up, or



One of the most frequently Asked Questions on the Forum is where to buy Rodriguez CDs. Well, you can buy Rodriguez CDs online at



* To have your advert featured in the Digest Classifieds, and to find out the prices to do so, contact

The Sound Solutions and Digest Classified sections are sponsored by:


Stephen Segerman -




Full details at

Watch out for:

COLIN SHAMLEY - Catch this legendary SA folkie at The Barleycorn Music Club on Monday 23 Feb.

VERITY - This new singer-songwriter is playing at Mercury Live on Wednesday 25th Feb with an incredible line-up of musicians including Theo Crous (Springbok Nude Girls) on guitar; Mike Horne (Arno Carstens' New Porn & Hog Hoggity Hog) on drums; Rob Nel (Golliwog, ex Wendy Oldfield) on bass; Dominic Peters (Breakfast Included & Goldfish) on Keyboards with guest Lee Thomson (Nude Girls, Golliwog, etc) on Trumpet.

THE BLUE HEADS AT SPIER - The Digest has arranged for a number of double sets of tickets to be made available to its subscribers for the upcoming Blue Heads Cape concert at Spier on Thursday March 11th 2004.

TAIT AND JUSTIN BERGH - Live at the Indie Armchair Theatre on Saturday 28th February at 21h00 - Entrance: R30

THE 'SCHOOL OF ROCK' TOUR - A nationwide SA tour in March, to coincide with the movie's release in South Africa, will take place with the likes of The Finks, Prime Circle, Marlowe, The Parlotones, Nemesis and Waverley

STEFAN JOUBERT - An explosive evening of "touch" guitar, performed by one of South Africa's top guitarists. - Friday 5 March 2004

THE KLIPPIES AND COLA STUDENT SESSIONS - These Sessions are aimed at establishing a campus-centred live music circuit, primarily at UCT and Stellenbosch University and their surrounding areas. Regional bands, including Afrotone, Andy & Stef, Arbor, Fly Paper Jet, Nick Turner & Dave vd Linden, Fokofpolisiekar, Superfine, and the The Buckfever Underground are paired and perform together on consecutive Tuesdays at Die Mystic Boer and The Independent Armchair Theatre.


THE RUDIMENTALS - Cape Town's ska-punk sensations have lined up a string of gigs over the next few weeks.

VUSI MAHLASELA AND JUDITH SEPHUMA - Vusi Mahlasela and Judith Sephuma, two of BMG Africa's biggest names, will be headlining gigs at the Giant Steps Music Festival at Spier in Stellenbosch in March 2004.

SUNWAYS IN LONDON - The next Sunways tour begins on 5 March and will include dates in March, April, May & June. The band's first London date is on Friday 30 April at the Halfmoon Putney.

BOO! IN EUROPE - All those dates for BOO!'s current European Tour


COUNTING CROWS - The popular US band, fronted by Adam Duritz, will be returning to SA in March to promote their new, greatest hits album, 'Films About Ghosts'

LIMP BIZKIT - Edgars and 5FM Music in association with Big Concerts are sad to announce that the Limp Bizkit SA tour in April has been postponed.

WITCHDOCTOR RECORDS ANNOUNCES SA TOURS BY ENTOMBED, AND KATAKLYSM - Entombed, those Swedish masters of metal return to our shores for two exclusive shows in April, and Kataklysm, the Swedish masters of metal, return to our shores for two exclusive shows in May

SMOKIE - This successful '70's/'80's pop group is still "firing on all five cylinders" and will be touring South Africa in 2004 on 'The Hit Box Tour '04' from 25 February onwards.

NEW MODEL ARMY - Alter-Ego Productions is proud to announce the forthcoming tour to South Africa of this "legendary" band in March 2004

LORD OF THE DANCE - The dance spectacular, which has played to over 50 million people in 36 different countries, returns to South Africa by this March, for a whopping two-month tour.


SOUTHERN CROSS MUSIC FESTIVAL - The three-day Southern Cross Music Festival is known as "The Friendly Festival" and takes place from 19-22 March 2004 in the Hidden Valley in KwaZulu Natal

THE CAPE TOWN FESTIVAL - The Cape Town Festival is the Mother City's premiere arts and cultural showcase, bringing together the best in local and international dance, visual arts, music, film, photography, spoken word, theatre and nightlife - 14 to 22 March 2004

NORTH SEA JAZZ FESTIVAL - CAPE TOWN 2004 - "Africa's Grandest Gathering" is about to celebrate its 5th anniversary in April 2004, and it will be doing so in style in its new home at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on the Mother City's Foreshore. With Angie Stone, Femi Kuti, Stanley Clarke, freshlyground, Abdullah Ibrahim, Cassandra Wilson and Miriam Makeba.

SPLASHY FEN 2004 - One of our country's best loved open-air lifestyle celebration promises the freshest ever delights for body and mind on the Easter weekend, April 8 - 12


Live at the Indie Armchair Theatre - Saturday 28th Feb - 21h00 - Entrance: R30

Tait have been out showcasing their album, 'Back Seat Driver', for the past six months, and have received much success with their hit single, 'In My Arms', and more recently with their single, 'The Best Days of My Life'. The band have been busy recording their next album at Street Level Music Production in Cape Town.

Tait will be joined by Justin Bergh, who is back from successful showcases in the USA, and is promoting his new album, 'Out of My Hands', which has already produced two great radio singles, namely 'Out Of My Hands' and 'Not A Day Goes By'. Keep your ears open for the next single, 'Misunderstood', a song co-written by James Stewart (The Usual).

So don't miss Tait and Justin Bergh at the Armchair Theatre Saturday 28th February!!!!



The RP Studios Emerging Sounds competition continues to grow from strength to strength. Affording emerging groups the opportunity of creating a platform to further their musical career at the same time showcasing the future sounds of South African music.


Tempos - 191 Hans Strydom, Kyasands, Randburg

Saturday, February 28 - Johannesburg finals
· Failsafe
· So Called Friends
· Corner to View
· Placid Rage
· Pyramid Tongue on the main stage from 19:00


Nile Crocodile
Event starts at 21:00 and there is a R10 cover charge
February regional finals - RP Studios Emerging Sounds competition
Sunday, March 7 - Coliseum Show Bar - Caesars Gauteng from 15:00


Tempos - 191 Hans Strydom, Kyasands, Randburg
Event starts at 15:00

Saturday, March 6
· Blueprint
· Headlost

Saturday, March 13
· Icarus Fall


Friday, March 12
Winston Hotel from 21:00.

VAAL LEG - March

Friday, March 26
Perfect Manhatten - Three Rivers

RP Studios has been sponsoring this event for the past six years and if you visit their website - - you can soon see a 360 degree view of the studios. For further information contact Peter Jaquire on (011) 714 4666.

For further information or to enter your group contact Simon "Squire" Foulds on 082 770 7524.


By Daniel Neville


Come February 23rd, and mayhem will strike South Africa with an explosive nationwide tour with German Punk Rock troopers Durango 95...

The South African tour will take Durango 95 to all accessible venues across the country, here are the dates:

25 Feb - Thrashers Skate Park, Menlyn, Pretoria. R50 cover charge
26 Feb - Sting, Value fair Centre, Midrand. R50 cover charge
27 Feb - Trotters, Impala Park, Boksburg. R50 cover charge
28 Feb - Mishi Jones Baseball Park, Durban. R30 cover charge (ALL AGES)
28 Feb - Burn, Umbilo, Durban. R30 cover charge
1 March - Taphuis, Grahamstown. R30 cover charge
2 March - The Yacht Club. Port Elizabeth. R30 cover charge
5 March - The Mercury Live, Cape Town. R50 cover charge
6 March - The Lemon Connection, Cape Town. R50 cover charge

Visit their homepage for info, MP3's. Pics, Gossip, Garbage, Merch and tour dates.

"Take me away" their latest album is available is South Africa through Give & Take Records. give&

Please note than unless it says that the show is all ages then it is strictly over 18's only. You will be asked for ID and if you can not produce any you will get turned away. This is not a decision made on the organisers' part, but a rule made by all club owners.


SA Punk Gig Guide

Wed 25 Feb - Pretoria - Thrashers Skatepark - R50, 8pm
Durango 95 South African Tour
The Vendetta Cartel

Durango 95

Thurs 26 Feb - Midrand - Sting - R50, 8pm
Durango 95 South African Tour
The Stevie Wonderfuls
Humphrey the Teacup
Gross Misconduct
The Vendetta Cartel
Durango 95

Fri 27 Feb - Boksburg - Trotters - R50, 8pm
Durango 95 South African Tour
The Stevie Wonderfuls
Humphrey the Teacup
Durango 95

Fri 27 Feb - Cape Town - The Whammy Bar - R15, 9pm
Tonight We Die
Emo Kid Josh

Sat 28 Feb - Durban - Burn - R30, 8pm
Durango 95 South African Tour
Sibling Rivalry
Durango 95

Sat 28 Feb - Rustenburg - Shingwetzi Pub - R20, 9pm
Wrench Productions Presents MINI B4
Emperium Abrubtus (Metal from Rustenburg)
The Stevie Wonderfuls (JHB)
Grossmiss Conduct (JHB)
The Terrorist (PTA)

Sat 28 Feb - Cate Town - Mercury Live - R60, 9pm
The African Allstars
The Rudimentals
Max Normal
Krushed & Sorted
340 ml
Shaun Duvet

Sat 28 Feb - Cape Town - Fish Hoek Middle School - R20, 6:30pm
FREEDOM(?) Productions presents WAR-TORN
SideArm 66
Pulled from 6ft
Trompi is Dood
End is Everthing



[It was truly an historic occasion last week when the genuinely-legendary Sharon Tandy walked onstage at the 100 Club in London to launch her newly-released compilation album, 'You've Gotta Believe it's... Sharon Tandy', with a return concert that many have waited years to see.

John Samson, the Digest's London correspondent, was at the concert and sent us a short report. But also present was another Digest contributor, Sean Stanley-Adams, who was equally moved to send us his version of the events. So, for all you Sharon Tandy fans out there, here is a "stereo" review of that gig!]

Sharon Tandy Live at the 100 Club 19 February 2004
By John Samson

The 100 Club is one of London's leading clubs and has played host to such luminaries as The White Stripes, Sinead O Connor, The Rolling Stones and SA's very own Hugh Masekela. To this list we can now add someone who has not appeared on stage for a few decades and yet still managed to draw a large crowd that was alive with excitement and drenched in expectation.

It was about 9:30 that the band struck up with a couple of driving soul numbers and were then joined by the diminutive Tandy to a rapturous reception. The smile on Sharon's face could have lit up a small town and did not once dim throughout the show. It was obvious to see that she was a ball of nervous excitement to such an extent that I was worried that she may be too hyped up to sing. However, my doubts were very quickly flattened as the big clear voice burst forth in an avalanche of gusto and unabashed joy at being set free.

In the 50-odd minutes that the show lasted, Sharon simply radiated enjoyment, absolutely loving the opportunity to be singing again. Her voice perhaps richer and fuller despite the years, she looked quite stunning in a fitting black number. The band were tight and played as much a part in the night's entertainment as the main attraction as they drove a path through the material on the recently-released 'You've Gotta Believe it's... Sharon Tandy'.

This was a quite special night, not just for the historic significance of the event but also for the sheer quality of the performance. For someone who hasn't performed live for possibly more years than I've been alive this gig just highlighted what a natural Sharon is and although the world has lost out on 40-odd years of this brilliant performer, those of us who were privileged enough to be there on Thursday night have a memory that will last us for another 40 years, but hopefully we don't have to wait that long for the next one. (JS)


By Sean Stanley-Adams

It was with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation that I found myself walking down the stairs into the 100 Club in Oxford Street. Anticipation because, after twenty years, I was about to see Sharon Tandy on stage again. Trepidation - would the years have been kind to both her and her voice?

The 100 Club is both unique in musical history terms and run-of-the-mill in that it could have been any dimly lit smoky club with dance floor and bar running alongside one of the side walls. I'd arrived shortly after the doors had opened and there were still vacant tables and chairs. Having grabbed a beer, I settled down to the left of the stage and cast my eyes about. The first thing to strike you (apart from the lurid red walls) was the profusion of posters and photographs on the wall. Upon closer examination, these pictures turned out to be of such famous names as Roy Harper, Howling Wolf and Stephane Grapelli, to name but a few.

A DJ took up his place on the stage and proceeded to pleasure us with a wide-ranging selection of '60s soul and R&B. When was the last time you saw a DJ working with jukebox seven singles? An hour quickly passed and the DJ announced that Sharon would be taking to the stage shortly at 9:30ish. By now, the crowd had swelled to some three hundred and the club was packed.

Dead on time, the backing band came up and, after a brief tune-up, launched into two numbers 'Hip Hugger' and 'Red Beans And Rice'. Then the moment was upon us.

Sharon left the crowd on the dance floor and joined the band. Without any messing about, she launched into 'Toe Hold', a song she'd originally recorded for the Stax label in 1967. Her nervousness at appearing on stage after so long a hiatus was apparent but this didn't stop her giving a fine rendition of this trademark number, especially with the trilling enunciation of the word "little". If you don't know what I mean by this, all I can suggest is that you buy the disc and see for yourself!

After this first song, she thanked one and all for coming through and supporting her at this gig. She also made a brief mention of the whole evening being a miracle. In this, she was referring to the fact that her recently-released compilation and this show were due entirely to an old fan, seeing a request in the SA Rock Digest from Ace Records who were looking for her, putting her and Ace together.

The evening moved along apace. Sharon then sang a wide-ranging selection from her reportoire - 'Daughter of The Sun' - a Julie Driscoll-ish number from 1968, 'Look And Find' - a song penned by Capetonian Mike Noble, 'Stay With Me' - a cover of the Walker Brothers popular hit, 'Things Get Better' - another Stax recording, 'Gotta Get Enough Time' - her last single for Atlantic, 'Liar' - a beautifully performed number and one of Sharon's favourites (unfortunately absent from her new disc), 'Perhaps Not Forever'- a song she covered for Pye in 1965, 'You'll Hurt Me' - a 1968 single, 'You Gotta Believe It' - a very soulful song she originally recorded in 1968 and finally 'Hold On' - a song she recorded with the Fleur De Lys in 1967.

Suddenly the set was over. The crowd went wild and demanded an encore. Sharon apologised and said that, while they hadn't rehearsed one, she and the band would reprise 'Toehold'. By this stage, it was apparent that the evening was beginning to take its toll on her. While the song might have lacked the vocal fluidity of her first rendition, it lacked nothing in the soul department and was made all the more special by the realisation that an extraordinary evening was moving to a close. After the song's conclusion, Sharon once again thanked everybody and rejoined her party in the crowd, disappearing from the stage as silently as she'd arrived.

I left the club soon afterwards and as I wound my way upstairs, I passed a sign outlining the history of the club that listed some of the musical luminaries who had appeared there over the years, amongst whom were listed Eric Clapton, The Who, The Kinks and many more. "And now add to that list - Sharon Tandy", I thought as the cold February night once again enveloped me.

Sean Stanley-Adams


By Carina Laubscher

It's a dark and stormy night.

Brixton Tower looms like a draconian digit on the horizon. Friday the 7th, Melville's Main Road after dark. On top of the Roxy's sign, a giant Venus Flytrap gorges its gullet on swarms of confused moths, snippets of old posters and maybe even the left wing of a bat.

We scurry over the pavement like rats. Through the door, get the invisible stamp on the wrist, then scrummage past the bar for a nifty outlook post close to the stage.

It's almost 22:30 by the time Prime Circle find their way through the bobbing bodies to the makeshift side-stage pit with guitars and stuff. No trace of stress, irritability or even just plain half-arsed inertia. Yes, it's become part of the job - doing one gig in a town not too close to Jozi, packing up, catching the second wind, driving back to Jozi, unpacking, setting up, soundcheck, and doing another even more heated gig just as the night takes the graveyard shift.

By the time Ross Learmonth picks up his guitar and looks up into the spotlights, the crowd breathes and moves like a giant psychedelic lounge carpet, gulping firewater and bellowing utterances of delight and elation. Dirk Boshoff smiles, fiddles with his beret and leans into the guitar, just as Gerhard Venter lifts the sticks and drums his way through my ribcage, both eardrums and my skull. Marco Gomes edges in with the bass guitar, dark frown and macho body stance echoing each chunky twang from the strings.

And so it starts. 'Always Reminded', over far too soon, and then 'Let Me Go'. Ross's voice is gritty and rich, yet pliant and deep brown like old leather. "Look around I'm surrounded by people, wondering where I went wrong ..." and the screams fly. "Hearing voices telling me Boy, you're just not that strong ... So let me go, let me see, let me find myself again ..."

It is quite obvious that a substantial mass of the patrons (young/ older/ sloshed/ sober/ vague) know most of the songs by heart. They keep on yelling through 'Girl' and '2nd Song', songs not featured on the CD 'Hello Crazy World'. Gerhard grimaces in the corner as he thumps and hammers the beat into a thick luscious thing that grabs you by the neck and makes the rest of your body curl and flail in various impossible directions.

Proximity to the lead guitar is instant gratification for ears, eyes and spirit. Dirk doesn't swagger across the stage like an oversexed peacock. He stands planted, feet apart, head bent, and he gets down to business. No meaningless riffs to plug gaping holes of mediocrity. Through 'Shed My Skin', 'Crazy World', right up to the heels of 'In My Head' and 'My Inspiration', the guitar demands attention. With subtle tenacity Dirk maintains the clarity and crisp deliverance of each heated peak, nifty corners and slick string-thrumming that rivet him right back into the heart of the song.

Ross kills a string on his guitar. Parlotones' lead man Kahn Morbee passes his machine over onto the stage. Roars of delight and appreciation abound.

Prime Circle does fluff with equal aplomb. Mighty Radio and other cynics might mention fluff, mainstream and commercial in the same sentence. This is the tune that gets played while you look for sweatpants in Truworths. The tune that swirls around in your brain for the best part of the day.

This is 'Hello', and around me the place explodes with the first plucky "ting-tinng-tingggs" from Ross' fingers. At the front of the stage it's a sweaty maelstrom of heated bodies, manic arms and hands outstretched to Gerhard and Marco, and Ross grins into the mike: "Release myself from holding back ..." It's like an anthem for euphoria. "I'm in a spin, I'm in a spin, I'm letting go, once again ..." You'd have to be in a coma not to get swept up in the vibe.


With their new material in mind, the professionalism and sheer commitment with which they handle their role as musos and artists, their exuberance and zany self-confidence on stage, the way each of these dudes give "tight" a new meaning with the execution of every song, it's a given.

Prime Circle won't be fluffed by inferiority. Their talent's in the blood.



The SA Rock Digest list of recommended gigs can now be found at:

If you cannot access then e-mail and we will e-mail the gig guide to you each week.

Please send all gig info to in a plain text e-mail.

SA Music Links And Resources



Links to the world of SA Rock - artists, gig guides, resources, record labels, recording studios, music trivia and more at:




Stephen Segerman, Digest co-editor, talks to Bruce Millar about SA music news, new releases, and charts from each week's Digest.




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Any thoughts, requests, problems, complaints, praise or interesting and relevant SA music news, CDs, or mp3s... please contact:

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BC - Brian Currin
SS - Stephen Segerman
JS - John Samson
KS - Kurt Shoemaker
CL - Carina Laubscher (Katvrou)
TL - Tertius Louw
SN - Shiloh Noone
DN - Daniel Neville
ML - Moonshine Lee
LR - Lindsay Ravenscroft
NN - Nadia Neophytou
WM - Wicked Mike
DM - David Marks
DS - Don Sweeto
MC - Michael Currin (Curmic)
JFB - Johnny From Boksburg

And others too numerous to mention, but gratefully acknowledged!

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