Johannes Kerkorrel - Tien Jaar Later

Tien Jaar Later

1998, Gallo, GWVCD 4

Johannes Kerkorrel


  1. Sit Dit Af
  2. Hillbrow
  3. BMW
  4. Halala Afrika
  5. Somer
  6. Revolusie
  7. Daar Is Geen
  8. Awuwa
  9. River Of Love
  10. Europhobia
  11. Onder In My Whiskeyglas
  12. Al LÍ Die Berge Nog So Blou
  13. River Of Love (Remix)
  14. Wat 'N Vriend Het Ons In PW
  15. Almal Moet Gerook Raak


  • Andy Silver
  • Christa Steyn
  • Gerhand Niemand
  • Dennis Lalouette
  • Mauritz Lotz
  • Rob Watson
  • Graham Curry
  • Sergio Zampolli
  • Amarille Brink
  • Paul Bagshaw
  • Susan Mouton
  • Laurie Howe
  • Jannie Du Toit


The Church Organ has fallen silent and the congregation sits silently in the pews each one coping with the shock to the senses as the silence expands into the space that had once been filled with music. The more powerful the organ piece, the greater is the shock and adjustment required.

Ralph Rabie certainly gave us some powerful music. Under the name of Johannes Kerkorrel, he came to prominence alongside Koos Kombuis and James Phillips with the VoŽlvry tour, a tour that broke the shackles that had been keeping Afrikaans music clear of the rock scene and challenged the apartheid government. Three songs from Kerkorrel's seminal debut 'Eet Kreef' can be found here as well as two live tracks from the tour which later appeared on the CD 'VoŽlvry Die Toer'.

'Sit Dit Af' is a decidedly anti PW (Botha) song as is the live 'Wat 'n Vriend Het Ons In PW'. The former in particular highlighted not only JK's lyrical ability but also his wonderful keyboard playing. Alongside this is the wonderful 'BMW' which attacks the upper class attitude with possibly the most sardonic vocals ever committed to CD. But it is his paean to Jo'burg's one time jol centre that outshines almost all else on the CD. 'Hillbrow' is an incredibly moving and descriptive piece that anyone who ever spent any time in the shadow of the Hillbrow Tower in the 80's will immediately relate to. Its haunting sound compliments perfectly the words that will invoke many a memory (both good and bad) as all the important landmarks are name checked.

After VoŽlvry, Kerkorrel seemed to move in a different direction to his fellow VoŽlvryers. His music became gentler and less political. The beautiful 'Halala Afrika' and the melancholic 'Somer' show a very different side to his song writing. These two songs in particular massage a weary spirit while his version of Koos Kombuis' 'Onder In My Whiskeyglas' on the other hand is packed with the pains of life.

These examples alongside his version of the traditional 'Al LÍ Die Berge Nog So Blou' show that he was a very talented songwriter and musician. 'Tien Jaar Later' gives a good insight into the varied career of Kerkorrel. From the Rock 'n Roll of 'Sit Dit Af' through to the dance remix of 'River of Love' this retrospective CD covers all the facets of the man.

As the congregation files silently out of the Church, the question 'Why?' hangs heavily in the air. It's unlikely that we will be able to answer this, so let's listen to this CD and not look for answers here, but rather celebrate the Church Organ in full flow. And while the tears flow perhaps for a while you can Gee gee gee, gee gee gee, gee jou hart vir Kerkorrel, sy familie, sy vriende en al sy fans. R.I.P. Ralph, stuur groete aan James.

-- John Samson, 18 November 2002

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All info supplied by John Samson, November 2002

South Africa's Rock Legends
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