Lark + Taxi Violence + Plastics = BEAST


The photos I took of the SMOKE SWIG SWEAR album launch at Assembly are too shameful so instead here is a picture of the bear head guy who was standing in front of me.
The photos I took of the SMOKE SWIG SWEAR album launch at Assembly are too shamefully bad so instead here is a picture of the bear head guy who was standing in front of me.

BEAST is South Africa’s supergroup. They’re our The Traveling Wilburys or The Raconteurs, and they’re just as superI’ve been wanting to do this review since about 10 minutes after I first heard their album when it was released a few month ago – it’s really, really good.

So, charisma abounds with Inge Beckmann (Lark), Louis Nel and Rian Zietsman (Taxi Violence) and Sasha Righini (The Plastics) on drums. The Taxi Violence guys both play bass, so there’s no ‘regular’ guitar, which for most of us just means we want to describe the music as ‘dark’, but we’re not sure why. Continue reading “Lark + Taxi Violence + Plastics = BEAST”

‘I just want to be treated like an ordinary … legend’

I went to see Rodriguez live in Cape Town the other night, and it was totally worth the R420 I paid. Wait … 420 bucks!? Is that a Big Concerts joke I only just got?


Because of one thing and another, I never got to see any of Rodriguez’s previous concerts in South Africa. After watching the documentary I rued not seeing that first concert in Cape Town, which looked so incredible and heart-warming, although a friend insists the reality was very different to the celluloid; that Rodriguez was so intoxicated he could barely sing, and that the crowd were more confused and disappointed than the enraptured and awed they appeared on screen. Don’t know if that’s true or not.

This time around perhaps the concert was lacking in other ways, after all Rodriguez is 70 now – and quite an ‘old’ 70, when I think of my sprightly 83-year-old grandfather. But it was still one of the best musical experiences I’ve ever had. Just to hear those great lyrics live, and that voice, which really hasn’t lost much since 1970.

Continue reading “‘I just want to be treated like an ordinary … legend’”

The best place to watch the moon rise and the sun go down …

Everyone living in Cape Town knows that the best place to watch the full moon rise is Lion’s Head … but I reckon the lesser known Kloof Corner is even better.

The sun going down and the full moon coming up over Cape Town.

Continue reading “The best place to watch the moon rise and the sun go down …”

Failed flashmobs, gumballs and a Visit from the Goon Squad

Here’s how today’s #GumballSA debacle reminds me of an excellent novel I just read.

Today a scandal broke on Twitter. Again. This time, videos were circulated of people doing odd things at Cresta Shopping Centre in Johannesburg. At first people thought these were failed and embarrassing flash mobs. Then, a couple of hours later, some other people started tweeting links to their blogs with the hashtag #GumballSA … and the ugly truth was revealed.

Continue reading “Failed flashmobs, gumballs and a Visit from the Goon Squad”

The best live act in Cape Town

Review: Lark, Gong is Struck (2012)

Lark are one of South Africa’s greatest bands EVER. I really believe they deserve to be world famous; Inge Beckmann is a most awesome frontispiece[1], and their live act is the most powerful thing you’ll see. They released their fifth album, Gong is Struck, in July.

One of many crappy pics I took at the lauch with my phone. If you click on it, it will get a bit bigger.

Continue reading “The best live act in Cape Town”

Krap on the trains

Taking the train every day you see a lot of interesting things. Some of the graffiti is most interesting indeed. I spend a lot of time looking at it, smirking, and taking surreptitious photos, leading a lot of people to believe I am a creep. Who cares? I’m not the only one. Graffiti comes from the Italian word graffiato, which means ‘scratched’. The Afrikaans word for scratch is ‘krap’. The English word for what a lot of this graffiti is, is ‘crap’. It’s all nicely summed up in my first picture.

‘Julle ma se poeste. Waarvoor krap julle so op die f…ken trein, nou maak julle my ook krap. [indecipherable signature] STOP IT.’

Continue reading “Krap on the trains”

Before the Ninja

I’ll never forget seeing Waddy Jones perform in March 2009, near the Bart Simpson statue in Cape Town.

Memory … all alone in the moonlight (I can smile at the old days … I was beautiful then)

Continue reading “Before the Ninja”

Creepy statues on the Promenade

Simon and I took our American friend Kerry for a walk on the Seapoint Promenade recently. They talked big ideas and I played with my phone.

As a serious postcolonial theorist Kerry was horrified by how kids in this country play on simulation oxwagons. So of course I made her pose on one. One has to keep one’s sense of humour. Continue reading “Creepy statues on the Promenade”