Allow me to be honest: it was one of those weeks. The RCB worked, and man… did we work. It’s an emotional experience collaborating in music and putting yourself out there. All of us in the RCB feel it. The highs of the music business are exceptionally high, and the lows are laden with the smell of sulphur.
However, I am constantly amazed at who comes to watch us perform.
Rod and Karen Nichols are the owners of a venue which has recently started up in Westville, and they’ve called it Open Strings. Once a month Rod and Karen open their home and host a major South African act performing an acoustic set. On the bill thus far has been Farryl Purkiss, John Ellis, Syd Kitchen and Nibs van der Spuy. Continue reading Open Strings in Westville
The braai. A transcendent feature of South African culture, which unites black, white, coloured, Indian and politicians. Yes, politicians are a race all on their own.
If the world were to end tomorrow, I would have a braai today and invite everyone I knew. Okay, maybe not everyone. But the point is that a braai is one of those things that everyone could come along to if they wanted to. It’s the one thing that doesn’t exclude anyone. Desmond Tutu was on to a good thing when the national holiday in South Africa – Day of Reconciliation – was branded colloquially as “Braai Day” by the former Archbishop.
Now I know what you’re thinking, and you’re wrong. This is not a lyrical derivative of Wonderful Tonight, although I sometimes wonder if those kind of songs just lie dormant in our sub-conscience and make their way to the surface in subtle ways. As the band tells me, everything we listen to influences the music we create, some of it is just more dominant.
It all started while waiting in an aisle to pay for the groceries. You know those magazines… the ones with Photoshopped six packs? Well, I bought one. I dug deep into my resolve and my wallet and fished out R35,95 for this month’s Men’s Health edition. This particular edition came with a mini booklet called “Abs for Life” – complete with workouts, diet plan and info on how to get the mid-section you always dreamed of.
This song was the first one penned for the new album, about four years ago. It was one of those songs which very quickly had a structure, but developed slowly lyrically… so much so that it was only completed last year.
This was a song which was birthed out of the music. The songwriting process is a strange one, because there’s never any true way of knowing when and where inspiration will come from. I’ve resolved to follow Bob Dylan’s advice and make a conscientious effort to hang around the ink well.
Two years ago, I attended a small media conference with a German journalist who came to South Africa to enlighten South Africans as to what to expect from Fifa bringing the World Cup to Africa. He was talking about his newspaper’s experience during the same tournament hosted in Germany in 2006.
It was basically a five-week party, he said. Life carried on afterwards. There was no major economic boom that was predicted… all that happened is Fifa walked away with all the loot.
Follow the money, he said. Those are the stories that will sell your newspapers. Expose Fifa for who they really are.