Koos – Not Kombuis

Koos was a very influential band whose music was truly ‘alternative’ although the band hated that label. A previous post about Koos has appeared on this blog you can read it here Thanks to Donald Ferguson, who took many photographs of the Voëlvry and other bands, some new photos of Koos have emerged. This post adds to the previous one…

Corporal Punishment

A new documentary about the Radio Rats was screened at the 2016 Durban film festival. This got me thinking about the impact that Radio Rats had on the musicians and bands who were part of the Voëlvry tour. In 1978, the Radio Rats, who had signed a contract with Jo’burg Records, booked a day in a studio to record a…

Boetie Gaan Border Toe-Weeping & other songs inspired by the SADF

In the 1980s South Africa seemed to be poised on a knife edge. Unrest erupted in black townships and PW Botha’s government was forced to broaden the activities of the South African Defence Force (SADF) to include maintaining order in the townships as well as to protecting the country’s borders. Thousands of young, white men were conscripted into the army…

Ingrid Jonker – A Tribute

Ingrid Jonker was only 31 years old when she committed suicide by walking into the cold Atlantic Ocean on the 19th July 1965. Remarkably, 29 years later Nelson Mandela would read from her poem ‘The child’ at the sitting of the first South African democratic parliament. Born in Douglas in 1933, Jonker started writing poetry at the age of six…

A Leopard does not change its spots.

The lack of female musicians on the Voëlvry tour was pointed out by Jennifer Ferguson, who infamously said “The Voëlvry tour is all about big cock rock”. Apart from the supremely talented Tonia Selley who provided backing vocals, there were no other female performers on the tour. In personal correspondence, journalist Christi van der Westhuizen has said that whilst the…

You are being monitored – Khaki Monitor

Tonia Selley , Wilhelm Saayman,  Peni Flascas,  Sheree Harrison and Steven Howells made up the band Khaki Monitor, whose song, “Warrelwind” was included on the Voëlvry compilation album. Prior to joining Khaki Monitor in 1988, Steve Howells had been in the band Asylum Kids who enjoyed a relatively brief but blistering run as one of South Africa’s premier hard rock bands.…

I fokof to South Africa

I had a very memorable trip to South Africa in December/January. The primary reason for my visit was to do research for the Johannes Kerkorrel biography. The first archive that I visited was The Barn Theatre in Mossel Bay to see fokofpolisiekar. The tagline of this website is “from sit dit af to fokof” and that is because I see…

Hope I die before I get old

A number of the musicians that were active around the Voëlvry scene in the 1980s died before their time. Three notable examples that spring to mind are Johannes Kerkorrel, James Phillips and Neil Goedhals, but there are more. In this post I would like to share the results of some studies done by Prof Dianna Kenny of Sydney University. The…