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… Read more →

Durbs by the sea – the Wild Youth story

Whilst a number of very influential bands, including the Radio Rats and Corporal Punishment would emerge from Springs, Durban in the late 1970s was undoubtedly the epicentre of the South African punk rock movement. Leading the charge was the band Wild Youth. Wild Youth evolved from the band Fourth Reich, which was formed by Michael Flek after he had visited… Read more →

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… Read more →

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.… Read more →

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… Read more →

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… Read more →

Kleinmond Koebaai – 12 November 2002

Thirteen years ago today, on the 12th November 2002, Ralph Rabie died. That day began in a mundane way, filled with domestic and shopping chores for Rabie and his partner, Demetrios Demetriou, but took a tragic turn when a passerby discovered an abandoned car, the keys still in the ignition, on an isolated road near the village of Kleinmond. Police… Read more →

Shifty Records Heritage Voëlvry Festival

The Shifty Records Heritage Voëlvry Festival took place on the 24th September 2015 at the Spier winery. It was a fantastic concert that featured a number of the artists from the Voëlvry tour. The Concert began with a performance by Chris Letcher and Matthew van der Want. It was great to see Gary Herselman perform some songs from his recent,… Read more →

5 examples of why Piekniek by Dingaan was so Controversial

In 1988 when Piekniek By Dingaan was first performed, South African society was closed and conservative. Music that did not meet the SABC’s standards would not make the radio playlists and the Government Censor had the power to ban any material, including music, which it felt was unacceptable. As a result, some music (perhaps understandably) fell foul of the censors.… Read more →