Category Archives: The Chronicles

a log book of adventures

Frankly my dear, I don’t give a Ram

Well folks, it’s that time of the year again. Time to shiny those ruby slippers and head down to the best music festival in the country, and one of my most anticipated weekends of the year.

Now, I know some of you might be strangers to the wonders of Ramfest, so hopefully I can give you at least a smidgen of a taste of things to come.

I was also planning on providing all you Ramfest virgins with a bit of a guide on the essentials for surviving Ramfest, but Mr. Frost already took care of that amiably last year. As for the festival itself, yours truly wrote a love letter to hedonism that chronicles our adventures of last year.

So, what is left? Ah, c’mon…you should know that already … gees.

There has been some controversy leading up to Ramfest V, with quite a few people bitching and moaning about the line-up. Last year Pendulum headlined the festival, and thousands of screaming fans danced their little sunburnt asses off to one of my favourite groups in the world. This year, two international acts were announced:

Alkaline Trio & Funeral for a Friend.

Now, I have to admit I don’t really know Alkaline Trio, but based on opinions from my punk-orientated friends they are bound to put up a hell of a show. Funeral for a Friend, on the other hand, I am a big fan of. I used to listen to some of their tracks religiously a few years back, and having the opportunity to see them live seems slightly poetic, since their style helped shape my taste in music considerably.

Besides the international acts, there are tons of local acts that I am ecstatic to see, like: Die Fokken Antwoord, Desmond & the Tutu’s, Isochronous, Not My Dog (Ah, reminds me of the Barney Simon days) …and that’s just to name a few. I have to admit to being slightly disappointed that Lark won’t be performing,they have always been one of my highlights, but that just gives me the opportunity to give other artists a chance at stealing my adoration.

So, to the haters out there, I have this to say: Really?

If you don’t think you are going to go because you aren’t 100% happy with the line-up, that’s your decision. Me? Well, coming Ramfest weekend I will be right in front of the stage, shaking my fist in the air and celebrating what the country’s best alternative festival is all about: The music. Hos ja!

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Heads Up, Venue Owners in South Africa

Hi there, I play in a band, and I have a large, ugly bone to pick with venue owners in South Africa. Before I get started, let me clarify: this isn’t directed at any one venue owner in particular, but rather as a general warning to the state of the industry in SA – sparked by a number of incidents that I have heard of in the past. Okay, so lets get started.

  • First things first: if you want a DJ, hire a DJ. If you want a band, hire a band. If you want both, hire both; but don’t – for the love of God – hire a band and expect them to supply in-between set  ambience. That’s the venue’s issue. Do you hire a DJ and ask them to play in a band as well?  No. If you’re confused as to the difference between a band and a DJ, then you shouldn’t be running a venue in the first place. Go back to fishing.
  • Don’t try underpay us. We don’t care if the bar didn’t make enough money; that isn’t our problem. The bar is yours, the band is ours. If you hire a band at a fixed rate, be prepared to pay it. If you’re going to tell us afterwards that we are only getting half-pay, you are being completely unreasonable. If you tell us during our set, know that we will only play half a set.
  • Following from the previous point, if you are going to undercut us at the end of the night, we’d rather have a door deal, where we get paid according to money made from entrance charges. That way, if we don’t attract enough people to your venue, we don’t get paid. But don’t negotiate a set fee, and then tell us that there weren’t enough people attending. That’s not our problem.
  • Yes, playing music is a passion and a hobby, but for some/most of us it’s a job too. Don’t act like you’re doing us a favour by “letting” us play at your venue. We are like any other working professional; maybe we don’t have degrees or qualifications (some of us do) to prove it, but what we do requires dedication, hard work and, possibly the most tedious job in the world: dealing with you.
  • Don’t hire two acoustic guitarists if you’re expecting a trance party. It’s Tuesday night for God’s sake.
  • No matter how many times you tell us I don’t want to be unfair / I’m not using you guys / I’m not trying to be a bad guy, the bottom line is, if you are not upholding the initial agreement – YOU ARE BEING A BASTARD.
  • Contrary to popular belief, we are not stupid. We may not be rocket scientists but we can perform basic addition, multiplication, subtraction and division. Translation: we know if you’re undercutting us.
  • Don’t be skimp; we have expenses. We don’t just evaporate out of your venue when we’ve finished, only to apparate back a week later, all smiles and pansies. We carry large, heavy equipment, deal with advanced electronics and are kept awake until all hours of the night in an effort to entertain YOU and YOUR guests.

To the bands out there. Don’t be fools. Use a contract. A simple booking agreement contract will prevent these things from ever happening to you. Without one, you will be left enraged, powerless… and broke. If you want a booking agreement template and don’t know where to find one, you can download the template I use HERE. Go well, and thanks for listening.

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Some Synergy Sin

So we arrived at Synergy Live 2010 on day two of the festival – a fatal mistake for any live music festival goer. One has to take the necessary time to acclimatise and adjust to the surroundings at an event like this: Campsite here. Bathrooms there. Food here. Giant Frankenstein Monster blow-up there. We missed out on the advantages inherent in attending a festival from day one and as a result, had no idea what the f**k we were doing.

Synergy Live 2010

After staring stupidly out of the back seat of a car while Kyle coerced two gate attendants into giving us a media pass, we were directed towards – what we believed to be – our campsite. As it turns out, there’s a whole lot of wine farm at Boschendal Estate; the fact that we were lost was not only becoming increasingly obvious, it was also completely amazing, considering that there was an outdoor music festival somewhere in our immediate vicinity.

Synergy Live 2010

We eventually found our camping spot: a spacious, shaded area that was – at first, startling for a group of people who are used to the dry, thorny plateau of RAMfest. We set up the tent, and proceeded to get cracking on the booze. This was followed by a hurried drive down to the YourLMG Tent, where Heldervue were getting their jam on.

Synergy Live 2010

We caught the tale-end of their set – which was golden, as always – and headed to the bar. Next up was CT rockers, Fox Comet – who I had never seen before; I was well impressed. After a much needed meeting with the Captain, I took a look around the grounds a little to see the lay-of-the-land. Synergy was big. Big in the best kind of way. The three separate music stages were well positioned, each offering their own unique blend of South African music. We eventually made our way down to the main stage to see the Hogs’ set. Mind blown.

Synergy Live 2010

I’m the kind of festival goer that prefers to stand back and actually watch a band play, as apposed to being directly involved in a moshpit – or even moving my body in any way that is not necessary. I just like it that way. Needless to say, I didn’t actually watch a lot of the bands that played on Saturday as we spent most of our time investigating various attractions littered around the grounds. Wacky-waving-inflatable-arm-flailing-tube-man!

Synergy Live 2010

And then night time just happened. I think I experienced Saturday night in much the same way as everyone else: blinding lights. Spinning ride thing. Drink. Pizza. Drink. Walk around trying to find people. Smoke. Drink. Climb a tree. Fall. Drink. People in neon shirts on mushrooms. Shouting. And then Feeder, the headlining act. A band that is highly underrated. After playing songs that I had known for years – despite not knowing their origin, Feeder left the stage and the crowd dispersed. Oh, and the Nutella crêpes. Did I mention those?

Synergy Live 2010

We awoke the next morning to the sound of Tecla frantically calling: “Kyle! Kyooooooooole!”. What followed was a post-party chill-out session in the VIP campsite, where we listened to relaxed acoustic songs and complained at length about our hangovers. A perfect end to the weekend, accentuated by another round of crêpes courtesy of Jono. What a guy.

Synergy Live 2010

Until next year Synergy!

Synergy Live 2010

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Jesse Beth for FHM Models 2011

FHM Modelbook is an FHM social networking initiative catering specifically for aspiring models as well as models who are already relatively established within the South African modeling industry. Modelbook annually host a competition in which readers and web-users are encouraged to vote for their favourite model with the intent of getting them into the top 10 most popular category, after which they will enter a final voting phase. The competition will conclude at an exclusive FHM party event, sponsored by Tabasco, that will take place soon after voting closes on the 28th February 2011. Winners of the FHM Models 2011 competition will win a R20 000 cash prize, a professional FHM photoshoot and the reverence and respect of the extensive and influential FHM fanbase.

FHM Models 2011

My gorgeous woman, Jesse Beth, is taking part in FHM Models 2011 and I, after deep thought, have decided that my enthusiasm to see my girlfriend within the pages of the esteemed FHM – inside the glossy temple from which every major swimsuit model from SA was borne – far out-ways my inevitable onslaught of insecurities when I realise that every warm-blooded male in the country is going to be ogling  my semi-naked girlfriend. Consider this the ultimate display of national bro-mans’hip.

Jesse is signed to Trigger Modeling Agency in Cape Town and has been involved in a number of creative projects; from professional photoshoots to public service announcements. She recently made an appearance in the debut music video entitled ‘Evolve’ from Somerset West rockers, Heldervue.

I urge you to take a chance to vote for her. The reason why you should vote for her is twofold: 1. because she is dramastically (dramatically/drastically) beautiful and 2. because if you vote, you stand a chance to attend the exclusive FHM after party sponsored by Tabasco.

So how do you vote? There are two methods.

You can visit Jesse’s Modelbook profile and click the ‘please vote for me’ button located at the top right of the page. Alternatively you can SMS ‘MODEL 84’ to 34973 to submit a vote for Jesse. See you at the party?

FHM Models 2011

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The River Sessions

-Lourens de Jager

Hello, gracious reader! It feels as if ages have passed since last I’ve shared our chronicles with you. The summer months are fast approaching and spring is finally here, though my nipples still seem to be able to cut glass. I’m not cut out for the winter…

That said, a few weeks ago Phil “Grizzly” Joubert decided that it would be a good idea for a group of us to get away from it all for a weekend; and considering he owns a holiday home alongside the Breede River (which was currently unoccupied), we had the perfect location to road-trip to! It was still convincingly winter, but a riverside getaway seemed like a godsend. So we organised the trip (on very short notice) and all that was left to do was wait for the weekend…

The first group, comprising Phil, Nick Frost, Jesse Beth and Gavin (Jeff) decided to head through to Breede on the Thursday night already… consequently you can imagine how slowly my Friday dragged by after several texts from Nick about how much fun they were already having. Bah!

Finally, the Friday work day ended; I raced home after work, where Adele was already packed and waiting. We didn’t wait long before Dennis (Demon) Krige showed up and we could be on our way! Car packed and ready, we headed to pick up the final member of the ensemble, Julian Bach.
And so we set off on what we expected was going to be an epic weekend, car weighing a ton, high in spirits and with the music blasting.

I had never been to Breede before and therefore had no idea how to get there; luckily Julian had been there once or twice before and offered directions. Heading through the N2 the traffic wasn’t that bad surprisingly, and about two hours later we approached the turn-off to Malgas. And that was where things started to get a little hairy…

We were on the right road, but it was almost ten at night and it was pitch dark; driving down a dirt road nowhere near civilisation is slightly unnerving. We were also unsure as to how far we had to go… we only knew that we had to get to Malgas which was, apparently, dead ahead. Simple enough, right?
No. Not simple enough. In an cosmic twist of events, The Universe decided it would be hilarious to throw a mist, thicker than a brick wall, in our way. Were I to turn on my car’s brights, a white wall of fog obscured even the road directly in front of me. Luckily, we could see the way forward well enough with my lights on normal, but combined with the fact that it was a dirt road my max. speed was around 30 KM/h. And the longer we drove the more freaked out we got. At one point the mist seem to dance in front of the headlights and the road seemed to stretch on forever; and every direction we looked in was pitch black. We couldn’t see a single light or sign of civilization, and our slow progress was becoming admittedly frustrating. We all silently started picturing the events alike to films like The Mist and Close Encounters of the Third Kind… I was becoming increasingly concerned about potential hill-billies and other unspeakable horrors.

But after one and a half hours of driving we finally hit civilisation. Well, something similar… It took us about thirty seconds to drive though Malgas, and a few minutes later we were at the turn-off to Phil’s place. Naturally, we were ecstatic! We were received by the rest of the gang and it didn’t take us long to get a drink into our welcoming hands. It was well needed.

The rest of the night was a blur. At some point we went off in search of a “haunted” house… Alas, all we noticed was a haunted electricity pole that was shooting blood-red sparks out of its point. Not scary at all, but slightly unnerving when you’re standing in complete darkness. At some ungodly hour of the night we headed off to bed.

Adele, Dennis and I woke up first on Saturday; Dennis promptly grabbed his fishing pole and headed down to the jetty to get his fish on. Apparently is wasn’t his day though, and not too long after he gave up. I got busy making breakfast, and when everyone had woken up it was time for the boat to make its appearance on the water.

Julian decided he was feeling brave and opted to wakeboard first with Captain Phil at the helm. The water looked icy, and I can honestly say I did not envy, what Julian looked to be, so casually volunteering for.

The morning rushed by quickly with us racing up and down the river in the boat… This is when we started getting thirsty. Oh no… Phil knew of two pubs in the area; both accessable by boat. This sounded appealing, and so without further ado, we headed down to to the Bush Pub. Getting to the pub was a unique and slightly surreal experience. We traversed a few kilometres down-river to a solitary jetty amongst the reeds, and followed a narrow path that weaved its way uphill, leading right into another world.

Located in the middle of nowhere, the Bush Pub was truly amazing. You could explore its twists and turns in every direction, or just have a beer in the shade with your toes in the sand, looking out over the majestic Breede River. We might as well have been in deepest darkest Africa, and we couldn’t have cared less… Bliss.

An hour or so later we headed back to the house and another session of wakeboarding commenced. It wasn’t long before we wanted to explore again though, and we headed to a pub in Malgas; this time in cars. Smaller than the previous venue but just as picturesque, The Boat House Pub overlooked the river but at a much wider expanse, and you could clearly see into the distance in all directions. It was beautiful.

The locals of Malgas knew Phil well, so at the promise of a mini-gig they offered us the best compensation in the world… five huge, delicious pizzas, which, of course, were very well received by all present. An hour or two later we decided to head home again, where the party started from scratch… At some point Phil led Nick, Jess, Jeff and Julian on a terrific adventure to a mysterious abandoned airstrip which, to this day, we are still not sure existed. I’m not sure what happened after that…

The next morning we were up bright and early again, and after making breakfast we headed down to the river once more. It was my turn to brave the freezing cold Breede River.

Jeff and I strapped ourselves into some life-jackets and crawled onto the ski-tube, being very careful not to get wet. This turned out to be an exercise in futility, as Phil, unbeknownst to me, had an obligation to try and wrench me off of the tube and into the icy depths of the Breede River; it was an age-old tradition. I will admit, Jeff and I did admirably. We held on for our dear lives but, alas, it took about two minutes before we were soaking wet and with a mild case of hypothermia… but rushing with adrenalin. Eventually, what went up… came down.

I have never been that cold in my life, but it was worth it. Next time I will definitely brave the wake-board. Time sped on and eventually we had to start with a cleanup mission in the house. Unsurprisingly, it looked as if a bomb had hit it after the weekend with us there.

It was around this time that we decided to call it a weekend. We were tired, famished… and did I mention famished? As a last parting gift, Breede gave my car a flat tire, but this was soon rectified with a little optimism and luck. Finally we headed home for some much needed sleep. What a weekend. Thanks to Phil Grizzle for the invite and the hospitality!

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WØLFÅLLEY Airs Off

If you live in or around the Stellenbosch/Somerset West/Cape Town vicinity, you may have heard hushed whispers of late, regarding a certain WØLFÅLLEY entity. Here’s the deal.

WØLFÅLLEY are a Cape Town based lifestyle brand that aim to showcase popular, yet under-exposed elements of South African youth culture via the web and various other mediums. Their mission is to conceptualize and host unique events and artistic productions showcasing unique aspects of each form (sport, art, music etc).

Which brings me to my next point and thus, the crux of this article:

WØlfÅLLEY

This Saturday (tomorrow – 11th September) hordes will be making their way to Strand beach in- you guessed it- Strand, to witness a sporting event, the likes of which this town has never seen.

Surfers participating in the event will take part in two-man head-2-head heats. They will be towed into waves and will be judged on their single biggest/best/most stylish move attempted in each heat. The highest single score proceeds to the next round, where it all starts again. For this event only strapless surfboards will be allowed for use to compete in the event. Nationally, this will be the first event of its kind.

Not only that, the after party will be held at Die Mystic Boer in Stellies featuring up-and-coming local artists LA VI, Somerset West heroes, The Black Market Riots andDrum & Bass acts Fletcher and Psydstep.

What better way could you ever hope to spend your Saturday? See you there!

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Love / Magic

-Lourens Loki Corleone

It’s been too long, faithful readers! Winter has come and- well, it’s still here, so I’m not quite sure where I was going with that. Oh yes! Time.

I’m sure many of you are still grieving over the Eiffel Tower, but make no mistake, the kinship and spirit of adventure that we all held dear is still very much alive. The Summer Season is heading towards us at a rapid pace. You ain’t seen nothing yet!

So, yes… There are many activities (so many activities) planned but while we’ve all been in a hibernation things have started to thaw, and what better way to shake of the chill than a fantastic night at Madame Zingara’s! This year it was time for the Love Magic Tour. I booked two tickets about a month ago for myself and Adele Babyzef Corleone as it was a big date for us. When the day finally came we couldn’t have been more excited.

Our friend and pseudo-sibling Roxy had confessed to us how thoroughly she had enjoyed it and so, naturally, we took her word for it. (I hope she doesn’t mind me stealing a few of her photos, to mix in with a few of ours!)

We arrived at Victoria around 6PM on the night of the show – Victoria being one of the last remaining mirror tents in the world, of course… and what a sight to behold! Built around Victoria was a makeshift shanty-town, complete with a shebeen where we promptly grabbed a drink. It was cold, but the shelter and heating was plentiful. Colourful characters were crawling out of the woodwork, but we didn’t know quite what we were in for until the doors of the tent were parted at 7PM.

Within lay an entirely different world…

Upon walking inside we were greeted by Dame Devina Brown, a woman with a slight testosterone problem and an Adam’s Apple. We were lucky enough to be seated at number 69 (giggidy) right next to the stage. Our table number was announced loudly and with much enthusiasm.

I’m not too sure how to describe the next few hours; what I can say is that I had an incredible night, not just because of the amazing show or the amazing food, but because of the beautiful company I was keeping! I was looking swanky if I do say so myself, so all was good in the world.

Food-wise, everything was fantastic. All five courses (I know right?) were meticulously planned and thought out; most of them I can’t even pronounce. That aside, let’s get to the actual performance aspects of the night.

Half the talent were Proudly South African, while some of the more extravagant performances were a couple of roller-skaters from Moscow (most likely the most amazing performance of the night), muscle-bound acrobats from the Ukraine, three asian contortionists and a hoola-hoop girl with pink hair from Las Vegas. The local acts included a magician and his “drunken” little-person sidekick (who was hilarious), two Cape Town-based acrobats (my favourite performance), and three big African Mamas with gigantic voices, and gigantic personalities.

Madam Zingara’s is a something best experienced first-hand, but hopefully some of the pictures’ll give you a bit of an idea… the word indescribable comes swiftly to mind. The show had ended, but the fun wasn’t nearly over. The stage was opened and people took this as an invite to begin dancing the night away.

Did we dance? Hell yeah, we did.

Unfortunately I’ve come to the end of my brief summary of our Madame Zingara experience and I can’t wait for the next one. If you get the opportunity to go you’d be a fool to turn it down.
Also a big thank you to Ikamva Labantu, a Cape Town-based NPO, as a percentage of the proceeds go to them to build a centre for the under-privileged.

Oh, one more thing, completely unrelated: Our good friend Tecla Ciolfi’s blog “Texx & The Cityhas been nominated for the “Best South African Music Blog” award, so pop by OVER HERE and add your vote.

Until next time… stay classy, Cape Town.

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