Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Black Keys - Things Ain't Like They Used To Be

Blue Bulls player Bees Roux granted R100 000 Bail

The South African sporting world has been shocked by the recent court case involving Blue Bulls rugby player Bees Roux and the murder of Ntshimane Johannes Mohale. According to sources, Bees Roux allegedly beat Mohale to death after he pulled Bees over for driving under the influence of alcohol. Bees has since been granted R100 000 Bail and a court date has been set for October 15th. A clear motive for the brutal assault is still unclear.

Photo by Cornel Van Heerd, Beeld
There is till a dark cloud over the happenings in the early hours of that fateful Friday morning in Hatfield, Pretoria. Mohale allegedly told his colleagues that he would drive Roux home as he was drunk, it is still unclear why Bees was not arrested on the spot for drunken driving.

It is also unclear why Mohale's colleagues did not follow the pair to Bees's home. Mohale was found lying on a street in Hatfield, Pretoria close to where Bees was being held.

It was reported that Bees's credit card was used in the early hours of the morning at a Mc Donalds fast food restaurant while the Blue Bulls player was in police custody.

The state made it clear that Bees earned R850 000 per year and that he would plea "Not Guilty" to the charges of Murder and Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol against him.

Bees was granted R100 000 Bail and was quoted as saying "I am not a flight risk" and "I don't want to live like a fugitive".

Bees has traveled Ireland, France and Australia to play rugby. It is also reported that Bees has a bank account in France containing 5000 Euro's as he played rugby there for 3 months 

Emotions ran high during the first court hearing. Mohale's brother Richard Taukobong called out to Roux "You fucking Dog" as he was led to the dock.

The magistrate hope that the time leading up to the trial will allow for some of the mysteries in the case to be answered.


Monday, August 30, 2010

"If only the street lights could talk". A Bastards story of Joburg Burning 4

The streets of Melville, Johannesburg are stained from the years and years of partying. If the street lights could talk they would tell stories of murder, love, theft, lies and drunken debauchery.However, the streets have lost their glow, as young whippersnappers no longer congregate on the roads of Melville. Melville has had its time in the lime light and now newer, cleaner and cooler area's draw the attention of the young adults of Johannesburg who want to make mistakes and dance the night away.

Southern Pulse is the conglomerate of the South African Music Industry. It's reach as a booking agency has no limit in South Africa. They are the Fat Cats of the local Music Scene. Southern Pulse has attempted to resurrect the youth's interest in Melville with its "Joburg Burning" Gig. Joburg Burning takes over the streets of Melville and turns them into a one night festival that takes place close to your own home. The somewhat pricey cover charge includes free access to private taxi's that run to and from all the venues.

Now with its 4th installment, Joburg Burning has gone from strength to strength. The organizers have thus decided to capitalize on the success of the event and extend it two take place on the Friday and Saturday. However, there was a lesson to be learnt from this as we should all know that "Greed messes things up". The idea of splitting your own crowd attendance makes no sense to me. If attendance was at 25 000 yes, then it would make sense, but when you are pulling around 2000 people why would you want to split the humble number. But alas, I am not a events coordinator and what would I know.

"The music students of Press Ok provided a professional and Sexy example of South African Music"

Regardless of my doubts toward the events potential success, I made my way to the streets of Melville for a bit of nostalgia and hopefully a little bit of takkie squeaking. Upon arrival we made our way to Cool Runnings Melville to Catch Columbus. These new comers to the Joburg scene have been making waves and I felt my presence at their show was needed. Their tight performance got the small crowd dancing and screaming. We then assembled to watch Press Ok. If these guys keep their heads down and avoid the distractions that are so common in the South African Music scene they will go far, very far actually. The music students of Press Ok provided a professional and Sexy example of South African Music. Mike Wright the drummer of Press Ok's hair cut left me feeling insecure about my future.

"The Cokestrokes played a mature and tight set and proved that their time under the radar was not spent loafing and losing interest"               
                                                                                    Photo by Nico Van Loggerenburg

We were then left with 2 hours to burn as the line up provided very little excitement between 8 and 10. I guess this is what happens when you stretch your resources out paper thin. We decided to catch ShortStraw for a bit of comical relief. It seems that Roxys was the only venue with a decent crowd the entire night. After a few songs we made the some what far skip to Cool Runnings Victory Park to Watch The Cokestrokes first gig in what seems like years. Cool Runnings Victory Park is quite out the way but its services were only called upon on short notice as Back2Basix was closed down a week before the event and left the organizers with a massive headache. The Cokestrokes played a mature and tight set and proved that their time under the radar was not spent loafing and losing interest. One of the best performances of the entire night for sure.

"I was particularly blown away by the guitar prowess of Jaco Mans"

The night was now coming to an end and the best was definitely saved for last. We quickly crammed and overloaded the Taxi outside Cool Runnings and made our way back to Roxys. Police patrols were no where to be seen and multiple laws were bent and cracked as we made our way back to Melville, our understanding driver did not say a word as he could have easily made a fuss about what was happening around him. We arrived at Roxys and within minutes we were treated to the best show of the night. Tidal Waves played a professional and original set. Original Music for Original People I guess. I was particularly blown away by the guitar prowess of Jaco Mans. He busted out lick's that would make some of the most accomplished guitar players shiver. Their set was impeccable.

"These Mozambican exports are definitely one of the bests bands to ever come out of Africa"

We ducked of to Jozi G-spot (old Rock Bar) to catch a few songs of Wrestlerish and to have a beer while 340ML set up. Wrestlerish is one of the best bands to come out of South Africa over the past few years and they did not disappoint. The streets were now crawling with drunken music fans and Melville inhabitants. I must say that it is not the safest place in the world as multiple cases of theft were reported over the two nights. 340ML took to the stage at Roxy as the final act of the night. They are one of my favorites and they did not disappoint. These Mozambican exports are definitely one of the bests bands to ever come out of Africa. The night drew to an end and after a bit of logistical fuck ups we managed to find our way home. Joburg Burning wasn't that bad, it could have been a whole lot better thou 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Getting Fit Boet

My entire life I have laughed at those fools running or cycling on the road. On many an occasion I have used them as an opportunity to brush up on my pellet gun skills. I never understood why they chose to run on the streets, I mean that is what cars are for... right?

"I must join this group of badly dressed, weird looking street stalkers and start jogging"

But as I start to age and the appeal of assaulting joggers on the street fades away, I find myself slowly starting to turn into what I hated most. I have recently decided that I must join this group of badly dressed, weird looking street stalkers and start jogging. It is the appropriate time to jump on the fitness bandwagon I must say, as winter is slowly being conquered by the warm winds of spring.

I just fear that I might not fit into this group of fitness junkies. I have recently been taking it to the streets in an effort to implement my wish to get fit. On my second adventure out I encountered another jogger. This guy has obviously been klapping the streets for a while, as he has cool lumo-green running shoes and a headband with the colors of the rainbow. I decided to acknowledge his presence with a friendly wave. However, this seems to be an outright insult in the jogging community as he quickly replied with a "Fuck You" as he continued in the opposite direction.

"I will buy cooler shoes them him, maybe pink and yellow ones"

It was because of the events of today that I have decided to make this guy my running arch enemy. I will sabotage and ruin his days of jogging by becoming the coolest jogger on the block. Soon, I will steal his title and with it his identity. I will buy cooler shoes them him, maybe pink and yellow ones. My rainbow flag will cover not only my headband but my pants, shirt and socks. If things go well I might hire a car to follow myself around blasting 80's one hit wonders like "Here I go again" by Whitesnake or "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor. But for now my Shox Speaker will have to suffice. This unnamed jogger will regret the day he turned down my friendly gesture. I will become the street king, all the hot jogging chicks will talk of the way I conquered the roads of Weltevreden Park

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Don't Dance, No. Don't give it away

Don't listen to what it has to say
  Don't dance, or sit, nor runaway
Don't become of their fun, your heart's to cold son

Lift Lift, Lift it away
    Lift Lift, shift
I'm not going to stay

Don't dance, Don't dance, don't you dare sing
        No No No,I'm not going to stay
Don't dance, Don't dance, your slowly giving it away

I don't wanna see what happens next
  I don't wanna be your second best
        I don't, I won't, Don't

Friday, August 20, 2010

Taking it to the streets

If you live in South Africa you will be aware of the Public Servants strike taking place all over the country. These masses of unhappy workers have resorted to acts of public violence and discontent with their salaries and working conditions.

The demonstrating and rioting Public Servants have set out to cause havoc, attempting to block off the N1 North  and N1 South highways. (basically attempting to Block access to and from Gauteng and further affecting the financial sector of Gauteng). However, the police stopped this attempt dead in its tracks as they did not even allow protesters to come close to the highway off-ramps. This is one of the efforts of the police that was successful in curbing the efforts of the unhappy protesters

Public Servants have gone as far as neglecting their oaths taken in the name of their profession. Nurses and doctors have ignored patients in need, often just sending them home regardless of the severity of their illness or wounds. Protesters have stormed hospitals and have harassed patients. Police efforts have been overwhelmed by the sheer size of the protesting mobs. It has been estimated that over 1 million protesters took to the streets this week to show their discontent towards the poor renumeration that they receive.

The education system has been hit hard by the striking Public Servants. Schools have to be closed as mobs have been storming schools and harassing teachers and students. In one incident, a Molotov Cocktail was thrown over a school wall into the grounds of the school. Non protesting teachers either refuse to come to work as they fear for their safety or they use the time to catch up on work and excess preparation.

The Mobs are protesting against their salary increase this year and are asking for a higher salary increase and a R1000 housing allowance. The protesters have every right to express their discontent with their salary increase but the methods that are being used have to be questioned. Violence and harassment along with attempts to interfere with the productivity of the state are not ways to get on he good side of the government officials. Many of the protesters have lost their jobs and even ended up in jail.

There is another side to the story as these Public Servants are often being under paid and struggle to support their families. My mother is a school teacher at a Government Primary School and she does not earn close to enough money to support a family, if her circumstances were different she would be in serious financial trouble. It is because of this that I respect the requests of the protesters, but the way that they have conducted these demonstrations is despicable.

As South African's we are used to protests and they seem to happen around the same time every year. However, the severity and magnitude of these protests seems to increase with every year. If you wish to read more follow the link to Nickolaus Bauer's Closet Capitalist Blog     

Monday, August 16, 2010

Oppikoppi Sexy. Crooked. Teeth Festival: Part 3

I must say that I was happy when I awoke on Sunday morning. I felt quite sprightly considering that I was at a music festival and I could fill a shot glass with the amount of sand in my nose. I felt that Sunday's line-up was by far the best of the entire festival, I had enjoyed the past two days but secretly I had been holding out for the final day.

Anyone who has been to a festival will know that on the final day you develop a routine that has been determined by the foolish errors you have made over the past few days. Sneaky thorn bushes are no longer a problem as your skin has now hardened to a nice leathery texture and your eyes have developed a extra layer of skin to protect themselves from the dust and debris. I decided I would take my newly evolved body to the shower as I could laugh at all the lesser beings who had not adapted to their environment. 

Upon arrival I saw a kilometer long line leading to the showers and nearly turned back. However, after closer inspection I realized that it was the girls showers that had a kilometer long line. I walked straight past the very miserable looking girls holding onto my toilet paper, towel and soap. I joined the 5 long line and within 5 minutes I was enjoying an icy cold shower. 

To my horror I discovered that my new hardened skin was actually a mixture of brandy, wine and sand and it was washing off, leaving my epidermis exposed to the harsh world that is Oppikoppi. My newly grown eye protectors were actually transparent sweet papers that had become stuck to my eye balls and had since washed off, taking a thin layer of eye skin with them. I left the shower disappointed that I was not a superior human being and had not evolved over the past two days. I sat on the toilet and shed a little tear.

I returned to my tent and kept my loss to myself. By now most people were stirring and plans of breakfast were in full effect. We returned to the entertainment area and filled our bellies with the disgusting yet good Breakfast Schwarma. The day's line up was about to begin and we were all ready. Hopefully for the best day yet.

We spent the whole of Sunday walking around and enjoying all the bands on show. Fire Through The Window entertained the crowd at the FHM Most Amazing Myn stage. Their music kept making me feel that I was in a Shrek movie and I kept thinking I saw a donkey in the corner of my eye. I must admit that they are good, I am just a dick. 

I will now give my best performance award of the day award to Wrestlerish. These guys deserve all the attention they are receiving and are likely to go a lot further. Werner Olckers's Voice is pristine and when joined by Richard Brokensha (Isochronous vocalist/guitarist/future South African great) for a duet, the vocal pair managed to make a lot of girls become quite hot and bothered. 

Unfortunately, the day went down hill from here. The Valiant Swart Tribute show made no sense to me and I am still unable to correctly explain it to anyone. We returned home for a final top up of drinks and prepared ourselves for the final chapter in our Oppikoppi experience. 

We were greeted with the worst performance of Oppikoppi upon our arrival back at the entertainment area. Die Heuwels Fantasties pulled a massive crowd and had made a huge impact upon the South African scene over the past year or two. However their performance removed any respect I had for them. The Vocalist guy sang out of tune for about 97% of the set(granted that it was obvious his voice was hoarse from the start of the set) and the band played slightly out of time. It was likely that these guys either had their drinks spiked or had little concern about their prime slot on the James Philips stage. We quickly moved away and awaited the start of Blk Jks. Unfortunately we were also let down by the famous South African exports who had moments of brilliance but most of the time seemed loose and a little off the ball.

Billy Talent was the main headliner of the festival and captured the attention of the entire festival. They played a tight set and their World wide fame was displayed for everyone to see. I however found myself annoyed by the vocalists voice and was reminded why I never really took notice of these Canadian rockers. They were good, I am just a dick. By now all interest in live music was lost, we returned to our campsite and for the first time of the entire festival did not get lost on the way home. We saw off the final evening with a pathetic fire and discussions of the weekends mishaps and good times. We payed little attention to Jack Parow blasting from the entertainment area, the loud reception he was receiving from the crowd reflected the brilliant year he has achieved.

The following morning allowed us to display the final festival skill we had acquired over the years. The art of packing up all your shit in 5 minutes and getting the fuck out of there, is a skill that I am proud of. We managed to leave Oppikoppi while some of the stragglers were still trying to find their campsites after the final night of partying. The Drive home was subdued and peaceful. 

I am still wearing my Oppikoppi bracelet and I wonder if the organizers will give me a discount if I can provide it when I buy my ticket next year. I love Oppikoppi, even if I can only manage to tolerate it for a maximum of 3 days.         


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Oppikoppi Sexy. Crooked. Teeth Festival: Part 2

Waking up in a cheaply built and cheaply sold tent has a few guaranteed results. During the night you will be cold, often freezing regardless of the quality of your sleeping blanket. In the early morning you are likely to be first awake as budget tents have no light protection and the first rays of sun will be magnified onto your head. However, this is no problem as most of my fellow campers were either rising from their tents as they too had not spent a fortune on their two sleeper, or they were still retuning from the entertainment area.

Early Saturday morning consisted of two things, Firstly every male talked about the ever present feeling of needing to visit the toilets. Secondly, we all sat around drinking Chris's coffee and discussing what bands we should witness in the coming hours.

Once the hangovers settled we all set off to get some breakfast. Most of us settled on a breakfast Schwarma. I must add that the owners of these food stalls must have made a small fortune during the course of the event, namely the Burger Express and The Schwarma Stall. These food stalls had people lined up the entire weekend regardless of the time, at R30 a burger or Schwarma, you can do the maths. After eating our breakfast that would make any vegetarian faint, we hung around for a bit, speaking to people and comparing stories of the night's adventures. We soon returned to base camp to prep ourselves for the day's events.

On our return home we swore to make note of land marks, so that returning home during the night might be slightly easier. This might have worked, if we had not gotten lost on the way home. We managed to zig-zag across the Oppikoppi farm for at least an hour before finding base camp by accident. The past night's hooligans began to take their toll as many individuals took mid day naps. Others decided to start midday with a beer.

By 3:30 everyone was itching to get back to the entertainment area as the day's line-up started to become interesting. Individuals stock pilled alcohol in water bottles and what ever would contain liquid. Oppikoppi has made the clever rule that does not allow anyone to bring glass or tins into the entertainment area. This ensure's that no one has the unfortunate problem of a broken glass protruding from their shin.

Pestroy took the stage at 4:30ish and proceeded to rip up the FHM Most Amazing Myn Stage. Ricki from Facing the Gallows filled in on Bass Guitar as Shane, Pestroy's full time Bassist has a broken hand. The set was tight and full of energy. But that is something you expect from Pestroy.

We sat around while Radio Kalahari Orkes entertained the crowd on the James Phillips Mane stage. At 7:30ish Facing the Gallows were set to take the stage and I had never seen the "Thrashcore" metal band on a festival stage before and I had a slight inclination that they might put on a brutal show. I was blown away by these 4 guys from Johannesburg. They beat the crowd with sounds that were reminiscent of a medieval massacre. Facing the Gallows is not everyone's cup of tea I must add. I normally would shy away from such hardcore metal, but their show at Oppikoppi was one of the best of the entire festival.

The line-up for the rest of the night did not excite any of my fellow camp mates. We hung around for a while until most decided that they should return to their tents and beds. I decided that this was the time for a dreaded visit to the Toilets. I made my way to the hundreds of Port-a-Pottys just outside the entertainment area. Luckily enough for me toilet paper was rife is this region and I escaped having to sacrifice one of my socks to this cause. After nearly throwing up multiple times I found my toilet of choice.

I now made my way home to the camp site and within two corners I was lost, this time without a light and on my own. I stumbled along the maze that had now become exactly the same on each road. The festival was a complete sell out for the first time in its history. This meant that every road was at full capacity and made land marks unidentifiable. I walked around for the longest period yet and only once I found a group of people wearing dork lights did I get correct directions. I saw out the evening speaking crap with my friends and drinking beers.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Oppikoppi Sexy. Crooked. Teeth Festival: Part 1

My Friday started in the usual manner that it normally does, a Sociology 3B lecture. However, this time I was more distracted then usual, I was due to depart to South Africa's number one music festival Oppikoppi and I was focused on making sure that I was all kitted out for a weekend that would include copious amounts of dust, booze and good times. With all music festivals nothing ever goes completely according to plan and while I was still in my lecture barely being able to concentrate, I received a message informing me that I might have to find a last minute lift, due to the fact that my driver might have last minute work . After a bit of holding thumbs and asking around it turned out that that Nas Hoosen, my generous driving partner wiggled his way out of a weekend behind a computer. We were on our way, an hour later then expected, but on our way none the less.

If you have ever driven through to Northam in the Limpopo Province, you will be aware of the fact that very little changes in that side of the country. People still think P.W Botha  is President of South Africa and that Nelson Mandela is a terrorist and working hard behind bars on Robben Island. Apart from the odd mine on-route, there is very little to look at while driving along the R510.

We past the time with discussions about violent murders that could take part in the backward dorps, movies that had been shot in these parts, music and what debauchery waited ahead. By 8pm we were waiting to get our bangles and to let the fun begin.

After driving around the dark dusty streets of the Oppikoppi farm for far to long, we finally found our campsite, located on Freedom Road and the Jack Frost Freeway. Little did we know how vital these details would be as the festival progressed and our sobriety decreased . Past festival experience made setting up my tent a cinch.

We were now ready to join the hoards of drunken music fans that were here to enjoy some of the top South African bands. Upon arriving at the entertainment area with beers in hand and determined to have a good time, we were greeted by the tunes of Dance, you'reonfire. These 4 young men from Johannesburg have come a far way since 2007 when the band formed. After a few changes of members and sound, the band seems to be refining their sound rather well. Tom Manners has stepped up to the plate in the vocal department and the band has definitely improved drastically since I last saw them.

The Friday line-up had only one real highlight for me. Taxi Violence was set to take the James Phillips Main Stage and they were guaranteed to rock your already dirty sock off. We walked around the packed entertainment area passing time and admiring our surroundings. Music festivals are not something that can be easily explained, there is a completely unique vibe that accompanies these mass gatherings.

Photo by onesmallchange
After a Beer or two at the Bar and a few encounters with friendlies, we were ready to enjoy the mighty Taxi Violence. The 4 Men from Cape Town have been rocking South Africa's shores for a while now and have become an electric live act. George Van Der Spuy's vocal's enticed madness while Rian Zeitsman's devilish guitar riff's orchestrated it. The time spent touring oversea's and the constant gigging has paid off. Taxi Violence played a set that was of the highest quality, even though it was spoiled slightly by technical difficulties. Taxi Violence could stand on any stage anywhere in the World and hold their own against the best. The huge crowd was slapped around for an hour or so and was left panting once the Violence was done.

We decided to make our way to our tents, however this proved rather treacherous. The dark and dusty roads of the Oppikoppi farm turned into an unforgiving maze, where roads appear the same, streets go on for ages and people give you very bad directions. We wondered around for what felt like hours without a light and no clue where we were. However, we were not alone in our quest, as large squads of people were embarking on the same challenge as we were. We eventually returned to our campsite and let the night slip to an end with beers and a bonfire.    

Monday, August 2, 2010

Oppikoppi: A South African Heritage site

Oppikoppi is an annual Music Festival that takes place in Northham/Limpopo during the month of August. It was founded by Carel Hoffman. Oppikoppi has been running since 1995 and has quickly become the leading Music Festival in South Africa. The music festival has been so successful that it has managed to spawn a production company from the success of the Music Festival. Oppikoppi Productions is responsible for the Music gig's that take place at Emmarentia Dam and numerous other gigs and events

The Oppikoppi farm which is situated in Northam in the Limpopo Province has only one purpose, to host the Oppikoppi festival. Since 2006 Oppikoppi experimented with hosting a smaller Easter festival. However, the easter leg of the festival was cancelled this year due to lack of turn out. Even with the failed attempt of the younger Oppikoppi festival, the main event draws people from all over the country. Oppikoppi has organised a train trip from Cape Town to Northam that allows residents of the Cape to engage in the largest weekend Music Festival in South Africa. The Train ride's price includes entrance into the Oppikoppi festival and is hugely popular amongst young Cape Town residents. Individuals reside in Johannesburg and Pretoria only have to negotiate a 3 hour drive to the gates the Oppikoppi farm. 

The music festival show cases the best in South African music. The festival offers a platform for musicians of all music genera's to express themselves on the biggest scale the country can offer. The music festival often brings out one or two headline acts. The headline acts are normally from overseas and are used to attract indecisive music supporters. The headline act of this years "Oppikoppi Sexy. Crooked. Teeth Festival" is "Billy Talent" from Canada. The music festival has also changed their format this year to include the Hard Rock section of the South African music industry, a segment that Oppikoppi is notorious for neglecting. Bands like Facing the Gallows and Pestroy will represent the Hard Rock/Metal segment of the South African music industry, Oppikoppi obviously did their research. The festival however has chosen to slightly neglect the Afrikaans music market. Bands like Foto na dance, Fokofpolisiekar, Kidofdoom, Jan Blom and Bok van Blerk. However, Afrikaans music fans can still look forward to Jack Parrow, Die Tuin Dwergies and Die Heuwels Fantasties. For the complete line-up please go to 

Oppikoppi is famous for its' display of the top bands in South Africa, its' excellent and experienced organizing and for its' dust. However, Oppikoppi is equally famous for its' amazing vibe. Individuals who would normally never socialize are brought together in a drunken haze of unity. Music festivals have their own rules and norms, and Oppikoppi has the friendliest and most peaceful vibes' of all the music festivals I have experienced. Just shout "Oppi" when you are there and you will see what I mean   

The music Festival begins on mid-day Thursday the 6th of August and ends on Monday the 9th of August. Tickets are available on line at

Here is a highlight package of the 2009 Oppikoppi Smoorverlief Festival(filmed by Klaus Bauer)