Posted in Music Videos, My Favourite South African Songs, South African Music, Updates, What Am I Listening To?, What Am I Watching?

What Am I Watching? Johnny Calls The Chemist by Falling Mirror

Very rare original video, created by Tully McCully, can now been seen on YouTube by kind permission of Tully McCully and Benjy Mudie.

Falling Mirror – Johnny Calls The Chemist

Read more (a lot more!) on the obsessively detailed (even if I say so myself!) Falling Mirror website which is part of the South African Rock Encyclopedia.

Posted in My Favourite South African Songs, Playlists, South African Music, Updates, What Am I Listening To?

TIME FOR SOME ROCK FROM SOUTH AFRICA feat Freedoms Children, Otis Waygood, McCully Workshop, Hawk

What Am I Listening To? South African Rock!

Sugar Music

TIME FOR SOME ROCK FROM SOUTH AFRICA feat Freedoms Children, Otis Waygood, McCully Workshop, Hawk

A mix of South African rock tunes from between 1966 and 1979.

A few cover versions and lots of original tunes.

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Posted in Cover Art, Playlists, South African Music, Updates, What Am I Listening To?

Sugar Music Recommends…

Sugar Music

Image by Michael Currin

Part of a weekly (hopefully) series of recommended listening from the guys who bring you the South African Rock Music Digest and Some old, some new, some borrowed, some blues, and mostly South African.

Sugar Music Recommends…

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Posted in Cover Art, Music Research, Reviews and Interviews, South African Music, What Am I Listening To?

What Am I Listening To? Crossroads by Jack Hammer!

Piet Botha & Jack Hammer – 13 Towns Vol 2
Piet Botha & Jack Hammer – 13 Towns Vol 2

On 22 December 2020 a live album was released by Piet Botha & Jack Hammer titled “13 Towns Vol 2“. This album had been recorded live on the road between 2017 and 2019 and followed the July 2020 release of Vol 1.

There are 10 tracks on this album, ending with a cover of Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” inspired by the Jimi Hendrix version and including a drum solo by Paul van der Waal, given the nickname “Duke” because he always dressed so smart.

Piet Botha & Jack Hammer – All Along The Watchtower (live)

However, there is an unlisted bonus track which caught me by surprise the first time. After a brief silence, Piet leaves the stage with the words; “I’ll catch you boys later”, then the rest of the guys led by Jacques (Jake Gunn) Groenewald jam on Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads” obviously inspired by Cream’s 1968 version. Blistering guitar solo from Johnathan Martin. And there’s a short drum and bass duet from the powerhouse engine room of Paul and Tertius du Plessis (aka Bean), before it all winds down. “Se bietjie ou blues” shouts Jacques. Indeed!

Jack Hammer – Crossroads (live)

Piet Botha passed away on the 2nd June 2019, and the guys have continued the legacy and hard-gigging schedule. Now calling themselves The Jack Hammer Band they are releasing a brand new CD “Second Chapter” on 11th November 2022.

Posted in Playlists, South African Music, Vagabond's World, What Am I Listening To?

What Am I Listening To? A Vagabond Cafe Mix!

A melancholy mix that I created for an imaginary bar, “The Vagabond Cafe” in Nowheresville!

“Where lost souls meet.”

THE VAGABOND CAFE IN NOWHERESVILLE feat Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen, U2, Willie Nelson, Bob Marley


1. 16 Rietfonteins – Des & Dawn Lindberg
2. Man In Black – Johnny Cash
3. Light A Candle – Neil Young
4. Black Coffee – Lacy J Dalton
5. Evening Over Rooftops – The Edgar Broughton Band
6. Die Heks Is Dood – Strab Colab feat Piet Botha
7. White Trash Beautiful – Everlast
8. It Turns Me Inside Out – Willie Nelson
9. A Little Cocaine – Lee Clayton
10. Everett Ruess – Dave Alvin
11. Society – Eddie Vedder
12. Almal Maak Haar Mal (acoustic) – Valiant Swart
13. Blues Vir Louise – Piet Botha
14. Something Blue – Neil Diamond
15. Motherland – Natalie Merchant
16. Gravedigger – Dave Matthews
17. Too Sick To Pray – Willie Nelson
18. Bittermaan – Spoegwolf
19. If It Be Your Will (live 2008) – Leonard Cohen with Neil Larsen and The Webb Sisters
20. Who Told You That (live 2018) – Mavis Staples
21. Loch Lomond (live 1987) – Runrig
22. If I Ever Leave This World Alive – Flogging Molly
23. Rose Tattoo – Dropkick Murphys
24. Saint Isabelle – Tom Morello, The Nightwatchman
25. Better Than This – Strab Colab
26. Hell Yeah – Neil Diamond
27. Terrified – Isaac Gracie
28. Beyond My Wildest Dreams – Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris
29. Breyten se Brief – Jan Blohm
30. Redemption Song – Bob Marley
31. San Quentin (live 1969) – Johnny Cash
32. Blue Hotel – Chris Isaak
33. Beyond Here Lies Nothin’ – Bob Dylan
34. Jack Of All Trades – Bruce Springsteen feat Tom Morello
35. The Maker – Daniel Lanois
36. ‘n Brief Vir Simone – Anton Goosen
37. Listening Wind – Geoffrey Oryema
38. I’m Not Gonna Beg – Natalie Merchant
39. Alrighty Aphrodite – Peach Pit
40. One – U2 & Mary J Blige

Posted in Cover Art, Music Research, Reviews and Interviews, South African Music, Updates, What Am I Listening To?

What Am I Listening To? The Game by Trip featuring Piet Botha and Johnathan Martin

This biting commentary song written by Piet Botha has a bit of a convoluted recording history.

“The Game” was originally recorded at Red Room Studios, Pretoria in October 1998 by Trip (Francois Scheepers & Niel van der Spuy) and featured Piet Botha and Johnathan Martin prominently. It was released on the Trip album “Is” in 1999.

Trip – Is


  • Piet Botha: Vocals, acoustic guitar
  • Johnathan Martin: acoustic guitar, cello
  • Henry Erasmus: electric guitars
  • Francois Scheepers: Programming

The Game (original 1998 recording)

The Game (original 1998 recording)

Trip - Is (CD booklet)
Trip – Is (CD booklet)

This version of “The Game” was released on the “Bootleg” CD in February 2001, credited to Piet Botha and Jack Hammer.

Piet Botha & Jack Hammer: Bootleg
Piet Botha & Jack Hammer: Bootleg

It was also included on the Jack Hammer retrospective “Road Works 1984-2009” released in July 2009.

Jack Hammer: Road Works 1984-2009
Jack Hammer: Road Works 1984-2009

Piet Botha gave this song a second lease on life a decade and a half later as his comments on corporate and political greed were still very valid. “The Game” was recorded at The Chateau Lezard in Somerset West during August and September 2014. Released on “A Few Grains Of Sand” by The Lyzyrd Kyngs in 2014.

The Game (2014 recording)

The Game by The Lyzyrd Kyngs
The Lyzyrd Kyngs - A Few Grains Of Sand
The Lyzyrd Kyngs – A Few Grains Of Sand


  • Piet Botha: Vocals, guitars
  • Arthur Dennis: guitars, vocals
  • Rudi Dennis: drums, guitars, vocals
  • AJ Graham: bass



Where is the festival
Where is the song
Gone like mist from the sun
Where is the wine that
Was promised to us
Where we were young

The scandal sheets daily
Shout out the news
Of murder, misfortune and, mayhem
The idols that they build for you
Soon they’ll cut down
But that’s all part of the Game
All part of the Game

From cathedrals in Rome
To the kingdoms of sand
The holy war just carries on
But power and greed
Has turned it to shame
The high priest they only players
In the Game


The oceans are plundered
The forests are dying
And it’s all just for profit, for gain
Third world keeps burning
But the dollar keeps turning
Dead children they only numbers
In the Game


Where is the wine that
Was promised to us
Where we were young

Posted in Cover Art, Playlists, South African Music, What Am I Listening To?

What Am I Listening To? Piet Botha and Jack Hammer!

Piet Botha | Jack Hammer Double LP

In 2019, a little while after Piet’s passing in June that year, a limited edition retrospective double album was released on vinyl only. I have re-created this marvellous album as a Spotify playlist.

Piet Botha | Jack Hammer Double LP


  1. Donker Maan [4:28]
  2. Richmondstraat [4:24]
  3. Suitcase Vol Winter [4:22]
  4. Vandat Jy Weg Is [3:59]
  5. Blues Vir Louise [4:42]
  6. Stad Sonder Naam [3:58]
  7. Die Mamba [4:56]
  8. Goeienag Generaal [4:09]
  9. Man Met Kitaar [5:15]
  10. Staan Saam Burgers [3:40]
  11. Highway 13 [3:13]
  12. January’s Son [3:48]
  13. The Pilgrim [6:32]
  14. Welcome To Azania [4:27]
  15. Mr Midnight [3:41]
  16. Mozambique [4:12]
  17. Liberty [3:43]
  18. Fort Lauderdale [3:41]
  19. Sarajevo [4:47]
  20. The Fisherman [5:02]

More information at

I met Piet for the first time at the Whammy Bar in Table View, Cape Town on the 11th November 1999.

Poster for the Whammy Bar gig, 11th November 1999
Poster for the Whammy Bar gig, 11th November 1999

I last saw Piet on my 60th birthday at Bertie’s Mooring, Gordon’s Bay on the 7th February 2019.

“He was a good friend of mine…”

Piet Botha and Brian Currin, 7th February 2019 | photo: Rodney Currin
Piet Botha and Brian Currin, 7th February 2019 | photo: Rodney Currin
Posted in Music Research, My Favourite South African Songs, Playlists, South African Music


South African Rock Legends
South African Rock Legends

A list of South Africa’s Rock Legends compiled in July 2001, updated June 2008. I’ve also listed representative songs for each artist; either their most well-known song / biggest hit and / or my personal favourite.

Originally published on the South African Rock Encyclopedia

  1. The A-Cads – Hungry For Love, Roadrunner
  2. Asylum Kids – Fight It With Your Mind, Schoolboy*, No No No No
  3. Robin Auld – Baby You’ve Been Good To Me, Perfect Day
  4. Ballyhoo – Man On The Moon
  5. Baxtop – Jo Bangles 
  6. Big Sky – Waiting For The Dawn, Slow Dancing
  7. Piet Botha – Goeienag Generaal, Sien Jou Weer 
  8. Bright Blue – Weeping, Window On The World*
  9. Circus – Conquistador 
  10. Johnny Clegg – Kilimanjaro (with Juluka), Scatterlings of Africa (with Savuka)
  11. Dog Detachment – Waiting For A Miracle* 
  12. Lesley Rae Dowling – Grips Of Emotion, The Spaniard 
  13. Ella Mental – See Yourself (Clowns)* 
  14. éVoid – Shadows, Taximan* 
  15. Falling Mirror – Johnny Calls The Chemist, Making Out With Granny 
  16. Freedoms Children – 1999 
  17. Crocodile Harris – Give Me The Good News, Miss Eva Goodnight 
  18. Hawk – Here Comes The Sun 
  19. Hotline – You’re So Good To Me, So Cold
  20. John Ireland – You’re Living Inside My Head
  21. Jack Hammer – Street of Love, Sarajevo 
  22. Just Jinger – Sugar Man
  23. Koos Kombuis – Who Killed Kurt Cobain 
  24. Julian Laxton – Celebrate 
  25. Little Sister – No Man Shall Fall, Dear Abbie 
  26. Mauritz Lotz – Six String Razor 
  27. McCully Workshop – Buccaneer 
  28. Morocko – Bowtie Boogaloo
  29. Otis Waygood Blues Band – Fever
  30. Peach – Nightmare, Complicated Game*
  31. Rabbitt – Hold On To Love, Charlie, Hard Ride
  32. Radio Rats – ZX Dan 
  33. Margaret Singana – Tribal Fence
  34. Neill Solomon – Roxy Lady
  35. Stingray – Better The Devil You Know
  36. Suck – Aimless Lady
  37. Sweatband – This Boy* 
  38. The Spectres – Be Bop Pop,Teddy Bear*
  39. Tribe After Tribe – Damsel (As I Went Out One Morning)* 
  40. Via Afrika – Hey Boy*

* Tracks released on Rocking Against The System CD in March 2002.

South African Rock Legends

More South African Rock Legends Playlists

More South African Rock Lists

Posted in Charts, Playlists, South African Music, What Am I Listening To?

What Am I Listening To? SOUTH AFRICAN ROCK DIGEST CHARTS feat Karen Zoid, Anton Goosen, Syd Kitchen, KOBUS!, Zen Arcade


A mix inspired by the charts from The South African Rock Music Digest (fondly referred to as “The SA Rock Digest” or simply “The Digest”) which was a weekly, free subscription e-mag about South African rock and pop music published digitally from 1999 to 2004. 

Founded on 27th January 1999 by Brian Currin and Stephen “Sugar” Segerman.

Re-established in 2009, as part of Sugar Music, embracing social media tools and platforms. 

Full list of charts can be found at: The South African Rock Digest Charts

Track List

1. Rise ‘n Shine – Moodphase5ive
2. Africa’s Not For Sissies – Syd Kitchen
3. Set Of Wheels (Karoo Anthem) – Karen Zoid
4. Nkalakatha – Mandoza
5. Gee Raat – KOBUS!
6. Since I Met You – New World Inside (early Fokofpolisiekar)
7. Crazy Over You (5FM Unearthed version) – Zen Arcade
8. Praha Paradise – Ernestine Deane
9. Kakstraat – Battery 9
10. Donkey Rattle – Felix Laband
11. Dig It – Kalahari Surfers
12. Long Holiday – The Sunshines
13. Fragile – Venessa Nolan
14. Stoute Boude – Anton Goosen & Beeskraal
15. Sestien Jaar Met ‘n Vals Kitaar – Koos Kombuis
16. Sweet Stellenganga – Akkedis
17. Beach Girl – Natalia
18. Lovesong – Dolly Rockers
19. Fokofpolisiekar – Fokofpolisiekar
20. Things To Consider – Skwirmish
21. Paralyzer – Ghetto Muffin
22. Gangsta – The Rudimentals
23. Gasoline – Saron Gas (early Seether)
24. Say Goodbye – Scarlet Host
25. Humanarium – Bed On Bricks
26. Indigo Girl – Watershed
27. Life (Theme From Big Brother TV series 2001) – Semisane
28. Vodka – Mathys Roets
29. Strate Van Pretoria – Beeskraal
30. Mooie Vrou – Kaal
31. When I Get The Blues – Delta Blue
32. Only Yesterday – Sharkbrother
33. Go Fuck Yourself – Janie Jones