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The Scoundrels – British boys with some southern soul…

11 May

The Hunters Debut Down South Tour, saw Global Moguls bring British roots and blues outfit, The Scoundrels , to South – African shores for a unique road trip style tour. The band travelled more than 3500km, gigging in iconic venues in some of the smaller cities.

I caught up with two Scoundrels, Ned Wyndham and Josh Martens, before their show in Bloemfontein’s Mystic Boer, to talk Louisiana’s soul, Seymour Stein, a road trip through SA, British Radio Stations that play “appalling” music – and ultimate world domination!  


Basics first – You’ve known each other since your school days but it was only until your time at London’s LCCM College that you decided to form The Scoundrels…

Ned: Yeah, the band only really took off after we tried our hand at University – which didn’t last long, at all. We then ended up going to London’s LCCM Music College. Although we were only there for like a year – it was really amazing. We learned so much in that short time. We were taught by brilliant session musicians that worked with all the big names and they weren’t you know like fuddyduddy, they weren’t very conservative – they were actually very open.  It was an atmosphere where you didn’t necessarily have to do what they taught… you just took what you needed to better yourself musically and apply it. So yeah… that’s kind of where we started out as Scoundrels…

Let’s touch on the direction you pushed your music in – you looked for an authentic British way to reproduce the music you grew up with.

What were those musical influences that helped you manufacture this unique sound?

Ned: Piano Smith, all the Deep South Louisiana brewed music. The real Rock and Roll type music that make you dance and that have really strong melodies.  Particularly all those old fifty’s type music along those southern states of America – they just have such a strong melody and mucisianship  – you always just remember those type of songs

 I guess what makes your sound so interesting, is the fact that we are at times quick to stereotype the type of sound to come from a particular country.

For a bunch of British boys to take a distinct interest in the whole blues and roots…South…Louisiana sound, is a strange direction to comprehend.

Was the music playing in your houses growing up, the sole contributor to this chosen direction– or were there other contributing factors?

Ned: Well the music we grew up with did play a big role in the forming of our sound – but I also think we were kind of pushed into that said musical direction. Seymour Stein from Sire Records, the guy who signed us, is an amazing old school guy. He signed Madonna and the Ramones and The Smiths. He basically had this grand vision of us going into that specific direction. He obviously picked up some of those influences in our work – but he kind of did steer us to completely go into that direction. He was the one that came up with the plan to send us down to Louisiana. He believed that it would be really good for us and that we would really tune in with the scene and the music there.

Frontman, Ned Wyndham, rocking Bloemfontein’s Mystic Boer – Danya Botha

While we are on the subject of Mr Stein – he was basically one of the first people you sent your material to and he was the first one to pick up your sound.

 For someone responsible for the small career of Madonna to almost immediately pick up on your sound – Overwhelming much?

Josh: Yeah. Wow. It really was overwhelming. That just gave us so much faith to keep on carrying on.

Ned: And I mean – it’s such a great endorsement – to have someone like Seymour Stein showing faith in the music you are making. That’s just golden.

Let’s reflect a bit on your journey through Louisiana.

Louisiana can be labelled as the roots and blues caldron. Having said that, it’s a far cry from anal most rigid and uptight British atmosphere.

How did the drastic change in atmosphere help you with the production and manufacturing of your sound?

Ned: That change in atmosphere just helped us so much. With regards to the music scene in London – we kind of got bored with it. It was all kind of style over substance. In the London scene it’s not necessarily about the song, but more about the image you have. Going to Louisiana – everything is just so toned down. The people are master of their instruments and it was absolutely amazing to witness that. Every night we would go out to live venues and see three bands playing. It’s such a communal feel, because everyone does this. The live scene in Louisiana is still very much booming. People love going to gigs and all the venues are packed when there’s a live performance; in London the live scene has kinda dulled down a bit… so it was all very inspiring for us. 

Let’s touch on the writing of your music.

Collaborative effort or mainly from one distinct pen?

Ned: Well, what usually happens is I’ll come up with a riff or just a mash up of words – like a skeleton type song. Then everyone will come in and we’ll kind of flush it out… everyone will bring their own stuff to the table. That will just build the song. I guess you can say, the song will kind of come in bare bones and leave full flesh… Laughs.

“Guitar” George Elliot rocking Bloemfontein’s Mystic Boer – Danya Botha

Let’s touch a bit on the relationship status between The Scoundrels and the people from Global Moguls.

How did that come about?

Josh: Laughs… to be completely honest – I have no idea how that happened. By chance I think.

Ned: Basically we had a song off our album – it wasn’t even a single – that had been picked up by John Savage from 5fm and he basically played it to death. And it did really well – it went to the top of the buzz charts, which was amazing. Separately to that, we did a showcase gig in London for our label and Jade,  who is the CEO of Global Moguls, happened to be there. She and Phill were looking for a band to take to South Africa to mash-up with the music scene there. She really liked what she saw and heard. After the show they came to us and brought the massive idea of basically doing a Roadtrip themed tour through SA – covering 3500km in 3 week, whilst playing with South African bands. So yeah – it all went from there and in the end we got to be the lucky British band to come play down in SA.

The Down South Tour is unique, in the fact that it brings some international flare to the smaller cities and venues in South Africa…

Josh: Yeah, It’s what we like. We like doing that. It feels a lot more natural. We’ve met loads of very interesting people and seen some pretty cool stuff, so we are loving this approach.

Obviously every country has its unique challenges within the music industry that face its home-grown musicians.

Challenges you face in making it?

The problem now in England is that radio stations play awful music. Laughs.

The mainstream Radio stations play appalling music. They don’t really give a lot – if any – support to local bands. The playlist for a day is like 30 songs – on rotation. It’s all a bit stale at the moment and I really believe it’s like crying out for your more soulful groups and bands to start coming through.

Let’s be daring and talk success attained back home in good old England.

Ned: Laughs…ahhhh yes. We haven’t had much success… yet

Its building – slowly but surely. We have an EP out and there are definitely some good songs on it. We have a full album coming out soon – we’re gonna start recording it now. So yeah… we’re confident in the fact that it will start building for us soon.

The Scoundrel’s Sexy Weekend – some tunes worth getting your hands on.

For some reason South Africa is the perfect platform for many upcoming international acts to take off – good quality bands flying under the radar in their home countries but really making good ground in South Africa.

Ned: Yeah – I mean South Africa is just so lucky in that regard. I spoke to a guy from a radio station and he said that in SA you need to play at least 25% local bands – that is good to hear. You know, I think for us –it will be amazing to make it big in our own country but it’s more exciting to go back home as the band that made it big in America… or big in South Africa. To be big in South Africa  would be amazing for us.

Where do you see yourselves taking your music within the next two years?

Josh: World Domination. Total World domination. Just taking it to the next and next and next level. Just keeping on pushing and pushing. That’s just how we do it… Laughs.

Ned: Laughs… yeah… that’s how we role. I guess we just keep on working hard – focussing on bringing out albums and albums and albums… making sure that we – as a band – progress with the release of every album. We basically just want to release as much music as possible.  Doing early tones thing – do a record release… do a record and release.

 These Scoundrels are socially connectable. Get your clicking finger working, and follow these links into their social realm, to stay up to date with their musical journey.!/wearescoundrels

UK Band geared for Road Trip in SA.

13 Apr


Hunters Debut Downn South - The Scoundrels

12 days, 7 rocking shows, 9 people – one van. The ultimate roadtrip.

Global Moguls teams up with Hunters, and some of SA’s hottest talent to bring you the Hunters Debut South African tour of up-and-coming UK blues rock-band  – the Scoundrels.

The aim of this tour is not to impress with major arenas, massive crowds and overpriced tickets, but to bring real music in an authentic and intimate manner, to some of the most respected life-performing venues in SA.

Global Moguls CEO, Jade Carlisle comments, “This will be the first time the Scoundrels have ever toured South Africa and we want them to experience SA in as many ways as possible! With this in mind we will be packing our bags, loading up our van and hitting the road for 12 days visiting JHB, DBN, PTA, Bloem, Oudtshoorn, CT & Stellenbosch in good old fashioned road trip style”

Each show will see local acts share the stage with the boys from the UK, highlighting the motive behind the tour – the overall promotion of up-and-coming talent.

The Scoundrels



26 April – Town Hall (Johannesburg)

27 April – Arcade Empire (Pretoria)

28 April – By Die Dam (Vaal Dam)

30 April – Mystic Boer (Bloemfontein)

2 May – The Live Venue (Durban)

5 May – The Assembly (Cape Town)

8 May – Aandlkas (Stellenbosch)


Tickets will be available at the door.



Mystic Diaries Volume 7 – Bloemfontein’s Boer gets a taste of ARV’s…

4 Apr

Anti Retro Vinyls rock out Mystic Boer Bloemfontein; Danya Botha

Bloemfontein’s Boer gets a taste of ARV’s…

On the 24thof March, the old faithful Mystic Boer Bloemfontein got its first taste of Anti Retro Vinyls.The boys from Durban, consisting of two pairs of brothers – Chris and Carl van Renen and Harry and Greg Allan, were on route on their first national tour and stopped over in Bloemfontein for their first official gig in central South Africa.

Carl van Renen; Danya Botha

The boys were quite excited to play their first Free State show, and the fact that they got to do it in the infamous cultural rock beacon, Mystic Boer, made it that much more special.  Chris van Renen commented,                                                                                                                                                                “Playing in Mystic Boer Bloemfontein has actually always been one on my bucket-list of shows to do.”

Greg Allan; Danya Botha

The interesting foursome took their fresh vibe to the stage with the crowd anxiously looking on. It was clear that the Mystic children had no idea what to expect and they were apprehensive at first. It, however, only took 30 seconds of the intro of the promising single, Would you like to pretend, to completely win the crowd over.  With their fresh indie/disco/punk sound, fuelled by an energetic performance, they had the crowd dancing and jumping in no time. Seeing a band get completely lost in the moment of their music during a life performance is a beautiful thing.

Greg Allan; Danya Botha

They sped by like a small freight train, and before the crowd knew what had really hit them, frontman Greg was saying thank you and good night! I think it’s safe to say, that the attendants enjoyed their ARV dose, with a few people in the crowd immediately afterwards asking, so when are they coming back to Bloem again.

Chris van Renen; Danya Botha

The Anti Retro Vinyl are on the fast track to major success, with the first 3 months of 2012 producing a video on MK, a single playlisted by radio stations abroad, an appearance on MK’s Studio 1, and a successful national tour. Things are, however, not slowing down…at all, and they have major plans for the coming months. Within the next couple of weeks they will be releasing an acoustic EP. Yes, you heard right, indie/disco/punk band, known for their phenomenal life performances, will be sending some acoustic vibes our way. The acoustic EP – showcasing another brilliant ARV dimension– will hold over fans, until the release of their new album somewhere near the end of July.

Harry Allan; Danya Botha

I think it’s safe to say, that these boys and their fresh vibed sound will be conquering our airways within the next couple of months.

Anti Rero Vinyls - Danya Botha

Here’s hoping that their first official gig in Mystic Boer Bloemfontein will not be their last, and that Bloemfontein’s Boer will get to experience some super energetic ARV’s on a more regular basis.

Mystic Diaries Volume 6 – A Dangerous chat with the king of Afrikaans RAP – Jack Parow.

25 Mar

Jack Parow blew into Bloemfontein on Wednesday, 21 March 2012 for a stage ripping performance in the old Faithful, Mystic Boer. I was lucky enough to corner a casually dressed, friendly, yet serious minded Zander Tyler for a few questions.

Here’s what the other half of the Parow persona had to say:

  • Starting at the very beginning. The choice to challenge a still very conservative music industry – still recovering from Polisiekar shock – with dangerous Afrikaans rapping skills, was a brave decision to say the least.                                                                                                                                                                       Tell me a bit about your Afrikaans rapping decision.

JP: It was just something I have always been into. I definitely didn’t try to prove a point and say: “Look at me; I’m standing up against conservatism – I’m a rebel!”                                                                                                                                                                                I did what I wanted to do – rapping in Afrikaans was what I wanted to do.

  • South Africans and especially Arikaners are quick to tag people with little labels.                                                                                                                                            You have been tagged with a ZEF label?        

JP: Ag ja, people are always saying I’m ZEF and stuff like that – I do probably come from an area in the Cape that a lot of people refer to as ZEF. But, I really don’t worry about shit like that. You’ll always find tannies looking down at people, saying, “Oe, look at that one.” It’s a problem with the Afrikaans community. Some Afrikaans people are quick to pin-point and label others.  But really – again – that is really not something that bothers me – I don’t care for other people’s perceptions and thoughts regarding me.

  • Quickly – your lyrics are brilliantly written. Its smart…fast and deadly. Has writing always been a passion?

JP: Yeah, I guess I have always liked writing, and I guess I have always been quite good at it. In school I enjoyed Afrikaans and English, and I was very good at writing essays and stuff.

  • Jack Parow started Die Antwoord…

JP: Yeah, people always say that, but I didn’t begin Die Antwoord. I was a part of the beginning. It was amazing and I enjoyed it a lot! But I realised that I wanted to follow my own head…my own direction and so, I chose to do my own thing and I’m very happy about it.

  • So you don’t regret it – considering they’re pretty much busy with the whole world domination thing?

JP: Laughs…no not at all, I’m very happy for them and the success they are enjoying – they deserve it. But I am happy with the direction in which I went and the place where I am now.

  • Eksie ou, your newest offering, is doing amazingly well.

JP: Yes, it is fucking amazing. Hosh tokelosh is like, the first Afrikaans song to reach number one in the official 5fm Top 40 Charts. There’s no concrete proof (laughs), but I asked my buddies from Fokof and their songs didn’t reach number 1 – so I’m pretty stoked about that.

  • That is pretty amazing – also a sign of Parow fever not only being restricted to your Afrikaans speaking community…

JP: Definitely, there are a lot of English fans that love my music. I guess that’s maybe the thing with English speaking people; they’re much more open-minded to something that is different.

  • Afrikaans is dood – a reaction to criticism – certain people saying you’re killing Afrikaans.

JP: Ag ja, it’s all about how people believe that Afrikaans is dead, but how we (artists like myself) are actually bringing it back and “growing” it. You know, I really love my language and I am very proud of all the things Afrikaans people have accomplished – it’s so sad that there are still so many Afrikaans tannies and oomies criticizing and finding a devil in every possible scenario….especially when something is different from the norm.

  • Tell me a bit about the choice to play with a band.

JP: Yeah look, we’ve been doing it for quite some time now – almost two years I think. But in the past we mainly only used it for overseas tours, because the bars in SA weren’t so keen on paying for the band – obviously it’s more money. But now we have taken the decision to play with the band. The places are open to it now as well, and I must say, I really enjoy it. It just brings something else to the party.

  • Jack Parow is an in your face, wild character – but Zander Tyler is a private person, keeping his private life under wraps. Is it difficult at times coping with the constant Parow spotlight?

JP: Yeah – I don’t want to live my personal life in the spotlight – what I do in my personal life has nothing to do with anybody and that’s why I never really talk about it with the media and such. I don’t want to be on the cover of Heat magazine or something like that. It can be difficult having prying eyes on you.

  • Bloemfontein – Jack Parow’s almost in Bloemfontein more than Die Heuwels Fantasties. Tell me a bit about the vibe you get from Bloemfontein.

JP: This is a fucking dangerous place this. I love coming to Bloemfontein. I have never actually slept in Bloemfontein – I hope it doesn’t happen again tonight (laughs). I usually end up partying till they take me to the airport the following morning. I have never before in my life missed a flight – but out of Bloemfontein – I have missed two flights! I usually end up kuier-ing with your gevaarlike rugbyplayers – we end up braai-ing and kuier-ing at their homes afterwards.                                                                                                                                           No, I love Bloemfontein – Bloem really has lekker people.

  • Soooo, knowing you’re a Stormer and knowing your special bond with the Cheetahs – are your loyalties maybe torn when these two meet?

JP: Laughs –  No, no, you see the Stormers – they are my team, but the Cheetahs are my – very strong – second team!

Mystic Diaries Volume 5…Naas veld – Out of the shadows…

27 Feb

Mystic Diaries Volume 5…

Naas Veld - Danya Botha

Naas veld, former lead guitarist of popular Afrikaans rock band EF-EL, has launched a solo venture. A far cry from the hard rocking beats EF-EL was well known for; Naas’s new approach to his music, sports a soulful folksy/jazz – predominantly English – sound with just a hint of rock stirred in.

After seeing a stripped down performance from Naas in Mystic Boer Bloemfontein, I caught up with him, to find out the ins and outs of his new solo venture.

Has music always been a part of your life, or was there a specific moment of clarity where it just grabbed your gut and you realised…this is what I need to be doing?

NAAS: I grew up in a musical family. At any given time you could hear music being played somewhere in the house. At age 13, I started playing the guitar, and I really started making a personal connection to the instrument, and music overall.

Any musical projects you were a part of before EF-EL? 

NAAS: Well there was my own one-man band I had in my room way back when!

You’re known as a guitarist – your vocal abilities never showcased in EF-EL.                                                                                                                                                        As a musician with a lot to bring to the table, did you at times get frustrated – only showcasing your musical talent through the strum of your guitar?

NAAS:  No, not at all. EF-EL was our creation in which each member had a different and specific role. I’ve always had the freedom to sing and write songs, it has just always been behind the scenes – during that specific time the greater EF-EL picture was the main focal point. 

Naas Veld - Danya Botha

Do you find it difficult to shed the EF-EL persona – many still label you with – and “market” the musician and the musical direction you are moving forward with?

NAAS: It’s a funny situation, seeing as though many people do make their own assumptions before actually listening to the music. I guess I don’t blame them. In EF-EL people only saw one side of me, so they are familiar with only that specific side. I’m sure as soon as people start listening to Naas Veld they’ll get a feel for the music, and start getting to know the person behind the guitar.

The sound coming off your solo venture is a unique folk/jazz sound, with just a hint of rock and pop stirred in. It’s a far cry from EF-EL’s rocking beats.                                                                                                                                                              What inspired the new approach taken with the onset of your solo career?                                                                                                                                                           Is this the type of genre you have always felt more comfortable with?

NAAS: Yes. I draw my influence from a wide variety of artist and genres. I grew up in a family that enjoyed a wide array of different musical styles and genres, so I was never limited to a certain genre. EF-EL was an Afrikaans rock band, and a group effort. With my new solo venture, I just write what feels right to me, and I guess when everything comes together, it makes up the sound of Naas Veld.

You’ve taken an English approach – with your music being predominantly flavoured in English. What influenced this English approach?                                                                                                                                        Will you stick to English, or is there possibility of an Afrikaans song finding its way onto your set-list?

NAAS: I guess I’ve just always felt more comfortable expressing myself in English – I’ve always been writing in English – although there was one song I wrote for EF-EL in Afrikaans, which featured on an EF-EL album. I love my mother tongue – Afrikaans – and I am very proud to be Afrikaans. My music is just better expressed in English. But you never know, inspiration could later on allow for an Afrikaans song to seep in.

Naas Veld - Danya Botha

Your life performances are full of emotion and feeling.                                                                                                                                             Where do you draw inspiration from when writing your music?

NAAS: To me it’s about connecting the emotion of the lyrics with the feel of the song, to create an honest composition. The inspiration behind my writing comes from various channels, whether it’s a person, a place or a feeling – each song has its own story.

Naas Veld – mainly a one man show, or do you have a regular band backing you?

NAAS: I alternate between the two. The band consists of brilliant session musicians on drums, electric guitar and bass – hopefully that can be extended with a brass section one day. But for now I alternate between acoustic sets and performances with a backing band.

Tell me a bit about your upcoming album.                                                                                                                                           When will it be dropped.

NAAS: It’s one of those “anytime” albums you can listen to – whether you’re driving to work in the morning or going to sleep at night.                                                                                                                                                                  It will hopefully be in stores by the end of April.

As a musician, what is the most frustrating part of the job?

NAAS: I love touring a lot, but the most frustrating part of it all, is the “waiting part “just before the show.

Naas Veld - Danya Botha

The most fulfilling part of the job?

NAAS: I guess it’s being able to play your music to an audience who can relate with what you are all about, and who just enjoys a bit of live music.

The most challenging aspect pertaining to the South – African music industry?

NAAS: Longevity.

Where do you see yourself taking your music?

NAAS: I guess wherever the music takes me. The main goal would be to take it to as many people as possible.

Most memorable show thus far?

NAAS: There has been quite a few, but EF-EL’s last show at Oppikoppi last year, definitely stands out.

Musically, who inspires you?

NAAS: I draw inspiration from many different kinds of artists – the likes of Paolo Nutini, Damien Rice, Bon Iver, Jose Gonzales – to name just a few.

If not music, what would you be doing?

NAAS: You know, that’s something I haven’t really thought about that yet haha

Up and coming musicians that excite you?

NAAS: I really like listening to Die Tuindwergies. The new act Filly Lilly is also a really exciting.

Advice for aspiring young musicians?

NAAS: It’s simple, keep playing, write whatever you want to write…and live with the consequences thereof.





Mystic Diaries Volume 4…Die Tuindwergies…Matured to Perfection.

27 Feb

Mystic Diaries Volume 4…

Pieter de Jager - Die Tuindwergies - in the moment; Danya Botha.

Two sets of brothers – the Swiegers , Jean and Emile – and the De Jagers – Pieter and Dawie, make up the band that is – Die Tuindwergies.

With their Folksy/pop-rock sound they have captured the attention and imagination of the diverse following they enjoy.

After their performance a while back in The Mystic Boer Bloemfontein, I caught up with them to talk the business to band ratio, a matured band mentality and what their Dwerg vibe is all about.

Two sets of brothers stemming from musical backgrounds – tell us a bit about that.

Dawie de Jager: “Well Jean and Emile are the children of Andre Swiegers, so they have basically been playing in concerts with him, and the likes of Anton Goosen  and Lukas Maree from a very young age. My brother, Pieter, played in a Band with Karlien van Jaarsveld called Revolusie, and I am a part of the band Klopjag.”

With all four band members already exposed to the workings of the music industry – how did it affect the birth and rise of Die Tuindwergies?

The Swiegers Bothers in full swing.

Dawie De Jager: To run a band in South – Africa is very difficult, seeing as though you initially have to do everything by yourself. With the culminated experience we had behind us, we took the correct approach, and immediately started running it as a business. We could skip the initial first step of trying to figure out how we would approach the onset of this new music venture.

Pieter De Jager: We knew that in order to keep the show on the road, we would need money. A lot of bands starting out, make the initial mistake of taking all the money made from a show, splitting it, and splurging it on whatever. We immediately started saving up the money made from shows, with the goal in mind, to get more shows, so that the band could grow.

Dawie De Jager: That’s how we paid of our first CD. We had to get the money from somewhere. So we decided to make a standing rule, where every member in the band got a standard amount per show. This way, you knew what money you could expect coming in, and we saved up enough to pay our CD off and run the band.

The Dwergies are under management now.                                                                                                                                              Hows that working out?

Pieter dde Jager; Die Tuindwergies; Danya Botha

Dawie de Jager: “Yes we are, and it’s working out great. We got Hannes – The Agent – in. We met him through Southern Pulse – he has his own agency; Extravaganza. He handles everything now, and its working out really well. We can now focus on our music and it’s a lot less worries on our side. When we started out, we would get a lot of people phoning and asking how much we asked for a gig. A lot of the times, they couldn’t comply with it, and we gave in a lot of time, saying that we would accept what they had to offer. Now we don’t have to handle calls like that, where people could make misuse of us, and maybe guilt us into playing gigs. Hannes can now professionally handle all of that.                                                                                                                                                                                                                What is amazing about working with Hannes is the fact that he is on board with us 100%. He isn’t just a manager, but also someone with a major passion for music, and the path the dwergies are on. You can get instances, where managers are purely business orientated, where the focus is on making money and selling records. Hannes supports the cause of this project, which is great.

Your music is known for its well written lyrics.                                                                                                                                             Who is responsible for the writing of the lyrics, and what is the approach you take? 

Pieter de Jager: Emile and I do the writing. In the beginning I did the lyrics, and Emile – being brilliant on guitar – did the riffs. Now it’s a more of an interlinked effort.

Emile Swiegers: We write about everyday things, and how they affect us. We don’t write about farfetched things like planets and aliens etc.

Pieter de Jager: We are regular Joe’s. We are not trying to speak on somebody else’s behalf. We are just saying what presses on our hearts, and how it makes us feel. I think that’s why so many people can relate to our music. To us that’s what music is all about. Making a connection with the listeners, who can relate to what you are singing…music that transcends barriers. I’m always astounded by how many jocks love – and sing along to – Kopskudkinders. Its so ironic…but its pretty cool.


Die Tuindwergies rocking Mystic Boer Bloemfontein; Danya Botha

Die Tuindwergies, has quite a diverse following, and it’s difficult to pin point a specific pool following your dwerg trend.                                                                                                                                                           Comments regarding this?

Dawie De Jager: From the beginning we wanted to make sure that that our music had a positive spin. I think that’s maybe why old and young can relate to it. When it comes to other more hard core type bands, that sing about specific issues they struggle with, it makes it difficult for older people or people maybe not sharing the same type of mind-set, to understand and appreciate where they are coming from. We saw on Avontoer, end of last year, the whole diverse crowd feel, came into play.The one day we could play a show with Van Coke Kartel, and the next day with a guy like Elvis Blue. There was difference in the response of the crowd. That pretty special to take in.

Hannes The Agent : You know im always standing in the crowd, so I experience the repsonses of the crowd first hand. What you’re saying about the music catering for no specific group is spot on. Everyone sings with. My opinion regarding this phenomena – have a look at the band. They are a bunch of old souls with a deep connection to the music. The rich music backgrounds they descend from – I think – also has a part to play in it.

Pieter De jager: You know, from the beginning, it’s always been important for me, to get into the crowd and mingle after our shows. It helps you stay grounded, and it helps me see first-hand how people experienced our show. It’s so important for me as a musician to know who the people are, I’m talking to through my music. Their response motivates me, and their stories, inspire me. It keeps you level on the ground, with your focus on the music.

Taking what you said into consideration –  I can take that as a musician, it can at times be difficult to keep your focus on the music?

Emile Swiegers: It is so easy to get pulled into another world, and put upon a pedestal – because people start treating you differently. It’s extremely important to stay true to whom you are, and the way in which you were brought up. Otherwise, you’ll lose your footing…and it’s all a slippery slope from there and on.

Two sets of brothers in a band – the makings of an interesting band dynamic. How do you handle conflict?

Emile Swiegers: The sets of brothers definitely handle conflict differently. The De Jager brothers are much more verbal, than us Swiegers brothers. They talk things out, quickly handling the situation. Us Swiegers brothers…we tend to brood for about a week…and we can get physical haha.

Jean Swiegers: Yeah – at times they just have to hold me back, otherwise there would be problems.

Dawie de Jager: Conflict is something you need to learn how to handle quickly in a band situation. We are up in each other’s faces almost 24/7. And this band is a family. We didn’t sign this thing on, on a contract basis. We are friends…we are family. The paperwork is done in blood.

Being in a band – it’s not only for the love and passion of it. It’s a job – your chosen career path. Do you agree with that?

Jean Swiegers: O definitely. People only always see the show, and the great party following it. They don’t see the stuff happening before or after the show. For example; they aren’t there at three in the afternoon, when you have to sound check, and carry everything in, and do the set – up etc.

Any before show rituals?

Dawie De Jager: Yeah, we make a little circle, do the “dwerg prayer”, and then we throw in a Dwerg Power sign (mimics the sign with his hands) – we have no clue what it means, but it works.





Mystic Diaries 3.2 – Catherine Grenfell: Words of Wisdom from 5fm’s coolest kid on the block.

23 Feb


I recently had the privilege of cornering 5fms Catherine Grenfell for a quick chat, before her set at Mystic Boer Bloemfontein’s 15th birthday bash.

Catherine – fondly referred to as Cath by friends and fans alike – grew up with music,                                                                                                                                                           “My dad, used to play all the old classics, and we used to listen to Radio 5 back in the day. We loved listening to the top 40. I guess I was just surrounded by music as I grew up.  In school I studied music, and I got my grade 7 in piano. When I reached the ripe age of 18, I started going out to watch bands play live. That quickly became my favourite past time – watching different bands preform, and I guess that’s where my love and appreciation for local bands stemmed from”, Cath says.

After school, Cath attended Pretoria Technikon, where she studied lighting and sound. She had a dabble here and there in the music industry, but her work focussed more on Drama productions. After starting out in the industry, she later moved over to the production side of events. With a slight foot in the door – a contact made here and there – things started happening very fast for the young Cath.

Catherine Grenfell; Photo - Danya Botha; Down to Africa

                                                                                                                                                                       She elaborates, “I started out working within the industry, and then moved over to the production side of events. I got a call from a friend who was working for Mark Gillman at 5fm. Mark was the breakfast DJ, and he was looking for someone to help produce the show. I thought it sounded like fun and decided to do it. Soon thereafter the breakfast show began looking for a female voice on the show – seeing as they were all men. They eventually decided on me – as I was already familiar with the team. That’s how I got in. Not really having a lot of experience, it was quite daunting at first. But it was a major opportunity– AND I LOVED IT!  A while later a gap opened up for someone to take over from Barney Simon – in a sense, helping to promote local music. Being a major passion for me, I got straight into that.

Later, I got the opportunity to produce the “Live to the power of 5” show. They struggled to find a DJ for the show, and decided to use me. It was a perfect fit – the show gave me the opportunity to play the music I wanted to play…not having to adhere to specific play listing regulations. This of course also gave me the opportunity to help break some awesome bands into the industry. “

Catherine, a – now – seasoned 5fm DJ/producer, still holds the pumping music revolution bubbling through the veins of the local music industry very near to her heart. Being that as it may, her passion does not drown out her realistic and logical thoughts regarding the local music industry. She has a clear stance regarding bands wanting to be play listed on radio stations, radio stations carrying the blame for not play listing local bands enough, and what bands/muso’s should be doing, in order to achieve that all elusive breakthrough.

Catherine Grenfell rocking the Mystic Bloemfontein crowd ; Photo - Danya Botha;; Down to Africa

Regarding the music industry within South – Africa, popping its seems, Cath says,                                                                                                                                                      “Bands are evolving all the time. The South – African industry is currently at an all-time high. They’re coming up with their own sound that doesn’t necessarily sound South African – if you know what I mean. People are listening to a lot more genres, instead of just listening to rock. There are a lot of collaborations coming through, and I think that it is just amazing!

When it comes to bands, musicians and critics – within the community – , criticising 5fm for not providing more support to bands by means of play listing etc. – Cath has this to say,                                                                                                                                                         “There is this thing where bands want to be play listed on 5fm. I understand that, but times have changed regarding what 5fm plays. Our top 40, that was completely rock orientated back in the day, is now completely commercial. Bands and musicians need to realise that there are other music possibilities you can explore, if your music does not fit in with 5fm. If you are adult contemporary, try getting play listed on regional radio stations. If you are a hard-core rock band, start by trying to get your music play listed on campus radio stations – it’s a start.                                                                                                                                                           If it is your honest dream to be played on 5fm, then you need to either conform to the Top 40 type commercial side, or stay true to yourself, and explore other avenues. A lot of bands – for example; Graeme Watkins Project and Shadowclub – have been broken on 5fm.      Those are just two examples of bands coming up with a unique and fresh sound.     I think what 5fm is looking for, is not your run of the mill rock stuff, but really well written songs that will appeal to the masses.

5fm has completely progressed, in the sense that we will add certain songs that fall outside of the commercial top 40 arena, just so that people can be exposed to new material. That being said, musicians and critics should remember, that there are hundreds of local bands that compete to get their music play listed. If you want your music on 5fm, you don’t just compete with them, you compete with the thousands of other quality bands around the world.


Catherine Grenfell - 100% good times at Mystic Boer Bloemfontein; Photo - Danya Botha ; Down to Africa

Cath, strongly believes, that if people want to start playing the blame game – fingers should be pointed more in the direction of regional and community radio stations that choose to scan our musical talent pool with blind eyes and deaf ears.                                                                                                                                                           “There are so many other radio stations out there – why are they not being targeted and asked what they are doing to promote our bands and musicians. There is a radio station in Johannesburg, that has a bigger listenership in Johannesburg, than 5fm does – why are they not targeted? I know 5fm is a national radio station, but all those regional radio stations, put together, will make up more listenership than we probably have. Why are they not asked why they are not doing their part to help promote our bands?

Catherine makes a valid point.

Before wrapping up, Catherine has some advice and tips to share with bands looking to live their musical dream.                                                                                                                                                     “Be true to yourself. If you want to be an underground band, be an underground band. If you want to be famous, and you want to be on every radio station, listen to that radio station you’re targeting, see what music they play, and if you can fit into that mould, or you are willing to adapt to do so…then do it.                                                                                                                                                                 I think musically the best advice I can give, is just to write good songs. There has to be some good hooks, and well written lyrics. I will be completely turned off by poor meaningless lyrics.                                                                                                                            Stuff has to move you. Your song writing needs to be up to scratch.                                                                                                                                                             Take criticism, and use that to your benefit.                                                                                                                                                                Bring something new, fresh and different to the table.                                                                                                                                                          A great example, are the boys from Shadowclub. They came out with this awesome new and fresh sound. Their album is amazing, but the thing that has everyone talking is their live shows. Word of mouth regarding a band, and the performances they deliver, is a free – extremely powerful – marketing tool, use it.                                                                                     A phenomenal live show will captures attention, and gets your name out there.                                                                                                                                                 Focus on getting your material played by smaller stations, its good exposure.                                                                                                                                 YouTube…get your videos on YouTube…a lot of bands have been broken on YouTube.                                                                                                                                                 Keep on challenging yourself…and just never give up…if you really have a driving passion to make it…keep on keeping on.”

Catherine Grenfell is one humble, passionate inspiration of a lady. She sees the world passionately, with a bit of logic and realism stirred in, to help her decloud her view.

She inspires me to keep on writing, and to keep my focus lodged on my passion for music that grabbed hold of my gut so many years ago. She is a shining example of the type of influential individual you can be, when you keep your vision focused, your dream true, and your whole heart in it.



Mystic Diaries Volume 3.1…15 years on and still growing strong!

16 Feb

Catherine Grenfell ; Danya Botha

In 1997, the brothers Willem and Johan Coertzen opened the doors of the Die Mystic Boer in Bloemfontein. What started out as an ideal  haven the brothers Coertzen could escape to, to enjoy some good music over an ice cold one…soon erupted into a cultural phenomenon.

On the opening night, the brothers  – being huge fans of the local music scene – decided to make a play on the wild side, and booked the band Sweet Pea to officially open the doors of Bloems’s new Boer. What was meant to be a once off gig, quickly became a regular – and later expected trend, at the Mystic Boer.

The Mystic wildfire ran faster than a bottle of Jose Quervo on promotion, and soon became a firm favourite for local muso’s to gig at. It gained a steady reputation as the venue to catch the best local talent, SA had to offer.

15 years later, and this Boer is still standing tall – uniting various types with one common factor… good music.                                                                                                                        What you do, who you are, where you’re from – is considered insignificant. All you need in order to fit in, is an open mind, and an appreciation for good music.

Photo ; Danya Botha

Wednesday the 15th of February, mystic children came together to celebrate the milestone reached by their favourite Boer. The Colourfully decorated Boer embraced the conglomerate of human genres with a festive vibe.

Photo ; Danya Botha

To give the party a music kick, our favourite Boer flew in 5fm’s coolest kid on the block – Catherine Grenfell – to flick her awesome tunes mystic’s way. Catherine got the mystic children jumping and pumping to a perfect combination of rock and dance. Cath’s human interaction with the crowd hovering around the newly renovated DJ box, was an inspiring sight to see. Partying hard and living in the music moment, there was no sign of a high profile celebrity, going through the motions for the sake of getting the job over and done with. Instead mystic bore witness to a stellar vibed DJ giving her DJ’ing all to the crowd who rhythmically bobbed to her every tune.

Catherine Grenfell ; Danya Botha

A brilliant DJ…interesting characters …phenomenal bar-side specials, and the one constant man in my life – the Mystic Boer, made for a great night out, and definitely the best 15th birthday bash I have EVER attended!

Photo ; Danya Botha


Here’s to the next 15 years Mystic.

May  you stay rocking…

May you stay true to your character…

May the shared experience of good music always enjoy president above all trends and conformities, and may your door always stay open for ALL who choose to call you their haven and escape hatch from reality.

Photo; Danya Botha

That’s that for Mystic Diaries Volume 3.1.

( Mystic Diaries 3.2 will drop within the next few days, and will feature the little interview I did with the phenomenal Catherine Grenfell.)


If you missed out on the party vibes this week…make a plan…you have some catching up to do.

Luckily all is not lost.

This weekend will see Mystic showcase a massive party featuring two music heavy weights within our local music industry.                                                                                                                                                                           The Graeme Watkins Project, and Lonehill Estate will be rocking us into oblivion on Saturday…and i predict the Mystic children will be pulling in by the hordes.

So you best be ready.

See you there!

Photo ; Danya Botha

Mystic Boer 100% good times…


Mystic Diaries … Volume 2

14 Feb

Daar is ‘n gees van feesviering in die lug… en dit hang besonders dik rondom die Mystic Boer Bloemfontein. Nee, ek verwys beslis nie na Valentynsdag nie – dié skrywer glo nie regtig in al daai pienk fluffy sweety-pie cliché vibes nie…  – wel in elkgeval vir tyd en wyl ek wag vir my ridder in sy skinny jeans om my te kom vang. Ek praat van Die Mystic Boer Bloemfontein se 15de Verjaarsdag wat Woensdagaand vir Bloemfontein in “Big way” gaan tref.

Maandagaand het het ek ‘n titseltjie van die opwindende partytjie-gees beleef toe ek so “in the spirit of celebrations” ‘n vinnige draai by die Boer gaan maak het om die optredes van Sean Met Die Bril, en Half Price te vang.

Sean met die bril, het die partytjie met sy harde rock klanke aan die brand geskop. Die groepie mense wat voor die verhoog saamgedrom het, het soos daai “bobble head” hondjies, hulle koppe ritmies geskud na mate sy harde klanke die gate en ooptes binne die Boer gevul het. Met sy super cool hypnotic themed guitar het hy die die skare – voor – , die hubbly- kinders onder-dak, en die foozeball groepies, op ‘n stadium heeltemal onkant betrap, met ‘n  awesome cover van Strawberry lipstick. Almal het vir tyd en wyl bietjie kop verloor , en diep lekker saam gesing.

Sean Met Die Bril ; Danya Botha


Die man met die bril , is gevolg deur ‘n interessante  punk outfit, Half Price. Met hulle klein mosh-pit gevolg, het hulle vir goud gegaan, en uiters energiek hulle klanke uitbasyn . Die vreemde band het omtrent hulle moshers uit hulle nate gehad en ek moet bieg -, my fokus was soms meer op wat die moshers besig was om aan te vang, as op die klanke komende van Half Price. Op ‘n stadium het die moshers beurte gemaak om mekaar op die verhoog te stoot, waarna die ‘gelukkige’ waaghals ‘n spectacular… EPIC… FAILED… stage-dive uitgevoer het.

Half Price ; Danya Botha


Hier voel ek nou verplig om gou 5 te vat… om vir jou gratis… ‘n Mystic Diaries tip of the day te gee.

#MDT 1: ‘n Stage dive kan nie effektief uitgevoer word indien daar slegs 5 mense is om jou te vang nie . Jy gaan dit nie maak nie my liewe seun en dogter. Jy gaan val… jy gaan hard val! Jy gaan dit dalk nie dadelik voel nie… alkohol dien as ‘n natuurlike verdowingsmiddel, maar broer…suster… jy gaan vir hom die volgende dag voel.                                                                                                                                                      Stage dive slegs as daar ‘n groot stampvol skare is… ek praat van ‘n RAM-fest groot skare – (terloops…Ram – Fest loer om die draai…en die bad boy… gaan natuurlik in die Boer gehou word… just saying)     

Nou dat ons dit agter die rug het…

Mystic was Maandagaand weer die toonbeeld van geure en kleure. Die jock, die punk, die emo, die boer, die hippie en die poppie… een van elke menslike genre het ‘n draai kom maak en gees kom vang.

Sooooo… terug by die dik partytjie vibe wat mystic omsingel.

Woensdag aand is dit die groot aand,  en ek verwag om al die mystic- kinders in in volle glorie daar te sien. Catherine van 5fm vang  spesiaal ‘n vlug  Bloemfonein toe om die patytjie na ‘n volgende level te spike. Sy is altyd ‘n belewenis live… en jy was nog nie regtig by ‘n partytjie, as jy  nog nie by ‘n Catherine partytjie was nie.                                                                                                                                                                          Ek gaan haar ook corner vir ‘n vinnige chat .… So hou die Mystic Diaries dop vir daai ene!

Sooooo dis dit vir Volume 2…

Baie dankie aan die amazing Danya Botha vir haar foto’s… seriously… die dame het supreme talent. …Ek het so ‘n nagging gevoel dat almal binnkort iets in die lyn van…

“Wie’s Liam Lynch… het jy al Danya Botha se foto’s gesien?…” gaan vra .

Ek wil ook ‘n groot dankie in die rigting van die lekker mense by Mystic Boer Bloemfontein stuur. Die Mystic Diaries sal obviously nie moontlik wees, sonder julle hulp en ondersteuning nie.

So liewe Mystic-kinders… sien vir julle Woensdagaand in die Boer… bring jou maters… bring hul maters… spring in, in julle hordes. Of jy ‘n jock, ‘n punk, ‘n hippie, ‘n boer, ‘n poppie, ‘n rocker is – … daar is iets in die Boer waarby jy gaan aanklank vind… hy cater vir almal; …judge niemand… almal is welkom.


Mystic Boer Bloemfontein 100% Goeie tye…GEES!

Mystic Diaries – Volume 1…

13 Feb

Mystic Diaries …volume 1.

Die Tuindwergies gooi gees Vrydag aand in Mystic Boer Bloemfontein - Danya Botha

Vrydag aand het die ketel behoorlik in Mystic Boer, Bloemfontein, met die viering van Tassenberg se 75ste bestaansjaar oorgekook.                                                                                                                                                                Die opgewonde, lekker vibed mystic kinders het lekker kop geskud saam met Die Tuindwergies, heerlik gedans saam met die local heroes, Oros in ‘n lang Glas en goed diep geraak onder leiding van die pragtige siel-strelende klanke van Naas Veld.

Naas Veld, Shandor Potgieter (Oros in n lang Glas) en Pieter de Jager (Die Tuindwergies) Vrydag aand in Mystic Boer Bloemfontein - Danya Botha

Naas wat eerste aan die beurt was, het almal met die diepte en emosie van sy blues/folk klank onkant gevang. Monde het oopgehang , en meisies het by flou-val gedraai elke keer wat hy sy pragtige blou oë in hul rigting geflits het.

Naas Veld steel harte - Danya Botha

Die local heroes, Oros in ‘n Lang Glas, het bewys hoekom hulle so ‘n groot aanhang onder die  Bloemfontein skare geniet, en hoekom hulle die land nog behoorlik op horings gaan neem. Die sjarmante hoofsanger, Shandor Potgieter, het letterlik elke mystic kind aan die dans gehad.                                                                                                                                                                    Groot dinge is aan die gebeur met dié groep.

Oros in n Lang Glas se frontman, kry almal aan die dans - Danya Botha

Die oorspronklike Kopskudkinders van Pretoria – Die Tuindwergies – het die partytjie na die volgende level geneem, en die skare het gretig elke liedjie saam gesing. Die vibe wat die ouens skep is enig in sy soort. Hulle is plat op die aarde… en elke liedjie is met ‘n wonderlike mate van opregtheid en gees gesing.

Pieter De Jager oorval die skare met die Tuindwergie Vibe

(Ek was bevooreg om hulle voor die tyd te vang vir ‘n vinnige onderhoud… en die stukkie sal binnekort in julle rigting gegooi word)

‘n Groot dankie moet hier dadelik gegooi word in die rigting van DPK, Tassenberg, Die Tuindwergies, Naas Veld, Oros in ‘n Lang Glas en Mystic Boer Bloemfontein, vir die wonderlike gees belaaide partytjie

Die partytjie het egter nie daar gestop nie. Mystic het weereens bewys hoekom dit so ‘n geliefde kuierplek in Bloemfontein is, en hoekom elke kunstenaar wat Bloem betree, draaie ry, en planne skuif om ‘n kuiertjie daar mee te maak. Met groepies wat voor              – buite  – sit en kuier… groepies wat mekaar aandurf om ‘n foozeball tafel… groepies wat kop-skud op die beste kombinasie musiek wat jy voor kan vra… en groepies wat buite onder- dak sit en diep raak oor menigte hubbly’s wat die swart lug blou maak… Mystic het weereens aan my bewys hoekom almal daar welkom voel, en hoekom menigte mystic kinders sonder skroom, dit hulle tweede huis noem.

Mystic Kinders geniet n stukkie egte Mystic Gees

Daar is ‘n nuwe ou vibe weer aan die broei in die geliefde Boer, met ou en nuwe mystic kinder wat mekaar vind, en tou-wys maak in ou en nuwe lewenslesse. As jy nog nie ‘n mystic kind is nie, maak ‘n draai en kom kyk wat skud. As jy nog nie heeltemal oorgehaal is nie, hou die nuwe reeks blogs en stukke wat ek gaan doen oor die geliefde Boer in Bloemfontein – Die Mystic Diaries – dop. Ek is seker die lekker mystic vibe sal jou wel oorrompel… en ek is dood seker ek sal jou een of ander tyd, rondom ‘n hubly buite onder- dak, ontmoet vir ‘n lekker kuier.

Mystic 100% goeie tye…GEES.