Americans – an Ode to Consumerism and Self-Loathing

This song was always our “closer” for live performances. At Splashy Fen in 2001 Steve played drums and bass at the same time to drive the song forward (we didn’t play with a drummer at the time). The crescendo to that performance was a wonderful moment on stage, one of those “Now I can die happy” moments.

It’s also easy to misunderstand the message in the song. It’s not about America, it’s about the rest of us, hypocritically slamming “the West” as we slavishly devote ourselves to the American cultural deluge.

So it’s really about whining instead of getting up and doing it yourself without waiting for permission, without finding excuses.

Sharkbrother never recorded the song although the Taj Mahala album contained an instrumental interpretation.


If you like this song my other original songs are featured on my facebook page at

Valiant Swart – Buitenkant, A Cover

Last week I bravely attempted a cover version of Valiant Swart’;s “In die Transvaal”. After far too many attempts I gave up. There’s nothing that I can say with “In die Transvaal” that isn’t in the original, Valiant’s version is perfect (obviously). Subsequently I went for “Buitenkant”. I’d always felt there was potential meaning in that song that could be lifted by slowing things down. Mostly through my own interpretation of the meaning of the words and I hope Valiant can bear with this fan’s hallucinations.

Valiant remains my favourite South African lyricist. Matthew van der Want might top him sometimes but there’s more earth, more simplicity in Valiant and his imagery is sublime. In Buitenkant alone there is enough brilliance The bridge, for example:

Koeëlvas is ‘n derduiwel en Carlos het ‘n slang

en Jimi Hendrix kom verby soos ‘n boeing

Geelbakkie bendes maak die bergies bang

en iemand vra “Hey, where yous ou’s going?”



Bulletproof is a rogue, Carlos has a snake

Jimi Hendrix comes past like a Boeing

Yellow pickup gangs scare the hobos

and someone asks “Hey, where yous guy’s going?”


– Translation will lose some of it and, if you didn’t live in SA when the police vans were yellow, the “Yellow pickup gangs” line will also be meaningless.


Valiant was part of a vanguard of Afrikaner youth that challenged the apartheid machinery with rock ‘n roll on the “Voëlvry” tour. While they certainly did not overthrow the government they definitely robbed the government of their young electorate. After Johannes had ridiculed PW Botha in “Sit dit af” and Koos had opened his heart all of us to see it became possible to speak your mind. Our fear evaporated and we had found our voice.

The Voëlvry movement struck a chord and it still rings.

Notes: Yes, the timing’s off, yes, the levels are nowhere near right, but this is a party on a Friday night…

I found my Love – The Mugu Studios “Underdog” Demo – Part 4

It was a Joburg winter’s day, I was housesitting in Orange Grove. We are friends to this day.

The song used to be part of the Sundogs setlist. We were loud and fast (Max will say not loud enough or fast enough). I played bass and this song was just filled with notes. Blisters and energy is all I remember. Well, being drunk all the time as well.

I think only Richard Sutcliffe remembers Sundogs. We played Wings many times, and it was always a blast.

I’ve never been able to produce a satisfactory recording of the song. Steve Savage and I came close a few times but I think the song needs Max Loubser on drums. Nobody ever hit a skin as hard, I miss playing with him.




Torture – The Mugu Studios “Underdog” Demo – Part 3

In 1990 I spent a year trying to undermine the SADF. I failed miserably for most of the time but I learnt a thing or two about helplessness. Fortunately I also wrote a few good songs during that year, mostly because of the hours and hours of jamming with Craig Gillings, a friendship that saved my life.

Back to the song – the lyrics are self-explanatory, it’s mostly a lustful fancy, dreamt up from the copper-sulphated glands of a 19 year old.

Sharkbrother recorded the song for the Life Full of Wednesdays album but I have since re-recorded it for the 88 Kilos of Sunshine project. You be the judge…


This song is featured (in full band version) on the second Sharkbrother album, Life Full of Wednesadays. You can purchase the album here.

If you are interested in the first Sharkbrother album, Taj Mahala, which was SA Rock Digest Album of the Year 2000 you can purchase the album here

My current solo project, 88 Kilos of Sunshine is available as a free download at or at

Only Yesterday – The Mugu Studios “Underdog” Demo – Part 2

Break-ups are awful things. All the brown stamps are taken out and shoved in the other person’s face. Both parties try to regain some pride by proving to the other how much they hated every moment of the time spent together.

I love this song because it’s a good pop song, hell, I even managed a riff and a bridge of sorts and most importantly I think I captured some of those break-up moments accurately. When these fights happen the truth hardly ever gets out and that Truth is that we will always love some people, no matter what we might say to them or to the public. Anyway, Nazareth said it best; Love Hurts.



This song is featured (in full band version) on the first Sharkbrother album, Taj Mahala, which was SA Rock Digest Album of the Year 2000 you can purchase the album here

The second Sharkbrother album, Life Full of Wednesadays. is available here.

My current solo project, 88 Kilos of Sunshine is available as a free download at or at