Tag Archives: Heuwels Fantasties

A Knight out with the King: The Lectric Monks at Rafters

9 Nov

I recently figured out that there is only one of me on this planet. Shocking, I know, but it’s the truth.
This unfortunately means that -until teleportation becomes a reality- I can only be in one place at a time.The fact saddened me, but it also provided me with the ideal opportunity to involve some of my friends in my blog.

Michael King and Charné Fourie are two passionate, interesting and talented young people, who I am glad to have on my team. Charné takes pictures and Michael charms ladies. He also writes words.
Without further ado, for the first time on Baas de Beer’s Blog: A Knight out with the King!


 “Well, technically, we’re only two weeks old” is not what I expected to hear when I asked Gary Peacock, vocalist for The ‘Lectric Monks, when they started the band.

The Lectric Monks [Photo by Charné Fourie]

We arrived at Rafters hoping to see whether Die Heuwels Fantasties could still kick it like in the old days. Needless to say, we were kinda sceptical about the opening band, since we had never heard of them before.

After getting our first round of drinks and a table close to the stage, we watched this eclectic group of musicians shuffle out of the VIP area, expecting them to be just another small-fish-big-pond opening band. We were completely mistaken.

As soon as the first chord of Aloe Blacc’s “I Need a Dollar” rang through Rafters, we knew we were in for a treat. Every person who had been laughing and talking, ignoring what was unfolding on stage, turned around, awe-struck at what they were hearing. It quickly became clear that these guys were no run of the mill garage band.

By the end of their rendition of “Skulduggery”, it was as though we were being lured to the front by Sirens. The crowd (us included) got up from their tables in the dark reaches of the venue and sauntered to the stage, getting ready to rock out to this new found gem.

The Lectric Monks [Photo by Charné Fourie]The passion reflected in the vocals and lyrics of every song made me turn nostalgic for a band that I did not know and had me singing along to words that I had never heard before. “Hustle, bustle, rustle” echoing through Rafters as existing fans and new converts joined forces to reciprocate the joy that The Monks were exuding from the stage. The masterful use of guitar, violin, harmonica (and even a tambourine) melded together to form a familiar Modern Folk sound, reminiscent of Mumford & Sons, the early days.

Looking around, I saw some so young that I had to question whether they were even allowed to be out past 20:00, and others, around the same age as my own parents, all bobbing their heads or jumping around in appreciation of these five amazing people who had come together to create a sound that I believe South Africans (young and old) will come to appreciate as part of the new wave of local music.

When the set was declared over, the “encore” chant resounded around the venue, with people anxiously standing on their toes to see whether the band would return to the stage. Alas, they did not grace us with their return, since it was time for the main act of the evening. I can, however, safely say that this is not the last that we will hear of The ‘Lectric Monks and that I personally look forward to seeing them at OppiKoppi 2015 with a whole new set of songs.

IMG_9115Members:
Francois (vocals, rhythm guitar)
Gary (vocals, harmonica, melodica)
Henk (lead guitar, vocals)
Liza (vocals, tambourine)
Robyn (violin)

Find them on-line:
www.facebook.com/Lectricmonks

If you wonder what they sound like, here’s some footage of the show I found on-line…


Well, there you go, what do you think? Not too shabby for a first time, hey? 
The fact that you are reading this, means that you probably made it through the post and agree with me that I freaking love my new contributors. 

Share this with your friends if you liked it, and your enemies if you didn’t. Enjoy!

MK Awards 2012 – My views included

6 Jan

Last night, the nominees for the MK Awards 2012 have been announced.

Your votes will determine the winners, who will be announced on 23 March 2012 at an awesome event held at The State Theatre in Pretoria.

Now, seeing as you are reading my blog, I quite arrogantly assume that you must be interested in my opinion. Either that, or you came here by accident.  In case of the latter, I will keep my opinions short.

Best Video

Jack Parow – Tussen Stasies

Locnville – Stars Above You

Die Heuwels Fantasties ft. Inge Beckman– Modus Operandi

Spoek Mathambo – Control

Winterstasie – Los My

I must admit, I was blown away by Spoek’s video. It’s not at all my style of music, but man, what a brilliant video! However, since I need to like the music as well in order to REALLY like a music video, my vote goes to Jack Parow – Tussen Stasies.
Parow’s collaboration with Die Heuwels Fantasties brings out the best of both worlds. This video makes me feel good, sad, happy, chilled and excited all at the same time.

Best Newcomer

Bittereinder – Ware Verhaal

Shadowclub – Guns n Money

Moses Metro Man – Huigelaar

The Greame Watkins Project – Music Affair

Mr Cat & The Jackal – The Devil Always Wants To Dance

All the songs in this category are impressive. Shadowclub manages to make a on-stage video cool again, Moses Metro Man makes fairy lights strangely manly and Mr Cat &  The Jackal produced a magnificent video. I really, really love Bittereinder’s video and will always be a huge fan. Somehow, The Graeme Watkins Project just edges this one in their favour for me. I like a video where I WANT to watch to see what happens next, yet is well enough produced to remain entertaining even after you know the story.

Best Group

Van Coke Kartel – Ondier Kom

Shadowclub – Good Morning Killer

Zebra & Giraffe – Undo These Lies

Die Heuwels Fantasties – Buitenste Ruim

Bittereinder ft. Tim Beumers – Slechte Mensen

aKING – Catch Alight

Van Coke Kartel is obvious in their awesomeness, and as a group they have grown so much from “the spawn of Fokofpolisiekar” into a powerful musical force to be reckoned with. My vote goes to them. However, special mention needs to go to Heuwels Fantasties and Bittereinder. Both awesome songs, yet in both cases I just feel that they could’ve done a bit more with the videos. Shadowclub impressed me beyond expectation. Trust me, this is a band the South African music scene can bet on to become HUGE! aKing’s video, aside from providing fap-incentive for many teen boys, is very well done, but as a group I think Van Coke overshadows them as well at this stage.

Best International Hit

Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man

Adele – Rolling In The Deep

LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem

Maroon 5 – Moves Like Jagger

Foo Fighters – Walk

Here I am torn between two bands. I would love to say that Foo Fighters takes the prize, simply because they are, well, Foo Fighters. I do however think that a band that made a bigger impact on the South African music scene in 2011 deserves to walk away with the accolades. So here’s to Mumford and Sons – Little Lion Man. As for the others: Adele – Brilliant but not quite my style. Maroon 5 – Sing more like Jagger and less about him and I might pay attention. LMFAO… Your name says it all.
On the other hand, screw it, give it to Foo Fighters. Their video is better. No, Mumford. No, Foo… Ok, you decide. I honestly can’t. 

Best SFX/ Animation

aKING – Catch Alight

Goldfish – We Come Together

Mr. Cat & The Jackal – Bad Man Comin

Die Heuwels Fantasties ft. Inge Beckman– Modus Operandi

Van Coke Kartel – Ondier Kom

aKing’s video, as mentioned, is faptastic. I do however feel that Mr. Cat & The Jackal should take this one. They managed to make stop-motion cool again. Van Coke is no doubt the best band in this category, but as with the Heuwels Fantasites video here, the videos are awesome, but it did not make me sit back and say “WOW”. Goldfish… um, cute. no we just need some originality.

Best Rock

Knave – Hollow Chamber

Van Coke Kartel – Vir Almal

Taxi Violence – Head Or Tails

Shadowclub – Guns n Money

Dead Alphabet – Eat You Alive

Play Van Coke’s ‘Vir Almal’ Back to back with aKing’s ‘Catch Alight’ and your 15 year old cousin will strangely go to his room for 3 minutes to be alone. Hoewever, epic tits doth not an awesome video make. If only the first part of the video was as exciting as the last. I honestyl LOVE “Vir almal”, it’s one of my favourite songs at the moment, so I’m almost sad that I couldn’t like the video more. In this, the Best Rock category,  I’ll give it to Knave – Hollow Chamber. These guys are one of the most underrated hard-rock outfits of South Afirca, and deserve to be seen more.  

Best Indie

Ashtray Electric ft. Gazelle – Release

Yesterday’s Pupil – Too Tired To Disco

Dance, You’re On Fire – Boxes Of Tigers

The LA Els – Soulkiller

Wrestlerish – Bodies Of Water

I find it quite difficult to choose between these bands. Partyl due to their diversity, and partly becuse in their own way, each is quite brilliant. In the end, I’ll go for Wrestlerish – Bodies of Water. These guys brought a fresh sound to South African music, and they are not all skinny little boys. Big up for the bigger people!

Best Hipster

(Disclaimer: I have no freaking idea what ‘hipster’ actually is. Mostly because no one does. So I’ll just venture a guess and judge accordingly)

Fulka – Dancing In Our Darkest Days

Holiday Murray – Jirrey

Fire Through The Window – Lonely Hearts

Jack Parow – Byelville

Sedge Warbler – Paranormal Ox Man

I pick Fire Through The Window – Lonely Hearts  simply because I can picture a bunch of hipsters (whoever they might be) going to parties (if that’s not too mainstream) and playing this while they play canasta and talk about obscure movies while scoffing down red velvet cheesecake. (Yes, I have no idea what hipsters actually do, ok?) Oh, and I like the song. 
Parow is Zef, how can he be hip too? Fulka, well, not a huge fan. 

Best Dance

PH Fat – The Big Five

Gazelle ft. Teba – Chic Afrique

Goodluck – Hop On Hop Off

Sedge Warbler – Paranormal Ox Man

Jax Panik – Get Up

To avoid any confusion, I will not rate this, seeing as I honestly do not give a rats ass about this category. Some cute vids though. See  for yourself.

Best Radio Hit

Kovsie FM – aKING / Catch Alight

Puk FM – Moses Metro Man / Huigelaar

Jacaranda FM – Elvis Blue / Lighthouse

MFM – Jax Panik / Dinosaur

Tuks FM – KONGOS / I’m Only Joking

Here my vote goes to KONGOS. Not only due to my love for TuksFM, but honestly because it is an awesome song. Whenever I play it, people party. Whenever I hear it, I want to party. 

Best Live Act

Viewers have the opportunity to nominate any artist/band for the Best Live Act category. To cast a vote, ‘Like’ the MK Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/mktv.co.za and click on the ‘Live’ tab. Voting on Facebook and Mxit for the “Live” category puts viewers in line to win a Hyundai i20.

I really look forward to seeing everyone’s opinions on this. In my opinion, some of the best live local acts I have seen during 2011, was Bittereinder, Van Coke Kartel and the EPIC David Kramer Tribute show at Oppikoppi (although I do not think the latter can be nominated).

What do you think? Are my opinions stupid?
Let me know by commenting on this post, and you stand the chance of winning a beer. Yes, I will buy you a beer. Or you can buy me one, I don’t really care.

I also need to work in a slight disclaimer here:
The opinions expressed here are my own. I do not actually think that my options will even win, because people overall are idiots and will vote for the band they like most, in stead of the band best suited to win the appropriate categrory. Hell ,there are bands that I honestly HOPE  will win, simply because i like them more. I was just too honest to wangle my opinion.

So, what are you waiting for, get voting!
Voting has officially begun, and will end at 12:00 on 1 March, 2012.

You can vote on:

I am no longer an Oppikoppi Virgin

17 Aug

Firstly, let me get it this out of the way. Yes, I have never before been to Oppikoppi (hence the term Koppi Virgin). This does not however mean that I am a newbie in the entertainment world. I have been to more gigs, shows and festivals than I can remember. I’ve done the whole shebang from playing in a band myself to organising tours. Furthermore, I have roughed it in informal settlements for months in African countries. I’ve done survivor camps, rock climbing, river rafting on the Zambezi and many other extreme fun events. I’ve even gone shopping in Menlyn during the school holidays. So of course I was prepared for Oppikoppi.

Yeah right.

The sheer magnitude of the festival almost overwhelmed me. To see thousands upon thousands of people from such a diverse cultural spectrum all together for one event was amazing. From the white Rasta to the black punk, the boerseun in khakis and a Fokofpolisiekar T-shirt to the poppie trading her Sandton-manicure for hippie-pants and a MK-cap…  To be frank, I can go see bands any time I want, but to live the experience of Oppikoppi is, evidently, much more than just the music.

Our campsite was my base of operations. Here my days began with Black Label and ended with friends around the fire just before curling up in my dusty tent. I was privileged enough to have a really fun crowd camping with us. My fellow Koppi Virgins and I were continually enthralled by tales of previous Oppikoppi’s as told by people like Henno Kruger (doing his 13th) and others with a few Koppi’s behind them. What made these stories even more awesome was the realisation that I too, was now living the stories I would tell to next year’s campers. Aside from all the laughs and random encounters with even more random people, camping also provided me with a strange opportunity to reflect. I was surrounded by dust (and a LOT of it), noise (every surrounding campsite had its own self appointed DJ) and conversations (you’d be surprised to know what people all around your tent talk about at 3:30 am). Yet somewhere in the cacophony I found myself engaged in my own thoughts for the first time in ages. I don’t know whether it was the change of pace form the city, or the subconscious realisation of the inherent freedom that Oppikoppi embodies. All I know is that there, on the corner of Frank Frost and Freedom, I found a part of my inner self that I thought had long ago been lost.

During the day, things were a lot less mushy and the music took over. Of the 5 stages on which more than 80 bands performed, I frequented four. I left the electro/dance stage to those that actually like that type of music. My personal favourites of the festival was undoubtedly Karen Zoid, Not My Dog, Bittereinder (by far the best local act at Oppikoppi. Read my interview with them on SA Music Zone) and the Canadian band Sum41 who blew more than 16 000 people away with their old songs and new hits alike. Other bands that need to be mentioned for exceptional performances are Van Coke Kartel, Die Heuwels Fantasties, Die Tuindwergies, December Streets, the Lise Chris Band and Frankie Fire. A very special show was the David Kramer tribute, celebrating his 30 years in the SA music industry. He put is all into an amazing performance, collaborating with -amongst others- Karen Zoid, Francois van Coke, Pierre Greeff (Heuwels Fantasties) and Jaco van der Merwe & Peach van Pletzen of Bittereinder.


Certain moments at the fest just managed to put the proverbial cherry on top of the already delicious cake. On the Saturday we had a TweetUp (meet-up of various twitter folks) hosted on the Cuervo deck. I was privileged enough to be there (seeing as I helped to organise it) and meet some of South Africa’s most prominent online personalities… whilst drinking tequila.

Visits to the legendary Top Bar (especially the post-koppi party after the last shows were done) made for more epic moments than I can mention (some of which I’d rather NOT mention).

All in all I can say that my first Oppikoppi experience was a tremendously good one. I will definitely be going back next year… and every year thereafter. If YOU are still an Oppikoppi Virgin, do something about it. Oppikoppi 2012 is waiting for you!

To my Unknown Brother who traded his suit and tie for and tie-die and Doc’s…
To my Unknown Sister who used a portable ablution facility for the first time…
To the Unknown organisers and crew who made this event a reality…
I salute you. YOU are the people that make Oppikoppi the life changing experience that it is.

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