Friday, December 24, 2010

Best Christmas song EVER - and a good cause to boot

There are so many reasons to love Johnny Borrell, and this is definitely one of them. He really, REALLY loves Christmas! And so do we!
Apparently he also believes in the development of talented youth a la Burberry Foundation, thus donating his time and talent (and waiving his fee) to create this absolutely brilliant Christmas card. Every time it is forwarded a donation is made to the Burberry Foundation and some grateful youth somewhere is developed. And since BlindBlimp is all about development, of course we feel that this card should be forwarded as much as possible.

As an added bonus your friends will giggle.

Check it out and forward it on:

For more on the Burberry Foundation:

And with that, dear friends, we sign off for the year. Have an absolutely stellar party season and check back with us on the 1st, when we will be checking back in with you, hungover, happy and ready for 2011!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The National - High Violet: Tingle Central

Released in May 2010, High Violet is The National's fifth studio album, and has since gone silver in the UK. The album drags my mind joyfully back to the 80s (in an awesome Depeche Mode, INXS way; not a tragic Toni Basil, Culture Club way).
The first track, Terrible Love, sets the tone for 47 minutes of bliss. I tingled throughout the 11 tracks. Then I checked all the outlets and made sure I wasn't sitting on my cellphone and listened again - still tingling.
The warm baritone of Matt Berninger is both soothing and interesting and the melodic, cohesive backup supplied by Aaron and Bryce Dessner and Scott and Bryan Devendorf make for an individual yet nostalgic sound that you can easily listen to for hours.
Personally I enjoy them in the background as I lounge about in the pool accompanied by a large cocktail. Nothing says holiday chill like The National.
Although formed in Cincinnati, The National has reached greater success in the UK than the US, with their singles Terrible Love, Anyone's Ghost and, my personal favourite, Bloodbuzz Ohio. Lemonworld and Sorrow are both highlights on the album, with Lemonworld taking the Chris Isaak prize for Most 80s Flashbackness.
The National has received little play on SA radio, although their second album Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers (2003) received a small nod. If High Violet is your introduction to The National, I have little doubt it will inspire a spate of back-buying. It is a band a person can be unashamedly loyal to.

For more on the band visit

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Stepping back to 2009

I found this little gem in my outbox today. I sent it to the publisher of a self-proclaimed 'counter-culture' magazine who was looking for a music correspondent. We had been having a lively discussion on the direction we would take, but once I sent this review (inspired by a joke about fisting by Vicky) I never heard from them again. Wonder why. 
I know it's old, but it's funny. Well, I think it's funny.

"I have to admit I was pretty excited to hear Greenday was releasing a new album. After American Idiot, I was eager for a return to the Greenday I know and love – cunningly subversive and even downright depressing hidden under peppy tunes. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered that 21st Century Breakdown is nothing more than Armstrong having another go at beating us with his obvious stick.
It’s all good and well having a conscience all of a sudden - a well-known side-effect of being fisted by Bono - but does it have to be inflicted on us in such blatant monotony? I couldn’t pick a track to highlight out of the bleeding heart tedium if I wanted to. Where’s the subversion? Where’s the cunning little twists a la Macy’s Day Parade that made Greenday the last surviving vestige of Punk (as much as bathing regularly, buying your clothes instead of dragging them out of a dumpster and knowing how to play your instruments can be Punk)?
Tragically Greenday has joined the endless legions of self-flagellating, self-inflated celebrities intent on changing the world through their art, thus sacrificing the integrity and vision that made them great in the first place. As long as Greenday’s love affair with Bono continues, I doubt they will return to us. As much as I hate to say it Greenday, I think you’re sick and you should go home.

Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More: Unadulterated genius

I don't know what it is about a good harmony, but man it gets me. Combine that with the warm vocals of Marcus Mumford, the easy cohesion of acoustic guitars and creative banjo use and the result is unadulterated genius.
Mumford and Sons' folk influence is clear, with undertones of blues and jazz; their choons are organic and speak to simple themes of redemption, human suffering and angst. Mumford and Sons is easily my favourite discovery of 2010. I love it when adorable boys get all philosophical.
Singling out tracks from Sigh No More is almost sacrilegious – it flows beautifully from one high point to another. But if I have to, I'd draw attention to Little Lion Man – which is tearing up the International music scene – White Blank Page and Winter Winds. They're enough to make your heart yearn for simpler times. It takes me right back to Dylan, Cash and Simon & Garfunkle.
I've only managed to catch one single, The Cave, on the ever-reliable TUKS FM, but not to worry. I'm sure the SABC will catch on in another 4 or 5 albums. I wouldn't recommend waiting though.
Sigh No More is a blind buy you will not regret. The album is chilled and melodic, with a bit of an edge and the kind of infectious choons that stay with you for days. How can you not love a band that shamelessly incorporates the flugelhorn? 

For more visit

Monday, December 20, 2010

Desmond, Tutus & the Japanese

Craig, Nic, Doug and Shane being cool
2008 saw a huge leap in innovation for SA's music industry when Desmond & the Tutus took it upon themselves to release their (self-recorded via Awesomeland Records) debut album Tuck Shop. Their lively, oddball tunes are addictive and can keep an audience bouncing for hours on end (except, of course, when they're doing the German Modern).
Shane, Nic, Doug and Craig epitomise exuberance and fun. They really know how to involve an audience. 
Shane is also one of the (very) few men in the world who can pull off skinny jeans. It's pretty much him, and Johnny Borrell (the bastard who started the trend). And Johnny can't ALSO pull off a My Little Pony T.
The Tutus followed up Tuck Shop in 2009 with the release of an EP, __________ & the _________ and then (it seemed) promptly fell off the map. But no! They only went to the land that loves Karaoke – and that now loves the Tutus as much as we do – Japan.
A brilliant blog of their tour can be found at

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Alan! Let’s move on: Good name. Good live. Bad track.

Self-described on the band’s FB page as “kick-your-teeth-in electro pop”, Alan! Let’s Move On is an up and coming SA band to watch out for. With the band’s lead vocalist and bass guitarist, Louis Knoetze, digging bands such as Bon Iver, Elliot Smith, Radiohead, Band of Horses, Bat for Lashes and The Libertines and influences like New Order, Joy Division and Styrofoam they can only do good, right?
Jamming a catchy, likeable and professional gig the last time I saw them live I have kept an eye out for them ever since. The band recently provided its first single Albatros for download on its FB page, so, naturally, I gave it a listen. It starts off really well, but when it hits what should be the chorus it seems to go horribly wrong – kinda shouty and out of tune. So, unfortunately I wasn’t that impressed. Bad recording? Maybe. Either way I am not ready to give up on Alan! Let’s Move On just yet. The band’s good performance sticks in my mind and I’ll wait for the whole album before I pass judgement.
It must also be said that disappointing recordings are not out of place with SA bands, whose communal strength generally lies in performance. Even seasoned professionals can be a little disappointing in studio, while rocking it out on stage. Alan! Let's Move On has the potential to grow and deliver something truly impressive.
Based in Pretoria, the band is made up of Louis Knoetze, Daniel Knoetze, Louwrens Ferreira and Erje Smith. It is currently recording its first album which is set to be launched in February 2011. Keep an eye on its FB page for launch tour dates!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

NERD in SA, courtesy of HANSA

First the good news – Pharrell Williams and N.E.R.D will be performing in South Africa in February 2011. The rumours say it will be happening on the 12th, but this is unconfirmed. Happiness is!
Pharrell and N.E.R.D. at a US gig
The good people at Hansa will be bringing these lauded performers – famous for their innovation and attitude – to South Africa as part of the Legends in the Making tour. It comprises 15 shows featuring the likes of Malaika, Zuluboy and DMOS. Pharrell and N.E.R.D will be gracing the final show of the tour.
The bad news is that if you're not a big Hansa fan, you're unlikely to get to go. Tickets will not be on sale. You can win entrance with a code featured on the underliner of Hansa bottle caps. Being spotted drinking a Hansa could make you a winner, and selected radio stations will be having competitions too.
One assumes the demon 5FM will be involved somehow. Much like the devil, it seems to have a finger in every pie. I am loath to encourage people to listen to the travesty that is, though. Rather drink a Hansa or six. And be there to cheer N.E.R.D on as SA's international appeal grows.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Unshakeable Chill, Courtesy of Tings - 4 Dec 2010

The perennially cool hangout known as Tings ’n Times turned 15 on 4 December 2010 and celebrated with a mengelmoes of live acts, Afro-entertainment and, for some reason, clowns.
I could have done without the clowns.
For those not in the loop, Tings (as it is affectionately known) is a laid back bar-come-band venue in Hatfield, Pretoria. In traditional Hatfield fashion, the booze is cheap and the food (somewhat less traditionally) is excellent. But Tings is all about the vibe and it consistently hosts the best intimate live gigs this side of anywhere.
It goes without saying that its birthday would be celebrated in style. The good people at Tings expanded outside its usual borders into the back courtyard and out into the street.
The intentions were good. The evening featured the likes of Scicoustic, Kidofdoom and Boo! (Miss Chameleon made a welcome appearance), a drum circle and fire dancing in the back courtyard and the usual service with attitude. By 6 pm we had hit a level of chill that could not be shaken. It was rock solid.
This may be a good thing, because operations were not running smoothly. (The rather shaky operations did not deter the performing bands - who like most successful SA bands are good in adversity and know how to compensate for a less than stellar sound situation.) By the time Boo! appeared the sound system was in a bad way and little was still working. Miss Chameleon went as far as to say that it was Boo!’s best worst gig ever. But this hardly mattered, considering the level of placid contentment that we had reached. The Chill was unshakeable. The happiness stood strong. And only at Tings could such a thing happen.
Having had dozens of amazing gig experiences at Tings up to this point (including a stellar Boo! gig at the beginning of the year), forgiveness for the minor f*** up was readily forthcoming. We stuck around for a few more drinks, bonded with waiters and patrons – all at an equal level of Unshakeable Chill – and mosied off, still in a mild state of euphoria.
Happy birthday Tings! May there be many more!

Official intro: Riotous wondrousness, here we come

Not having participated much in the blog thus far, I thought I would introduce myself, the other half behind BlindBump, and express what our blog is all about.

I think about all the millions of bands that are out there and I panic. How many of those millions are ass-kickingly awesome and I don’t know about it – I have not heard a whisper of their riotous wondrousness. Let’s be honest, South African media – including radio, TV and magazines – does not cater for innovative, unknown or breakthrough bands – with most scraping the barrel of third album sell-outs. I wish to find these merry troops of musical genius and make them my own until they too possibly succumb to the masses. I can’t guarantee success, I can’t even vouch for my taste, but you are welcome to join me in trying to look beyond the hype, the spoon-fed masses and what the radio stations want you to hear to something different, something more, newer and up to keeping with international music trends.

Tune in to hear us rant about bands, rave about bands, review live shows, reveal upcoming acts and follow our stumbling footsteps as we attempt to find fresh acts to worship like good little band aids.

We’re new in this space so bear with us while we get up and running. We have big plans!

- V

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Shout out to Mr Scotty

I just have to give a big thank you to Scott Ormerod for the brilliant graphic (left) he designed for us. I love the cutie little guy! (Scotty and the blind blimp). And, I might ad, he did it in about 2 hours from request. Definitely someone you want in your corner.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

And the dregs keep coming

Roxette? Seriously? ROXETTE?
I realise there's a certain nostalgic charm to the band, and will after a few bottles of vodka get on the dance floor and shake my ass to She's Got the Look, but only at weddings as it tends to be a better option to the rest of the play list.
The fact that people are actually paying to see these aged pseudo-rockers is more than a little depressing. I can only comfort myself by remembering that the threatened Duran Duran show had to be cancelled because they couldn't sell enough tickets. Apparently South Africans do draw the line somewhere, but why this after buying Roxette tickets is beyond me.
Harping on about this is almost pointless, as clearly tickets have sold and people are going. Why? Well, this is the country that gave birth to both Jack Parow and Die Antwoord. Sometimes being South African is just embarrassing. 
If we have to have bands that haven't done anything new since the 80s but insist on touring anyway in SA, can't we get Alice Cooper over here? Now that would be worth watching. - C

Friday, December 10, 2010

Kings of Leon to horribly disappoint SA fans

I am so sick of hearing how incredibly excited silly girls are that the Kings of Leon are coming to South Africa. They are not. The Kings of Leon died a horrible death on the release of Only By the Night and their rotting carcasses were usurped by a band of simpering pussies. Those silly little girls wouldn't even know who the hell the Kings are (they still don't, not really) if one of their singles didn't happen to have 'sex' in the title.
As if the trite, popularised bullshit that was Only By the Night wasn't bad enough, these usurpers of the throne have pissed out what is easily the most boring album ever made by anyone – Come Around Sundown. And yes, I'm including Celine Dion. What's next? Raindrops on Roses? Whiskers on Kittens? Try to keep a little dignity, you sorry wankers.
The first single off the album, Radioactive, is beyond disappointing and frankly is no different from the twelve other mindless, insipid, dull tracks on this excuse for an album. The video is just as bad. Social consciousness is all good and well, but from the likes of KOL – a band that started out with a truly authentic voice – it just inspires mild queasiness. A small black child in the arms of a gruff Southern type such as Caleb Followill should inspire fear and trepidation, not embarrassment. It certainly does not inspire compassion.
This new wave of KOL arsewater is without a doubt the final nail in their already studded coffin. What happened to the raw power of Four Kicks? The sordid despair of Trani? The savage fury of Joe's Head? Hell, I'd take the smutty angst of I Want You over the indifferent balls up that is Come Around Sundown. And I use the word 'balls' in the only way it can now be used in relation to KOL.
And now these washed up losers, devoid of any validity or integrity, are finally coming to South Africa. And they expect us to cough up close to R600 for a golden circle ticket? Maybe in 2005, when the Followills had more backbone than sense. Or when a few pigeon droppings wouldn't have scared them off stage. Perhaps the saddest of all is that those tickets have sold out. Sometimes the masses really are depressing.
One can't help but feel the pigeons of St Louis had a point. Poo on you, Kings of Leon. Grow your hair back, stop bathing, do a few bumps with that trannie at the bus station and perhaps, like Samson, your awesome powers will return too. - C

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wrestlerish - Sleep

The first week of December 2010 saw Wrestlerish - an SA band worth keeping an eye out for in your local dive - taking to the streets and harassing strangers to have their picture taken with pics of the band for the video for their new single Sleep. The single itself is a pretty good listen, but the video is well worth taking a look at. ESPECIALLY BECAUSE WE MADE IT INTO THE VIDEO! YAY US!

Check it out here:

Feeder live at The Bassline, Newtown - 28 November 2010

Now I have to admit, Feeder is not in my top ten list of all time favourite bands. They're just so friggin happy. They did get me through my UK gap year with the wonders of Just a Day, though. So when I heard that they were playing a gig at the Bassline in Newtown I knew – the time to hesitate is through. And I was not disappointed.
Taka Hirose and new SA drummer-type
Their special brand of grunge meets pep translates wonderfully to the stage and Grant Nicholas (lead vocals and guitar) is an unstoppable pocket rocket of euphoria. He is the epitome of fun and professionalism (which is vital for a band used to touring the first world when faced with a gig in SA). He just doesn't stop.
Bassist Taka Hirose is just adorable (They're tiny, OK? I could fit one in each pocket and be the happiest girl in the world). He doesn't miss a beat and clearly enjoys what he does.
The set itself was flawless, and surprisingly heavy considering the exuberance of their better-known choons (Buck Rogers, anyone?). They wrapped up their extensive playlist, covering the classics and a few choons off the new album Renegades, with a cover of Nirvana's Breed, which firmly cemented Feeder in my mind as 100% nzima. It was fan-fucking-tastic to be able to jump around like a lunatic for an entire show again. And without any alcoholic assistance, I might ad. It's not surprising that they're one of the UK's favourite acts. I can't wait for the return.
I have to give a shoutout to The Bassline as a venue, too. I am a fan of Newtown, and The Bassline is one of the reasons for this. I struggle to find anything to detract from what was a phenomenal evening. As SA venues go, it gets a 10. - C

For more on Feeder: