Friday, February 25, 2011

Bushfire 2011 - A celebration of African spirit

The House on Fire is easily one of the most amazing man-built places in Southern Africa. It's basically Swaziland's Owl House, just less depressing. A whimsical mix-match of craft, art, architecture, new Africa and African tradition, House on Fire is a rather odd dream built of cement, ceramic and nzima. And it plays host to the annual Bushfire Festival in Malkerns, Swaziland.

Since it's inception in 2007, Bushfire has grown to a 3-day, 3-stage festival expecting 20 000 visitors for it's 5th birthday celebrations in 2011. It is one of the most popular International festivals on the African continent and exhibits some of the most amazing, pioneering talent in Africa.
Although this year's acts have yet to be announced, the line-up is bound to be good. Last year saw the likes of Ringo and Freshly Ground from SA and an array of stellar artists from across the continent, including Mozambique, Kenya and Swaziland (of course).
But Bushfire isn't just a musical gathering. It celebrates film, poetry, theatre, dance – if it's an artform, it's there. (OK, there are no mimes. Or clowns. Thank the entire pantheon.) And, most impressively, all the proceeds from the festival go to Orphan sponsorship NGO Young Heroes. 

The 2011 Bushfire Festival runs from 27 – 29 May. Day passes are between R150 – R400 and full festival passes from R400 – R650 pre-booked. You have a choice between regular tickets and a Golden Lounge pass, which gives you access to exclusive seating and a dedicated bar with waiter service. Tickets are available from Computicket.

For more info on House on Fire visit
For info on Bushfire, visit their website or join the Facebook fan page!/group.php?gid=18076203888
Check out the Young Heroes organisation at

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Yoav - A Foolproof Escape Plan: A captivating 40 minutes worth of imaginative, hypnotising tracks

If you just listened to the dance version of We Are Dancing steadily climbing up 5FM’s chart, you would be forgiven for not giving Yoav a second thought. However, if you were to delve a little deeper and listen to his 2010 release, A Foolproof Escape Plan, in its entirety you would soon be singing his praises. If you were to take it one step further and attend one of his gigs you would be transformed into a bona fide fan, donning a Yoav t-shirt, frothing at the mouth waiting to get his autograph and fainting at seeing him in person.

In all honesty I think We Are Dancing is the worst song on the album, with the rest being streets ahead in terms of beat-induced toe tapping and soulful inspiration. The opening track, Greed, transports you to a dank, dark, dodgy bar in a side street where a man sitting on a rusted paint tin is jamming on his guitar, unaware of the stunned audience he is so intent on his song and so connected to his music. His sound is raw, natural and inviting, his lyrics full of feeling.

As the album progresses, you move from the bar into the streets and join a crowd of supporters following the man as his awe-inspiring, mesmerising beats lead you past those involved in conventional society and out into the sun where you all sit cross-legged on the grass and stare at him as he plays on, swaying to the subtle guitar tweaks flittering over the beat and his honey-like voice. Yoav and his music are one and any listener is soon pulled in by the big beats and delicate additions, hypnotised by it, forgetting the world and escaping to a happier place. A foolproof escape plan indeed.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tumi and the Volume - Pick a Dream: Hip hop with joie de vivre

OK, what I know about hip hop is somewhat limited. I know I prefer it in a club to electro dance dance BS. My ear, shall we say, is relatively undeveloped. But my ear is backed up by reliable sources, so I can confidently say that Tumi and the Volume is 100% nzima.
The new(ish) album Pick a Dream is French-produced and comes complete with a more refined sound. The good ol' Tumi perspective is still solid and speaks clearly to a South African audience.
Tumi and the Volume caught their international break when playing a festival on Reunion – an island off the coast of Madagascar. They were picked up by the organiser Gerome Galbert and paraded around Europe for all to see. The French got the first listen as Pick a Dream was released there early in 2010. We in Saffaland were graced with the album much later - during the Christmas rush - and it was denied the attention it deserved.
TATV's second studio album, and third album in total, Pick a Dream carries the attitude and voice of Tumi and the Volume and the expertise of international production. A vast array of interesting instruments make an appearance, and TATV do a fantastic job of incorporating these into their own unique sound. It's hard not to be proud of our boys with a stellar offering such as this. 
If I have one critique it's that they had to go overseas to do it.The SA music industry really needs to start taking note of acts such as these, rather than sending them off to foreign climes.
Catch Tumi in action at the AGH Soweto sessions and RAMfest, and TATV at venues around SA. 
Visit their MySpace page for more info or a preview of the album:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

U2 360˚ Tour – An experience beyond words

We love contributors! The awesome Andrea Vermaak had this to say about U2’s recent appearance. Personally blindblimp is against Bono's self-righteous interfering personality, but we can’t refute U2’s legendaryness. Over to Andrea…
The phrase “epic proportions” does not cut it when it comes to the surreal U2 360˚ Tour experience. On Sunday 13 February 2011 not only did the band put on a show that stops all shows in the electrifying atmosphere of FNB Stadium in Soweto, but the monstrous, futuristic, 360˚ stage which seemed to take up half the field could have performed a show on its own and people would have paid to watch it.

The show in its entirety gives “mind-blowing” new meaning. Everyone watch in complete awe and jaws dropped to knees as colourful light and crystal clear sound was dispersed from all corners of the stage. This world record holding concert stage includes a four-legged supporting rig – nicknamed The Claw – a cylindrical video screen which expands, contracts, and moves up and down; rotating bridges between the stage; and a circular ramp which surrounded the stage. Even the drum platform rotates! It truly is a spectacular work of design genius that no one has seen the likes of before.

But, enough about the special effects. Everyone knows that U2 are social activists, promoting equality and peace. Bono delivered strong messages about the state of our world without the cheese that one would expect from a celeb. His drive for universal unity is genuine and sincere, and there is no better tool, in my opinion, than to deliver a message of hope through the power of shared emotions that one experiences through music. Carefully chosen images, maps, flags and words littered the 360˚ screen to bring the message home, including an especially filmed video message from Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

If you were there, I am sure that you will agree that there really are no adjectives yet in existence to describe the experience. Unless you were there, you really have no idea of exactly how jealous you should be of those who were.

No doubt is left in my mind that all other shows that I watch in the future will pale in comparison. No other show will stimulate as many of my senses again and leave me with the feeling of complete, fuzzy happiness and wanting more – unless U2 performs again. You must admit that it would be right of me to wonder: “What will U2 pull out next?”

Copy and photography by Andrea Vermaak

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rammstein – A performance of Explosive proportions

Here it is as promised. The first contribution from our new contributor, Tanith. Rammstein review to boot.

An idea of the eyebrow-removal technique
employed by Rammstein fans
German Industrial Metallers forced themselves on a very willing Joburg audience on 11 Feb 2011.

The air oozed with Goth Rocker excitement. The lights go out and the madness begins. No MC. No opening act. All because of the amount of pyrotechnics on and around the stage. But singeing the audience's eyebrows and nose hairs was of little concern. The stage was intimidating enough without knowing that it might explode at any minute.

True to their international reputation the show was one colossal explosion of heat, awesome and flames. Being quite a distance from the stage didn’t mean I was left out of feeling the heat from the flame thrower. I’m pretty sure those who were lucky enough to be right up front are still blowing ash from various orifices.

My only crit of the whole event is that if a Goth Rocker giant stood in front of you, you were buggered for a decent view. This proved a problem as most of the crowd were freakishly tall.

Explosions, flame throwers, extreme loudness and a near intimidating stage presence. Haven’t moshed that hard and that long since the good ol’ Zeplins days in the middle of Pretoria.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

BRIT Awards 2011 wins disputed

Dear Bielibers, the fact that Justin Bieber won a BRIT doesn’t prove anything. Take That also won a BRIT this year.

And, Florence and The Machine didn’t win a BRIT. This doesn’t seem right at all.

At least Mumford and Sons and Arcade Fire were given nods. There is hope yet.

But, judge for yourself:
  • British Male Solo Artist – Plan B
  • British Female Solo Artist – Laura Marling
  • British Breakthrough Act – Tinie Tempah
  • British Group – Take That
  • British Single – Tinie Tempah, 'Pass Out'
  • British Album of the Year – Mumford & Sons, 'Sigh No More'
  • International Male Solo Artist – Cee Lo Green
  • International Female Solo Artist – Rihanna
  • International Breakthrough Act – Justin Bieber
  • International Group – Arcade Fire
  • International Album - Arcade Fire, 'The Suburbs'
  • Critics' Choice – Jessie J
To end with here’s a Justin Bieber joke:

Girl: "Mom, my boyfriend and I are going to my room."
Mom: "Ok honey. But don't do anything stupid.”
Five minutes later the mom hears: "Baby baby baby oohh."
She bursts into her daughter's room and shouts: "What's going on in here?"
"We're having sex mom," the daughter replies.
"Thank God," her mom says. "I thought you were listening to Justin Bieber."

I rest my case.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Top 10 Love Stinks Songs Eva Bru, EVA!

Funny enough, this list came a lot more easily than the Top 10 Love Songs. Except for a couple songs Christine felt were sufficiently bitter for the count down. Those were:

  • F You - Ceelo Green
  • There You Go - Pink (poppy, but still)
So without further ado...

A saddened Motion City Soundtracker wins the Science Fair
in the Her Words Destroyed My Planet video
Top 10 Love Stinks Songs Eva Bru, EVA!

10. You Oughtta Know – Alanis Morisette (A bit obvious, but it's essential)
9. Her Words Destroyed My Planet – Motion City Soundtrack
8. Pulling Teeth – Greenday
7. A Woman Left Lonely – Janis Joplin
6. Hello Tomorrow – Zebrahead
5. Ladykiller – Lush
4. Out of Time - Rolling Stones
3. Bullshit King – Juliette & the Licks
2. She Hates Me – Puddle of Mudd
1. Everything About You – Ugly Kid Joe

Top 10 Love Songs Eva Bru, EVA!

Not all love songs are performed by Brian Adams. It's TRUE! So we at BlindBlimp have put together a (highly subjective) definitive nzima Top 10 list of love songs. Valentine's Day has to be good for something. Why shouldn't it be making lists? Hurrah!

Of course, narrowing the field from thousands to 10 was not an easy task and a certain amount of 'you suck' and 'damn you and your principles' type attacks were made. So before we get to the list of nzima, we have a few special mentions (in no particular order):
  • Kiss You on the Cheek - Desmond & the Tutus
  • Just Like You Are and A Love Like This Is So Damn Hard To Find - Fire Through the Window
  • Clear Blue Air - Turin Brakes
  • Here and Now and Be My Downfall - Del Amitri
  • No Tomorrow - Orson
Michael Cera and Ellen Page in Juno
Top 10 Love Songs Ever Bru, EVA!
    10. No One's Gonna Love You - Band of Horses
    9. Can't Get Along (Without You) - Hard Fi
    8. She Moves in Her Own Way - The Kooks
    7. Let's Fall back In Love - Slow Club
    6. Fall, Fall, Fall – Razorlight
    5. 40 Day Dream - Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes
    4. Into the Dark - Ben Lee
    3. To Be Alone With You - Bob Dylan
    2. Something - The Beatles
    1. Anyone Else But You - Michael Cera & Ellen Page
Personal taste presented a few issues with the BlindBlimp team not being 100% in agreement over certain songs. Vicky pushed for (to no avail!):
  • Paris 2004 -  Peter, Bjorn and John
  • Back of the Van - Ladyhawke
  • Baby You’re My Light - Richard Hawley
  • To Be Alone With You - Sufjan Stevens
Her official comment in this regard is: "Damn veetoes."

Christine would have had Something be no 1, but since Vicky is anti-Beatles it had to be bumped. Democracy reigns. She also feels that I Got a Girl by Tripping Daisy is well awesome and deserves a mention.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sleepy Eyed Fox kick-assedness kick-started

From Nashville, Sleepy Eyed Fox have finally finished recording their folk/rock debut album after two years. However, the band still needs funding for mixing/mastering and duplication and manufacturing. Having come this far and having gathered all the funding for studio time and a producer from fans, it would be a serious waste to let such an amazing band's album fall through the cracks.

Folky awesomeness, as evident in the embedded video, is how they roll. And, your charity will not be in vain, besides providing the world with sweet-ass music, starting at the $15 price point, every donation receives a specially made silk screened t-shirt, designed and made by the band. Rad.

If you're keen to help out go to or if you just wanna hear a good tune click PLAY VIDEO below.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bring Them Crooked Eagles of the Stone Age to SA! Amandla!

Joshua Homme is arguably the most talented ginger in circulation at the moment (and yes, I know Florence is a ginger). Talented and with a serious lack of concentration, Josh does rather play the field when it comes to bands.
Neither Queenly or Stone Age, Josh we salute you
Having first stepped into the limelight as cantankerous frontman (and only constant member) of Queens of the Stone Age, he quickly won the hearts and minds of those who love a little neck strain in the morning. Not content to limit himself, and unable to drum, play quitar and sing at the some time, he decided to stretch his drumming muscle with the Eagles of Death Metal. Of course anyone can be in two bands at the same time. Why stop there?
Enter Uncle Dave.
Dave Grohl enjoyed a return to drumming when he joined QOTSA for their early run. He also developed a relationship with Zepplin's John Paul Jones when Jones played pretty much everything besides the cow bell for the Foo Fighters' 2005 double album In Your Honour.
The natural progression, of course, was the glorious Superband conglomerate of Them Crooked Vultures.
My point, dear readers, is this. Isn't it time Them Crooked Eagles of the Stone Age grace South Africa with their presence? What could be more awesome than a large collection of Josh Homme's bands randomly playing each other's choons in one epic show?
Did I mention Dave Grohl would be there?
Throw in a few of Uncle Dave's more upbeat moshy choons and some Zepplin kinda-covers and we may just have the most orgasmic show in the world in a very long time. Hell, if we bring along Justin Bieber (gagged, of course) and perform the necessary rituals, we may even get Satan to give Cobain back in exchange. Goodness knows, John Paul Jones has his number. And if John has forgotten we have Inyangas aplenty to assist.
I astound myself with the gloriousness of this plan. If it could only come together.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

AGH Soweto Sessions: Celebrating Mzansi

The really nzima thing about South Africa is the sheer range of talent we have, and music we offer. Our musicians are experimental, innovative and multifaceted. And quite often ahead of the curve. They dabble in everything from blues and jazz, to hip hop, to rock, to traditional jams. And sometimes all of them at the same time. SA is never quite as Rainbow as it is when it's singing.
The AGH Soweto sessions celebrate just this glorious phenomenon.
Based at Dorothy Nyembe Park in Soweto, and ongoing throughout 2011, the Soweto Sessions aim to give voice to SA artists just striking out into the limelight, as well as artists better known to the punters. Well, who can argue with a vision like that?
The sessions take place (or so we're told) on the first Sunday of every month in 2011. Tickets are around R30 and the setup is chilled. You're welcome to bring a picnic basket and a few dozen friends and just relax while the music goes on in the background.
Aimed more at the jazz, blues, roots aesthetic, the AGH Soweto Sessions promise an eclectic mix of South African talent and a good afternoon out.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

New Politics: Cathartic racket, with sparkle

Don't dirty rockers just make your heart sing?
Accidental Danish band New Politics embodies the nihilistic spirit of grunge, the exuberance of Brit Rock (pop just don't work here) and the kind of teen angst that expresses itself in hidden scars and labial piercings instead of really sleek hairstyles and dark eyeliner. And somehow manages to wrap it up all pretty and presentable. Their choons smack of early Bloc Party and Hard-Fi, with a little Seattle thrown in for good measure.
Made up of David Boyd, Søren Hansen, and Louis Vecchio, New Politics offers an interesting mix of alternative, punk and whiteboy rap a la Chilli Peppers. Alas, the whiteboy rap can get a bit much, and there's just a little too much electro gratuitously thrown in (a tragic sign of the times), but overall the raw, grainy vocals, tinny distortions and catchy rhythms make for some excellent moshy choons, such as the single Yeah Yeah Yeah and the angry Burn.
There are some lighter, more melodic high points on the self-titled début album too. My Love and (the other single) Dignity are two of my favourites; they epitomise a yearning desperation that speaks to the moody teen in each of us. And if you're just looking for something to get yourself going in the morning, Give Me Hope and Die For You will hit the spot.
Diverse, intelligent and oodles of fun, New Politics have made quite a splash internationally since their album dropped in June 2010, playing a few festivals to great responses and playing warm up for 30 Seconds to Mars in September and October of last year. There's little doubt that 2011 will see them rise that much closer to the stars.
New Politics is a name you should start getting used to – it will be uttered in tones of awe and admiration for years to come.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Get your ass to a Campus Invasion near you!

Campus Invasion 2011 is upon us, having completed the Potch leg and moving on to Maties tomorrow, 4 Feb.
It's hard to imagine a better way to kick off the year than Campus Invasion. The franchise is by now famous for it's contribution to the growth of SA artists on the verge of really taking off. 
Fire Through the Window at OppiKoppi 2008
This year's line-up is one of the best I've seen, with acts such as Wrestlerish, Fire Through the Window and Tidal Waves taking the stage. I just know in a year or three I'm going to be so heartily sick of hearing their names, due to rampant success and too much radio time. But right now I can only shout “Woohoo!” and get my bouncy boots on.
The occasional big names make appearances too. This year we can look forward to aKING (a band I still enjoy despite overplayedness, and that consistently delivers fantastic live sets), Zebra & Giraffe and Tumi and the Volume. 2011 really is a fantastic year for SA music.
There are a few names I would have liked to see on the line-up (Isochronous, Desmond & the Tutus and Kidofdoom spring to mind), but there is little by way of disappointment this year.
(I do wonder, however, WTF is up with Potch and Grahamstown? So many DJs, so many embarrassing moments a la Jack Parow. Campus Invasion is a clear case of 'supply and demand' and I'm afraid this just proves Gauteng is full of awesome and the rest of ya'll better catch up. Also that the makers of Campus Invasion know their audience. High five, right there.)
Wherever you may find yourself this February, popping by a Campus Invasion near you is bound to leave your heart bouncing in a joyful fashion. Tickets range from R50 – R80, depending on venue.

Remaining dates

Maties – 4 & 5 February
Cape Town – 11 February
Hatfield – 12 February
Joburg – 18 February
Grahamstown – 24 February

For more info visit the website at

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Imogen Heap – Emperor’s Palace, 29 January 2011: Mind-blowing, mesmerising and truly unforgettable

A ball of energy, known widely as Imogen Heap, pops onto the stage, announcing the opening act: Yoav. Out comes Yoav, with his guitar and recording machine and begins what – from start to finish – is an amazingly innovative, mind-blowing and mesmerising set from him and Heap.
Yoav signing autographs
Yoav, born in Israel and raised in South Africa, has caused a furore across the international musical scene over the past few years, achieving milestones such as appearing on the Jools Holland show. Quietly unassuming, he effortlessly records his backing track on the spot by tapping a beat on his guitar and occasionally adding his voice. He then begins strumming over it and finally adds his soulful voice. Funky beats you can’t help tapping your toes to and insightful lyrics characterise Yoav’s songs. He is a musical force to be reckoned with.

Following a raucous standing ovation, Heap returns to the stage, clearly psyched to start her set. A musical fairyland scene ensues – she skips around on stage under her white shining dead tree surrounded by sparkling fairy lights playing her see-through piano, then picking up bells, then lightly brushing a gong, all the while dancing happily and singing out in her clear, distinct voice. You feel as if you are privy to the creation of music, the show is so flowing and dynamic. Various bizarre instruments and household items, such as wine glasses, a saw and even the audience themselves, are recorded right before each song and used to create the backing tracks. One backing track consisted of her family silently standing around a crackling fire at her England home (pre-recorded of course). These unique sounds are effortlessly mingled to form magical melodies right in front of your eyes. It is truly mesmerising, as is Heap’s voice.
Heap is extremely comfortable on stage, and talkative, chatting openly to the audience as if old friends, making for an intimate gig which leaves the audience feeling like they know her a bit better and were privy to a private once-off show. She tells the stories behind some of the songs and randomly murmurs things like “I love my dead tree” in-between songs. She really did love her dead tree.
The beloved dead tree
Between Sheets she described as a song about her lying on a bed here and a man lying there and they had just done something rather amazing. She noted that she wrote it to encourage more in-the-moment moments like that in her life and more men in her bed. While Aha! details a dinner with a friend which involved her cooking a wheat-less, meatless – the list goes on – meal per his request. Following dinner she helped herself to some chocolate chip cookies he could not have as per his strict eating regime, however it did not take him long to sneak a biscuit out of the tin. She apparently found this very hypocritical, noting she could have just cooked steak and sent him on his way. She added that the chorus is actually about a serial killer, which her visitor wasn’t to her knowledge. Little antidotes and quirky insights like these make her exceptionally likeable and accessible – you can’t help but fall in love with her.

It is such a treat to go to a show where both acts, the opening and the main, are evidently excited to be performing and are clearly passionate about their music and enjoy every second of their shows. They both love what they are doing and are deeply proud of their music, putting their all into every single song. And neither has an ounce of pretension or ego. The effort which goes into creating as well as performing each song leaves one deeply grateful and creates an everlasting connection between these singers and their spectators. Truly unforgettable.