THE Dark Side of the Moon, Hunky Dory and Harvest are great albums, and they deserve to be re-released and written about until the ink runs dry. They helped shape pop and rock, and every household should own them. But there is so much more out there that doesn’t get the same hype and coverage. So, I think it’s time to divert from the common narrative and create our own rock canon at the southern tip of Africa.
A little background: when I landed in Johannesburg 20 years ago, I did not know much about South African rock. Sure, even in Holland we had heard of Clout because they had a huge hit with a catchy tune called Substitute. And during an earlier stay here, I had been introduced to the “alternatiewe Afrikaners”, Kerkorrel, Kombuis, Koos, Niemand. But I had no clue about rock music from the late sixties and early seventies, South Africa’s contemporaries to Pink Floyd.
My artist friend Mark Kannemeyer took it upon himself to educate me. In his flat in Linden we used to have Friday evening music sessions involving copious amounts of red wine, much shouting and listening to all kinds of baffling records. It usually started with something not too hectic, such as Nick Drake, but as the evening wore on and a second bottle was opened, the sounds would get louder and Mark would treat me to stunning obscurities such as Oblivians and The Urinals...
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