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Syd Kitchen: Rest in peace, but never silent

Syd Kitchen died three weeks ago. One of South Africa’s great musicians, Syd was a folk artist whose musical history is inextricably embedded in that of our country. At Splashy Fen, South Africa’s longest running music festival, he was the one artist who had played every single year since the beginning. 1990 to 2010. Sadly, he’ll be missing 2011’s festival, happening later this month over the Easter weekend. He will undoubtedly be missed.

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one small seed made it to RAMFest 2011 in Cape Town, but barely made it out alive! Check out the footage to see what went down at South Africa’s only REAL Alternative Music festival.

RAMfest - The Cape’s Ultimate Rock Festival - spanned 3 venues this year for the first time, bringing Real Alternative Music (spells RAM, get it?) to South Africa’s metropoles. The main 3-day fest was held once again in the Cape, at the idyllic Nekkies Resort in Worcester, also home to  hippie-fests like Earth Dance. Following that, two more day-long festivals were held at the Wavehouse in Umhlanga in KZN and at Riversands Farm in Fourways in Jozi (who knew there were farms in Johannesburg!).

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I recently heard about the Pan African Space Station from the guy working in Cape Town’s raddest little record store, Mabu Vinyl. He was playing some wacky ‘70s electric jazz by the American jazz legend Chick Corea (look him up), which got me stuck in the store and chatting to this guy as he was mixing. The ‘guy’ in question turned out to be one of Pan African Space Station’s DJs, and none other than the notorious DJ Mighty (above and below). Already sold on his music taste, I had to follow it up and find out more, and this is what it’s all about.

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One of the outcomes of South Africa hosting that global sports tournament that shall not be named is the sudden surge in international stars popping up all over SA – all, no doubt, with their eyes on their share of the money-pie. From the UK’s Fatboy Slim claiming to be the official DJ of the WC to the Columbian Shakira heading the official anthem, pillage is indeed in the air. One aspect that I’m more than happy to waive, however, was the recent Masters of Rock tour. When else, in this country, would you be able to see, live, in the flesh, some of the original pioneers of heavy metal and rock music as we know it today?

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With white supremacist Eugene Terre Blanche’s recent murder and Malema’s boer-killing anthem being the talk of the town, Cape Town punk rockers Half Price live up to their name of not keeping quiet about anything. “I believe Eugene Terre Blanche and Julius Malema are one of a kind, they are both stupid, fascist, racist assholes,” they said. Cheers to that. Here’s the rest of what Half Price have to add to current local politics.

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It’s hard not to love the perks of the job, and last Tuesday night’s dinner and jazz extravaganza at Asoka was no exception. one small seed was invited to come along to the suave nightlife hotspot nestled in upper Kloof Street, the capital of Cape Town cool, to try the food and watch the band. So, having only popped into Asoka once before for a pre-drinks G&T or two, I went along—admittedly expecting far less of a place whose renown comes from its chic clientele and extensive cocktail menu rather than its food or live music.

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This year is South Africa’s longest running music festival’s 20th anniversary. Celebrating the big two zero, Splashy Fen promises to be massive as usual – if not more so than ever – living up to its name as the country’s most renowned annual music festival.

Held over Easter weekend on Splashy Fen farm in the Southern Drakensberg, among mountains and rivers, dams and grasslands, replete with tie-dye and hippies, campfires and drum circles, painted ponies and even a camel or two… Splashy Fen has been South Africa’s best alternative to an Easter egg hunt in the bottom of the garden for my whole recallable life. If you’ve ever been before, chances are, like me, you’ve never stopped going. In fact, you’ve probably spent half the year counting down the sleeps left ‘til Splashy and the other half reminiscing about it – it’s that much fun.

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