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Thursday 7 January 2010

My Wild Youth

It occurred to me the other day that 2009 marked thirty years of Goggins gig going, so I thought I should belatedly mark the occasion.

My first proper gig - I am not including here such delights as the New Seekers, Rolf Harris and Leapy Lee that I was dragged to on family outings - was in mid 1979 at the age of 16. That might seem a bit late for you cosmopolitan types, but opportunities in 1970s South Africa were strictly limited.

The gig was (I think) at The Space, in those days Cape Town's premier alternative arts venue, and the band were the Safari Suits. They were one of the relatively few South African punk/new wave bands, so it felt very daring and cutting edge to go and see them live. I thought they were pretty good at the time, although apart from Rolf and Leapy I had nothing to compare them to, but I now struggle to remember what they sounded like. My recollection was something vaguely Talking Heads-ish. According to the SA Rock Files website they played "an interesting mix of rock, reggae and kwela rhythms" so I may not be too far out. I think they did a cover of the Marvelettes' "The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game", and this would have been before the Grace Jones version.

My main recollection of the gig is the way they closed the first set. Being a bit arty they decided to get one of their mates to dress up as a policeman, jump on stage and loudly demand that they stop playing, before denouncing the audience as a bunch of Communist subversives and telling us to disperse. This "statement" rather backfired when a large percentage of the audience took him at his word and went home.

The Safari Suits only ever released two tracks on a compilation mini-LP called "Six Of The Best", which I don't have. The best I can offer is this track by the Popguns, a sort of South African new wave mildly-supergroup comprising members of the Safari Suits and Joburg's Radio Rats, who we have featured here previously.

"Home Address The Burning Road" - The Popguns

One of the other acts featured on "Six Of The Best" was Durban's Wild Youth. You can find out all you could ever want to know about Wild Youth, and a good deal more, in this article by Johnny Teen, their guitarist and occasional vocalist. Or you could just listen to their one and only single.

"Wot About Me" - Wild Youth

For today's YouTube clip, we move forward a few years to 1984 and a big South African hit in a vaguely new wave style - "Taximan" by eVoid. I used to go to school with the lead singer, Erik Windrich. The Christian Brothers have a lot to answer for.

1 comment:

  1. This is great! I am an independent singer songwriter and I learn a lot from reading blogs like this - thanks so much for sharing.