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Friday 23 February 2024

Shifty Sounds

I got home yesterday after a couple of weeks visiting assorted Gogginses in South Africa. As evidence here is one of my holiday snaps. This is Kalk Bay, just south of Cape Town, and those are friendly seals in the bottom left of the photo.

I only bought one CD while I was there, but it is a goodie. The title is fairly self-explanatory: "Shot Down: Resistance Music from Apartheid South Africa". It features highlights from the first five years of the Shifty Records catalogue. 

Shifty was set up in 1984 to provide an outlet for artists banned by the national broadcasters and shunned by the established record companies. Some went on to have long careers and achieve some level of fame (at least locally), such as Kalahari Surfers and Vusi Mahlasela. Others like Mapantsula were never heard of again. One of them ended up working with my brother-in-law as a TV cameraman.

"Reasonable Men" - Kalahari Surfers

"Pambere" - Mapantsula

Shifty Records has a Bandcamp page where you can find many of the artists featured on "Shot Down" as well as "Shot Down" itself. I would particularly recommend "Change Is Pain" by the great poet Mzwakhe Mbuli and "Eet Kreef" by Johannes Kerkorrel's Gereformeede Blues Band - possibly the best Afrikaans rock album ever made (admittedly it is a small field).


  1. Welcome back, Ernie, you were missed... although you're not fooling anyone with that photo at the top of the page. It's just a still from Wish You Were Here. I can clearly make out Judith Chalmers on one of those boats.

    Good to hear a little more Johannes Kerkorrel.

  2. There's a cornucopia of reasonably priced albums at that bandcamp page

  3. What a fascinating page. Thank you!

  4. Welcome back, Ernie, love the photo and good to see there's not a word here about your professional football or sports-writing career.

  5. Loved that Mzwakhe Mbuli track The Day Shall Dawn - snapped it up from Bandcamp. Thanks for putting up that clip

  6. "One Ernie Goggins, there's only one Ernie Goggins..."
    As Greg Lake may one have said: Welcome back, my friend.