Tag Archives: SA rock

Behind Blue Eyes


No one knows what it’s like to be the bad man, to be the sad man, behind blue eyes”

Truth is, we all think the best of ourselves, we are the best, we deserve the best, we have our reasons and we’re always rights, we make mistakes, we’re perfect, it’s just that some people don’t get it, they don’t get us, but who are they? Ironically, they are us, we are each other, we are ourselves, we are at war with us, us and ourselves.

“No one knows what its like
To be mistreated, to be defeated
Behind blue eyes
No one know how to say
That they’re sorry and don’t worry
I’m not telling lies

But my dreams they aren’t as empty
As my conscience seems to be
I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That’s never free”

Stories told via a medium that we enjoy listening to often give us a chance to see things from the other end, the medium for me being music. Like I’ve mentioned already, we’d all like to think we’re good people, likewise we’d all like to think we know everything, that we’ve seen it all, truth is, we haven’t seen it all or else our eyes would be closed in a box six-under… until then, we all still have something yet to see, to learn.


I for one haven’t had a chance to be a parent, I’ve only heard of the troubles, struggles and rewards of parenthood. “Blue Eyes” by South African rock band The Springbok Nude Girls gives me insight of a rather dark moment of parenthood, in this story the protagonist is a dad, a family man who for some reason has murdered his wife and kids and is now after his daughter who somehow managed to get away. Yes we’ve all heard of such horror stories, on the news or somewhere. From where we stand, it’s always easy to judge the committer, unconscious of the turmoil they may have endured leading to such incidences. Of course my understanding or interpretation of “Blue Eyes” is not gospel and should be taken with a pinch of salt as The Springbok Nude Girls are known for adding ambiguous kicks in their songs, hell, I could be singing the (Blue Eyes) lyrics wrong for all I know as The Nudies didn’t print any with the release of their Surpass The Power album release… well, at least as far as I know.

Ambiguity may lead to a lot of misunderstandings and problems yet it’s a tool that allows the listener to be the artist, the creator of a story relevent to the individual or how they see the world… behind their own eyes.

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Springbok Nude Girls “Blue Eyes” music video shot (Final Scene)

The Sound Of A Breaking Heart

This Music Smells Like The Sound Of A Breaking Heart

“Every line is plotted and designed to leave you standing on your bedroom windows ledge and everyone else that it hits, that it gets to is nothing more than collateral damage”


Kiedis of The Red Hot Chili Peppers once said, as a writer, you get to see sides of yourself you wouldn’t normally see in conversation or otherwise. I say there’s more to that, I say it’s not the actual writing that gives us such perspective but our love for it, our passion, the same passion that choked the flower ’til it cried no more, possessing all of its beauty, hungry still for more… okay, I kind of got carried away there… what an amazing force this is… this love… turns saints into murderers.


“We’re going down, down in an earlier round and sugar we’re going down swinging, I’ll be your number one with a bullet, a loaded God complex, cock it and pull it”

People die for love everyday, people kill for love everyday, the same love we spend so much time and effort trying to pursue.

Taken from Fall Out Boy chart topper “Sugar, We’re Going Down”, the above lyrics are plotted and designed to take the listener wherever their heart already resides. This of course equates to the true meaning of this tune being highly debatable. How I see it, this number could easily be about love murder as the seemingly upset yet sarcastic protagonist watches (from the closet) as his love interest gets intimate with another man, “wishing to be the friction” in their jeans as he contemplates pulling the trigger.


They say money doesn’t/can’t buy happiness, but everyone wants to find this out themselves, same goes for love, yes, love isn’t happiness though it inspires it, it inspires us to give various elements that love alone can’t do without, this being honesty, care and all of their friends.

Curious and cautious in a stagger of my hearts track, How vast the world was, by the light of lime we gather, inflamed like moths to a fire”

Written by South African rockers aKing, these words basically narrate a rout we’ve all taken at some point, fueled by curiosity we cautiously explore, steady walking but bound to trip we tighten our grip, holding on to this fairytale coloured picture, bright colours so darkly shaded, inevitably the grip gets so violent we tear each other apart. Words are said, actions are done, no taking it back, death is the closest friend to a fresh start.



Gray Noise

It’s that time of the year again.
The birds are humming the bees are buzzing… well, it’s Spring Day in South Africa
What’s new? definitely not Spring or any of the four seasons for that matter.

“Perfect skies are blue and strange, just to think of what has been arranged
And a bloom of flowers here
But my boots are still too tight
Standing here day by day
All I want to say, all I want to say, all I want to say
Is I think I know what’s wrong with me now”

The Springbok Nude Girls rocking the crowd

The Springbok Nude Girls rocking the crowd

Something spectacular happened in South Africa 20 years ago… Freedom, yes, but what I’m about to talk about right here is our first post-apartheid rock band… Yeap, You guessed it…
Lead by Arno Carstens, The Springbok Nude Girls were voted the Best South African rock band in a poll conducted by 5FM. As far as music is concerned, that’s the least of their achievements.


The Springbok Nude Girls on stage

Above I quoted lyrics from A Springbok Nude Girls classic, “Bubblegum On My Boots”. This number swings from being a shy-trumpet accompanied arm waving sing along tune to a full on rock n roll head banger.
The song seems to be about a big fish in a small pond, procrastination and all his friends.
It’s about a moment when one realises the  boundless-ness of  their potential and how they’ve allowed circumstances to keep them from going forward thus far.

What Arno Carstens has done with this number on his 2014 solo release Lightning Prevails is a treat to old and new fans… it’s something you have to hear for yourself.

Like every one else in this world, I’m convinced that I have the best taste in music, and as a person with a good ear for music (that I am), I dub Arno Carstens as one of the greatest rock stars of our time, I’m not basing this as just a fan but because as a musician, he proved that he isn’t The Springbok Nude Girls, that he could make it work with or without his band… I could name a few band leaders who’ve went solo without much success, but I wont.
When The Springbok Nude Girls went on an indefinite hiatus in 2001 not all was lost as two years later (In 2003) Arno Carstens went on to release one of the most anticipated solo projects in South African music history in the form of “Another Universe”, his debut solo album.
Becoming the biggest selling South African English rock album this side of the millennium, “Another Universe” did not only go platinum but won a SAMA for Best Rock Album the following year.

Black music?

Black music?

White music?

White music?

At the wake of my palate as sound was just like the others, no, I mean colour was just like the others, Yes, it was only later that I learned that music had colour, and when I did, it felt like I had been living my whole life in another universe, see what I did there? (What I’m trying to say is that I think classifying music as either white or black music is total rtyuihg)


“Another Universe” is another classic Arno Carstens reworked… this time, with the help of the legendary Johnny Clegg… This song alone deserves its own blogpost… watch this space.

It’s quite obvious that Arno Carstens is a force to recon with which is why I’m so excited to see him as one of the judges/mentors in X Factor SA starting this weekend on SABC1.

Lightning Prevails album art

Lightning Prevails album art

Lightning Prevails is out now! treat yourself.

“Lets play the mellow music slow, leave the car on the highway and go
Nobody needs to know another universe, Make a distance between us and them
Lonely, lonely, never us again”