Psycho Billy

The great thing about being the owner of the Blah Blah Bar is the live music programme, which is my personal domain. I get to choose the bands who play here, and I also have the unfortunate task of saying “no”. Punk & Rock bands get an immediate “Sorry, dude”, not because I don’t like their music, but because of Complaint Trevi, who, thanks to this policy, has been quiet

Trouble in Mind

Last Saturday afternoon I was coaxed out of the bar that to some extent has become my prison. Not like in Pollsmoor, more like Pablo Escobar’s luxury prison that he built himself, staffed with his goons, and where he lived a sheltered life of luxurious captivity. In other words, a self-inflicted sentence of cultural seclusion, paid for by myself, and enforced by no other than myself. The temptation came in

Mean Black Mamba

Who can tell what the night will bring. Will it be a slow burner, or will the bar be jammed up with people? It’s almost always a surprise, sometimes a good one, other times it’s like visiting your Kazakh dentist who trained on horses in Mongolia. Tonight, I have no idea what to expect. Experience has taught me that Facebook and Cape Town audiences are as fickle as President Zuma.

Getting Hotter

Nick Turner feels like an old friend, even though I first met him a mere two years ago, just after opening the Blah Blah Bar. I like to think we had an immediate rapport, but I could be wrong. Maybe that feeling was just from my side, because he reminded me of the Eighties generation of musicians, who had to make something from nothing, pull rabbits from hats, constantly, smiling

Springs, Centre of the Universe

Two weeks ago I watched Jiving & Dying, a documentary by Michael Cross about a legendary band from Springs called The Radio Rats. In all likelihood, you have never heard of them, and that’s not really surprising. They were all but gone by the time I got to Jo’burg in the early Eighties, and they hardly ever gigged outside of the East Rand anyway. That was their biggest handicap, I


What a strange evening Friday night turned out to be. Amped to watch Manouche and The Swing Collective, and keeping my beady eye on Facebook the whole week, I was anticipating an exciting performance and a full house. A full house it was, and (apparently) an exciting performance – which I missed in its entirety. Can’t even say I was dealing with problems, cos that would be lying. Not that

Quiet Time

Took the weekend off with the idea of resting this stressed ol’ frame of mine, listen to some music, work the vegie patch, talk to my wife, drink less (hopefully much less), and generally just shoot the breeze. So I head off to our hidey-hole in Stanford, well stocked with the cd’s I’ve been collecting from the bands that have played at the Bar the last couple of months –

Bye Bye Blackbird

Each night has it’s, um, highlights, shall we say? And each action having a similarly powered reaction, there are inevitably also some lowlights. In this game I have realized very quickly that a highlight for some is a lowlight for others. So, for me, being an optimist, there are only grades of highlights. Even the worst possible experience, for example, one of my favourite regulars, C, on shrooms, has some

Vivaldi Rides Again

Once, a long, long time ago, my Oupa looked me in the eye, and said “if you don’t have anything to say, don’t say it”. My Oupa was a conservative Christian teetotaler (apart from a single brandy at Christmas) who spoke only one language. Despite those handicaps, he had given me good sound advice over the years, most of which I have forgotten or ignored. “Boeta, moet nooit met jou

Life is Weird

CLACK! The power goes off midway into the Fargo episode I’ve been streaming at home. It’s my night off, one of very few evenings that I’m not at the bar, and I’m heavily invested in watching the entire Fargo season. Using my phone torch I find the gate remote and head down to bar to buy electricity online. Walking in, I spot G and N sitting at the bar counter.