Posts Tagged ‘dan nash


Desert Dreams

flagsI don’t know what it was that made me fall in love with the desert, or at least the idea of it because the closest I’ve come to experiencing it was staying at Matjiesfontein in the Karoo on road trips from Jozi to CT.

If I think back to my childhood, there’s nothing concrete there either – maybe some half-remembered movie scenes or vague, dusty dreams. The clink of spurs, the rolling tumbleweed, the blood-red sunsets.

Whatever it was, my obsession with desert rock has only made it stronger over the years. It was this shared love of that scene that sparked a connection between myself and Dan Nash who, as I write this, is living the dream.

His story is a pretty cool one. SA band Red Huxley were lucky enough to win a 5FM competition last year and subsequently got to meet the Eagles Of Death Metal backstage when they were in the country last year.

The guys got to talking with the band and were invited to this crazy little recording studio way out in the Californian Desert called Rancho De La Luna which is a legendary place in desert rock folklore.



Everyone from Eagles Of Death Metal themselves to my favourite band of all time, Queens Of The Stone Age to PJ Harvey and the Arctic Monkeys have recorded albums out there. It’s a kind of Mecca for bands that want to escape it all, soak up the solitude and untamed desert energy and just do what bands were born to do.

So Red Huxley created a Kickstarter campaign to raise enough money to fly over to the States and record their first album with the co-owner and founder of Rancho, Dave Catching, who has played in both Eagles Of Death Metal and QOTSA.

It’s not only a dream come true for Red Huxley, but it’s also a South African first (far as I know) so it carries national significance for each and every South African out there! Of course, the guys needed a coupla faithful scribes to make sure the interwebs could follow their exploits which is where Kim from Motion City Films and Dan come into it.

The guys have been gathering content and Dan’s been posting regular updates on the trip which you can check out on his site. So far, they’ve put out 5 videos of their trip which you can watch here.

They’re pretty cool, they give you a great idea of what the place is like, but what’s been really awesome to see are all the pics the guys have been taking, some of my favourites of which follow below:














What crazy place. I’m seriously interested to hear what Red Huxley’s album is going to sound like because holy shit, it looks like it’s been an insane ride.

I’ll get out there one day. It won’t be to live the rock n roll dream though, it will be with my daughter and J-Rab, cruising those dusty roads in a Cadillac like the guys managed to find, surrounded by “those on the fringes of the promised land, cut off from the American dream”.

One day Winking smile



The Tiger Rocks The Daisies Chapter 2: Friday Super Mario

DSCF0455The first morning of a festival is the best by far.

All the troopers from the night before slowly start surfacing, giving one another silent nods of approval from across their respective campsites while the morning sun shines impossibly bright all around you.

First thing I did when I woke up was put my sunglasses on. Second thing I did was down a sachet of rehydrate followed by two liver pills and two Myprodols in rapid succession.

Lastly, I put the Tiger hat on and got ready to face the day though all the preparation in the world wouldn’t have got me ready for the insanity to follow.

First thing was first – the mushroom.

It had been decided that instead of sorting ourselves out with a gazebo, we would tie a series of sarongs together to make a canopy and tie this with string above all our tents to make shade for us to chill under at Camp Tiger.

Of course, this proved a lot more difficult in practise, so I fetched our beach umbrella from the car and next thing you know, The Mushroom happened:



After getting that right, J-Rab and I decided to take a long, slow, lazy breakfast while we lay on our backs and watched the clouds shift and swirl because The Mushroom was working; it was shady and there were no bands starting for a good couple of hours.

We passed our morning listening to music through some Shox speakers connected to my phone (a festival must-have for campsite chilling), eating fresh fruit salad and drinking Bloody Marys which, I’m pretty sure it’s scientifically proven, are the world’s best hangover cure.

A peaceful, easy feeling breezed through Camp Tiger and all was calm in the dappled tie-dyed light that fell, glowing on our skin.



It was a good, long time before we decided to head up to the main stage and explore the festival a bit, but when we did we hardly got far when Barbarian called to say he had just arrived and was at the main gate.

I remember sprinting down that orange / red sand road leading up to the main stage, my feet hardly touching the ground as I sailed effortlessly through crowds and crowds of people like a minnow over the surface of a glassy pond.



Barbarian, his brother Spu and his girlfriend Millie got settled in back at the campsite as the afternoon sun slowly faded and I think we stayed and had a few more drinks there  before deciding to head to the beer tent at the main stage.

There we briefly saw The Brother Moves On being all freaky on stage and pissed ourselves laughing at this guy:



From there we got seriously stuck into the main stage beer tent so much so that we basically missed every band that went up. Problem is this good friend of ours we hadn’t seen in ages, Molly, suddenly showed up out of the blue and we ended up jamming with her all night.

It was about then that I ran into my partner in crime Mr Dan Nash whose ear I decided to chew off for a good hour or so (hahaha! Sorry homes). Shortly after that (before that?) I barnacled myself to another long-time fellow writer and whisky-lover Sean Lloyd though God only knows what the hell we spoke about.



I also ran into Gabi ( who is one of my all-time favourite people, SA bloggers and musical aficionados. 

From there the night melts into a bizarre collage of nameless faces, laughter, loads of beer in plastic cups, more laughter and a  vague feeling like time was passing and maybe it would be a good idea to watch some bands.

The good news is we did end up catching some of The Kongos’ set and they were AWESOME! Definite Desert Rock vibe going on there, it’s tragic I didn’t catch more and that the bits I did catch I don’t remember very well.



Oh, and we also caught Beast after that but the general vibe I got is that Inge (singer from Lark) needs to reign it in a bit, her vocals were tearing the songs apart like a wailing cat. The rest of the band was killing it, but most of the people we spoke to thought she was very difficult to listen to.

What happened after that is anyone’s guess, but I do vaguely remember J-Rab breaking into the Heartbreak Hotel compound with my buddy Peggles’ so we could get more booze from his tent.

I swear, I have no idea why anyone would want to camp there. Looks like flippin Auschwitz or something. I guess the clean facilities and free breakfasts are a huge plus, but still, I wasn’t sold and even Peggles himself said next time he’s definitely camping with us.

More hilarity ensued as the night wore on until we all eventually decided to hit the hay and try to get some rest before the big day on Saturday.



My last memory is of walking back to our campsite, happy, fuzzy and thinking I’d NAILED Friday in the best possible way when out of nowhere this random guy bolts past, grabs my Tiger head hat and sprints off in the other direction.

Instantly my happy, carefree state flicked off like a switch and I went straight into KILL mode.

Next thing this guy knew he had 90kgs of 6ft1 gym-hardened Tiger flying through the air like a guided missile into the small of his back. My arms clamped around him as I sent him plunging into the dirt to eat a mouthful of soggy, trodden-on turf – a perfectly-executed tackle for a guy who only played rugby for a grand total of 6 weeks in highschool.

Needless to say I got the Tiger head hat back and walked away feeling totally fine (my only injury the next day was a broken toenail for some reason), while my assailant limped off mumbling grumpily to no one.

Back at Camp Tiger, we crawled back into our tent of lurve, piled on the blankets and fell instantly asleep.

That night I dreamed about a calzone. It was the weirdest dream I’ve ever had and I couldn’t explain it if I tried, but somehow seemed like a fitting end to an awesome day.



Tune in tomorrow for my last piece on RTD12 where I actually watch some bands and have the best damn hoddog of my LIFE!

Good times I tell ya.

Good times Winking smile



Brilliant Retroviral Video

RetroviralA long time ago, before the Dead Sea was even sick (da dum. tssshhh) I quit the job I was working in insurance PR and got a gig with a way cooler company called Tribeca PR doing tech-spin.

I had about 2 weeks to kill between jobs so the crazy kids at Tribeca invited me to a media launch they were handling for the HTC Touch.

I walked into the launch and there was this big lug of a man who greeted me with a hearty handshake and was a loud, sweary, goofy kinda guy who I had no idea would one day start a digital agency as amazing as the one I’m about to show you.

Of course, the big lug I’m referring to is Mike Sharman (THE MAEN!) who founded Retroviral on a collaborative basis with total badasses like Mel Attree, who is Mike’s partner in crime on a lot of projects and definitely the brains of the operation.



As the video I’m about to show you illustrates, Retroviral has come a LONG way for a company that only celebrates its second birthday this year and now has an official “staff compliment” that includes the mastermind behind one of a small handful of blogs I actually read, Mr Dan Nash himself.

Check it.



A huge congrats to the Retroviral team. Really looking forward to seeing what you guys come up with in 2012.

In the words of my doff-as-fuck alter ego, KLAP IT CHARNAS!



Synergy 2011 FUll Event Review

Synergy CrowdWhat can I possibly write that could ever do justice to the fucking awesome time I had at Synergy this past weekend?

After building it up in my head to be this epic event that was going to change my life forever, I was pretty sure the actual experience would never live up to that, but after a bit of a rocky start, everything came together in the best possible way and we had a truly epic weekend.

The Good…

I actually started writing a full, blow-by-blow account of the entire weekend, but after I got to 2000 words I realised I need to keep this punchy.

So instead, here are some bullet points on what was awesome about the festival:

  • Boschendal is STUNNING! Surrounded by majestic mountain peaks and flanked on the one side by a river perfect for dipping your toes in or, further down, jumping in for a swim, the whole area is really beautiful and perfect for a festival


  • The organisation is pretty damned sick. At festivals you expect to spend a fair amount of time queuing for food and booze and holding your breath as you walk into porta-loos that look like hell, but Synergy was really well organised that way. Every toilet I went into was actually spotless, even right at the end and the food stalls were plenty and not too expensive either


  • TAXI VIOLENCE! These guys put on the best fucking show I’ve seen them play EVER! It was fucking electrifying, the crowd was loving every second of it and George and the guys were giving it their all. Great job, you blew everyone the fuck away!




  • LMG STAGE – a great place to discover new talent. These are the bands that will one day be tearing it up on the mainstage, no doubt. We caught snatches of bands playing here, but to be honest were too busy missioning around to remember who any of them were. DEFINITELY should have spent more time there, big fail on my part


  • The rides! We never went on them, but DAMN they looked like fun!



  • The river! On Saturday morning we went down to the river and spent a long time sitting or rocks slowly getting drunker, talking shit and splashing around in the river. This is what festivals are about, getting away from it all and doing something as simple as sitting with your feet in a river, not giving a shit about anything


  • The sun cream girls! Spraying everyone that needed sun cream with sun cream. VERY cool idea, a nice touch to make sure people didn’t get fried in their own natural juices



  • Our gazebo. This, more than anything, is a festival essential if you’re going with a big group of people. The gazebo united us. It provided much needed shade when the day started getting baking hot and it was the perfect thing to lie under and drink cold Bloody Marys all afternoon



  • Playing the messiest game of Kings ever! You know it’s a good one when the cards end up all over the camp site once the game has disintegrated into random shouting, laughter and drunken chants of “Down it!” All thanks to the genius “every time someone pulls a black card, everyone drinks” rule. That’s a recipe for awesome right there…


  • THE COMEDY TENT! Who goes to a music festival to listen to comedy, right? What a total waste of time, right? WRONG MUTHUFUKKAHS! On Saturday night we wandered randomly into the comedy tent and caught Dylan Skews’ set (who also happens to be a friend of ours) and basically spent the next hour crying with laughter. I’ve known Dylan for a couple of years through friends of ours, but never heard his stuff – it was the funniest comedy I’ve seen in YEARS. Great job man, J-Rab and I love your work


  • JAX PANIK! Possibly the biggest crowd I saw at the main stage all weekend – not really the kind of music I go for, but they were fucking AMAZING! The crowd went crazy for them and they delivered the goods. Definitely watch out for this band, they put on a great live show, one of those moments that makes you proud to be South African



  • ISOCHRONOUS! Ok, anyone who was at the festival is probably starting to pick up a general trend here – yes, we basically missed all the bands on the opening night except Taxi Violence (a lot of tequila happened. I blame you Ebz, I blame you… Joking! We had a badass time, sorry we missed you the rest of the festival!). But we caught Isochronous, who have a strong Muse-flavour to their material, and are face-meltingly awesome to watch live


  • Morning bacon and egg rolls for R15! That’s all we need to say about that one


  • VIP bracelets – thank you to the festival organisers for hooking J-Rab and I up with these, we put them to good use on Saturday night when, on a random mission to arrange a photo pass, we headed backstage to the production office and ended up…


  • MEETING BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB! Well, actually we didn’t really meet them so much as round a corner and find them sitting literally five feet from us being interviewed by MK89. For this BRMC-obsessed fan, it was fucking surreal to see the band so close, but we were asked to please leave by the band’s manager, not in a shitty way, in fact they even listened to me gush for 15 minutes about how amazing I think they are even though they’ve probably heard it a million times before. It was a perfect moment seeing them so close in this quiet, random corner of the festival and one I won’t soon forget

The Bad…

Of course, it can’t be all sunshine and lollypops, there are a few bad points about the festival that I feel I need to mention, namely:


  • The fact that I had to wait for over 2 HOURS for those aforementioned VIP passes! Thank God I managed to win a ticket to the festival through Bangers & Nash or I never would have gotten inside to find the festival organisers in the first place. It was a kak way to start the festival, but things were chaotic for the organisers so I understand, but still, 2 HOURS waiting alone under the Synergy arch?! That was painful


  • The nights. They were FREEZING cold! Friday especially – you could see your fucking breath it was so bad. J-Rab was practically crying she was so cold. Next year we’re taking backup blankets, that’s for DAMN SURE!



  • The drunken douchebags camping near us. Who, at 6 in the morning, think it’s cool to shout “Show us your pussy!” to the girls walking past their camp site. Don’t be a “show us your pussy” kind of guy, no one likes guys like that, especially not at 6 in the morning


  • The Redbull Stage. Not that the music was bad, the music was pretty sick for the most part, but the people listening to it, phwoar! Ease up on the MDMA guys, you look like a bunch of Gummi Bears bouncing here and there and everywhere, high adventures beyond compare…


  • The trek from the parking to the campsite. I guess this is to be expected at festivals, but you had to lug your shit for a good 20 mins before you hit the campsite and then at least another 10 before you found a spot to camp


  • This is a bit of a sad one, but after all that hype, after building it up for so long, it pains me to say that one of the bad things for the festival for me was Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. We fought our way right up to the stage, about 5 metres from the band and stayed there, basically in the mosh pit for the next hour before finally leaving before the band had even finished playing.


I mean, they NAILED some of the songs – “Conscience Killer” was INTENSE! They banged it out full of sound and fury, “Ain’t No Easy Way” was also fucking brilliant, as was “Six Barrel Shotgun”, but to be perfectly frank, for the most part the band looked a bit bored.

Leah (the drummer) came alive for one song maybe, the rest of the time she stared ahead with the same blank expression on her face, Peter (singer, guitarist) played like a fucking MACHINE, tearing his fretboard to pieces and banging out some seriously badass bluesy rock, but was also expressionless throughout.

Robert (singer, bassist) was the most animated of the three – he has this cool way of playing his base guitar like he’s aiming a rifle and MAN can he play that bass. He also swapped it out for a normal six string a couple of times, he’s a fucking talented musician.



In fact, they all are. You cannot fault them on that point and I will always, always love BRMC, but I just feel like their performance was missing something. I’m stoked I got to see them live and like I said, I loved a lot of songs they played, but they fluffed a few tracks too, which was a bit sad.


The Ugly…

And then there are the moments you kinda wish you hadn’t ever seen, like when…

  • It was 5pm on the OPENING DAY OF THE FESTIVAL, and I watched a girl falling all over the place, drunk as a mineworker and splashing white wine everywhere while her buddy tried to walk her back to her tent


  • One of the drunken douches camping next to us passed out at 6pm on Saturday night with his head out his tent so he could have a nice, hearty chunder while J-Rab and I were eating our sammiches not 10 feet away from him. Yummy.


  • On Saturday night, a guy ran straight into a car. It was actually hilarious. There was one solitary white polo parked off to the side the main stage, you couldn’t miss it, but this genius ran right into it, BANG! Hahahaha!


The Amazing…

I don’t want to end this on a shitty note, so let me sum up by first thanking everyone who made our festival experience possible, Tchavdar and the crew at Synergy Live, New Sound Artist Management and of course Mr Dan Nash.

Our plan came together in the best possible way and we had a fucking amazing time!



Sure, I didn’t catch half the bands I wanted to see, but there will always be time to watch them play in and get the interviews I want to sometime in the future.

The bands were amazing, the organisation was top notch, the good times kept rolling and the shower and nap we had after we got back home yesterday was fucking glorious!

You bet your ass we’ll be at Synergy 2012 and so will you guys because it’s a brilliant festival.

Here’s to an amazing weekend of sick bands, sunshine and good times Winking smile



The Road To Synergy: Part 4 – SUCCESS!


After that mopey “I give up” post I wrote because I’d completely lost hope that I’d ever get tickets to Synergy and get to interview Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (one of my favourite bands of all time), EVERYTHING changed!

Thanks to Mr Dan Nash, the organisers of Synergy, a little badass called Paula K and most importantly, Grant Gelt from New Sound Artist Management I now not only have two tickets to the festival, but a photo pass so J-Rab can get shots from the photo pit and they’re doing what they can to arrange an interview on Saturday!

How fucking crazy is that shit?! It just goes to show, if you want something badly enough and throw yourself into it face first (with a cat on your back) sometimes, just sometimes, it actually works out.

Throughout the day one thing after the other was falling into place and then last night, at about 9pm, an email came from New Sound Artist Management saying they’d read my posts and wanted to basically help me get as close to the band as humanly possibly!

If you guys could’ve seen me last night you would have thought I had actually finally lost my fucking mind. Air punching, screams of “FUCK YEAH!” and practically having a full on seizure is how I spent the better part of an hour.



Then I promptly passed out from exhaustion, woke up this morning and continued the air-punching, seizure-inducing marathon that will probably only stop on Sunday.

This is going to be the best fucking festival EVER! I can hardly sit still I’m so fucking stoked – how the hell I’m going to get through the next 24 hours without physically detonating from excitement is anyone’s guess.

Batten the hatches boys and girls, the Tiger’s tearin’ up Synergy Winking smile



That was “Weapon Of Choice”. They’ve changed their drummer since recording that video, so you won’t see that dude (Nick Jago) behind the kit. But don’t be sad, they replaced him with a total belter!



In all my BRMC-inspired obsession, I realise that I’ve completely neglected to mention the killer SA bands that I’m going to be supporting at Synergy.

There’s a shitload of them, so not sure how I’m really going to be able to fit them all in, but here’s my festival wishlist:

  • The Plastics
  • Shadowclub
  • Taxi Violence
  • Zebra and Giraffe
  • Good Luck
  • McCree
  • Sixgun Gospel
  • Tumi & The Volume
  • Desmond and the Tutus (it’s been WAAAAYYYY too long!)
  • Isochronous
  • Captain Stu (if I survive until the bitter end – please guys, stay to watch these guys, besides being awesome guys, their music is guaranteed to melt faces)

Life, my friends, has a funny way of working out sometimes.

To everyone who made this possible, thank you again, I won’t forget this Winking smile



It’s Friday. Here Are Hot Chicks.

I know this is usually Dan Nash’s thing (sorry charna, not ripping you off homes, just too damn lazy to actually write anything worth reading) but it’s been a long-ass week and I’d rather be vegetating right now than using my brain.

Still though I feel like I owe you guys, my loyal readers, something worth reading / gawking at.

So here ya go, enjoy Winking smile







Have a killer weekend party people Winking smile



Please Dear God Let Today End Soon

You know that feeling when your brain swells to twice its normal size in your skull, your tongue tastes like you’ve been licking dog asshole and your guts are a soupy mess, threatening to rupture at any given moment?

I know that feeling. Right now I AM that feeling.

Holy shit did we party last night.

When you leave the house dressed like this, you know shit’s gonna get fucked up but good.



We called it a “Dan Nash Bash”, it was the leaving party for the man himself who has left our company to move onto bigger, better things and because ol’ Nash loves a good party, the entire office showed up in full force and started hitting the sauce with gusto.

J-Rab looked sexy as hell and I looked like at any minute I might just whip out a six shooter and shoot holes in the ceiling whilst yelling “Yeeeee-ha!” in my best Yosemite Sam voice.

At least once in my life I want to party somewhere way out in the desert where I can actually shoot holes in the ceiling. How fucking cool would that be? Slam a tequila back and open fire until it’s raining plaster and ceiling fan.



I had to lose the beard after awhile though because I kept eating bits of it and it got pretty soggy. Also, it was cutting circulation off to the bottom half of my face which wasn’t ideal.



The man you see in that photo is one of the best shooters I know, name of Blommie. He’s got a natural eye for filming shit and can work wonders in an editing suite.

Also, he parties like a muthufukkah and is totally fine with getting up onto the bar counter, dancing around a bit and dropping trou. Yeah, Nash and I might have joined him on that mission…

I dunno. Right then and there, it just seemed like the right thing to do.

Then the girls got a hold of my beard and this happened.



Not sure how much more I can really write about last night right now. The pictures are making me feel drunk again.

Here’s my favourite though.



And so in closing, here’s a quote from the movie I just referenced that jumped into my mind and seems somehow fitting…

“Mickey: The whole world’s comin’ to an end, Mal!
Mallory: I see angels, Mickey. They’re comin’ down for us from heaven. And I see you ridin’ a big red horse, and you’re driving them horses, whippin’ ’em, and the’re spitting and frothing all ‘long the mouth, and the’re coming right at us. And I see the future, and there’s no death, ’cause you and I, we’re angels…
Mickey: I love you, Mal.
Mallory: I know you do baby, and I’ve loved you since the day we met.”

Party on Wayne.