1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Madcow – Dorp

Dorp

Dorp

Dorp began life calling themselves The Fauves and that early line-up included a certain Albert Loubser who would go on to fame as Albert Frost. A change of lead singer (the new one being Pieter Bezhuidenhout who has been the mainstay of the band since then) and a change of name followed and Dorp was born. In their early days they did rough and ready indie stuff which produced some interesting material, some of which has already been featuered on this list.

Then they relocated to London and hooked up with a French DJ called Fred Caiou who brought a dance angle to their songs. During this time, they recorded an EP called Boy/Girl which, as far as I can tell, was only available at their gigs. This 5 track disc included a little gem called ‘Madcow’. Playing on the mad cow disease scare which was particularly prevalent in the UK in the mid 80’s, the song also harks back to a 60’s dance crazy called the ‘Funky Chicken’ as Bezuidenhout asks ‘Why be a Madcow if you can be a funky chicken’. Presumably this is a call to not get too caught up in all the madness of what is going on around one but rather to get down and party!

This is all done over a funky dance beat putting one in mind of The Bee Gees’ ‘Stayin’ Alive’ which also had a similar message about having a good time. ‘Madcow’ struts around with the confidence of John Travolta on a dance floor. It is absorbed in itself and lives up to the opening line of the song, ‘When it comes/I won’t even notice/I’ll be too busy looking good’ (which I have just discovered was a sample of some dialogue from the Bruce Lee movie ‘Enter The Dragon’). It is too busy looking (and sounding) good dancing around like a funky chicken. It is a track for those who have the moves to show them off and for those who don’t have the moves to show that off too because, its about looking good, even if it is only in one’s own eyes.

The band went on to sign to the UK label Caned & Able and recorded some heavier rock tracks like ‘London Out There’ which is also worth a listen. But I keep coming back to ‘Madcow’. It’s fun, it’s funky and it’s life-affirming. Unfortunately, it is a pretty difficult track to get hold of. I can’t find it anywhere out there. Hopefully one day, those boys vannie Dorp will put it up for our listening pleasure, but for the meantime, if you don’t have a copy of it, you’ll have to take my word that it is an SA song you should hear before you go deaf.

Where to find it:
Dorp – Boy/Girl (CD-R) (2001)

Tinkerbell – Dorp

Danger Gevaar Ingozi - Dorp

Danger Gevaar Ingozi – Dorp

Dorp were a band that shone briefly in the late nineties and early naughties. They were somewhat quirky, somewhat serious, somewhat dancey, somewhat rocky in essence somewhat diverse-ey. And perhaps that was where they did not quite get it right. Perhaps their different sounds and personas made it difficult for anyone with narrow music tastes to really get into them.

My favourite Dorp track is the dance oriented ‘Madcow’ and for me they were at their best doing dance oriented songs. However they finally managed to get a record deal in the UK with a heavy rock sound.

‘Tinkerbell’, which appeared on the 1998 album ‘Danger Gevaar Ngozi’ shows another side of them as it is a jazzy-blues number which laid back with some sassy sax weaving its soulful sound around a mesmerising guitar riff and soft drums. Occassionally a bit of brass is thrown in for good measure.

The dreamy sound is compliemented by the lyrics which mention ‘You’re in the hands of Peter Pan/Tinkerbell let’s have a ball’ referring to the children’s story that is all about dreams. In the vast quantity of songs that were released on 1998, ‘Tinkerbell’ is just a dorp in the ocean, but it’s one worth seeking out for its magical qualities.

Where to find it:
Danger, Gevaar, Ngozi – Dorp, (1998), Wildebeest Records, WILDE 017

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