1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “Peach”

A Lot Of Things – Peach

A Lot Of Things – Peach

A Lot Of Things – Peach

Peach were punks, kick-ass punks. And for many their first introduction to the band was the single ‘A Lot Of Things’ which, from the first second, was rough and raw and in your face. In 1981, South Africa was not really ready for punk even though the movement had started a few years earlier in the UK, but Peach were one of the standouts of the many excellent local punk bands from the time, and they were the ones who made a break through and saw some commercial success.

‘A Lot Of Things’ took Angie Peach and her band to number 7 on the Springbok charts as well as making 6 on the Radio 5 charts and 14 on the Capital 604 ones. It was at odds with most of the other tracks in the charts at the time, sharing top 20 space with songs like LaStique’s ‘Hold On’, Kenny Rogers’ ‘Lady’ and Barbra Streisand’s ‘Woman In Love’. Probably the closest other thing to punk in the charts at the same time was The Police’s ‘De Do Do Do De Da Da Da’, but that was some distance from the latter’s earlier work.

‘A Lot Of Things’ rocks back and forth on it’s own beat with an angry guitar doing cartwheels around Angie’s sneering vocals. The song is a bit like a Suzi Quatro hit that has not been sanded down and made smooth. And that is the joy of the track. It is raw energy etched into the grooves of a 7 inch disc of vinyl which would have left many a stylus on record players around the country feeling like it had just done a major workout.

The follow up hit ‘Nightmare’ went 1 place higher on the Springbok charts and is the more melodic of the 2 hits, but is less frenetic. ‘A Lot Of Things’ ends as abruptly as it started, catching one a bit by surprise, but that was what it was all about. It was not meant to make you relax, it was a song designed to make you sit up and notice. The saddess thing about Peach was that they only ever made the 1 album, ‘On Loan For Evolution’, but what an album and what a track to kick off a career as short and as dynamic as ‘A Lot OF Things’.

Where to find it:
On Loan For Evolution – Peach (2002), RetroFresh, freshcd 123

Video:

School Kids – The Gents

School Kids – The Gents

School Kids – The Gents

Around 1980 punk arrived in South Africa with bands such as Asylum Kids, Dog Detachment and Peach leading the way. One of the lesser known bands to take to the genre was Durban band The Gents. Consisting of Kevin Flame, Tim Rocker and Sydne B Good (not been able to find out their real names), they produced, as far as I have been able to find out, a single single and a single album.
The album was called ‘The Gents’ and featured Jo Day on backing vocals, but oddly did not feature ‘School Kids’, their only single. Nor did the b-side of the single, ‘1917’, make the album. The latter is a darker, more sinister track and is a pretty decent song in its own right, but it would have had a less wider appeal than ‘School Kids’. Faster, lighter and poppier, ‘School Kids’ motors along on a sea of mixed up hormones as it tries to make its way in life. It features a rough and tumble guitar that has all the energy and innocence of a playground barney between friends while Flame’s vocals mix the coolness of a schoolboy that tries to hide a slightly romantic side.
It’s a catchy tune but with a bit of punk venom thrown in for good measure. It captures those angst filled high school days when one is caught in the no-man’s land between boyhood and manhood. Cocksure and vulnerable at the same time but played with a maturity and skill that belies the line ‘we’re just school kids, holding on’. Sadly, the band disappeared after their brief career and they weren’t noticed by many. Fortunately though there is a Youtube video of ‘School Kids’ so you can hear it for yourself.

Where to find it:
Vinyl: The Gents – The Gents (1982), Rap Records, SRLP C5

Video:

It’s So Luvverly – Peach

It’s So Luvverly – Peach

On Loan For Evolution - Peach

On Loan For Evolution – Peach

Peach had 2 hits on the Springbok Top 20 in 1981. ‘It’s So Luvverly’ was not one of them. But it could well have been as it is as strong a track as ‘A Lot Of Things’ and ‘Nightmare’ which did make the charts. Coming from their only album ‘On Loan For Evolution’ this song is a bouncy ska-punk tune.

Unlike the two hits which are more punk rock and venomous, ‘It’s So Luvverly’ is up tempo and great for pogo-ing around the living room to (that’s if you still remember how to pogo and have enough energy to do so).

However, scratching below the surface of what seems like a positive song, things are not so luvverly. The title of the song is a sarcastic swipe at the establishment, talking about the problems in society in true punk fashion – “You want to hear a real good joke/They’re telling us there is no hope/They say the streets are full of tension/any town you want to mention” – which could have been as relevant to the UK as it was to South Africa at the time. That is probably why it never made the top 20.

Where to find it:
On Loan For Evolution – Peach (2002), RetroFresh, freshcd 123

Video:

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