Archives: Newsletter 11 September 2009


Yo Blues Fans
Hope you're all ready to start warming for some end of year action... There promises to be some great live music on offer.

Two big blues festivals coming up:
-Blanc and Blues festival at Bloemendal Winehouse on 3rd and 4th of Oct...
please check here for all details and bookings... only R60 www.bloemendalwines.co.za

-Table Mountain Blues Summit 2009 on the 28th of November... Tickets are already selling nicely.
There is no doubt this is the biggest and best blues festival ever to be staged in South Africa... Don't miss this one.
All you need to know can be found here www.bluesfest.co.za... A Computicket direct link can be found there as well.

Some really cool gigs coming up in the next few days.... This is time for Boulevard Blues Acoustic to shine

Our feature story today...
Damn! Loskop Dam!... (Boulevard Blues travelled to Mapumalanga for the Loskop Blues Festival in August)

Well there we where.........playing cards with the......err......Sorry that's the wrong story.
Well there we where........ Flying through the air at 35000ft on Mango airlines on our way to play a Blues festival in Mapumalanga......Loskop Dam.....
The Name already sounding very forboding of things to come.

Rankin and Stemmet had paired up in row 22 E & F and where nattering away.
Pryor was out on a limb in 23 A........talking to himself again.........
saying things like 'I must not lose my wallet, I must not lose my wallet'
*scratch inside nose for bogey* 'I must not lose my wallet' *Roll bogey*
'I must not lose my wallet' *Flick bogey* 'I must not lose my wallet'.
Person in 22 A turns around and shouts 'hey!!' wanting to know why a bogey hit him on the Dome.
Just aswell at that point the air hostess told him to sit down and put his seatbelt on because he was about 3 times the size of Pryor
and was having Mango seat difficulties to add fuel to his flame.

Anyway after a smooth take-off with both engines still intact and Pryor in one piece.... we where cruising nicely.
As the Plane reached it's maximum altitude Pryor felt a low sugar vibe comin on....
He decided to indulge in the Mango Cuisine on offer.............This was to prove a fateful mistake....
He ordered a Runway Seagull sandwich and a Mid-Air Fowl coffee.....One of the most awful tasting coffees known to man....
This is where he had no choice but to pry his wallet out of his heavily secured handbag.....and reluctantly pay for the garbage that he had just consumed...
This is where the lines become blurred .......and what actually happened to his wallet after this .......only the cleaning staff will know.
Feeling a little ill as the seagull sandwich made it's way to the nether regions...........the Mango airline JE165 touched down at Oliver's Tambo.....
slightly ahead of schedule but we still had another 200km drive to the dam to negotiate ...so it would still be awhile before we could relax and chill.

Fast forward to Loskop Dam...........
Pryor again feeling a need to replenish low kilojoule stocks checks out the food fare at Loskop which is even less inspiring than the Mango offerings....
Realizing that his wallet was now needed he reaches down only to find the cupboard bare..........Ohhhhhhhhh Noooooooo!
Heart starts to race and the first supplies of adrenaline start to seep into the system.
- runs back to the Chalet......
- checks all bags .......Nothing......
- phones a friend........no answer.............
- re-checks all his bags and pockets........nothing
- phones Mango.............runs out of airtime.....
- borrows doc John's phone.........
- phones airport security ....Voicemail..........Damn!!
- Now desperate he phones Fender asking for a replacement wallet.....Double Damn!.....They say 'NO'

Now realizing his credit and bank cards, drivers license and wads of cash are outside of his jurisdiction............
He phones and cancels them.....including the cash......
Alas .........once again........ Pryor was not able to keep his stuff together,
Trying to be positive .....He realized that this was just good practice for one day when he would eventually lose his mind.

Anyway in consolation, as the day became night.....
Boulevard Blues proceeded to rock the place that evening and all in all a great gig, with thousands of screaming fans ....
most of them naked and 90% of them drunk and disorientated.....the other 10% were'nt there.
We also hooked up with Albert Frost who was playing there aswell and invited him to come play at the Table Mountain Blues Summit to which he said 'yes'.

Next morning slow humble risings from the band....and absolutely no risings from the festival drivers and management.
Now we had a Mango plane to catch at 10:40 am and still had 200kms to negotiate.....so the sound of snoring was not pleasing at all.
Greg 'Congos' Smith paid a personal visit to one of the drivers.....but still the snoring continued until Greg 'Dead Leg' threatened Violence.
Eventually one of the drivers succumbed to Dead Leg's pressure but we needed 2 drivers.....
and so the Festival director was called apon for duty who at the time was in a huge drug induced coma from the night before.
But after three flathands from Congos Smith, an icepack, some intravenous caffiene and 2 Black labels......
he was back to shooting the breeze and ready to drive us to Joey's.
We flipped coins as to who would be driving with him......We prayed.

We split into two teams...
Team A.............Designated Driver, Doc John, Tim Rankin, Mike Combrinck, Greg Smith,
Team B (lost the Coin flipping competition)....Festival Director, Rich Pryor, Gerald Clark, Rob Stemmett,

Team B's Car........
Broken turbo ......R5000
Bearings grinding front left wheel .....R1800
Worn Clutch .........R1500
Driver under the Influence.... Bail R2000
The look on the passengers faces.... Nervou$$

Well Team B took the lead with no Turbo .... Big mistake........50km/h up hills with 'Team A' frustratingly close to the back bumber.
We asked the Festival Director if we where gonna make it to the airport in time....... he said........'Yes we'll do it.......just hand me another black label'
Looking towards the back of the car..........there they where .......56 cans of Black label, 2 cases of KWV brandy and 3 bottles of tequila........
The car was now officially a brewery......This was gonna be a very exciting trip if we ever made it.


Thinking things would get better when we got onto the new toll road......it was an absolute surprise that we bypassed the turn-off
and started heading towards the old back road of pot holes and robots that runs through Witbank.
When we asked the festival director why he had taken this old road and not not the new superfast double lane toll road...........
he said he didn't have any money for the toll.
Well he could have asked us.......we would have gladly paid double or triple and more to be on that road right now and not this one from the 1950s........
There should be an anti toll on this road where they pay you for taking it.

Meanwhile things where getting pretty cramped in the back of Team Bs car......Gerald Clark was now in deep REM and would start twitching every now and again.
Sporadic movements of his right leg where compounding Pryor's Problem and it was often seen coming over onto Pryors side of the car.
He would wake up from time to time and in his Afrikaans Voice would say that this was the worst he has ever felt in his life,
then wash down some water, ask if we where there yet, fall asleep again and then proceed to stretch out a little more making a few grunting noises.
Pryor was feeling the pressure and was now sitting on the edge of the back seat door knob....

Suddenly Pryor's Phone rang....It was his wife Joy who wanted to know when he would be back and asked if the driver was driving 'safely'.........
Well at that exact point in time ...the car completely left the road and was now travelling through the scrub,
bobbing up and down and nearly veering out of control trying to make it to an exit that the festival director had missed.
It was a difficult question for Pryor to answer knowing that his wife would be very worried that the front fender was now eating grass and small trees,
while flattenning mole hills....but the words 'OK' softly eminated from Pryor's mouth as the car was veered back onto Tarred road.

The stress of this journey was still not over.........
The festival director now realizing that even his optimism at the beginning of the trip of making the flight was starting to dwindle.
We where still on the road and the plane was taking off in 20mins...........and now he informs us that he needs to stop for Diezel...........Damn!!
We where now pretty sure that the race was over........
After finishing his 4th Black label the festival director said....'Don't worry guys......if we don't make it I'm gonna take you guys into Joburg and we're gonna get pi$$#d'
Woah !!!...This was not the consolation prize that we wanted.....Reality hit us like a huge lead wrecking ball....
And we knew that as sure as SAB made Black Label, we had to make this plane home come diezel or no diezel.

Team A was already at the airport as they had finally managed the courage to overtake Team Bs car.
With 10mins to take-off......Team B now driving on diezel fumes arrived at OR Tambo and with no time for any sort of luggage check-in,
Pryor, Rankin, Stemmet and Clark where running, diving, skidding, jumping, sweating, carrying and finally boarding with 4mins to go before take-off.

Back in the aircraft we felt like it was being back in the womb....only a bit smaller.......but the relief of finally some safe transport .........pricele$$
Also realising we would make our afternoon gig at Berties in Gordons Bay ........... Bonu$$.

Tim Rankin on hearing the pilot introducing himself realized that he was an old school mate.....He informed the air hostess that he was chommies with the pilot.
The pilot called him to the front and he spent the last 45mins of the journey in the cockpit and was there for the entire landing aswell......... must have been cool....
Guess it's nice to know people in high up places.

So the trip back home:
Tea R9
Airport parking R142
Realising you can't pay for it.....Wallet le$$................
---------------------------------THE END-------------------------------------------

Last Thoughts
Remember when playing guitar in front of a live audience....
There are no wrong notes........Just the look on the their faces afterwards.

Until Soon
Adios

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