Richard Haslop At Hilton Fest

Hilton Arts Festival
Hilton College: 14 – 16 September
Respected music guru, raconteur supreme and multitalented musician, Richard Haslop, will be giving two presentations and is part of a post-movie screening discussion at the Hilton Arts Festival on Saturday 15 September.
“Attendance at the presentations, where I will talk about the music and play examples to illustrate, is free. And despite the festival programme photo I will be playing CDs only and not a musical instrument! Thereafter I’ll be at the film, The Funs’ Not Over, and taking part in a Q&A session with director Michael Cross afterwards,” he explains.
His two formal presentations are at 10h00: A Naartjie In Our Sosatie – Originally formed to give unsigned rock bands in the general neighbourhood of punk and new wave a relatively cheap place to record, and named after the mobility that its caravan studio provided rather than the furtive nature of the music business, Shifty Records soon gave a voice to independent, politically orientated South Africans in an era when such voices were absent not only from the airwaves but from most record shops. 35 years after its first album release, we pay tribute, through a selection of tracks both memorable and obscure, to a label whose output represented an essential slice of South African cultural territory that might otherwise have been completely ignored.
At noon, he will present: Thousands Are Sailing – Have you heard about the Scottish boomerang? It doesn’t come back … it just lies there and sings about coming back. And how beautifully it sings! From songs of 18th century Australian transportation to the sounds of the Calais Jungle, some of the world’s most heartfelt music has come out of immigration, emigration and exile, and this flow seems unlikely to be stemmed any time soon. We choose an hour or so’s worth of prime examples from the hundreds of possibilities.
Finally, at 14h00 there is a screening of the film, The Fun’s Not Over: The James Phillips Story. “Merging from Springs, an apparently unprepossessing East Rand mining town that had nevertheless spawned the only briefly famous yet enduringly loved Radio Rats, James Phillips became about as close to a cult figure as South African rock music has produced. Having announced himself through the darkly political punk influences of Corporal Punishment, and then the near-mythical Voice Of Nooit cassette by the short-lived Illegal Gathering, this English-speaking preacher’s son, by then not altogether comfortably disguised as Bernoldus Niemand, persuaded a previously somewhat sheepish Afrikaans musical underground into the public eye as he kickstarted the important Voëlvry movement. As leader of the Cherry Faced Lurchers he wrote and recorded Shot Down, considered by several commentators to be among South Africa’s greatest ever rock songs, and was responsible for a number of wonderful live rock ’n’ roll memories at a time when good South African news was hard to find. Seemingly the unlikeliest of academics, he undertook formal musical studies, turning in his Wie Is Bernoldus Niemand? album as a university thesis, and his considerable musical growth was soon revealed in the composition and arrangements for his last album, Sunny Skies, while the posthumously released demos, Soul Ou, the title an impressively accurate description of Phillips himself, demonstrated the increased depth and insight of his song-writing.
“Yet, for all the respect and admiration he engendered among his peers, Phillips, who died in 1995 from injuries sustained in a motor accident, was never more than a marginal figure in the greater scheme of South African musical things. In this beautifully pitched documentary, full of humour yet deeply moving at the same time, Durban film maker Michael Cross (Rockstardom: The Journey of a Small Town Songwriter; Jiving And Dying: The Radio Rats Story) covers all this and a great deal more as he gets right under Phillips’s skin, transcending what might easily have become a cosy cultishness of reminiscence and rumour in order to tell an important South African story,” he says.
The festival will take place on the beautiful grounds of the Hilton College from Hilton College: 14 – 16 September 2018.
The festival would not be possible without the generous support of Hilton College, Grindrod Bank, Black Coffee Design, DWR Distribution, Extreme Events, Bidvest Car Rental, KZN Dept of Arts & Culture, Redlands Hotel, Assitej South Africa, Loud Crowd, Sappi, BASA, RMB and Corona.
For more info visit or like the Facebook page, Hilton Arts Festival. Follow us on Twitter @HiltonFest and Instagram. All enquiries on 033 383 0126 / 7 or The 26th annual Hilton Arts Festival will run from 14 to 16 September. The full programme is on Online bookings are open and programmes are available from various outlets in KZN. Refer to website for list of outlets.

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