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WISHING OUR READERS A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Spill the beans Spill the Beans is a free magazine distributed to coffee shops throughout KZN. Created out of a passion for coffee, magazines and the pure satisfaction of spending a day idling at a coffee shop.

Our first issue was released in September 2008 with an exciting and positive response from the public. As a life-

style magazine it caters for everyone from your high end marketing director to your average Joe just out for their

morning cup of coffee. Spill the Beans wishes to become the number one coffee shop magazine around South

Africa. Starting off with its base in Durban we hope to expand to the whole of South Africa, reaching the public

and bringing together the nation. Saving the world one coffee shop at a time!

The coffee culture has taken over today’s society and we, at Spill the Beans, are quite happy to go along with the

flow of this wonderful trend. With the smell of coffee drifting through the air we have taken our thoughts to

paper and created this wonderful magazine to share with other coffee shop lovers. Join us on this journey as we SPILL SOME BEANS

“Everyone should believe in something. I believe I’ll have another coffee”

“DOING BUSINESS WITHOUT ADVERTISING IS LIKE WINKING AT SOME-

ONE IN THE DARK; YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING, BUT NOBODY ELSE DOES”

CONTACT US NOW TO ADVERTISE - editorial@stbmag.com


E

ditor

STB MAG

Leandra Naidu

Editor Leandra Naidu editorial@stbmag.com

EDITOR’S NOTE Photographers Desere’ Mouton

That time of year ...... You can feel it in the air, see it around you and sense the excitment. Christmas is around the corner and the year is at it’s end.

Website www.stbmag.com

This time of year always gives me that nostalgic feeling. A time in my life when everything was less complicated and being a kid was the best adventure yet. Presents teasing us from under the Chistmas tree, after being placed a week before by our parents. The endless hours of “not” touching them and trying to figure out what they were. Let us make an attempt to bring back the real meaning of Christmas. Family, friends and kindness. Make one childs dream come true, tell someone you love them and feast with your family. I suppose this time of year presents the perfect opportunity to reflect on the year we have just finished. Looking back at 2010 all I can say is YES, WE HAVE SURVIVED. An extremly trying year for everyone, although we have come out stronger. A toast to 2010 and a promise to 2011. We are stronger, wiser and ready to take on another year.

Contributors Lee Barnard, Zoe Beech, Lynne McMaster, Chantaul Jordon, Lisa Raleigh, SallyAnn Creed, Pippa Lynch, Waleska Saltori, Miles Downard, Warren Bernard, Robert Hope, Mike Shafto, Ntsako Langa, Christine Bernard, Desere Mouton DISCLAIMER

Spill The Beans wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a even happier

Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy, the publishers, personnel, printers, distributors and / or other related parties do not accept any responsibility whatsoever for any errors or ommissions, or any effect arising there from. The views or correspondence are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. All rights reserved. Copyright exists on all material. Reproduction by any means without permission is prohibited.

new year.

PLEASE RECYCLE THIS MAGAZINE AFTER USE

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YOUR COFFEE GUIDE

AMERICANO A single shot of espresso with hot water added. CAFÉ AU LAIT French for ‘coffee with milk’. Similar to Café Latte, except that an au lait is made with brewed coffee instead of espresso. Additionally, the ratio of milk to coffee is 1:1, making for a much less intense taste.

ESPRESSO CON PANNA A standard espresso, topped with whipped cream and an optional topping of unsweetened chocolate powder. ESPRESSO CORRETTO A standard espresso that has been ‘corrected’ with a splash of brandy, grappa, or other spirit.

CAFÉ BREVA A cappuccino made with half and half milk, instead of whole milk. The theory is that the mix gives a richer, creamier flavor. CAFÉ FREDDO A standard Espresso, served chilled.

ESPRESSO LUNGO Made by adding 30ml or 60ml of hot water to a single espresso to make a milder or ‘long’ cup. ESPRESSO ROMANO A standard espresso, but served with a slice of lemon peel on the side of the cup.

COFFEE TIMELINE Prior to 1000 AD

Two stories are in circulation as to how coffee was discovered. The first tells of the Galla tribe in Ethiopia who realise that eating a coffee cherry will give you an energy high. They would roll up the cherry grinds with animal fat into little balls and would eat it before a long battle. The second says that a goat herder in Ethiopia called Kaldi noticed that his goats became friskier after eating red berries of a certain shrub. He then took them himself which made him happy.

1453

The first coffee shop, called Kiva Han, opens in Constantinople.

1600

An Indian pilgrim-smuggler, called Baba Budan is said to be the first to bring fertile seeds outside of Arabia or Africa, by strapping them to his belly.

1652

First coffee house opens in London.

1654

First coffee house opens in Italy.

CAFÉ LATTE Essentially, a standard espresso in steamed (not frothed) milk. The ratio of milk to coffee should be about 3:1, and it is usually served in a glass.

FLAT WHITE A standard Espresso with hot milk, no foam.

1689

Café Procope opens in Paris frequented by the likes of Rousseau, Voltaire, Napoleon Bonaparte and Benjamin Franklin.

GRANITA DE CAFÉ Cold espresso poured over crushed ice.

1730

CAPPUCCINO Equal measures of espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk, often with cinnamon or flaked chocolate sprinkled on top.

IRISH COFFEE Hot coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar. Topped with whipped cream.

The British take coffee over to Jamaica The term ‘Kaffee Klatsch’ is coined in Germany to describe women’s gossip over afternoon coffee. The first commercial espresso machine is manufactured in Italy.

DEMI-CRÉME Half coffee, half cream or milk. DOPPIO A double Espresso. Two shots of Espresso concentrated into approximately the same volume as a regular espresso. ESPRESSO Or Short Black, a 30ml shot of rich, full bodied dark coffee with a silky layer of crema. ESPRESSO AMERICANO Or Long Black, a standard Espresso served on top of hot water, served in a tall glass or regular sized coffee cup. The coffee is added to the glass of hot water to help maintain the layer of crema at the top of the glass

MACCHIATO A standard Espresso with just a dash of milk added, served in a small espresso cup. Macchiato means ‘marked’ or ‘stained’ – so this literally means ‘espresso stained / marked with milk’. MOCHA A standard Espresso, hot chocolate and hot milk served in a glass. RISTRETTO A half shot of Espresso (15ml) TURKISH COFFEE Prepared in an ibrik, a small coffee pot that is heated to boiling. Sugar is optional and is added during brewing. Cream or milk is not added.

PLEASE NOTE: COFFEE DEFINITIONS DO CHANGE DEPENDING ON THE COFFEE SHOP

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1900’s 1905 1933

Dr. Ernest Illy develops the first automatic espresso machine.

1938

Nestle develops Nescafe and introduces it to Switzerland.

1942

During W.W.II, American soldiers are issued instant Maxwell House coffee in their ration kits.

1946

In Italy, the espresso machine is perfected by Achilles Gaggia. Cappuccino is named after the deep brown colour of the robes of the Capuchin-order monks.

1971

First Starbucks opens in Seattle.

NOW

Coffee is second only to oil as the world’s largesttraded commodity


C

Offee Crazy

“COFFE TALK” Coffee originated right here in Africa, although this does not come as much of a shock as coffee beans smell, look and taste like Africa. Ethopia is it’s birth place, a great traveller that has influenced the history of countries over the seven seas. From Africa to Arabia, Britain and the Americas. Arabia is most famous for making coffee a house hold name. The word “coffee” comes from the ancient Arabic “qahwah”. Coffee drinking goes back to the 11th century when it was imported to Arabia from Ethopia. It was named the “the wine of Islam” as wine was strictly forbidden and coffee had invigorating effects. Here in South Africa we grow some good quality Arabica Coffee. Arabica is the oldest known species of the coffee tree.The coffee we grow originated in Kenya and is mostly grown in KZN. (Fine weather, fine people and fine coffee) Leandra Naidu

For those who not only want to live coffee but also want to speak coffee, here are a few terms you may need in your vocabulary. Ashy - Refers to coffee with an aroma or flavour of fireplace ashes. Acidic - A quality that is desirable in coffee. It is a sharpness detected at the front of ones mouth. Body - This is the texture or weight of the coffee in your mouth.

Burnt - Usually refers to coffee that is over roasted. Citrus - Coffee that is similar to cutris fruits. This idicate acidity. Dusty - This is a dry-earth taste and smell. Harsh - Unpleasant, hard or sharp flavour. Spicy - This describes coffee that tastes or smells like spices and is found in coffees from Zimbabwe, Yemen and Ethopia. Thin - This is an out-of-balance coffee that lacks body. Wild - Refers to coffee that is inconsistent, unusual and interesting.

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Scientific name: English: English: Arabia English: Dutch: Spanish: French: French: French: German: German: Italian: Other:

Coffea arabica Arabica coffee Coffee shrub of Mountain coffee Arabica-koffie Cafeto arábigo Caféier d’Arabie Café arabica Caféier Arabica-Kaffee Bergkaffee Pianta del caffè Buna

www.bijlmakers.com


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ravel

Meeting the Girl from Ipanema at Café Verde By Zoë Beech I’ve never seen beer bottles displayed so beautifully, all in a line like a row of cancan dancers. They form an interior border, standing to attention – the only thing in the Café that looks rigidly uniformed. There can’t be too much rigidity here – after all, Verde is a Brazilian restaurant; the spacious tables scattered across the floor, the crayon-green uniforms (bandana’s too) shouting out the Brazilian flag, and the lusciously rhythmical music swinging off the armchairs set the stage for a Samba of a meal. The palm trees curl out their green greetings – they gather around the edges of the restaurant, taking away the feel of grey pavement, hiding the fact that Verde is in fact only one of a factory of restaurants on the Umhlanga strip (Chartwell drive). But, for one, it’s not a chain, and two – they know their chicken. I don’t know if it’s just my bad experience, but rarely have I had tasty, tender chicken I could boast about to restaurant junkies. But my hunger for good chicken and good ambience boomeranged me back to my second Verde tête à tête. ‘The Girl From Ipanema’ turned out to be a tangy chick with heels – 250g fillet marinated in something with lime, and served with a coriander, lime and avo mousse that was irresistible, R75. My husband ordered the Chipotle Chicken, R85 – ½ a chicken marinated in a smoked paprika/orange sauce with a cheeky chipotle salsa. He liked it hot – but when I’d had it before, they’d made it mild for my delicate taste buds. Both came with a generous portion of chips and veg/salad. Other popular dishes are the Moqueca fish pot, a North Brazilian seafood stew, and the Portuguese Beef Espetada. My only regret was the lack of tempting desserts, although they are innovative – an upside down apple crumble – but the icecream shop across the pavement was ample compensation. Verde’s food is ‘outstanding, fresh organic produce which is usually hard to come by’ according to a customer’s review on mydurbaninfo.com. The name Verde means ‘green’ in Portuguese, and the colour fits like a Carnival dancer’s skin-tight costume: their produce is hormone-free and organic, and even their lighting is solar-powered (They leave their table lights in the sun during the day to charge). And one of their most unique features - big chairs using an almost wooded jigsaw design, all made by Verde’s owner – are based on the chairs used in the Brazilian Favelas, residences similar to our townships. Verde also means ‘not ripe’ – and that ain’t Café Verde; this place is twisting with taste, smiling with secrets: and depending on when you’re there, it can be a sultry Tango, or a bustling Samba at the Rio Carnival.

20% OFF meals @ CAFE’ VERDE Present this voucher at Cafe’ Verde Valid dates: 2010/12/01 - 2010/12/31

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C

ook Book

The festive season is upon us along with many treats. Although we all enjoy snacking on some great tasting goodies, no body enjoys being in the kitchen for too long over this season. Time should be spent with the family. Here are 2 quick and easy recipies that will not keep you in the kitchen for hours on end. The kids and husbands will love them. You can even get them to join in the fun

Vanilla Puff Pastries Ingredients:

Today’s Puff Pastry Vanilla pudding (By Morris) 250g Fresh cream Icing sugar

Method:

Pre-heat your oven at 200 degrees. Thaw the Today’s puff pastry. It is important to ensure the pastry is completely thawed. Do not roll out the pastry, cut it into squares and place the squares on a greased tray. Bake the pastries for at least 10-12mins until they are light golden brown. Mix the fresh cream with the vanilla pudding in a bowl to thicken.Once the pastry has cool, open the pastry and fill with the cream/vanilla mix. Sprinkle icing sugar over the pastry and cool in the fridge for a few minutes. Plate up and enjoy.

CRUMPETS Ingredients

2 Eggs 1 cup sugar Half of 250g margarine Vanilla essence 2 cups of self-raising flour 1 cup of milk

Method:

Beat the eggs and sugar together and add the vanilla essence. Melt the margarine in the microwave for less than a minute and add it to the mixture. Add the flour, mix, and then add your milk. Ensure your pan (non-stick) is hot and add a spoonful of the mixture to make round crumpets. When you see bubbles appear on the surface of the crumpet turn it over. Serve with syrup, fresh cream, fruit or ice-cream.

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xplore

Durban Fun

Being a (cheap) tourist in your own city: 1.

Take a romantic walk down Jan Smuts Avenue (laden with oak trees) in Winston Park, Hillcrest – it costs you nothing, and you can have a good leisurely hour long amble, at least.

2.

Visit the Bergtheil Museum in Westville– it’s a 19th Century farmhouse, a natural monument, with information on the 1848 German settlers. (ph. 031 203 7107)

3.

Dress up fancy and got to the Oyster Box in Umhlanga for sundowners.

4.

Do a Glenwood stop: browse through the bookstore Euphoria on Davenport road, order a coffee from Bean Green (and stay and listen to their record-playing music, or saunter the street with your caffeine), take a photograph with the big red tractor and look at the KZN Art gallery’s latest exhibition.

5.

Take advantage of our new promenade: buy a cheapo ice cream and walk the beach and a pier. While you’re there, pop in by the Fun Park, and go on one of those scary rides, or simply see spectacular views of the sea and beachfront on the cablecar.

6.

Go to the Cato Manor Heritage Centre, and learn about the past and present of this dynamic society (visiting hours are only Mon to Fri. ph. 031 261 3216.)

7.

On a Wednesday night, enjoy a stunning hour and a half or so of jazz at UKZN, showcases, presenting local and interna tional musicians (R25. ph. 031 260 3385).

8.

Visit Makaranga Gardens: there are many leaf-enclosed and beautiful paths, and their Japanese Gardens and waterfall are worth a squiz. (031 764 6616)

9.

Rise with the birds on a Saturday morning, pack a picnic breakfast – even a skottel and eggs if you’re hungry – and venture to Brighton beach with a group of friends. You can have a dip in the tidal pool at sunrise, and then have your incredible beach breakfast!

10.

Go to the Krantzkloof Nature Reserve in Kloof, where entrance is free except for the weekend picnic sites, and enjoy one of their many scenic walks.(For the picnic sites – R15pp, R5 for children under 12. ph. 031 764 3515)

By: Zoe Beech

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H

ealth Matters

Tips for Surviving the Christmas holidays Staying healthy during the festive season can be difficult when family and friends put pressure on you to partake in delicacies that pile on the pounds, or erode your stirling efforts to eat really healthy food. Platters of homemade bakes, rich food, extra guests, shopping, visiting friends & family and being in larger crowds of people all put stress on both body and mind. Implement these healthy tips and remain in tip-top health during your holidays: • • • • • • • • •

Eat nutritious food when eating out. Making wise choices such as grilled fish with salad and rice instead of chips and gummy sauces will keep the kilos off and maintain good health. If having two courses, choose a salad starter rather than a pudding Instead of fizzy drinks try a splash of fruit juice in sparkling water – get the festive feel without the calories or chemicals. Don’t overeat – it puts unnecessary strain on your digestive system and may cause discomfort. Use a smaller plate when caught unawares and surrounded by unhealthy food – that way it won’t be obvious you don’t want to eat much. Take a multi-vitamin, 3g fish oil and 2g of Vitamin C daily to avoid viral infections, and maintain optimum health Get adequate sleep of at least 7 hours a night – maintaining good sleep patterns allows the body to stay refreshed and to re pair itself. Relax and enjoy this time of year – relaxation is an important part of staying healthy. Remember to drink plenty of water and not dehydrate - without adequate water, the body cannot remove waste products. our body needs 30ml of water per kg of body weight per day.

Following these few tips should keep you trimmer, healthier, happier and feeling great – and you will enjoy your holidays even more. BY: Sally-Ann Creed Clinical Nutritionist (Dip Clin Nutr, Aust)

No-bake Zucchini Chocolate Cake This cake is a wonderful way to use summer zucchini and get some healthy greens in whilst actually eating cake, plus get all the excellent nutrients found in these nuts. It holds its shape well and can be made in a cake tin or sculpted into any form. The recipe is enough for up to 10 people, so it’s just perfect for Christmas gatherings. You’ll need: ½ cup walnuts ½ cup hazelnuts 1/3 cup ground sesame seeds ½ cup ground linseeds 4 T dried coconut 1/3 cup cocoa ½ tsp cinnamon 500g zucchini, sliced into chunks ¾ cup soft dates, chopped ½ cup raisins Let’s make it: • In a food processor blend the walnuts and hazelnuts just enough so they are still

a bit chunky. • Remove ½ cup of these chunks. Continue blending the remainder until very fine. • Add the coconut, ground sesame, ground linseed, cocoa and cinnamon then pulse again until mixed. • Transfer all this into a large bowl and add the ½ cup of walnut and hazelnut chunks. • Now, in a food processor, pulp the courgette. Then add the raisins and dates. Process again until well mixed. • Add the courgette mix to the other ingredients and knead together. • Line a small cake tin or casserole dish with a safe lining film (cling film is best, but toxic! I’ve tried using greaseproof paper). • Put the mixture in and spread it evenly so it has a flat top. Cover it with more greaseproof paper (not wax paper). • Now refrigerate until ready to serve. It is best to leave it at least two hours as it well become firmer. • Remove the top layer of paper, and turn the cake out onto a serving dish. • Spread a layer of Cashew Cream on top (or Lemon Cream). Garnish with flowers or dust with cocoa powder.

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I

nspiration

Feel unfit and unhealthy? Here are a couple of tips to help you start feel good about yourself again.

1. Start slowly if you haven’t exercised in a while: go for a walk for 20 minutes three or four times a week, or do what you can manage. Lee Haney, a record-holding professional body builder, says “exercise to stimulate, not to annihilate. The world wasn’t formed in a day, and neither were we. Set small goals and build upon them.” 2. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. When you crave something but you’re not hungry, drink a glass of water instead. 3. Don’t diet! Instead of going ‘cold turkey’, try changing the things you eat slowly, so you don’t crash again after 2 weeks. Deanne Jade, Principal of the UK’s national centre for eating disorders, states that diets make you feel deprived and don’t focus on the emotional aspects of overeating. She argues that to make a long-term change, core habits need to be broken. 4. Reward yourself when you do start exercising again and eating healthier. Do it without food (for example, make time in your day to treat yourself – do something you love, go to one of your favourite places, buy some extravagant bubble bath, etc) 5. Find a friend who’ll join you in becoming healthy. Research has shown that having a buddy who is in this with you will help you stay the course. 6. Keep a food journal. Sometimes we’re unaware of all we eat until it’s in black and white. That can be a deterrent from excessive overeating. 7. Find out why you overeat. If you know that you have an unhealthy relationship with food – for example, you eat to relieve stress, sadness, loneliness, anger, etc – try writing in a diary your emotions and feelings before you eat. 8. Be easy on yourself. You will sometimes fail in your health routine but perfectionism, criticism, negativity, shame and guilt will only cause you to lose your motivation. 9. If you need help, the BBC has a health and fitness plan for people of all fitness and health levels. You can complete a survey and learn more about getting healthy. Go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/treatments/healthy_living/your_plan/ 10. Remind yourself that taking care of yourself improves every aspect of your life. “Exercise should be regarded as tribute to the heart,” boxing champion Gene Tunney said. This is just a quote that would work well anywhere on the page, end, whatever…: Anyone’s life truly lived consists of work, sunshine, exercise, soap, plenty of fresh air, and a happy contented spirit. By Zoë Beech

“Our national health survey this year said that 78% of obese people think that they are healthy or very healthy. “

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L

ocal Talent

THE

OTHERWISE Check out The Otherwise and their debut Album “She doesn’t care, she wants to dance”

I recently attended a show featuring local band The Otherwise. A Pub in Westville (Moonshadaows) housed 7 bands for a night of fun. “It’s a party”, as it was so rightfully named, revelaed an under ground lifestyle that many durbanites are lucky to enjoy. To name a few, Car boot vendors, Sloppy Folk, The Catlike Thieves, Portrait of Sound, Kissed by Katie and Sibling Rivalry all shared the stage with The Otherwise. The Atmosphere was intoxicating with energy and tunes that could be heard for kilometers around the venue. The crowd erupted as The Otherwise jammed into their first song. Greg brought the crowd alive with the boys supporting him. You don’t need to “like” their genre to appreciate their absolute raw talent. Durban, hang up those suits and enjoy the nightlife we have on offer. Local talent is spreading fast - experience it. My quote of the night....

SPILL THE BEANS GOT TO KNOW CHRIS AND HARRY A Everyone wants to be naked and famous. (The Catlike Thieves) *ED* LITTLE MORE............... Question 1 - What was your most memorable gig and why? CHRIS: There’s quite a few. I would say our most memorable big gig was at Splashy Fen this year, it was packed and even though it was raining and miserable, the crowd was going crazy and the vibe was electric! As far as smaller gigs go, the Suicide Girls party at CCHQ in JHB was awesome, it’s the most beautiful venue we ever played, adorned by some of the most beautiful girls we’ve ever seen and the place was packed. For me personally, the first gig we played with my brother (Carl), was also very special. We wanted to be in a band together a long time ago, but geography kept us apart (i.e. he was studying in Pretoria). Other memorable ones would be our first gig (not our best, but we could all feel we had something special), the Road to V Fest showcase (we were nervous and poorly rehearsed, but we came out swinging and rocked the place) and our last gig with our former bassist Kate was a rocking show, a little bittersweet obviously, but she put on a spectacular performance (and even on an average night, she could out-rock most of the males in this business!)

HARRY: Splashy Fen 2010, it was the last night and rainning but the peoplewhere just so into it. it had such an amazing vibe and we had the besttime. We think of ourselves as a live band so most gigs are great. Question 2 - If you had to label your genre, what would it be? CHRIS: Broadly speaking it’s Indie/Rock ’n Roll, with a lot of Punk influence and also elements of dance music, pop and

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a little bit of hip-hop. We usually refer to it as Indie/Disco/Punk, so if we had to, that would be the label. HARRY: Disco Punk seems to fit the requirements of genre for us because our songs are mostly up tempo dancey guitar music. Question 3 - South Africa is a nation of many talents. Do you guys have any hidden talents the fans don’t know about? CHRIS: For all of us, music is our main talent, but we all dabble in other things as well.I play a lot of poker, Greg plays chess (believe it or not), Harry is into his gaming (Final Fantasy, GTA, Call of Duty etc.) and Carl actually made it to the World Air Guitar Championship in Finland this year after he won a Regional Air Guitar Contest in Pretoria.

HARRY: We’re all pretty much multi instrumentelists but chris and carl are avid poker players and greg’s a dj so he knows the good tunes. Question 4 - What artist would you most want to perform with on stage? CHRIS: I think we all have a different favourite, but any of the following would be mindblowing : Jack White, Robert Plant, Sir Paul McCartney, Anthony Kiedis, Tom Morello, Flea, Dave Grohl, Noel Gallagher. HARRY:We’ve played with alot of great local bands but i’d have to saylady gaga because i dont think you’d get better exposure than that.

Question 5 - How has your music changed since your first single? CHRIS:Its changed dramatically from when Greg and Harry first started the band. It was a curious blend of raprock (like early Chili Peppers and Rage Against the Machine) and “garage-y” indie (White Stripes /YeahYeahYeahs). After I joined, there were still traces of those elements, but we started becoming a lot more “dance-y” and some might say “poppy”. The album has the best of the old style and the new direction, they actually work surprisingly well with each other. Lately we’ve been working hard on our acoustic set and a lot of mellower, more intimate material has emerged, so there’s a good balance.

HARRY: Its our debut album so not alot but who knows what’l happen in the future. Question 6 - Who writes your songs? CHRIS:Greg is the main songwriter, he generally comes up with the basic chords and lyrics and then we all add our parts. Usually we jam it a bit, dissect it, criticize it, argue about it intensely for a while and when we’re all satisfied, we have a finished song. That being said, it’s a democracy, so every member is entitled to contribute and write songs.

HARRY:Greg usually sits down with an acoustic and writes the lyrics and maby the main riff of the song then the rest of us will fill in the gaps and throw ideas around until its done.


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ocal Talent

***PLUSH ***

“The future is coming / picking up speed” implores Rory Eliot, lead singer of Plush. It is a line in the middle of the fifth song off the band’s last studio album, Rage On. It would be easy to miss, but for the resonating relevance. It explodes from the very heart of the album, an inspired eleven-track reflection on self-discovery, and succinctly sums up the state of one of South Africa’s most celebrated bands.

Destiny is a theme so pronounced that it is the very spirit of the album, and destiny is where the compelling journey now seems sure to take the band. Through both remarkable success and numbing tragedy, the road has been anything but easy, but the release of their comeback album to widespread acclaim, sold-out shows and growing international interest indicates that their time is now. Plush first flickered on the South African music map back in 2003. Alongside lead guitarist Chas Smit’s creative flair, Eliot’s songwriting ability and natural charisma merged seamlessly to produce songs such as Tainted, which hit No.1 on TuksFM, and Today and My Baby which received regular radio play, the latter getting airtime on MTV. Described as “so unbelievably tight that they sound as though they are one masterful musician, playing two guitars, with four arms and one almighty voice”, Plush were known for their masterful live gigs, exhibitions of incredible musicianship, as well as a message that was simple, heartfelt and uplifting. Then the unthinkable, as their initial rocket ride ended tragically when Smit was killed after a show, when attempting to cross a street in Pietermaritzburg in September 2005. Engulfed by grief, Eliot took a six month sabbatical before returning as a solo artist, determined to fulfill a promise he’d made to Smit that they would make it. His journey was one not meant to be undertaken alone, however, and soon the other members pledged their future to ensuring that the promise and potential of Plush did not end in tragedy. The group released their first single in two years, When Grace Grew Tall, in early 2007 and received an immediate response. In

addition to charting and receiving high rotation on a number of radio stations, the song shot to No 1 on 5fm’s Hi5@5, where it remained for four weeks and was downloaded thousands of times. An increasing repertoire of new tracks saw sell-out crowds and packed venues all over Cape Town as word of Plush’s return spread. Not content with their Mother City conquest, the band’s comprehensive touring schedule saw them earn major followings in Gauteng, Kwazulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. The national effort went global in August of 2007 when the band embarked on a highly successful tour of the United Kingdom in August of 2007. Focusing primarily on London, the band played nine shows in 10 days to sold-out venues of crowds comprising nostalgic South African expatriates as well as a whole new British audience. Reviews were positive and interest in the band was sustained, to the extent that a return tour in July 2008 yielded a similar outcome. Commercial interest has also been kindled with the band’s significant and growing appeal amongst young South Africans emerging from tertiary institutions ensuring a platform into a vital, multiracial and economically mobile sector. 2008 was an excellent year for Plush. In addition to selling thousands of albums, having two number 1 singles, touring nationally and internationally playing over 180 shows, they signed a licence agreement with independent label, Sheer. 2009 was an even better year for the band as they maintained high rotation on radio stations across South Africa with singles ‘Hope’, ‘Life’ and ‘Halo’. With a sold out South African tour completed at the beginning, mid and end of 2009 and many sold out London shows during the course of the year, the band shows no signs of slowing down. In addition, front man Rory Eliot, has just completed a Masters Degree in Songwriting at Bath Spa University in England. The band is currently in studio recording their much-anticipated 4th studio album that sees a rebranding of the band. A new sound and a new direction is to be launched. With dates confirmed across South Africa, the UK, Europe and the Middle East, Plush is making moves. With Eliot as frontman, Wegelin on lead guitar, Gassibe on bass and Rankin on drums guiding the bands musical future, their fans both old and new can be assured that the future is a bright one for this hardworking band. The combination of emotion, passion and determination have fueled Plush’s musical journey. The same combination has also meant it’s always been more than just songs. For many, it is the soundtrack to their lives. And that is why this is a band that does not have fans. This is a band that inspires a movement. Are you in? For further information contact: Brandon Prevost Prevost Creative Management Mobile UK: +4475 6405 6139 Mobile SA: + 27 82 689 6256 Email: management@plush.us Skype: brandon.prevost

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Coming softly from a portable CD player perched on top of the wall was a modernised version of Santa Claus is coming to Town by an all-male group with strident, high-pitched voices. The men overheard the two boys talking. “What you want for Christmas, Will?” “A bike! A fairy-cycle bike!” “Me, too,” chanted Mark, the whites of his eyes large with excitement in the dusky face. But almost at once his expression grew sombre, his forehead wrinkling with a frown.“What’s it, Marky?” “Why is Father Christmas always white – hey, Willy? Why don’t they have black ones, too?” “Dunno. Maybe it’s ’cause where he comes from there’s snow all the time. No sunshine.” “Could be, I s’pose,” answered Mark. AFTER everyone had eaten, the two men, smoking, spoke softly in murmurs in the hot afternoon sun. Bongi’s shiny face was alight with devilment. “I know a store in town that’s imported some of those rubber masks – like of Nixon and Reagan, remember in that bank-robber movie we saw? Only these are of black Santa Clauses. Let’s get one and have some fun with the kids?”“Great!” “You’ll be the one to wear it, see?” “Knew something like this was coming.” “Don’t you see,” Bongi replied, “that’s the way to work it.” He drew closer to his friend where they sat on the lawn, putting an arm on his shoulder, and explained his proposed strategy. They had just finished the planning of the big surprise when the boys came across, passing the ball between them, and insisted their dads join them in a game of rugby. This was a regular thing since September. They paired off as usual – Bongi with Will and Rick with the stockily-built young Mark. But after only a short while, Rick, in a whooping rush for the tryline, turned over his ankle. For a moment his face went white with the pain. That was the end of the game. He hobbled about for the rest of the afternoon. THE Christmas Day party was at Bongi’s house. It had a smooth tarred driveway, with a fountain and pond at its centre so that cars could easily come and go. The boys with their new bicycles kept upright by two small auxiliary wheels at the back, rode tirelessly, round and round the water feature. A long table, set for the Christmas lunch, had been put in place on the front patio facing the driveway. When the lunch was ready, the boys were called in. There were crackers and streamers and everyone had their own paper-hat. Pamela Turner sat at the head of the table with Slindile and her two daughters, Pelisiwe (home from boarding school for the holidays) and Zenzile on either side. The men and the boys sat at the bottom end of the table. Mark, with the men and his best friend grouped around him, had been saving his story for just such a moment. His face shone, the dark eyebrows sitting high on his forehead. “I know something you don’t.” “What’s it?” Will asked. “Go-wan, tell us.” “Remember you said there couldn’t be a black Father Christmas – ’cause it was too cold in Iceland or wherever. Well, there really-really is one – a black Father Christmas. I saw him last night.” “I saw him too!” Will erupted. Mark gave his friend a startled look. “Really? Cross your heart.” Will carried out the required ritual. “Yah. He must’ve bumped the bed or something, by mistake. It woke me up.” “Gee, same here.’Cept he made a big noise as he came in and put the bike down,” Mark said. “I got quite a fright. I sat up in bed… then he spoke to me.” “Honest? What’d he say?” “‘Go back to sleep, young man,’ he said, in a very deep voice. It sounded like Madiba – you know, Mandela!” The two men exchanged glances. Gee,” Will said with a touch of envy. “Wish he’d spoken to me.” “One strange thing,” said Mark – and once more their fathers made eye-contact – “he had a funny limp, like he’d hurt himself.” “That’s it,” his friend chirped. “I remember now. He must’ve slipped coming into my room with the bike. That’s what woke me up. I reckon we both saw the same Father Christmas – and he was black!” The fathers’ eyes met for a third time, and they hoisted their arms, slapping palms in a resounding high-five. “I’ll drink to that,” they said simultaneously, Rick wincing a little as, inadvertently, he put pressure on his injured ankle. BY: Mike Shafto

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The Christmas wish. It’s that very special time of the year again, Christmas. A time better than all the other times. You can just feel it when it is around! Everything is at its peak, the music is loud and the temperature is high. Shoulders are bare. The malls are full and the people are as busy as ever. It is that blessed time of the year when things just fall into place People are all smiles, they’ve been paid. So we try to enjoy it as much as we can. Families meet and dine together, long lost cousins reunite. Friends go out for drinks. Christmas is a very special time of the year, a time when people’s wishes come true. It’s a beautiful time to unwrap gifts, fall in love, find inspiration etc. But not so far away on the other side of the world, Christmas is not so rosy and busy. It is quiet lonely and sad. But one still got to have at least one wish. A seven year old girl sits under a tree making her Christmas wish. She wishes her mother was there, she wishes her father was there. She wishes her little brother was there, her older sister… The best way you can spend your Christmas is being responsible and considerate. Due to the emergence of a new culture of ‘celebration’ many lives are lost instead. Last year on Christmas, the seven year old girl lost her entire family in a car accident because of a drunk driver. When the Jingle bells ring and it’s time to make that wish. What do you wish for? Let’s keep the innocence of Christmas and let it remain a sacred and very special day as it is. It is a time to spend with your most loved ones, it’s not a time to cry but laugh. It’s that time… Christmas… let’s keep it special, fill it with beautiful and unforgettable memories… ho ho ho…  BY: Ntsako Langa ntsako.langa@gmail.com cell phone no 079 449 1431 Credits and other published work so far. ‘The world’s on shades.’ - a novel

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1: Apartheid 2: El Cid 3: The Chinese 4: The U.S. Air Force 5: The Game of Roulette 6: Wounds 7:Woody Allen 8: Breakfast In America 9: Parkinson’s syndrome 10: Vatican City’s 11: South Africa 12: Riotous Assembly or Indecent Exposure 13:Hansie Cronje 14: Cape of Good Hope 15:Jody Sheckter (1979)

TRIVIA Answers


BMW 550 GT

A couple months ago I came across a terrible bit of journalism whilst spending a leisurely Sunday morning with the paper. The author of this particular column writes a load of drivel week after week on topics fit only for people with an IQ below that of a goldfish. I hear from my journalist advisor that such nonsense is considered adequate for print under the guise of an opinion piece. Someone once told me, “Rather hold your tongue and be thought a fool, than speak and remove all doubt.” A word of advice for said journalist, hold your tongue...and your pen. I’ll admit I have read a number of these pieces now mainly due to the fact that the first one I came across fell in a category in which I have an interest. Motoring. More specifically the author tried to explain his views on which cars will attract interest from the fairer sex, and which wouldn’t. It didn’t take long to realise that this bloke is a bit of a buffoon. Each paragraph contradicts the next as his opinion seems to waver as he runs out of words. But he did raise an interesting question. You see I drive a new car every week. Each of which comes from a wide spectrum on the price scale. From the likes of R100,000 Renault Sandero’s through to R1,1 million Range Rover Sports, and never have I experienced more (or less) interest from the ladies. This makes me question three things about the author. Firstly, does he know anything about cars at all? Secondly, does he know any woman? And if so, of what calibre are they that the car he does or doesn’t drive affects their interest in him? With all my questions unanswered the new BMW 550GT arrived at my door. It’s an ugly thing really. The former glory of BMW has been a topic of a number of my previous reviews so I won’t harp on about it again. But it really saddens me to see these Bavarian ogres trundle around the streets of the world. However underneath this ogre-like exterior is something quite wonderful – a masterpiece of motoring genius and know-how. The driving dynamics of a car as big as the GT should be akin to an I&J fishing boat bobbing about the Atlantic off the coast of Cape Town. And had it been manufactured anywhere other than Bavaria it would have been just that. I took the GT for a cruise up to Underberg for a few days away from the office. From the open highways to tight and twisty roads in the Drakensberg the GT was never unsettled. Made possible by what to a mere mortal appears to be witchcraft. There are four vehicle dynamics settings, from Comfort through to Sport

M

odern World

Plus. If I owned the 550 GT, I’d glue the buttons in Sport Plus mode – which adjusts throttle response, the steering, the drive train and suspension. Oh and dumbs down the traction control. However if it’s comfort you’re after, there’s plenty of it. So much so that the rear wheels even help steer the car, just to ensure the rear passengers enjoy as smooth a ride as is physically possible; as though the insanely luxurious seats, endless legroom (literally) and massive TV screens weren’t enough. The package is well rounded by a 300kW 4.4 litre twin turbo V8 that drives the rear wheels. That power coupled with 600Nm of torque means 0-100km/h in 5.5 seconds. Not bad considering this ogre tops the scales at just over two tonnes. It does howQuickpic ever mean that being frugal is not a strong point – even with BMW EffecientDynamics, which, from the marketing blurb, doesn’t seem to do much other than charge the battery. If you live in town there better be a limitless fuel card in your wallet. However if that worries you, you can’t afford this BMW. Starting at R959,500 with none of the toys it isn’t what you’d call a bargain. With all the toys it’s just darn expensive. If you’re in the market though, suck it up, mortgage the kids and get all the toys. The technological capabilities of this car rival those of America’s space programme – I doubt the Atlantis has infra-red imaging technology, effectively providing the driver with night vision. And the list doesn’t stop there. What does this have to do with the despised opinion writer? Well for the week I drove the GT, anywhere and everywhere people commented on the car. In shopping centre car parks, the forecourt of petrol stations and just arbitrary people wandering in the street. I felt like a real life rockstar. So yes Mr Author, if you drive a 550GT (which I highly doubt) you’ll get a fair amount of interest. But not just from women, from everyone.

Price: R 959,500 Engine: 4395cc Twin Turbo V8 Power: 300 kW Torque: 600 Nm Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 5.5 Top speed (km/h): 250 electronically limited Fuel consumption (l/100km): 13 (actual)

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B Y M I L E S D O W N A R D


F

inal Say

Welcome to Twenty-when Congratulations! If you are reading this, then you have survived long enough to witness one of the most momentous milestones in the history of time. At the moment, it is November, and twenty-ten is now but a smouldering ember, about to be snuffed out. Please fasten your seatbelts ladies and gents, the first decade of the 21st century is about to depart. As a child growing up in the eighties, twenty-ten always used to sound so futuristic to me. A nice round, sparkly number of a year in which, various literature and cinematic productions would have

us believe there would be skateboard like vehicles which would hover three feet off the ground. People would be telepathic and Man would surely have colonized the moon or other such neighbouring planets. Let’s not forget that twenty-ten was always hiding in the shadow of its big brother, born ten years earlier – the iconic year two-thousand. Yep, all these abilities and technologies were anticipated to reach us back then. But casting my mind back, to when the clock struck midnight on the eve of two triple-zero, I remember that I did not have to dodge aeroplanes falling from the sky. My home computer did not grow limbs and start a revolution against mankind, in true Terminator style. And the mountains of tinned food and candles that we had amassed were for the large part, not needed. In fact, as I sit here on the brink of twentyeleven, my skateboard’s wheels are stuck firmly to the ground. I know not what goes on in my own head, let alone someone else’s. And Man has not even colonized his home planet correctly yet. In short, I realise that all those promises as a kid, were empty. A bunch of lies. It saddens me to no end. I love technology and I want my hover-board this very instant! I was deceived. And for this I’m hoping that someone is going to pay. So who then will it be? Well, just the other week, I was reading on the infinite information-verse called the internet, that they reckon that governments all over the globe are on average, at least 22

years ahead of the general public when it comes to new technology. I wondered just exactly whose governments they were speaking of. Ours? I have never been a fan of politics, and associating myself with such organizations rates about as low on my list as death by flea infestation. But if enrolling with the ANC gets me a standard issue hover-board, then sign me up right now! I can just imagine their grading scales of awarding this technology, to be something similar to the following: For recruiting 50 new members – 1 x set of x-ray spectacles. For initiating 10 political rallies – 1 x suit of invisibility. For swinging the polls favourably during a national election…. 1 x anti-H.I.V shower. This of course would all be dug out from their vast underground vault of items labelled “Stuff to give to the public 22 years from now.” If what they say is true, then back in the day when I was discovering how to hula hoop, they were watching blu-ray on their PS3’s. When I inserted my first magnetic tape into my Walkman, they were listening to MC Hammer on their iPods. And as I was reading my first words? Well, they had already downloaded dozens of novels to their Kindles. Someone definitely had to pay for denying me this. So what did twenty-ten bring me? Well, there was that soccer event thingy. Remember that? I did learn how to utilize a vuvuzela correctly, much to my neighbours’ disgust. But in my opinion, a funnel shaped piece of plastic can hardly be called high-tech. It did however at the time, raise our spirits and much joy was had by all who wielded its deafening power. It truly was good, clean and pointless fun. And not a circuit board or battery in sight. Perhaps going back to our roots is the key. Maybe it’s the little things that count. Just don’t think of putting one in my Christmas stocking though. If I get one of those from you instead of an iPad, well, let’s just say you’ll be off my mailing list. Reflecting on the year that has passed, I realise just how good it’s been and saying goodbye to twenty-ten is like watching your greatest idol, retire from the industry. It may have been a slight anti-climax with regards to my childhood dreams, but nevertheless, I was alive and well to witness it come and go. As for twentyeleven? Well, hopefully it will surprise us all and steal the limelight from its predecessor. But let’s not end the show early now. It may be the final act, and twenty-ten may just be a smouldering ember, but I intend on going down in flames. WARREN BERNARD

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Spill the Beans - Issue 13