Represent Review: FNB Whisky Festival
Nov13

Represent Review: FNB Whisky Festival

When Reuben “The Matrix” Malema became a citizen journalist for Represent, one of his first requests was to channel any events involving whisky or beer tasting towards him.  And patiently did he wait for this years FNB Whisky Live Festival for his chance to taste and tell.  He’s certainly got the whisky parlance down pat, see his photo’s here – ladies and gentlemen we present to you…. The Matrix: The annual FNB Whisky Live Festival in Sandton City last week had Johannesburg’s connoisseurs of the gentlemen’s fine drink well seduced. The pleasant weather combined with a captivating atmosphere were indeed perfectly suited elements for such a prestigious event. And if the surroundings were not enough to hotwire my interest and admittedly over-the-top expectations, hey presto, right in front of the entrance hall to the convention centre was non other than our Nation’s Rugby World cup Hero – Percy Montgomery; in Springbok formal attire and all! So, with my notepad, pencil and sharp taste buds ready for a great evening; Mr. Malemela Hiine and yours truly charged into the convention centre; on a quest for superbly distilled and flawless Whiskey kegs. “There is no such thing as bad whiskey. Some whiskeys just happen to be better than others. But a man should not fool with booze until he’s fifty, then he’s a damn fool if he doesn’t” – Samuel Johnson (true whiskey connoisseur) We started off at the stable of the Famous Grouse. This brand made it’s rigorous South African mainstream market debut less than three years ago. They took the expo opportunity to launch their premier brand: The Black Grouse (the application of the “Black” in the name appeared kind of familiar. Could this be a piggy-back brand? Time will tell…).  Longing for more, we trotted off to the Bushmills Irish Whisky stand where we got treated to their Original Brand which has a light gold and somewhat bright colour. Scents of “fresh and light apricot with a cut of grass, honey and light vanilla tones” filled our nostrils. The”light to medium silky feel  coats the tongue with sweet and buttery moisuret, while the dried grass, malt and chocolate aftertaste remains on the nose” – splendid indeed! By this time, the alcohol effect had already started knocking hard on my taste buds, so we dashed off for a helping of a more familiar taste: Jack Daniels Old No. 7 Sour Mash Tennessee Whisky. Good old Uncle Jack took us back in time on an authentic tour of how his finest brand is distilled. The Facts: Jack Daniels is only distilled in Tennessee – USA, the original spring water is still being...

Read More
Represent Review: Soweto Wine Festival
Sep10

Represent Review: Soweto Wine Festival

The Matrix get’s his first shot at wine-tasting and find’s himself seduced by the sensuality of it all.  Sounds like something you don’t want to miss next year!  Sharpile Reuben for always Representin’ – particularly when your assignment is so awful *wink*.  See some pics here. This weekend Soweto was encased in charcoal roasted casks fresh from the Mother City as Cape Town’s best and not so best wine cellars eagerly perspired and promoted, hoping to gain favour with the pockets of the wealthy, novice, bargain hunters and the enthused!  On Saturday night the Standard Bank sponsored grounds of the University of Johannesburg in the heart of Black Diamond economy were sprawling like a fishermen’s Mediterranean village at the Standard Bank Soweto Wine Festival 2007. Wine connoisseurs from all over the Rand sipped the fine, bold and crystal liquid as famous Stellenbosch cellars like Kanonkop (Canon Hill) Wine Estate served their best of the best. Kanonkop wine is gently and slowly fermented and aged to perfection in fire roasted-wooden casks for more than two years in order to give it it’s smooth full-body and the fervent after-taste that just makes you crave even more of their famous Cabernet Sauvignon. For me, the night was too young and choices too many for one to be over-indulging in just a few samples of cape liquid gold, especially when I took into account the number of Wine Estates represented at the event and all that tasting that still needed to be done.  I wanted to have a well balanced and well informed cask (Pun intended!) of the entire event… and thus I prepared myself for what was inevitable with the task at hand – a heavy babalas! Representahs! I don’t know about you, but my knowledge of wine (before Saturday that is) was limited to what I saw on the store racks and the self-crowned cook shows on BBC-Food. However, right now i believe that i’m in a more informed state to “school” you all about the age old art of distillery that is Wine Making. Okay, now (what did I jot down…okay here it is), apparently, wine unlike beer or spirits can’t be fermented (this is wine jargon for crushing grapes and filtering the liquid with a mixture of other stabilizers in huge wooden barrels called Casks, more like those in the Jack Daniels Ads on TV, Ah…you see not so difficult is it?), at just any location and not all vines are suited for Wine making or rather superior quality wine making. I was also informed that you specifically need Mediterranean weather in order for the fields to yield delicious grapes, hence the Cape’s winter rainfall being well suited for South Africa’s...

Read More
Represent Review: Hurry up and catch Rent!
Aug27

Represent Review: Hurry up and catch Rent!

Seems like RENT at the recently refurbished Alexandra Theatre in Braamies has been extended an extra month – till the end of October – lucky Jozi peeps – make sure NOT to miss out on a fabulous show and if you’re in CT – get booking.  John caught the show: Wow!  I felt like a pirate finding buried treasure ! The Alexandra theatre was recently renovated and re-opened and what a gem. The place is beautiful, situated in  Braamfontein,  and reminded me of the golden days of theatre in Johannesburg. It has a different feel than the Market and a fabulously big theatre and new bar. Enough about the venue ! RENT was fabulous ! The cast is young and full of energy. It had some familiar faces like Ilse Klink (Isidingo – who knew she could sing this well??) and Aubrey Poo (Muvhango). The pace is fast and energetic and the vocals are strong and solid. The story revolves around a group of friends living in a rundown building in New York during the eighties.  One of their friends inherits a lot of dough and wants to turn the building into a cyber studio (what ever that is…) and wants to throw them out – they cannot pay their rent (hence the name). The tenants owe rent for the previous year and struggle to eat – the place is cold and damp – everyone is trying to make it in entertainment, tv, music and the like. The piece had two sections making it quite a long play – almost three hours – but it is well worth it. The songs ranged from deep and touching to beautifully crafted vocals, to outright fun and games. The story is more complicated than the usual political piece or pantomime – but left us sad at times – I even developed a bit of a flu nose at one point – and laughed out loud at other times. This production is big – the set is beautiful and sports a corner where a five piece band sits producing all the music “live” for the show. What a band ! The sound was brilliant allowing the musician’s talents to shine. Music director Bryan Schimmel impressed with some stunning music from which looked like a young band. The dance sequences were good as well with some filling the complete stage with cast members. The cast is big – the main characters make up about half and the rest are street people. The whole thing is done in “American” which turned out much better than I expected. This is quality stuff. Everyone will find something here. I wish we had...

Read More
Representah: A close up with Joss Stone
Jul10

Representah: A close up with Joss Stone

So we didn’t get to go to Live Earth and apologies to our readers for not being able to cover it.  MAAR! One of our Representah’s Sheena got invited to get close up and persoonlik with a gorgeous Ms Joss Stone at the SABC with about 100 other lucky peeps.  She soul’d them down the river: All flaying arms and unbelievably long legs, Joss Stone certainly knows how to put on a concert – albeit one that only about 100 lucky sods had the opportunity to attend.  In South Africa for the Live Earth concert this past weekend, Joss allowed her arm to be twisted for an impromptu gathering of die-hards in the underbelly of the SABC on Sunday afternoon.  The gig was recorded in a tiny studio for MTV Base and 5FM Live and was cosy and sublime. She was in and out, belting out just five songs that nevertheless rounded off perfectly what every Sunday should have – laid-back, smiley good vibes. Joss started off slowly with ballads from her new album Introducing Joss Stone, and then nearly, almost had the crowd on their feet with Super Duper Love from The Soul Sessions, released in 2004. Tell Me ’Bout It completed the solidly soulful mini-concert. Backed by the recently departed James Brown’s unbelievably funky band, her backing band of choice on tour – the performance was a true treat.  Seems the SABC, however, really scraped the bottom of the barrel with the crowd. They missed all her queues for the “woo hoos” normally expected on a live recording and it took much effort from her off-stage team to get people to show their appreciation with their hands.  It was slightly embarrassing – but seemed to waft right past her ear-to-ear grin.  Barefoot and with her hair Japanese-straight, she happily kicked her heels outside the venue waiting for her team to get the sound set-up just right.  But it was clear who the boss was when minutes into the first song her tour manager ran to the front frantically waving his arms for her to stop and start again. Seems the two keyboards tracks were not being recorded.  With a flick of her recently purple highlights, the manager was sent meekly into the shadows as Ms Stone made it clear that this Grammy and Brit Award winning artist wasn’t about to stop. The team laid down the missing keyboard tracks after the gig. Wearing a baby-doll top emblazoned with fairies (coupled with THAT short skirt from the Tell Me ’Bout It video) Stone lived up stylishly to the “neo hippie” style she apparently embraces.  She told us her new...

Read More
Representah! Opera Extravaganza
Jul02

Representah! Opera Extravaganza

If you have not yet been blessed with the sugared words of our citizen journalist, the one and only Reuben-the Matrix-Malema, read on.  We hope you’ll be encouraged to join his growing Represent fanclub.  To all those Opera goers who were lucky to catch the Opera Extrvaganza, share your thoughts with The Matrix please.  Sharpile Reubs!  “People’s reactions to opera the first time they see it is very dramatic: They either love it or they hate it, if they love it, they’ll always love it. If they don’t – they might learn to appreciate it, but it’ll never be part of their soul”. These famous words have been immortalized by the screenplay persona of Edward (Richard Gere) in Hollywood`s timeless romantic flick: Pretty Woman (my all time favorite movie – for real!). Now, more than ever before, I tend to fully agree with the above statement and not because I’m leaning towards my personal opinions about live opera, but simply put: judge not that which thou hath no knowledge of. On Thursday night Jozi`s patrons of the arts (live and static) came out in their droves, all well groomed and prinked in splendour, glittering and absolutely glamorous in support of  this year’s capacity filled gala evening of Opera Africa`s Opera Extravaganza at the Johannesburg Civic  Theater – Braamfontein. The performances were a well orchestrated mixture of professional artists such as Johan Botha and mainly young black and talented stars in the making, with an epic theatrical setting only befitting a royal ball; all was set for a musical journey for the ages.  Admittedly as an opera novice – I did not quite understand the whole idea of juxtaposing the Orchestra slap bang! in the front of the performance crew’s stage area, but boy oh boy – what a huge impact that had on the audience’s reaction.   Curtains were raised to a synchronized clapping of hands for the opening performance which I interpreted as an uprising of disgruntled subjects against their fat cat ruling nobles. Funny enough the revolt was led by a regiment of Knight Templars (whom history portrays as sworn protectors and guardians of the royal lineage). The Nobles finally get incarcerated with the lower class braking into a state of uncontrolled jubilation when…Enter the super star Turner trombone: Johan Botha, respected noble man in the Royal courtyard – ordering the immediate release of the Nobility prisoners and returning things to a state of  unacceptable “normalcy”.  This act accompanied by the powerful music stirred up people`s emotions and more so that of my confidant: Ms Janica N. Nhlapo who started jerking a tear or two (how I kicked myself for the lack of...

Read More
Page 3 of 5« First...2345