Happy Ships

Cape Town-based band who formed in 1980: Wayne Rath (drums, guitar, vocals), Phillip Nangle (agricultural implements, vocals, chants), Lloyd Ross (guitar, bass, voice, studio), Hamish Davidson (sax, voice, implements), Warrick Sony (bass, drums, voice, trombone) and Jono Partridge (pockets – which involved rhythmically shaking loose change in one of his trouser pockets).

They only ever did three live performances but did release the album Sound Future in 1984.

Kalahari Surfers

Primarily a studio group formed in Cape Town in the early 1980s. Initial line-up was Warrick Swinney, aka Warrick Sony, (guitars, keyboards and studio), Hamish Davidson (saxophone) and Brian Rath (drums).

They released the single “Burning Tractors Keep Us Warm” in 1982, followed by the cassette release Gross National Products (1983). By the time of their first album release on vinyl Kalahari Surfers constituted Warrick Swinney and a host of guest musicians.

Four albums followed in the 1980s: Own Affairs (1984), Living In The Heart Of The Beast (1985), Sleep Armed (1986) and Bigger than Jesus (1989). Urgent Release (1990) included ANC leaders’ speeches with a Surfers backing. In 1992 the Surfers collaborated with poet Lesego Rampolokeng on the New Beginnings album.

After a break of several years Sony/The Surfers began to release more electronic/dub-oriented music, beginning with Akasic Record (2001) and then Muti Media (2003), Conspiracy of Silence (2005), Panga Management (2006), Turntabla with Greg Cutler (2009), One Party State (2010) and Agit Prop (2012).