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Valiant Swart - Vrydagaand/Saterdagaand

2008-07-01 16:54
And he's a muso who's paid his dues, but not in the sense of starving while playing one-man gigs, although he probably started out that way. This, after all, is a man who has starred in soapies, and had his own program on Kyknet. But that doesn't make him a Steve Hofmeyr, because frankly, nobody really cares about Valiant's private life. So let's just call him a complex character, and let his music do the singing.

Vrydagaand/Saterdagaand is fantastically, unequivocally Valiant. I could practically trundle out every positive Valiant Swart review I've ever written, change the names of the songs, and it would be spot on. There's something reassuring about an artist who can always give you what you want, but who still manages to sound fresh.
There'll be some cries of 'hanskhaki' from the extreme right wing of rock fans, but deal with it - three of these songs are in English. The beautiful thing about Valiant is that he sounds the same in either language, and is a poet in both. "Maybe in slow motion" is a case in point – a slow, lyrical meander through a landscape of love, louche guitars, tired regrets and unquenchable hope.

"Kom ons braai" is also a highlight, although it does suffer from a maudlin cultural trope that I’m seeing more and more in Afrikaans music, the paean to a misunderstood people. ("Kom ons braai/terwyl ons kan/kom ons braai/terwyl ons nog kan".) It's a little tiresome, and not a little whiney, but in Valiant's case we can ignore it, because he's so damn good at it. And after all, it is the blues.

Still, it's a little eerie when Valiant Swart, Bok van Blerk, Koos Kombuis and Fokofpolisiekar all sing about the same thing. I’m sure their distress is real, but I'd like to see a little less of the victim status, and more about how to survive. The highlight of the album is the title track, a vintage Valiant celebration of the poetry of the jol, and one to rank alongside the classic "Die son sak in Durbanville."

- Chris Roper

At the last Up the Creek music festival, a fan turned to her friend and said, "It's Valiant! My panties are on fire!" Take that to mean what you will, the truth is that Valiant has still got it. And what he's got is not glibly expressed. Sure, he's kind of a sex symbol, in the sense that the Valiant is a classic car - his image is very much of his cultural milieu, and like his automotive namesake, I'm sure he's seen a lot of backseat action.

What to read next: Kalahari

Wynand 2008-07-03 07:50 AM
Jou songs rock Hi Valiant ek wil net vir jou se jy ROCK ons is almal mal oor jou songs, ons het so te se amper al jou cd's en sal dit aanhou koop. Hou so aan. Groete Wynand
Ed Rybicki 2008-07-03 07:33 PM
Vrydaganand.... Bakgat, boetie...and I don't even speak the language. But I think I'm gonna get me that CD.
Annette van Wyk 2008-07-08 02:51 PM
The original mystic boer Valiant Swart will in my book always remain one of the best Afrikaans performers!!
Elraine Verster 2008-09-19 09:09 PM
Valiant is totally overrated This review shows once again that you cannot trust reviewers. Valiant Swart has been overhyped. The new album is extremely lame. Boring, boring, boring.

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