Bok van Blerk - De La Rey

2009-08-18 08:30
"Hatfield Jol", which apparently documents the mating dance of the average Bok fan, goes as follows: "Drop Zone vind/ drink my toe blind/ Tequila's Brandies en Jeggies/ heeltemal verslind/ En ek val toe oor 'n speaker, en ek breek my linkerbeen, iemand slaan my met 'n bottel …". And so on and so forth. Nope, the only danger here is that they might beat up a soutpiel who wanders into the bar by mistake.

And that's what the reaction to "De La Rey" is about, after all. Picking on someone smaller than you. The verdomde Engelse picked on us, and now it's our turn. Frankly, I prefer the more traditional forms of South African racism, but apparently white racists are too nervous to pick on blacks anymore. Bladdy cowards. So instead, they're going to turn on the English, which basically translates into picking on the odd white English-speaking South African who hasn't fled to Australia yet. This is very unfriendly, especially since English-speaking white racists don't have anyone left to pick on, except maybe Tony Leon and the odd German tourist. The only hope, I guess, is to join in, and beat ourselves up.

All this is a little unfair on Bok van Blerk himself. All that this Britney of Boerepop has done, is tap into a market that was crying out for a sing-along song to replace Queen's "We will rock you" at rugby matches. Shockingly, “De La Rey” is actually the best song on the album. The rest are the usual blend of boring beats, plangent guitar chords, and choruses that are as catchy as syphilis during an intervarsity rugby tournament. In other words, very catchy, but you wouldn't really want to.

There are some romantic moments, as befits the new sex symbol for Benoni Barbies. The rollicking "Die Bok van Blêr", for example, starts "'Paar liter wyn net ek en jy"("A couple litres of wine, just you and I"), which is guaranteed to melt the woolly loins of any young farm girl. Shear magic.

There are also several poetic highlights, on a par with anything produced by the likes of Brixton Moord en Roof Orkes or Fokofpolisiekar. Rhyming "Habana" with "branna" is particularly good. The actual song, unfortunately, appears to be the unholy love child of Nico Carstens, the retards who did the beats for BoereTechno, and a golem guitarist made out of the bits of Bryan Adams even he doesn't use.

If hip hop thrives on fat guys inexplicably being worshipped by chicks with big tits, Afrikaans music of the Bok van Blerk variety lives and dies on an increasingly rose-coloured nostalgia. De La Rey traverses the same mythic territory covered by the likes of Gert Vlok Nel, Valiant Swart, Piet Botha, Klopjag and the like - cars, interestingly complicated boeremeisies, the open road, and the endlessly, endlessly fascinating topic of alcohol. But the finished product is like the difference between falling in love with Karen Zoid, and a one night stand with Patricia Lewis.

-Chris Roper


Ask Bok Van Blerk
Here's your chance to post your questions for him - we'll include the best ones in our interview next week.
People of South Africa, you can sleep easy in your beds. There will be no rebellion of the Afrikaner rightwing, no revolution of the De La Rey generation. We have listened to their soundtrack, and if the songs on this CD are anything to go by, they'll all be too pissed to stand up, never mind rise up.

What to read next: Kalahari

AJ 2007/03/28 9:44 AM
Review by Chris Roper Have your say [no bad language or hate speech, please] Chris Roper's Review on Bok van Blerk is all but. Chris jy is walglik siek!
Joe Daschner 2007/03/28 10:39 AM
Review by Chris Roper Shame Chris, you found something at last to carry on about. Is your review not a bit late though? This song has been around for weeks now - you were probably checking out the opinions of others first. Another tip, please touch up on your spelling.
Chris 2007/03/28 11:23 AM
Spelling? What's wrong with my spelling? Unless you're referring to my funny shear/shear pun, which has to do with wooly loins.
Joe 2007/03/28 11:23 AM
Goda What, did he forget to put an apostrophe in CDs or something? IF you don't get why that's a joke...
Yondi 2007/03/28 11:27 AM
Leave Chris alone! Luved the review, very funny & true!
Brandon 2007/03/28 12:15 PM
Perler Kick-ass review chief... pity AJ can't see it but that's life.
Chris 2007/03/28 12:22 PM
thanks Brandon, Yondi, thanks. And since this story is going up on news24 later, there's going to be a LOT of negative response in a short while. So I might as well enjoy you while I can!
Lardus 2007/03/28 12:24 PM
What an idiot I have no idea where this guy gets the idea of racism and picking on the English speaking people from this CD. I agree that 'De La Rey' is the best song on the CD, but there is absolutely no connection to racism or picking on people. And by the way, historically, the Germans and the Boere we friendly, so why would we pick on our brothers? Also, De La Rey was a Boere hero, not an Afrikaner hero. Who out there knows of the Afrikaner-Anglo war? It was the Anglo-Boer war. Chris Roper is obviously the racist here who is picking on a racial and social minority for liking a song about one of their hero's.
Dave 2007/03/28 12:24 PM
Stop polarising people Chris, i'm sure your'e taking this too personal. In any case, the album is meant for Afrikaans speakers. Let them lament a war that they lost a hundred years ago if they like. White racists now pick on the English speaking White ( a new race, who likes fleeing to Aus according to yourself). Truly strange. Please Chris, if you don't like the album, don't turn to racism to get your point across. If the lyrics are not to your liking, say it and get on with it.
Nelly 2007/03/28 12:32 PM
Still trying to be different? Chris is so pathetic. Always trying to be different. Always trying to shock people by the nonsense he writes. The more he tries to be different, the more he seems to be the same as all other whining idiots.
Chris 2007/03/28 12:39 PM
Always? Hey, Nelly, good to know you're a regular reader of mine, at least. Not sure where you see the bit about trying to be different, though?
Etienne 2007/03/28 12:40 PM
Chris who? Whatever bud, Boere also had a history - the fact that is being celebrated should not be seen as racism. Write about something you actually have some knowledge on. I did enjoy the Australia comment though...
Rene 2007/03/28 12:41 PM
Finally something different I am truly fed-up of the whole De la Rey debacle, but I must say your review is excellent.
chris 2007/03/28 12:46 PM
Something for everyone Etienne, good attitude - you even get something positive out of something you dislike!
Nelly 2007/03/28 12:46 PM
I rest my case Chris, you have just proven my point.
Naas 2007/03/28 12:50 PM
hmmm Get a life Chris, and also maybe a cat so that you don't have to be alone at night.
Hagen 2007/03/28 12:52 PM
Good read Chris – I’m Afrikaans & I had really enjoy the review – very funny & true…….I only wish the English would show some balls & get a Band we can make fun off………..
Henry 2007/03/28 1:02 PM
Chris needs help Chris my dear friend you are as shocking as vomit in a tumbledryer. You need help and to go back to school. If you trying to get the response to your story that de la rey did you must be not right.......
Carl 2007/03/28 1:04 PM
Respect What a pity Chris shows so little respect! Fact is, some 38 000 boere women and children died in British concentration camps during the short time they were interned. No one objects to the Jews remembering what Hitler did. Please allow us to remember those who perished at the hands of the Brits! That certainly does not constitute turning on English, as a matter of fact some of us are pretty proficient at using your language!You have every right to dislike the man's music, just learn, if you can, some respect for the views of orhers. Specially the almost 100 000 who have bought the album!
Lauren 2007/03/28 1:09 PM
Calm down please Very funny review. It's pop music, people. Calm down. I'm an English white that quite enjoys the occassional drunken chorus of De La Rey, but really - have a laugh.
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