SA musos honour burnt down venue

2012-04-23 13:10
Jean-Marie Korff
Cape Town – Musicians, regulars and patrons who've experienced a bit of the magic that was Steak & Ale, have paid tribute to the Pretoria music venue which burnt down at the weekend.

Legendary South African musician Piet Botha told Beeld on Sunday that "it's a boggerop of epic proportions". 

Botha, together with almost 100 regulars, attended the so-called farewell party for Steak & Ale where the loved music venue was saluted with a last drink and flowers.

Botha, son of the former South African Minister of Foreign Affairs Pik Botha, also posted the following on Sunday on his Facebook page: "For 13 years we played at The Steak and Ale , once a month, come rain or shine...but we never saw the Fire least the rock and roll memories remain, for us and so many other musicians and songwriters..."

According to Beeld, the cause of the fire, which started at 04:00 on Saturday, is still unknown.

'Home away from our homes'

SAMA winning rocker Jan Blohm called on people to post their favourite Steak & Ale photos on a Facebook page created for the venue. "Our hearts are sore for our friends (...) and all the wonderful staff that made Steakies our home away from our homes," Blohm said on his Facebook page.

Roepman star John-Henry Opperman, who also forms part of Afrikaans band Klopjag, couldn't believe his eyes when he saw the picture of a burnt down Steak & Ale on Twitter on Saturday, as he and his friends were still enjoying a drink at the venue just a few hours earlier.

He shared the following on Klopjag's blog: "I look, read, look again and think of Diff-Olie's CD with Mitchell's Plein which I listened to there a few hours earlier, of Brinley's painting of Jeff Buckley, the flatscreen TVs which Charlene installed for the 2010 soccer (...) I think of the fireplace and the ridiculous poker machine which irritated me (...) and how all of those things are now moertoe (ruined)."

Many local bands have played at Steak & Ale through the years including the Silvercreek Mountain Band, Anton Goosen, Karen Zoid, Valiant Swart, Bacchus Nel, Jan Blohm, Klopjag, Fokofpolisiekar, Die Melktert Kommissie and many more.

Lucinda Strydom, lead singer of Afrikaans band Die Melktert Kommissie and Lucy Lane, told Channel24 that "Steak & Ale was a place that always welcomed us with open arms. It was a warm place, filled with friendly people who always made us feel like part of the family. The many memories of late nights, amazing food and good company will always be cherished."

*Any fond Steakies memories? E-mail us your stories or photos.