International Divas Live in South Africa Concert will hot up Cape Town Sat 6 July

Soul Divas CeCe Peniston, Robin S and Sybil, as part of the Good Hope FM BIRTHDAY BASH, will hot up Cape Town this July! The sublime threesome will give a once off performance on Saturday 6 July at GrandWest Casino outside Cape Town. The all female New York City Orchestra will provide the supporting act – which makes the evening a rare celebration of soul and female talent. Good Hope FM deejay’s will be connecting Cape Town with live music, leading up to the show.

Dance music queen CeCe hits (delivered in a voice that is reminiscent of a full bodied red wine) include “Finally”, “Keep on Walkin’” and “Gotta Know (Your Name)”. Her compatriot, the singer and songwriter Robin S, can boast of a list of hits that include “Show me the Love” and “Luv 4 Luv”, which she delivers in a voice that ranges from mellow to one capable of packing a punch. Sybil is the surprise here. She has hitherto achieved fame for her cover versions, but it’s her voice that will grab music lovers. The latter can be compared to a sparkling golden chardonnay capable of finding your sweet spot effortlessly. The divas will be supported by the talents of the New York City Orchestra. This unique orchestra consists of female virtuosi, who are capable of performing both classical and contemporary music with equal aplomb. The International Divas Live in South Africa concert takes place on Saturday 6 July in the Grand Arena of GrandWest. Tickets range from R325 to R495. Tickets are available from Computicket fom 7 May 2013.

CeCe Peniston

CeCe Peniston

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Heart 104.9fm Top 30 -15 June 2013 -RJ Benjamin at 26

HEART 104.9FM TOP 30 – 15 JUNE 2013
POS ARTIST SONG TITLE MOVE L/W PEAK WEEKS
1 DAFT PUNK feat. PHARRELL GET LUCKY UP 1 2 1 6
2 ROBIN THICKE feat. T.I. & PHARRELL BLURRED LINES DOWN 1 1 1 (2) 6
3 JARRAD STAY NC 3 3 5
4 CHRIS BROWN FINE CHINA NC 4 2 9
5 NE-YO BE THE ONE UP 1 6 5 2
6 PINK feat. NATE RUESS JUST GIVE ME A REASON UP 5 11 6 5
7 JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE MIRRORS DOWN 2 5 4 7 JBF
8 HEARTBEAT CAFÉ feat. MELISSA PERFECT VIEW DOWN 1 7 1 (3) 8
9 LABRINTH feat. EMELI SANDE BENEATH YOUR BEAUTIFUL UP 1 10 9 5
10 THE PEANUTT GALLERY LET’S HAVE FUN DOWN 2 8 2 9 JBF
11 EMELI SANDE CLOWN DOWN 2 9 8 3
12 OLLY MURS feat. FLO RIDA TROUBLEMAKER NC 12 12 4
13 MATTHEW O’CONNELL TAKE IT SLOW UP 15 28 12 16 HC
14 JIMMY NEVIS IN LOVE WITH YOU DOWN 1 13 10 8
15 STEPHEN MARLEY feat. MELANIE FIONA NO CIGARETTE SMOKE (IN MY ROOM) DOWN 1 14 14 7
16 R KELLY WHEN A MAN LIES DOWN 1 15 2 12
17 ALICIA KEYS BRAND NEW ME DOWN 1 16 1 (2) 14
18 JAMALI THIS TIME DOWN 1 17 8 7
19 MAROON 5 DAYLIGHT DOWN 1 18 9 10
20 DIA FRAMPTON WALK AWAY DOWN 1 19 19 4
21 NNEKA SHINING STAR (JOE GODDARD MIX) DOWN 1 20 5 10
22 RIHANNA feat. CHRIS BROWN NOBODY’S BUSINESS DOWN 1 21 1 (3) 24
23 JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE feat. JAY-Z SUIT AND TIE DOWN 1 22 2 20
24 RIHANNA feat. MIKKY EKKO STAY DOWN 1 23 1 14
25 MICHAEL BUBLE IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY DOWN 1 24 18 8
26 RJ BENJAMIN THE LOVE DOWN 1 25 24 3
27 BRUNO MARS WHEN I WAS YOUR MAN DOWN 1 26 1 (2) 18
28 DJ KENT feat. LIQUIDEEP TOP OF THE WORLD DOWN 1 27 1 (2) 16
29 ALICIA KEYS WHEN IT’S ALL OVER NC 29 1 15
30 ANGIE STONE BACK UP PLAN NC 30 2 33

Sensational skipper leads way for All Blacks

Two quite contrasting acts put the exclamation points on Kieran Read’s 50th test and underlined why the next 50 are as inevitable as night following day, or the hard-nosed Cantab putting team goals before individual glory.

Read, in just his second home test as skipper of this new generation All Blacks, was, as the French would say, tres magnifique. He produced one exquisite 50-metre run from his own line midway through the first half that showcased his exhilarating raw power and pure skill, and also sucked up a debilitating blow to his lower back just before halftime to see out an emphatic 30-0 line-in-the-sand performance from the New Zealanders.

Not only did this three-try Saturday night shutout of the French seal the series, and Dave Gallaher Cup, with a test still to go, but it reaffirmed that coach Steve Hansen is heading down the right track as he looks to evolve his 2011 World Cup winners into a squad capable of claiming their first global crown on foreign soil.

And having Read as his leader, and tone-setter, is a big part of that. Richie McCaw will return sooner rather than later and may indeed find the motivation, mindset and bodily co-operation to allow him to continue as captain.

But it’s Read who is at the peak of his physical powers and Read who will be the supreme figure in the All Blacks for the remainder of this World Cup cycle. Whether or not the big No 8 has the (c) beside his name or not, he will be the man setting the standards as the All Blacks look to shake the final World Cup monkey off their backs.

Naturally Read was less pleased about marking his own milestone in style at AMI Stadium than he was his team setting a performance standard they could be proud of on the occasion of the All Blacks’ 500th test match.

“For me it’s about the cause,” he said afterwards. “You’re going to remember your 50th and it’s nice to have a win but I think it’s important for this group to do what we did tonight and it’s great to be a part of it.

“We’ll just keep looking to improve. I’m really happy with the way we stuck at it, our attitude and the way we put things together.”

Asked if the All Blacks had set down a marker with their stand early in the second half when they soaked up 19 phases of furious French attack, won possession off a charged-down dropped goal and then raced 70 metres upfield for a score that knocked le resistance out of Les Bleus, Read nodded in affirmation.

“It was a great standard for us to set,” he said. “Defence really shows the character of a side and your willingness to put your body on the line for each other. We really stuck at it when they brought it to us around the rucks.

“We’ve got to build from that. It was certainly a great effort. It’s awesome to put in that effort and then get the reward at the end.”Ad Feedback

He had no doubt that play knocked the stuffing out of any French comeback that may have been brewing.

“They stuck at it, but we kept knocking them over when they brought it to us close to the line. And when we got opportunities to play down their end, we did that pretty well. It felt like if we D’d up really well they weren’t going to break us.

“That was a real positive. It’s about keeping our discipline there and ensuring we have a strong line and don’t give them an easy out via a penalty or something like that.”

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen was happy to give his new skipper a resounding pat on the back afterwards.

“He’s been leading the side tremendously well for a new captain. He’s totally assured about how he wants to do that, he communicates well with us in the management group, with his leadership team, and the young guys, so there’s a feeling of contentment from everybody around the way he’s doing his job.

“And playing wise he’s just doing what he always does – he sets the standards really high. He gutsed his way through a hit in the back just before halftime, and did very well to see the game out. His big carry up the middle out of defence is typical of what we expect from our leaders.”

Read was asked about the injury, and any chance it might keep him out of the final test in New Plymouth.

“It’s hard to know what it is,” he shrugged, “just a cork or something in the back. It will be something that will be a bit sore for a few days but hopefully settle down with a bit of treatment.”

Tough guy. Inspirational leader.

– © Fairfax NZ News

In Richie McCaw’s sabbatical we trust

OPINION: Rugby can be relied on for throwing up innocuous sounding terms which soon take on a controversial bent.

A couple of years ago you couldn’t get through an interview with a union chief executive without at least one “going forward”.

There was Graham Henry’s infamous “rotation” policy ahead of the 2007 World Cup, and now we have the “sabbatical”.

The term has its roots in the Bible, describing the way God rested after creating the universe.

It’s commonplace in many professions – academia, medicine, accountancy, the law – with an increasing number of businesses offering extended paid or unpaid leave for employees.

They might take a break to write a book or travel, generally to achieve some sort of goal.

So far, so good.

Richie McCaw may be the greatest rugby player New Zealand has seen – supplanting Colin Meads from that lofty perch around the time he lifted the World Cup trophy at Eden Park in 2011 – but he clearly isn’t a god.

He’s not a lawyer, a doctor, a university professor or an accountant, either. He’s a rugby player.

And there are many, a legion perhaps, who believe a rugby player shouldn’t be allowed to have a sabbatical clause included in their contract.

It’s rubbish, of course.

McCaw is as good at his job as any of the above-mentioned people. He has operated in a highly pressured environment for a lengthy period, but the drain on him will not have been merely mental, it will also have taken a huge physical toll, not just because he is playing a combative, contact sport, but because the position he plays is a particularly bruising one.

The New Zealand rugby market is a small one in commercial terms, and while McCaw obviously won’t be living in Struggle St, he could probably do a lot better overseas.

If the ability to offer a sabbatical gives the New Zealand Rugby Union another weapon to fight off the grasping hands of foreign markets, then so be it – with the caveat that that weapon is used sparingly, and only in special cases where the quality of the player makes it worthwhile.

You could argue that McCaw, while a special player, isn’t vital to the NZRU cause.

Sam Cane looks like good raw material, there’s a fringe of Tanerau Latimer, Matt Todd and the emerging Ardie Savea.

When a quality player like John Hardie does not even enter into most All Black discussions, you know the cupboards are reasonably well-stocked in the openside department.Ad Feedback

But none of those guys is McCaw.

New Zealand remains a working-class society, where the professions can be viewed with some suspicion. From that point of view it’s no surprise that grassroots rugby has concerns about the game taking on yet another element of corporate life.

Shearers and ditch diggers aren’t offered paid leave to go and travel to broaden their minds, or write a book.

Many New Zealanders work themselves down to a nub, sometimes risking their lives, without earning the sort of money which would see them invited to lunch by their bank manager, or to walk the red carpet.

McCaw has also obviously taken a risk that some young tiger will come through in the meantime and wrestle the No 7 jersey off him, but that same risk would have existed if he had been playing.

It’s perhaps important to repeat the real intent of a sabbatical, which is to achieve a goal or gain skills which may be taken back to the business to benefit it in the long term.

McCaw has reportedly not just been ironing out the kinks in a body battered and battle scarred after more than a decade of international rugby, he has been working to develop more explosive power in his game.

He hopes to not just get in the sort of physical state that will see him push through to the next World Cup, but be the sort of player who will add even more value to the All Blacks in the future.

Amen to that.

– © Fairfax NZ News

HEART 104.9FM TOP 30 – 8 JUNE 2013 -RJ BENJAMIN AT 25

HEART 104.9FM TOP 30 – 8 JUNE 2013
POS ARTIST SONG TITLE MOVE L/W PEAK WEEKS
1 ROBIN THICKE feat. T.I. & PHARRELL BLURRED LINES NC 1 1 5
2 DAFT PUNK feat. PHARRELL GET LUCKY NC 2 2 5
3 JARRAD STAY UP 3 6 6 4
4 CHRIS BROWN FINE CHINA DOWN 1 3 2 8
5 JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE MIRRORS DOWN 1 4 4 6
6 NE-YO BE THE ONE NEW 6 1
7 HEARTBEAT CAFÉ feat. MELISSA PERFECT VIEW DOWN 2 5 1 (3) 7
8 THE PEANUTT GALLERY LET’S HAVE FUN DOWN 1 7 2 8
9 EMELI SANDE CLOWN DOWN 1 8 8 2
10 LABRINTH feat. EMELI SANDE BENEATH YOUR BEAUTIFUL DOWN 1 9 9 4
11 PINK feat. NATE RUESS JUST GIVE ME A REASON UP 1 12 12 4
12 OLLY MURS feat. FLO RIDA TROUBLEMAKER UP 2 14 14 3
13 JIMMY NEVIS IN LOVE WITH YOU UP 3 16 10 7
14 STEPHEN MARLEY feat. MELANIE FIONA NO CIGARETTE SMOKE (IN MY ROOM) UP 7 21 17 6 HC
15 R KELLY WHEN A MAN LIES DOWN 5 10 2 11 JBF
16 ALICIA KEYS BRAND NEW ME DOWN 5 11 1 (2) 13 JBF
17 JAMALI THIS TIME DOWN 4 13 8 6
18 MAROON 5 DAYLIGHT DOWN 3 15 9 9
19 DIA FRAMPTON WALK AWAY UP 4 23 22 3
20 NNEKA SHINING STAR (JOE GODDARD MIX) DOWN 3 17 5 9
21 RIHANNA feat. CHRIS BROWN NOBODY’S BUSINESS DOWN 3 18 1 (3) 23
22 JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE feat. JAY-Z SUIT AND TIE DOWN 3 19 2 19
23 RIHANNA feat. MIKKY EKKO STAY DOWN 3 20 1 13
24 MICHAEL BUBLE IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY DOWN 2 22 18 7
25 RJ BENJAMIN THE LOVE DOWN 1 24 24 2
26 BRUNO MARS WHEN I WAS YOUR MAN DOWN 1 25 1 (2) 17
27 DJ KENT feat. LIQUIDEEP TOP OF THE WORLD DOWN 1 26 1 (2) 15
28 MATTHEW O’CONNEL TAKE IT SLOW DOWN 1 27 12 15
29 ALICIA KEYS WHEN IT’S ALL OVER DOWN 1 28 1 14
30 ANGIE STONE BACK UP PLAN DOWN 1 29 2 32

Richie McCaw 6 month holiday empowers him to appreciate the job of being All Blacks captain.

Richie McCaw expects his six-month holiday will empower him to once again appreciate the job of being All Blacks captain.

McCaw, who yesterday confirmed he will play his first match of 2013 for his Christchurch club in “three or four weeks”, said the New Zealand Rugby Union’s decision to grant a sabbatical gave him a fresh perspective of the privileges that come with being the leader of the world’s most high-profile rugby team.

Captaining the All Blacks since 2006 meant McCaw was slowly being ground down by the continued demand to sign autographs, pose for photographs, attend official functions and fulfil media duties.

“After a while it becomes relentless. When it becomes a focus and starts getting on top of you, it becomes bigger than it should be,” McCaw said yesterday.

“I think having some time away and realising that it is pretty cool to put a smile on a kid’s face and doing what you do is good, you deal with it a lot better.

“And it just sort of got on top of me, really. That is why I think that time away was pretty critical.”

Even if McCaw hadn’t taken his sabbatical this year he was always going to lose the Crusaders captaincy to Kieran Read because coach Todd Blackadder recognised he had to lighten his load.

Since taking leave following last year’s northern tour, McCaw has rarely poked his head into the limelight.

His foray into the public eye yesterday coincided with McCaw and Dan Carter announcing a commercial deal with Adidas.

McCaw also travelled to Sri Lanka as part of his “global ambassador” role with Fonterra but said that was the only work-related task he had completed during his vacation.

Offshore trips have included skiing in France, sight-seeing in Italy, Canada and Hong Kong and catching-up with friends in the United Kingdom and the United States where he hung out in New York and Las Vegas.

When he attended the IRB sevens tournament in Wellington last summer he opted to disguise himself as a policeman.

“I had a few mates that were going to the sevens and thought I would dress-up right. It was bloody good sneaking around – no-one had any idea who I was.”

But his stint of “just being under the radar” will come at an end.

The 32-year-old, who watched the All Blacks play France at Eden Park and will attend Saturday night’s test at AMI Stadium, is well into pre-season training and confirmed he will play for his Christchurch club in “three to four weeks”.

He may also represent the Crusaders who have three regular-season matches remaining against the Highlanders, Chiefs and Hurricanes.

If they qualify for the play-offs, which begin July 19, it seems likely coach Todd Blackadder will require him to sit on the bench at least.

McCaw also acknowledged that watching the All Blacks at Eden Park stoked his desire to add to his 116 test caps.

“It did feel a bit funny. I had prepared myself for it. But when you see the lads lining-up for the anthems and then the whistle goes and you know you could have been out there, you miss it. That’s the way it should be. If I didn’t miss it, I would be a bit worried.

“That is when you realise how long you have got left and that you have to make the most of it.”

– © Fairfax NZ News

Out with the old in with the new at The Sharks

THE Kings is dead, long live the King, they say when one man’s departure can’t be too heavily lamented because there has to be celebration for the ascendancy of the new ruler, but in terms of the Sharks’ coaching job, that is bull dust.

With respect to Brendan Venter, who I have nothing against and have never met beyond asking him the odd question in a press conference when he was still a player, John Plumtree is a true son of Natal and The Sharks, despite being born in the remote town of Hawera in New Zealand, and deserves better treatment than that given to him this week.

Plumtree gave his all to this province as a player and even more when he returned here as a coach in 2007 (he became head coach in 2008). He deserved so much better than to learn through the press that the new guard at The Sharks had for months been negotiating with potential successors to him after had had led the Sharks to two Currie Cup titles, two more Currie Cup finals and a Super Rugby final.

In his time at the Sharks as coach, Plumtree has had a heavy focus on “the jersey”, on the legacy of the Natal ‘black and white’, on the heroes that have gone before and the importance of the current players delivering on the standards set by those who have gone before. But this week he has been let down by the custodians of that jersey. You would forgive him if he screwed up his old Natal jerseys and tossed them onto the rubbish heap.

It really is a poor show that the man who was voted best coach in South Africa last year is dumped simply because there “needs to be a change’.

One would think that when there is such a big change at administrative level as there has been with John Smit taking over from Brian van Zyl at CEO level, the logical thing would be to at least keep consistency on ground level with a reliable, world class coaching set-up until the new boss gets up to speed.

Is there not supposed to be a hand-over/take-over period for the inexperienced Smit under Van Zyl? Why are all these unilateral decisions been taken before Smit has even taken office? He is only due to take up his appointment on July 1.

I am telling you that there is too much change too soon. The new broom is sweeping so fast it is going to sweep itself off its feet.

Van Zyl, by the way, emerges from the stink over the sacking of Plumtree with honour. He backed Plumtree for a two-year-extension and has stuck by his guns. He said he knew nothing of the celebrated offer to Nick Mallett and the inference is that work was being conducted behind his back, despite him being the man in power.

Van Zyl, himself, was one to learn at a very late stage that he was to be replaced by Smit. And the process that led to the Smit appointment is not unlike that of Venter succeeding Smit. There were behind-the-scenes negotiations that the protagonist knew nothing about and then, at the moment critique, Brutus stepped out with the dagger and plunged it into Ceasar’s back.

The thing with the Sharks these days is that if it is true that a new broom must sweep clean, then it must be done in the right manner. It must be done with integrity. It must not be done in a shadowy underworld.

If a brave new world for the Sharks is to truly be forged, it has to be done on the foundations and traditions forged by those of a proud Sharks player such as John Plumtree, and continued correctly by a proud Sharks player in John Smit.

But continued skulk and duggery will not win over the players and certainly not the fans.

By Mike Greenaway

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