André Venter presents match day jerseys to Springboks

Former Springbok flank André Venter presented the Springboks with their match jerseys on Friday morning at their team hotel in Cape Town.

photo credit -Gallo images /SA Rugby

Venter played in 66 Tests for the Springboks between 1996 and 2001 and was a member of the team that won the bronze medal at the 1999 Rugby World Cup in the United Kingdom.

He has been in a wheelchair in recent years after being struck down by a degenerative syndrome of the central nervous system called transverse myelitis. He is a successful businessman and also a motivational speaker.

Venter shared some inspirational words with the Springboks before he presented the match 23 with their playing jerseys for Saturday’s clash with New Zealand.

“I can see there is something special happening within this group,” said Venter to the current crop of Springboks, and urged the players to embrace the responsibility of wearing the Green and Gold.

“It is important to believe in what you’re doing and where you’re heading. The Springboks have an unbelievable history and you must be able to write your own chapter.”

Venter had the honour to present the Bok players with their jerseys on two previous occasions, and said he was extremely grateful and blessed to do so for a third time. The honour of playing for the team and your country is something that is not easy to describe, explained Venter.

“Only when you’re no longer playing and not part of that unique circle anymore, that is when it dawns on you how special the Springbok environment is. My advice to the players is to enjoy the experience and to make a telling contribution to the rich story of the Springboks,” said Venter.

Springbok captain Eben Etzebeth described Venter as probably the hardest man ever to play for the Springboks: “He epitomises everything you want in a great Springbok, so it was an unbelievable honour to receive our Test jerseys from Andre.”

The Springboks tackle New Zealand tomorrow in a 17h05 kick off at DHL Newlands, the two teams’ final fixture of the 2017 Castle Lager Rugby Championship.

Issued by SA Rugby Communications

Happy snaps of Springbok team photo Friday morning ahead of the test mach on Saturday against All Blacks

Personal Reflection from Colin Sher who was at the BMI Songwriters Camp 2017

Cape Town producer, DJ and owner of Cosher recording studios, Colin Sher (Cosher) was invited to be a producing songwriter at this year’s BMI songwriting camp in partnership with Music Exchange (MEX).
BMI (similar to SAMRO in South Africa) is the largest music rights organization in the U.S. and bridges the gap between songwriters and the businesses and organizations that want to play their music publicly. BMI represents nearly 13 million musical works created and owned by more than 800,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers.

Since 2016, the Music Exchange Entertainment Indaba (MEX17), has partnered with BMI and attracted various writing creatives for a five-day emersion and creative boot camp.

The camp was hosted in Camps Bay at the South Beach Luxury Hotel.

There were 7 songwriters who were invited from around the globe who stayed at the hotel while a further 4 other songwriters joined for 2 day stints.

The 7 songwriters including Colin Sher, were:

– Amanda Black from South Africa (3 times SAMA winner)

– Christian Wright from the U.K. (Abbey Road engineer)

– Jan Klose from USA (Grammy nominated singer songwriter)

– Alicia Madison from USA (Top EDM singer songwriter)

– Tony Grund from USA (Producer / DJ and lecturer at SAE in New York)

– Marcela Arciniegas from Columbia (Producer with many U.K. top charting tracks)

After being treated to an amazing welcoming event with more than enough food and drinks, the songwriting week began with breakfast and the day’s briefs.

Each day the process would be similar to this; John Fishlock, a music publisher who was one of the main organizers, was in charge of the briefs which were given to everyone each morning in order to inspire the songs for the day. The briefs were supposed to budge the groups into writing songs in a certain direction, but they were allowed to do their own thing if otherwise inspired. The briefs ranged each day and always targeted certain singers who needed songs for upcoming projects such as Idols participants, the Voice winners, established local artists and international artists looking for new songs. The briefs would contain examples of their past work and links to reference songs that were along the same direction they were looking for.

Once the briefs had been read, all writers were put into groups of 3, with one producer per group. They would then head off to their respective producers’ room which would be their studio for the day.

The songwriting process was different each day according to the briefs and to the different dynamics with the groups. The goal for each day was to produce one song ,or at least, one song idea. Of course this couldn’t be forced but it was a good target.

For most of the writing days, the sessions started out with chords and melodies after landing on an agreed brief. Depending on which writer was involved, and what their strengths were, the song either started out on guitar or piano.

Each day and each song brought along different challenges that were equally met by the songwriters.

The first writing session of the week was the birth of a pop, ‘happy in love’ song with South African elements.

The idea was to incorporate a chance for the vocalist to show off her pipes and have a bit of a fun feel. The starting point of the song were the chords that ended up being the verse chords, very classy feeling chords. The chords and song structure was spearheaded by Jann, while lyrics flowed out of Amanda. The production changed shape a few times between double time fast pop, verses the half time Hip Hop feel. However middle ground was found between the music production and percussion. The songwriting process developed through the song from verse to chorus to bridge and before they knew it, they were adding final touches. The song was called ‘He knows’ (for now).

Day 2 of the writing camp was an opportunity for new groups to formulate 2 new songs!

Colin, Christian and Nyote started with the first song, a future pop track with lyrics inspired by the view from their room. The inspiration took them to a concept of being stranded, or on your own, in the ocean, but being able to have a clear mind in this desperate moment where you finally find yourself and find your “release”.

The instrumental track had a few sections where rapping could take place, so one of the big talking points was where and how to introduce the rap. At first, the rap was placed in the first verse but then towards the end of the session it was moved to the second verse where the contrast had a bigger impact. Although spearheaded by Christian, the writing responsibilities were shared with good contributions coming from all parties.

For the second track, a light hearted pop/reggae feel came into play and the inspiration came from a vocal melody that Christian came up with. It was the starting point they needed, and headed in the direction of a love song. The idea was a metaphor of an addiction relating to the feeling of being with someone that you can’t be without as the melodies leaned towards targeting the South American market. One thing that took a lot of trial and error was how to use the hook line “under the influence”. The Melody was easy to find but placing it rhythmically was the challenge.
The longer than usual bridge section offered an opportunity for a chord change, and many different catchy vocal ideas. They managed to fit most of these ideas in and the only challenge was linking it back into the final chorus which got resolved in the last line leading into the chorus. The song was called ‘Under the influence’.

Wednesday was a deserved day off, where all participants were taken to Robben Island and the Waterfront for a day of history, culture and inspiration.

Thursday was back to work and after being inspired by a reference track that was played by EDM pop singer Alicia. Colin, Ebrahim and Alicia decided to tackle this tropical pop genre.

After spending a long time trying the best chords, they landed on a key and chord progression that worked. While Alicia started working on lyrics, Colin and Ebrahim started work shopping production ideas. Chords, sounds and musical rhythms were put in place and a basic structure was laid out. The lyrical concept was along the lines of a person in a hurtful relationship and the imminent decision that would have to be made in order for that person to be happy in the future. Because of the nature of the genre, there was a high priority on coming up with catchy and memorable vocal melodies which they struggled with at first, but after playing around with a few ideas they landed on what they felt worked best.

Different stages of production were worked on throughout the day while lyrics and melodys were finalized. Two of the most challenging areas in the production was the bass line and the percussion for the drop. Once they were happy with all of these aspects of the song, they went ahead with full vocal takes. The last thing that was added was the sing-a-long chorus chant which was a great finishing touch.

At the end of a great day everyone was very happy with the finished demo song – ‘Carry on’.

Friday was the last day of this incredible camp.

Colin worked with Christian Wright again and they were joined by local singer songwriter Wandile. The first song that was tackled was called ‘I try’ and was a mid tempo ballad aimed at the John legend type market as it was written for Craig Lucas, the winner of the Voice. The song has a clear mood and beautiful melody which all comes together to create one big build up and then has subsequent anti-climatic drop, which goes hand in hand with the song lyrics. The cinematic percussion added to the dramatic feel and the demo vocals were expertly sung by Wandile.

The second song that day was a Afro-house infused song with fun lyrical content calling out ‘enemies’ to come for a drink and celebrate the success of the person they were calling out in the past. The key to this song, besides the lyrics, was the guitar lick that needed to create the mood the writers were going for and after many attempts and discussions, the correct melody was found.

At the end of the week all songs were presented at a listening session hosted by The Academy of Sound Engineering and was attended by various press and other industry professionals.

Amongst the audience was Carli Myers who had attended the writing camp the previous year and had massive success with her chart topping single ‘Crazy’ which was produced and written by Ameen Haron. All producers came up to showcase their songs and each international producer had 4 songs to play respectively while Colin had 6.

Saturday was the Music Exchange event (MEX) where everyone was invited to speak on a topic of their choosing. This was well attended by variety of people and was a great opportunity for networking in the music industry. After the event, there was one final celebration as all participants were invited to the rooftop deck at Cosher Recording Studios in Cape Town to celebrate what had been a fantastic week of songwriting.

A big thanks to Brandon Bakshi from BMI who funded this week, John Fishlock for his incredible involvement, Martin Myers for his vision and organization and drive that made all this happen

Derek Geddes who handled all day to day logistics, South Beach hotel for hosting the songwriters, Mynt and( Bevan Trevor ) restaurant for feeding everyone so well, and all the song writers who participated and made the week so memorable and enjoyable.

So true about Tom Petty -beautiful story by Bob Lefsetz

He wasn’t running on fumes.

Most aged, classic bands have been beaten down, believing their audience still cared they released new music to little acclaim and then gave up, gussied up their look and went on endless victory parades where they played their hits to an aged audience and it isn’t adulation so much as money, they need it, to pay their bills, there was never that much money in the beginning, when royalty rates were low and tickets were four, five and six dollars, and then they got divorced, after spending everything, believing it was gonna come in forever, and now you can see them, but it’s not them, not the hungry people who needed it way back when, who created the soundtrack to our lives.

You can’t make that much money in music. So now people dream of being techies, and bankers, and we need both, but their efforts are transitory at best. Whereas when we hear Tom Petty’s songs on the radio they still have impact, meaning, he lives on, even though he’s dead.

And that’s hard to compute, that someone’s gone. But the truth is we know our rock musicians, even if we don’t.

We listened to the albums, we read about them, they’re far from faceless, and we never forget their work, it is never superseded.

You might have a computer in the closet that runs MS-DOS, even OS9, but you never break it out, it’s ancient history, but you still play those old records, even if it’s mostly in your head, they’re ingrained in your brain.

But the difference with Petty is he never retired.

Never gave up. Never stopped recording new music. Never stopped taking chances. Doing his radio show.

While everybody else gave up and took the money, like Dylan, doing adverts, and Townshend, approving big league synchs, Petty sat on the sidelines, while Neil Young promoted the specious Pono, while everybody in Hollywood was making tech investments, Tom was just a musician, that was enough for him.

And it was enough for us.

Press on All Blacks -Cape Town

Today was the team announcement and then the press conference and training All the top stars are playing and these pics are a snapshot of the day .
Training was at Bishops school at 3pm today

Springboks shuffle pack for New Zealand clash at Newlands

Lood de Jager has earned a well-deserved start, while Pieter-Steph du Toit moves from lock to blindside flank to give the Springboks more lineout options – both on attack and defence – on Saturday against the All Blacks in Cape Town.

In another change to the loose trio, Francois Louw will run out at No 8 in place of the injured Uzair Cassiem, while there is also a first Test start for Steven Kitshoff, who comes into the side as replacement for stalwart prop Tendai Mtawarira.

Kitshoff has played a record 18 matches off the bench in his position behind Mtawarira, the most-capped Springbok prop of all time with 95 caps to his name, who is unavailable for the match because of family reasons.

With Kitshoff earning his first start in the Springbok jersey, Wilco Louw has been drafted onto the bench. The former Junior Springbok and SA ‘A’ prop is the only uncapped player in the match 23.

Regarding the release of Mtawarira from the squad and the selection of Kitshoff, Springbok coach Allister Coetzee said: “Losing your most experience player is not ideal, but family comes first in our caring environment.

“It’s a well-deserved starting opportunity for Steven. He has been working extremely hard in the last two seasons and fully deserves his chance.

“Wilco has established himself during the Vodacom Super Rugby season, while he also continued that form in the Currie Cup. When he gets the opportunity to play, it will be something special on his home ground,” said Coetzee.

The reshuffled loose trio is because of the injury-enforced absence of Cassiem, who sustained a fractured rib in last weekend’s 27-27 draw against the Wallabies in Bloemfontein. Cassiem will be out of action for up to six weeks.

The Springbok coach said his side will be looking for improvement in all areas.

“Our preparations have gone well this week and we are looking forward to Saturday’s Test at DHL Newlands,” said Coetzee.

“Francois is a seasoned openside flanker and although it’s his first Test start in the No 8 jersey, he has a good understanding of the role we expect from him. I believe his vast experience will see him settle in quickly in this role. Jean-Luc du Preez will again provide good impact off the bench.”

Meanwhile, Coetzee added the Springboks will be looking to improve in all facets of the game: “The All Blacks will again test us in every department. They don’t seem to have any weak areas, so we will have to show that we’ve learnt from our experience in Albany. Saturday is another huge opportunity for us to continue to grow as a team and build on our cohesion.”

Saturday’s match kicks off at 17h05 and is both teams’ final fixture of the 2017 Castle Lager Rugby Championship.

The Springbok team to play the All Blacks in Cape Town:
15. Andries Coetzee, Emirates Lions – 8 caps, 0 points
14. Dillyn Leyds, DHL Stormers – 4 caps, 0 points
13. Jesse Kriel, Vodacom Bulls – 24 caps, 30 points (6 tries)
12. Jan Serfontein, Vodacom Bulls – 34 caps, 25 points (5 tries)
11. Courtnall Skosan, Emirates Lions – 8 caps, 10 points (2 tries)
10. Elton Jantjies, Emirates Lions / NTT Shining Arcs (Japan) – 19 caps, 191 points (2 tries, 35 conversions, 37 penalties)
9. Ross Cronje, Emirates Lions – 5 caps, 5 points (1 try)
8. Francois Louw, Bath, England – 53 caps, 40 points (8 tries)
7. Pieter-Steph du Toit, DHL Stormers – 28 caps, 20 points (4 tries)
6. Siya Kolisi, DHL Stormers – 24 caps, 20 points (4 tries)
5. Lood de Jager, Vodacom Bulls – 31 caps, 20 points (4 tries)
4. Eben Etzebeth (captain), DHL Stormers – 62 caps, 15 points (3 tries)
3. Ruan Dreyer, Emirates Lions – 3 caps, 5 points (1 try)
2. Malcolm Marx, Emirates Lions – 10 caps, 10 points (2 tries)
1. Steven Kitshoff, DHL Stormers – 18 caps, 0 points
16. Chiliboy Ralepelle, Cell C Sharks – 22 caps, 5 points (1 try)
17. Trevor Nyakane, Vodacom Bulls – 33 caps, 5 points (1 try)
18. Wilco Louw, DHL Stormers – uncapped
19. Franco Mostert, Emirates Lions / Ricoh Black Rams (Jap) – 14 caps, 0 points
20. Jean-Luc du Preez, Cell C Sharks – 9 caps, 5 points (1 try)
21. Rudy Paige, Vodacom Bulls – 11 caps, 5 points (1 try)
22. Handré Pollard, Vodacom Bulls – 21 caps, 188 points (2 tries, 29 conversions, 37 penalties, 3 drop goals)
23. Damian de Allende, DHL Stormers – 25 caps, 15 points (3 tries)

Facts and Stats:

Test caps:
· The total Test caps in the Springbok starting line-up is 331.
· There are 102 caps in the backline and 229 caps amongst the forwards, with a further 136 caps amongst the replacements.
· The average caps per player in the backline is 15, the forwards are 29 and the 17 caps.
· The average age of the starting 15 is 26 years.

· Elton Jantjies needs nine points to reach 200 points in Tests for South Africa.
· Handré Pollard needs 12 points to reach 200 points in Tests for South Africa.
· After a record 18 Tests as a substitute, Steven Kitshoff will on Saturday finally make his first start in a Test match.
· Wilco Louw will make his Test and tournament debut should he come off the bench.

· The very first Test match between South Africa and New Zealand at DHL Newlands in Cape Town took place on 1 September, 1928. The Test was won by New Zealand with a score of 13-5.
· During the next 80 years, eight more Test matches between the Springboks and All Blacks were played at this famous ground, the oldest rugby stadium in South Africa.

· Saturday’s match will be the Springbok’s 10th Test match against New Zealand at this venue.

· The Springbok record for the previous nine matches is: P 9; W 3; L 6; PF: 89; PA: 130; TF: 7; TA: 12; Average score: 10-14. Win%: 33%.

· South Africa’s overall record at the ground: P 52; W 35; L 15; D 2; PF: 1 014; PA: 637; TF: 131; TA: 67; Average score: 20-12. Win%: 67%.

· South Africa’s overall record against New Zealand is: P: 94; W: 35; L: 56; D: 3; PF: 1 458; PA: 1 920; TF: 140; TA: 209; Average score: 16-20. Win%: 37%.

Issued by SA Rugby Communications

P!NK announces her Beautiful Trauma World Tour 2018 today

NEW YORK, Oct. 5, 2017 – Known for her incredible and entertaining live show, international pop icon P!NK announces her Beautiful Trauma World Tour 2018 today.

The 40-date North American arena tour produced by Live Nation will start in Phoenix, AZ on March 1st and culminate in Los Angeles, CA at The Forum on June 2nd.

American Express® Card Members can purchase tickets before the general public beginning Tuesday, October 10th at 10am local time through Thursday, October 12th at 10pm local time.

U.S. and Canadian residents who purchase tickets online between October 10th and October 20th will be able to redeem (1) physical copy of P!NK’s new album “Beautiful Trauma,” out Friday, Oct. 13th, 2017.

All albums must be redeemed by October 20, 2017 at 11:59pm PDT. Tickets will be on sale starting Friday, October 13th to the general public.

P!NK last hit the road on her The Truth About Love Tour which saw her play 142 sold out shows across 13 countries.

The Los Angeles Times said, “Pink remains perhaps the most gifted and imaginative physical performer in pop right now,” while Rolling Stone claimed, “the singer had demonstrated an epic workout of vocals, stagecraft and stunt-work without missing a note,” and The Hollywood Reporter raved, “she still is one of pop’s most powerful vocalists.”

In addition, P!NK releases another track, “Whatever You Want” from her highly anticipated seventh studio album Beautiful Trauma which is available for pre-order now and due out in stores on October 13th

The track was produced and written by Max Martin and Shellback along with additional writing credits from P!NK.

P!NK has also released two other tracks from the album, first single, “What About Us” and “Beautiful Trauma” to rave reviews.

Beautiful Trauma 2018 Tour Dates

03/01/18 Phoenix, AZ Talking Stick Resort Arena
03/03/18 Wichita, KS INTRUST Bank Arena
03/05/18 Tulsa, OK BOK Center
03/06/18 Lincoln, NE Pinnacle Bank Arena
03/09/18 Chicago, IL United Center
03/12/18 St. Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center
03/14/18 St. Louis, MO Scottrade Center
03/15/18 Kansas City, MO Sprint Center
03/17/18 Indianapolis, IN Bankers Life Fieldhouse
03/18/18 Grand Rapids, MI Van Andel Arena
03/20/18 Toronto, ON* Air Canada Centre
03/23/18 Montreal, QC* Bell Centre
03/25/18 Detroit, MI* Little Caesars Arena
03/27/18 Louisville, KY* KFC Yum! Center
03/28/18 Cleveland, OH* Quicken Loans Arena
04/04/18 New York, NY* Madison Square Garden
04/07/18 Pittsburgh, PA* PPG Paints Arena
04/09/18 Boston, MA* TD Garden
04/13/18 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
04/14/18 Newark, NJ Prudential Center
04/16/18 Washington, DC* Capital One Arena (fka Verizon Center)
04/19/18 Charlottesville, VA John Paul Jones Arena
04/21/18 Atlanta, GA Philips Arena
04/24/18 Orlando, FL Amway Center
04/25/18 Fort Lauderdale, FL BB&T Center
04/28/18 Houston, TX Toyota Center
05/01/18 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
05/08/18 Denver, CO Pepsi Center
05/09/18 Salt Lake City, UT Vivint Smart Home Arena
05/12/18 Vancouver, BC Rogers Arena
05/13/18 Seattle, WA KeyArena
05/15/18 Portland, OR Moda Center
05/18/18 Oakland, CA Oracle Arena
05/22/18 Fresno, CA Save Mart Center
05/23/18 Ontario, CA Citizens Business Bank Arena
05/25/18 Anaheim, CA Honda Center
05/26/18 Las Vegas, NV T-Mobile Arena
05/28/18 San Diego, CA Valley View Casino Center
05/31/18 Los Angeles, CA STAPLES Center
06/02/18 Los Angeles, CA The Forum

*Bleachers supporting

Since her debut in 2000, P!NK has released six studio albums, 1 greatest hits album, sold over 42 million albums, over 75 million singles, over 2.4 million DVDs worldwide and has had 15 singles in the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (four at #1).

In addition, she is the recipient of three Grammy Awards, one Daytime Emmy Award, three Billboard Music Awards, six MTV Video Music Awards, two MTV Europe Awards, two People’s Choice Awards and was named Billboard’s Woman of the Year in 2013.

She has sold out arenas all over the world, made her acting debut in Lionsgate’s Thanks for Sharing and released a side project with singer/songwriter Dallas Green entitled You+Me.

Last year, P!NK released “Just Like Fire” from Walt Disney Studios’ feature film Alice Through The Looking Glass.

The track was #1 on the Adult Contemporary Chart for 6 consecutive weeks and has over 155 million views of the music video.

P!NK was featured on Kenny Chesney’s “Setting The World on Fire,” marking her first #1 on the Country Airplay Chart and Hot Country Songs Chart. The track also received a 2017 Grammy nomination for Best Country Duo/Group performance earning P!NK her 18th Grammy nomination.

P!NK is a huge supporter of various charities, including: Make a Wish Foundation, Autism Speaks, Human Rights Campaign and No Kid Hungry. She was formerly a spokesperson for COVERGIRL and remains on the UNICEF team as an Ambassador.

For More Information:
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