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Valiant Swart

Valiant Swart is a South African legend, I saw him so many times between 1996 and 2006 that I can’t count them.  We used to watch him at the big festivals like Wingerstok or Oppikoppie and he was always the highlight of the show.  Some of my best memories of him were the small intimate acoustic gigs where he would sit with an acoustic guitar, play his songs and tell the audience stories of dope smoking small town sheriffs in the Mississippi Delta, or playing with Mel Botha’s to Tannies with purple hair at the old age home.  He is brilliantly entertaining and simply just one of the nicest guys around.

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I don’t think any of the video clips I have seen on You Tube really do Valiant justice.  You have to see him live and be at the show to really appreciate how special he is.  In this modern world of fast moving thrills Valiant sits right in the ‘not commercial enough’ middle, too rock and roll for the country guys and too Afrikaans for the rock and metal loving English guys who have a diet of UK and USA bands.  He is a South African treasure and without him I don’t think I would have got the deep understanding and love that I have for SA music today.  At one stage I was so happy with the amount of good SA rock around that I didn’t even need to listen to international bands anymore.

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James Daubeney
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