Jon Monsoon

South African wordsmith, internationally published journalist, magazine editor, social media swami and Sir David Attenborough wannabe ploughing the fields of print and digital publication, video documentary, digital broadcast, narrowcast and the written word at large.

Rolling Stoned

She dresses in her guitar, and launches into it, and she is mesmerizing. Two songs in and she swaps places with her bandmate on the keys David Hunt, swapping him a synth for a turn at the black grand piano taking up most of the stage. Their music is fierce intensity and no one is immune. Between songs, she cracks self-deprecating jokes, apologises for being Australian, at one point, shrugs off her kimono in an overly dramatic gesture; all moments intended to bring some light-hearted fun into the otherwise heart-wrenching odes to bad break-ups, a forgetful God and the inevitability of human nature. Some of the audience sit transfixed, others sprawl back in their seats, eyes-closed, the couple next to me clutch each other tightly as if facing their imminent demise. Time turns to mud.

Rolling Retro: ballies 'n boards

The sun is hardly up, early bells, and the place is already aswarm with locals and tastefully placed sponsor branding. Getting a good spot on the beach (and later, at the bar) are your main objectives for the day. A good spot on the beach means unrestricted access to the action and antics due out in the water, and later on at the bar upstairs, pretty much the same. For this is no ordinary battle of who has the best boards or the biggest balls, this is a different beast…