By Marley

This crowded party is splitting Everyone is disappearing Low Sky Giant love affair

Springbok Nude Girls

These are the opening lyrics for the song “Giant Love Affair” from Springbok Nude Girls which was a big hit in 1999, and a perfect setting for describing the last waltz at Blue Moon Nelspruit. It was spoken of for such a long time but to face the reality of it now is simply undescribable to me in a way.

Akkedis performing at Last Waltz Blue Moon - Photo credit by Royal Lens Photography
(Photo credit: Royal Lens Photography)

For weeks on end it was meeting after meeting; marketing plans; posters; phone calls and contacting friends from afar to come up for the last weekend and boy did it pass fast. I was overwhelmed by the ticket sales and took home the “Most ticket sales” title again. But it was the readers, yes, you guys that helped me win that one. Your love for Blue Moon which I figured was lost was expounded on our dental floss string budgets and you came in numbers on Saturday night.

The Last Supper at Blue Moon - Photo credit by Royal Lens Photography
The Last Supper
(Photo credit: Royal Lens Photography)

My weekend started on Friday night with “The Last Supper” at Blue Moon. We were asked to dress creatively and some guests decided to dress like Anthony on his best day. We went as 1930 Gangsters. Our sun-downers went well, even better after a surprise performance by Akkedis on the rocks overlooking the Blue Moon valley. It was completely dark on the stage, but it was received really well none the less. We then moved down to the dance floor area where a festive atmosphere was set with creatively dressed tables topped with balloons and all. We were treated to a divine 6-course meal that was made by the Food Fundi crew. A couple of heart-tugging speeches were said, and it was nice to see Danny de Wet (old drummer of Wonderboom) reminding us about the good times in the form of a solo song to mark the occasion. Anthony led the slide show which showcased many times in the life of Blue Moon and those it affected so deeply. He told some pretty interesting stories about a few of the folks too.

Music at sunset on the rocks Blue Moon Last Waltz - Photo credit by Royal Lens Photography
Music at sunset on the rocks
(Photo credit: Royal Lens Photography)

Tributes to friends like Pieter ‘Metallica’ van der Walt, Paul Wilson and Bobby Duffet were also given. A very special performance by The Fake Leather Blues Band kicked off the party and Jack Hammer ended it off with one of their legendary performances. The party continued till all hours of the morning for most people.


Hoot 'n Anny Last Waltz Blue Moon - photo credit Royal Lens Photography
Hoot ‘n Anny
(Photo credit: Royal Lens Photography)

Our day started bright and early (07:30 to be exact) and it was a quiet yet super hot morning. The mist helped but it still didn’t stop the sun from burning us. A casual braai at the dam was organized for later that morning so off we went with our cooler box in tow down the mountain goat path. Down by the dam we were greeted by babelas friends and band brothers while sniffing on some water lilies. Frank and I started the braai while Hoot ‘n Annie entertained us with some live folk music. I even got chased around by Rudi (Akkedis) with the camcorder. Ja, something I hope he deleted soon after. After our brunch braai, we decided it was time to get out of the sun and we missioned back up the goat path minus the goats.

A slow afternoon turned into an eventful one with the arrival of our good and special friends. After the night before’s drinking spree the babelas was now gone but the energy levels needed a boost. Just before we headed up the mountain we had a shower, shave and change of clothes.

Sunset shots at Blue Moon Nelspruit - Photo credit Jesse Henderson
Sunset shots at Blue Moon
(Photo credit Jesse Henderson)

At the bar, we bought Jagermeister shots, beer and then proceeded to climb the rocks with one hand free while not spilling a droplet. We were greeted by some amazingly good friends and as we laughed and hugged we all had one last salute to the setting sun over Blue Moon. A bittersweet moment but my word what a sunset, we were off again to get a refill and start making way for the live music.

Café Wha? came from their respective universities/student lives and entertained us once more. I would love to see what this band ends up doing one day but some of their own music can also be highly recommended. The crowds started to come in and were welcomed like old family friends. So many faces I’ve come to know, so many faces I’ve seen and some I’ve never met.

December Streets performing at The Last Waltz Blue Moon
Blue Moon rocking to December Streets
(Photo by Royal Lens Photography)

The December Streets were next and I’m still living for the day the crowds in Nelspruit realize what kind of good music Tristan and his band brothers’ make. I really enjoyed them and after some fans got over their shyness they pulled a good number of party people. No One’s Arc was up right after them and you could see the crowd age group change completely. The full band was on stage and my, what a show! They were on fire, it was hot and sweaty and in typical No One’s Arc style your legs got a workout. They made it look so easy and we sang our little hearts out, a little confession from me: I had some tears but fought them as they performed.

ISO came on next and the youngsters took over , us “oldies” were in the back recovering from jumping and dancing to No One’s Arc. However ISO delivered such a fantastic show, I’m so glad I got to see them again after I missed their show at The Route 40 music festival. Their new EP “Passages” is a must have in your collection alternatively if you saw them for the first time it’s a great way of getting their songs stuck in your head.

WONDERboom showed us again why they are one of the best live acts in South Africa. In the past few months I’ve seen them twice and let me tell you I can’t pick a most memorable because both of them were the best. Cito and his band rocked us, made love to our ears musically and rocked the moon. The youngsters got to learn a lesson in SA rock and the Blue Mooners got to re-live a bit of their youth. But who can top WONDERboom? I say no one, not even the Black Cat Bones, who performed right after the legends. Again and I will keep saying it, The Black Cat Bones are a must see live. You will never see something like this again in your lifetime and my, what a show.

By the time the BCB played my legs and feet were completely numb, and I had to fight hard to suppress the sadness that came down the dark mountain top. I still want to say thanks to the asshole in the Jeep who hooted at us as we walked down towards the house. Because of your actions I lost my balance, tripped and fell. My ankle luckily wasn’t too badly injured, and yes, we were out of the way when you and your dinky toy needed to pass us.

Down by the chalets it was hard to start the fire since the mist covered everything but we made it and that’s where I cracked and had a good cry about our beloved Moon.

Now I’ll drink time in the system that’s died You really should believe as the clouds dispersed in means Lying crying with your eyes opened please Let it become so

Springbok Nude Girls


The weather finally blessed Blue Moon for their Last Waltz and the morning promised to be extremely hot, so much so that I got my UTC suntan back within two hours. We saw the mess that was left behind by the party animals from the night before and random drunken people passed out on the lawns, a group of friends sitting on the jetty with a bottle of vodka and the early birds that had to leave our presence.

Van Coke Kartel memoribila in the Blue Moon bar
((Photo by Royal Lens Photography)
Van Coke Kartel memoribila in the Blue Moon bar
((Photo by Royal Lens Photography)

After a mission for some coffee and a cure to stop shaking from the night’s random shots in the bar we had to start packing up. It was very hot and like I mentioned I got a sun tan that burnt my nose, I went from being Marley to Rudolph the red nose reindeer. In the early afternoon we sought refuge in the shade of Blue Moon with a much needed litre of cold water and the first drink of the day. They say in Afrikaans “Die beste babelas cure is nog enetjie” well this is what we did. But on Sunday after a full weekend of partying, dancing and walking your body craves the good things. Thus I must thank Sunè for taking care of that for me, her cooking skills are awesome for a girl of soon-to-be 18 and I love her dearly. Thanks to her assistants Keri-Lynne and Georgie too. They are the next generation of music fans that have much learning and experiencing ahead of them.

Naming James at Last Waltz Blue Moon
(Photo by Royal Lens Photography)
Naming James
(Photo by Royal Lens Photography)

I didn’t expect a big crowd for Sunday but was happy to see a lot of the old Blue Mooners that used to play in bands in the early days there with their kids. To have 5 screaming little girls running around like little sugar bombs was so cute and so humbling. First up was Naming James, our friends from Pretoria. I love them dearly and their performances are a pleasure to watch. They play easy listening music and have a fine humour in their lyrics. Soon they were done and a good bottle of red wine was opened, my heart was heavy and it was a much needed consolation.

No One’s Arc was next and it went from being on fire to a cooled down version compared to their previous night’s performance. But we didn’t complain, we were happy to have our friends close off this chapter of our lives with us. Mimi’s little baby boy became the centre of attention while mummy was on stage, and as he sat by his baby sitters he soon had his own fan club.

But No One’s Arc boys (and girl) bless them, they seemed to draw the last energy I had and directly aimed it into jumping as best I could to “Stanley”. Feel the Blue Moon floor shake one more time as we jump with the band. And Gooph, you handsome boy, your smile just sent my tears far away. By now their show was almost done and it was almost 10 years ago that I first heard of them, saw them, and funnily enough at Blue Moon. I can appreciate being a part of their lives for the past 5 years as a band aid and friend. It’s still such an honour to be part of it all. Endless thanks to Blue Moon.

Matthew Mole at Last Waltz Blue Moon
(Photo by Royal Lens Photography)
Matthew Mole
(Photo by Royal Lens Photography)

Matthew Mole was next and he has certainly got a lot more tattoos since last year September (I missed his show at Up The Creek this year). But he brought his happy self, his music and of course that beautiful smile. As he performed his songs I must confess I cried a little and I was not the only one that cried as I looked around and saw the faces hiding behind their sunglasses. Hell, that bar suddenly had a rush of tequila rounds. The sun started to set and Matthew finished his set and the youngsters put away their cellphones. Next up was The Wrong Fong Kong band which I sadly missed as we had to get something warm for the sudden chill on the mountain.

The Wrong Fong Kong band at Last Waltz Blue Moon
(Photo by Royal Lens Photography)
The Wrong Fong Kong band
(Photo by Royal Lens Photography)

As I stood down by the car Blue Moon felt empty, alone and like a ghost town. The Blue Moon main house was cleared of it’s photos, posters and people. The chalets were ready for the Sunday bands but they too felt like the magic had left them. I couldn’t explain not even now a few weeks down the line but I looked up with tears in my eyes and said my silent good bye. We walked back up to the stage, and it was time for the last band to play at Blue Moon as we know it…SAARKIE.

SAARKIE was the perfect choice to close off the weekend, the last curtain call as the 3 girls played their hearts out. I saw some big tears from close friends even Anna Mart was shedding a few. That just cracked me. The funeral was now almost over and SAARKIE’s version of “Another brick in the wall” was the song we needed. Too soon or was it too late? And it was all over, the SAARKIE girls strummed the last cord from the stage and it was the last breath…for the 30 seconds after that it was dead quite…a group of us girls huddled on the couch with Anthony, hugs all around…Blue Moon was left with the last few friends that always seem to leave last on a Sunday.

For those who were at The Last Waltz, from the deepest part of our hearts, we wished it wouldn’t end, an era we knew and loved. To me it was the start for many things as I’ve mentioned before in the blog, but it won’t be the end for me, no sir. Saying good bye to Blue Moon made me realize how much fun I had in my late teens and twenties and there are so many good memories. My advice to the kids that are now 18: don’t rush things, really don’t. Yes life is short but don’t live it too fast, there are many things still coming your way, that I promise you will show your name in the light. I had so much fun on the Last Waltz weekend, missing friends that are now living overseas, having a good cry over those we have lost but we saluted you as well as that sun set. From time to time I think of Blue Moon still, my giant love affair.

Let it become so Let it become so So It’s coming around again It’s coming around again

Springbok Nude Girls

Thank you to Rudi Olivier of Royal Lens Photography for the amazing photos

Marley is the founder and owner of Small Town Music. Born and bred in Nelspruit aka Nelsparta. Marley loves music (rock being a firm favourite), tattoos, festivals, animals and South Africa. Self-taught photographer and writer.