Tessa Johnson's blog: I'm a proudly South African student currently studying at UCT. I’m pretty positive and happy. I try be unique but it's hard when you have an identical twin. I really enjoy music, bubbles, sunny afternoons & fruit. I am optimistic and always try to see the best in people. I’ve been working since I was 12 and love the freedom of earning my own money. I am perfectly comfortable being by myself and often feel awkward in big groups. My parents are legends and I am so grateful for my family. I am the proud owner of a Nissan 1400 Bakkie, it’s called the Passion Wagon. Maybe one day you’ll be lucky enough to ride shotgun :) > > > > > > > Profile Views: create an avatar



Please go to www.tessajohnson.co.za to carrying on following my blog

If you’d like to be kept up to date with all Al Bairre shinanigans and gigs you can find it on:

Same goes for TouchWood!

Tumblr, you have been good to me. But with the lack of ‘liking’ and ‘commenting’ facilities, I thought it was time to head to Wordpress.

Hope you like the new site :) 


I have been so busy lately!

I woke up at 4:45am and started working on a website for Jon Savage. I screamed off to Springfield at 7am and taught my junior band. 

After the lesson I headed to the office. At 14:45 I had another marimba lesson at Rustenberg prep. That band is so cute! We’re busy working on a song they’re going to play in assembly.

Tired and wanting nothing more than a good rest, I got the disheartening call from Julz asking me to sub her St Georges marimba lesson. I had about 20 minutes to eat some lunch, then went and taught her pupils.

I got home just in time to realize I had a little over an hour to do all the Al Bairre admin and some of Jon’s website work before I had to drive to Woodstock for an Al Bairre practice.

We’re playing a gig in Stellenbosch this weekend and Tomb double booked himself with his mistress band. Bastard. We are now using Norris to fill in for him. We spent 3 hours running through our set and by the time I got home it was about 00:30.

What a day!

Tagged: Al BairreNorrisJulzTomb

A Photo from our Al Bairre farm recoriding
Photographer: Imraan Christian from naasPHOTOGRAPHY.

A Photo from our Al Bairre farm recoriding

Photographer: Imraan Christian from naasPHOTOGRAPHY.


My day has been rather long and tiring. I woke up at the Crack of Dawn to teach my Springfield Senior band. They’re doing rather well and we’re preparing for a Xhosa evening.

I then headed through to the bank to get my TouchWood card sorted out. What a fiasco. They told me I had to bring proof of address when I went to collect my things. I don’t get any mail at my flat, so I managed to convince Pops to drive all the way there with proof that I do in fact live in my flat.

As he got there they told me they didn’t actually need any information at all. Pops was a little pissed.

I then went back to my flat, did some Jon Savage work then missioned off to St Cyps to teach a group cello lesson. That was pretty interesting. One little girl asked if it was legal to marry your brother. I dodged the question not wanting to know what was on her mind!

I then screamed off to sub a Pineland’s marimba lesson. That was a disaster as we had to share the room with a whole group of girls getting dressed and ready for sport activities. After one of the worst hours of my life, I jumped into the Passion Wagon and drove to Town for a meeting with TouchWood’s stylist.

She had managed to source some clothes and we were trying them on. They were pretty cool, but at one stage I did feel a bit like a Mormon. Oh well, she’s going off to buy shoes tomorrow. I’m excited about that!

After the fitting we had a band practice until 19:30. I then drove straight home and have been sorting out Al Bairre admin since.

I’m going to run a hot bath, get into my pajamas and try forget that it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow.

Tagged: Al BairreTouchWood

This just made my life!

The Weekend

I spent the weekend on a farm in Phillipi recording Al Bairre’s 2 new singles.

What an experience!


Julz and I met the guys at the farm around 15:30. They had finished tracking the drums and we all sat down to write the new song. After a while we got bored and hungry and made the group decision to head to Makro to buy food. Not the brightest of ideas.

Half an hour later, we left Makro with 96 packets of Fritos, 1kg of biscuits and a loaf of cheese. The deals were just too great.

At 19:30 we headed to Town to sound check for our gig at Ragazzi. Holy Hell, what a nightmare. The gig itself was fun, but the sound was the shittiest sound in the entire world. The only thing I could hear was Julz’s violin. At one stage 2 drunk girls practically fell onto me and ended up ripping out my bass lead. Naturally it happened 2 bars before my one and only bass solo. I spent the rest of the song searching on the ground for my lead head while the guys finished without me.

Once that some what traumatic performance was over, I climbed into the Passion Wagon and retreated to my bed. 


I woke up pretty early and missioned out to the Farm. JeepersHChrist was already there with the guys and had started tracking their instruments. I ate my way through a biscuit and 3 packets of Fritos then drove back home to sleep and ready myself for an evening of recording.

I got back to the Farm and found myself surrounded by friends and strangers. Kete and Bassist were there so I chilled with them most of the time. We had to do interviews and photo shoots for the video we’re releasing along with the 2 singles. God, what an ordeal. I had to try and be humerus in front of a camera and a hoard of humans I had never met.

Oh well, I’m pretty interested to see how the footage turns out.


I spent Sunday swatting flies away and recording vocals. The farm housed a horse called Shammar and she was a fly magnet.

By the end of the weekend I felt both broken and optimistic. JeepersHChrist did a magical job and worked super hard to produce the 2 songs. Let’s hope they’re a hit!

Tagged: JeepersHChristAl BairreThe FarmKeteBassist

It’s happening

Hi folks, 

If anyone is still actually reading this, first off thanks. Secondly I’m pulling my shit together and finally sorting my life out.

I must admit and I know it’s an old story, but recovering from a break up is the worst thing in the whole world. Honestly, you really have to hit rock bottom before you can start moving on.

For the first month I was in denial but about 3 days ago after seeing him again and giving all his stuff back I literally broke down. I’m talking lying on the floor, naked in the fetal position, clutching a teddy bear, crying and listening to the mix tape he made me for my birthday on repeat.


At least now I can only go up from there. I’m climbing the ladder of sanity and not wasting any more time.

I went into UCT today and de-registered for all my courses. This gap year is pretty much official.

Life working for Boss is very exciting. I’ve learnt so much and met so many cool people just in the last 2 weeks. Last week I flew up to Joburg and production managed the last scene of a spoof MK series we’re busy filming. I met Randall from idols and Wynand from Fokofpolisiekar. 

I’ve spent the majority of this week working on a website for Boss. Holy crap, what a nightmare. I had 2 days to figure out the whole of Wordpress. I was editing html code and downloading themes. I’ve never been so frustrated in my entire life. Want to hear the worst part? Once I had finally finished and was celebrating the fact I’d never have to look at it again, Boss phones me and starts off by saying, “Tessa, let me just apologize in advance…”

Yipa, he did something to the code when he was launching it and it crashed. Everything.Was.Gone.

I guess I’ll have to get back on that train again and start that torturous process. Oh well, at least by the end of this experience I’ll be a Wordpress beast. 

Tagged: BossRandallFokofpolisiekar

One of the photos from our Tanskei trip. Will post more tomorrow. 

One of the photos from our Tanskei trip. Will post more tomorrow. 

Tagged: LaEmperorTranskei

The Weekend.


I spent the whole day lying at Rondebosch watching Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. It is my favorite show at the moment. I must admit at one point I was sobbing hysterically because a lady in the show was just so happy and appreciative of Gordon. Thank God no one else was around. I would have looked quite pathetic crying over a cooking show.

Kete managed to convince me to go to AfterHours at Assembly. She was baby sitting until midnight, so we only headed through to Town when she was done.

It was surprisingly very fun. We met up with CombiEmperor and Burtea. I bumped into SaskoSam at the entrance and had a little catch up with him. I spent the majority of my night with Oh Long. We found a barbie on the floor which we christened Barb. By the end of the night she was missing her head, one arm and both legs. Proof of a good party I’d say.


I woke up feeling rather groggy and lay in bed watching Snatch for a large portion of my morning. Julz managed to convince me to head through to Canal Walk with her. God, I have no idea why I agreed after having had such a traumatizing experience a few days ago with the whole Rubik’s Cube search.

After 4 hours walking around I left with a new top, pair of shoes, shorts and a cozzi. Julz left with a t-shirt. She wasn’t too happy with the outcome of our mission.

I got home and went straight to Ronders for family supper and to discuss my schedule for tomorrow.

I start working for Jon Savage tomorrow! Ah I’m so nervous and scared. What the hell am I going to wear?! Do I pack my own lunch? Where do I eat it? This is all very exciting. 

Get ready folks, you’re about to join me on a brand new journey and interesting chapter in my life.

Tagged: CombiBurteaOh LongAssemblyKeteEmperorSaskoSam


I spent the ENTIRE day trawling Canal Walk, Kenilworth Center and Cavendish looking for Rubik’s Cubes. Everywhere is sold out.

The only mildly interesting thing that happened today was a bergi asking me the time. For some reason I told him it was 15:15. After he walked away I checked my watch again and it was actually 14:15. How that happened, I have no idea. I felt so terrible.

So besides cheating a bergi of an hour, my day was super average.

Tagged: Rubik's Cube