Steve Louw and his band Big Sky toured with Rodriguez in South Africa 1998.

Photo Credit: Jacqui van Staden
Photo Credit: Jacqui van Staden

“Thunder and Rain” single

The geography of where I was coming from crept into the music; fire, wind and rain – Steve Louw

NEW YORK, NY – Veteran South African rocker Steve Louw announces his sophomore solo release Thunder and Rain, available November 11, 2022 through BFD / The Orchard, with the release of the first single and title track today. The album was produced by Kevin Shirley (John Hiatt, Robert Cray Band, the Black Crowes) and features contributions from guitar wizards Joe Bonamassa, and Doug Lancio.

Thunder and Rain follows hot on the heels of Headlight Dreams the 2021 album that found Steve Louw returning to active duty after a thirteen-year absence. After this prolonged period away from the spotlight, Louw discovered an audience who was eager to hear new music from the singer/songwriter: Headlight Dreams received strong reviews and earned a nomination for Best Rock Album from the South African Music Awards in 2022. 

On the album’s opening title track, “Thunder and Rain,” it’s possible to hear and feel bad weather creep in over the horizon. “The world is navigating through a fraught time, economically and politically,” explains Louw. “The geography of where I was coming from crept into the music; fire, wind and rain.” Those elements also creep into the video created by Jacqui van Staden.

While it’s an ominous beginning to the album, waiting for light to emerge after darkness is a thematic undercurrent on Thunder and Rain, a record where Louw balances these opposing impulses with strength and compassion. He may open the record with a sense of foreboding—a feeling that resonates strongly in 2022, as the world picks up the pieces left after a global pandemic—yet he doesn’t dwell in the darkness. 

“It’s about love,” Louw explains of the album, “we’re born with love, we’ll leave with love, and it heals along the way.”

Louw celebrates the restorative, nourishing love on “Mother, Don’t Go,” an insightful, insistent tune graced by guitar wizard Joe Banamassa, who brings out the song’s incandescent spirit as he intertwines his playing with that of Doug Lancio, a guitarist who has just entered Louw’s orbit. The album winds its way through “The Road Fades from Sight,” a ballad built upon the soul-sustaining power of longtime love, then reaches the finish line with “I’m Coming Home,” an invigorating conclusion that leaves no doubt there’s room for optimism in these troubled times. By finding space for this full range of emotion, Thunder and Rain operates on a refreshingly human scale, emphasizing deep emotions and interpersonal interactions—it’s music that’s meant to be felt as much as heard. 

ABOUT STEVE LOUW: South African musician Steve Louw’s career began with his first band All Night Radio who released two records including 1986’s The Killing Floor, the album where he first collaborated with Kevin Shirley. Louw came to stardom as the leader of Big Sky, a group who put out their first album, Waiting for the Dawn, in 1990. During their time together, Big Sky released five albums, a discography highlighted by 1995’s acclaimed Horizon. The band earned accolades from the industry, including winning the FNB Music Award for Best SA Rock Act in 1996. At the end of their run as a band, Big Sky was the opening act for Rodriguez on his valedictory tour of South Africa, a journey captured in the 2012 Oscar-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man. The tour raised Louw’s international profile, leading to his collaboration with Queen’s Brian May and Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart on “Amandla,” a song on 2003’s Nelson Mandela-inspired AIDS awareness project 46664

Following the release of Big Sky’s Trancas Canyon in 2008, Louw retreated from the spotlight. He broke his silence with his solo debut Headlight Dreams, a rousing comeback delivered in 2021. Thunder and Rain, his sophomore release, will be available November 11, 2022.



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Steve Louw: Thunder And Rain – New Single Out Now!

Steve Louw and his band Big Sky supported Rodriguez on his 1998 South African Tour.

Steve Louw: Thunder And Rain – New Single Out Now
The geography of where I was coming from crept into the music; fire, wind and rain – Steve Louw

The world is navigating through a fraught time, economically and politically. Democracy is a deal between the people and the people in power, and that contract is under threat. Outraged but impotent, we consider our choices.

Written from the point of view of what we face in the aftermath of the last two years, the character in the song walks the line between right and wrong, unsure where that line is drawn and the consequences of following a moral imperative.

We are all making our way and, on our journey, trying to surpass the physical and spiritual roadblocks we encounter with grace and love for ourselves and our fellow travellers.

Steve Louw, September 2022

Thunder And Rain

Standing, waiting for the lights to change
Yeah, I’m filled with rage
Choppers are beating down
Broken signs blowing across the ground.

Thunder and rain in our town
I can’t understand the pain in our town.

A burning match lights a cigarette
This flame won’t catch the fight that’s in my head
In the window of a black and white
My face reflected in the burning night.

Thunder and rain coming down
I can’t understand the pain in our town.

Where I was raised, we knew no hate
An open door and an unlocked gate
Tried to live by the law
I don’t know ‘bout that anymore
I never crossed the line
One that’s always been in my mind
I’ve given truth to lies
I see it written in my eyes.

Thunder and rain coming down
I can’t understand the pain in our town.

In a concrete room under the ground
This was all sent coming down
The lights go out on a man who hates
The book he holds, holds his fate.

Thunder and rain coming down
I can’t understand the pain right now.

We’re all born, we all bleed
We’ve all been torn, we’re all in need
We all live, we all die
We all wanna get high.

Thunder, rain coming down
Can’t understand the pain right now.

Rodriguez song used in new TV show’s soundtrack

The Resort
The Resort

We are always interested to hear about Rodriguez songs popping up in the soundtracks for new films and TV series. So, for those who have been watching the excellent new series called ‘The Resort’, you would have spotted a song by Rodriguez being used in Season 1 Episode 4 of this series called “A History of Forgetting”

The plot of this new series is briefly but accurately described on as “Exploring love and the weird things we do in the name of it, encased in an elaborate true-crime conspiracy”.

And the music used in this series is a varied and eclectic selection of songs including the Rodriguez song ‘Forget It’ off his ‘Cold Fact’ album.

Rodriguez – Forget It

You can find all the music used in the first season of ‘The Resort’ here:

Long Live Your Gorgeous Music

I will try & keep this brief…

Basically I’ve been to South Africa 5 times & I adore your music! I can attest it’s still playing all over there in only the ‘cool joints’ & I was lucky enough to see you in London in 2016. Hope you are well (even though I guess a PA will read this) & long live your gorgeous music!!!

Much Love,


Stephen “Sugar” Segerman: My hunt for Rodriguez, a missing music legend | BBC

(Photo: Rodriguez performing on stage. Credit: Elena Di Vincenzo/Archivio Elena di Vincenzo/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
(Photo: Rodriguez performing on stage. Credit: Elena Di Vincenzo/Archivio Elena di Vincenzo/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

One South African superfan’s quest to unravel the truth about his favourite artist


Released On: 01 Sep 2022, available for over a year

Stephen ‘Sugar’ Segerman’s nickname came from the song Sugar Man by the American singer Rodriguez. In 1970s South Africa, Rodriguez was a household name as his anti-establishment lyrics resonated with many of those opposed to the strict apartheid state. Sugar, a Cape Town record shop owner, was one of his adoring fans. Very little was known about Rodriguez, apart from that he was dead; rumour had it that he’d killed himself during an unsuccessful concert. But years later, when Sugar decided to find out that had happened to him, he uncovered something astonishing.

Presenter: Emily Webb
Producer: Emily Webb and Emily Naylor

Listen to The Rodriguez Story on BBC World Service


The BBC World Service will be broadcasting a new program about the whole Sixto Rodriguez Story on Thursday September 1st. The program will be broadcast at the following (UK) times: 12:06pm, 18:06, and 22:06.

BBC World Service is always available to listen to online, via iPlayer Radio on your computer and mobile phone – simply visit on your phone’s internet browser. Please use the iPlayer Radio help pages to find out more or if you are having any problems listening.

55 Years Ago This Month: I’ll Slip Away by Rod Riguez

Rod Riguez – I'll Slip Away
Rod Riguez – I’ll Slip Away, 1967 | Discogs
Rod Riguez – I’ll Slip Away, 1967

I’ll Slip Away, produced by Harry Balk, was released as a single by Impact Records in the USA in August 1967. It was credited to Rod Riguez. This track was re-recorded in Detroit in 1972. The b-side was You Got To Admit It.

And you can keep your symbols of success
Then I’ll pursue my own happiness
And you can keep your clocks and routines
Then I’ll go mend all my shattered dreams

Rod Riguez, August 1967

Rod Riguez could make a name for himself with this bluesy, mid-tempo rock ballad. Keep it in sight.

Cashbox, 23 September 1967

The 1967 single features more upfront Byrds-type jangly guitar, vocal harmonies and a subdued organ in the background, when compared to the early ’70s version. The strings that are so prominent on the later version are absent on the 1967 version.

Brian Currin

I’ll Slip Away

And I’ll forget about the girl that said no
Then I’ll tell who I want where to go
And I’ll forget about your lies and deceit
And your attempts to be so discreet

Maybe today, yeah
I’ll slip away

And you can keep your symbols of success
Then I’ll pursue my own happiness
And you can keep your clocks and routines
Then I’ll go mend all my shattered dreams

Maybe today, yeah
I’ll slip away

Cause you’ve been down on me for too long
And for too long I just put you on
Now I’m tired of lying and I’m sick of trying
Cause I’m losing who I really am
And I’m not choosing to be like them

And if you get bored or got loneliness
Or it’s dislike for me you express
I won’t care if you’re right or you’re wrong
I won’t care cause you see I’ll be gone

Maybe today, yeah
I’ll slip away

Maybe today, yeah
Maybe today, yeah
Maybe today, yeah girl

Read more

Wonderful Irish Cover Version Of A Rodriguez Song By Gerry Arias

Gerry Arias

Gerry Arias is a well-known Irish musician who has been active in that industry for a long time. He has  also become a big fan of Sixto Rodriguez ever since he saw the film ‘Searching For Sugar Man’ and has been very influenced by that story, and Rodriguez’s music, ever since. So, Gerry recently decided to record a cover version of the Rodriguez song ‘Jane S. Piddy’, off the album ‘Cold Fact’.

However, Gerry’s interpretation of this Rodriguez’s tune is called ‘Jane S. Paddy’!

This artistic liberty was taken in honour of the “Irish” twist to the song. Gerry’s version is done in a 6/8 Irish gig rhythm with an airy vocal. Both the song and video were recorded on the west coast of Ireland and features Brian Flemming on Bodhran, and Quentin Cowper on guitar.

You can see this excellent video for ‘Jane S. Paddy’ by Gerry Arias here:

And here’s the song on Bandcamp:

‘Sugar Man’ the book is now available on eBook!

Sugar Man: The Life, Death and Resurrection of Sixto Rodriguez
Sugar Man: The Life, Death and Resurrection of Sixto Rodriguez

In September 2015, ‘Sugar Man: The Life, Death and Resurrection of Sixto Rodriguez’  by Craig Bartholomew-Strydom and Stephen Segerman, was published by Penguin in response to the demand for more information behind the Oscar-winning documentary ‘Searching For Sugar Man’ by Malik Bendjelloul.

For all those fans of Rodriguez and his music and the amazing story behind the search and his re-emergence and current world-wide fame, here are some shops on the web where one can buy the eBook version of this book online:




4. Apple Books:


Sugar Man: The Life, Death and Resurrection of Sixto Rodriguez
Sugar Man: The Life, Death and Resurrection of Sixto Rodriguez
Sugar Man: The Life, Death and Resurrection of Sixto Rodriguez
Sugar Man: The Life, Death and Resurrection of Sixto Rodriguez

Happy 80th Birthday Rodriguez!

Please join us in wishing Rodriguez a Happy Birthday on the occasion of his 80th Birthday which falls on July 10th!

On behalf of all of us at the official Rodriguez website,, we send our warmest wishes to Rodriguez and we hope that he has a wonderful day celebrating with his family, and that he is blessed with a Peaceful, Joyful, and Healthy year!

For all of his fans around the world, who would like to join us in sending warm wishes to Rodriguez, please feel free to do so by posting your messages here:

Sending Our Warmest Regards and Greeting to you all, from South Africa!

Brian, Sugar and Craig.

Sipho Mabuse to perform at Johnny Clegg Tribute Show 17 July 2022

In a fitting tribute to one of the most iconic figures in South African music history, the Johnny Clegg Tribute Show is on Sunday 17th of July, 2022 at the Emmarentia Botanical Gardens (Johannesburg), which marks the third anniversary of Johnny’s passing, and will feature some of South Africa’s top performers.

Johnny Clegg had the special quality of being able to unite people across all backgrounds and generations with his music. His music has always been a beacon of hope and inspiration and in a time when South Africans and the world need it the most, the lyrics to Great Heart stand true.

Johnny Clegg captured the hearts of a nation and the tribute concert will feature fellow musicians that will commemorate his life and his musical career. There will also be a dance tribute performed by dancers from Zululand and the local hostels.

“I really have fond memories of Johnny and all the work he did. He adored me and I adored him. Johnny gave so much to the cultural and musical language of this country and it is an honor to be on the bill to pay tribute to a giant “, said Sipho Hotstix Mabuse.

Sipho Mabuse to perform at Johnny Clegg Tribute Show 17 July 2022
Sipho Mabuse to perform at Johnny Clegg Tribute Show 17 July 2022

The biggest line-up of performers since ‘Concert in the Park’ to pay tribute to the iconic Johnny Clegg – Some of South Africa’s top performers will come together on one stage, including the likes of lifetime friend Sipho Mchunu, Soweto Gospel Choir, Just Jinjer, Sipho Hotstix Mabuse, Karen Zoid, Zolani Mahola, Francois van Coke, Majozi, Ross Learmonth, Kurt Darren, Arno Carstens, Jesse Clegg, the Johnny Clegg band, plus others to be announced.

Bright Blue, Ella Mental, and éVoid are especially flying back to South Africa for this event – the last two having performed alongside Johnny at the Ellis Park Stadium iconic Concert in the Park in 1985.
Francois van Coke said “I had the privilege of meeting and sharing the stage with Johnny once. His humility really stood out for me. I have been a fan since I can remember and will be a fan forever”

Johnny Clegg – The Tribute Show will take place on Sunday, 17th July 2022 at Emmarentia Botanical Gardens (entrance on Thomas Bowler Street).
Gates open at 10h00 with performances commencing at 11h00 – 18h00.

Money will be raised at the event for the Click Foundation, supporting ‘The Friends of Johnny Clegg’ charity which was established with Johnny in December 2018.

More information available on our website:

The All-Mighty Watershed

A new record deal, album and an upcoming tour, Watershed proves that not even a pandemic can keep them down.

While many of South Africa’s landmark rock bands have hung up their guitars, there is at least one that has weathered the storm that is Covid-19 and come out of it better than ever. The past two years have seen Watershed secure a European record deal with the German-based independent label On-Stage, release their seventh studio album and now they’re ready to tour not only SA but also internationally.

“It’s been an incredible 21 years,” comments lead vocalist Craig Hinds. Though as a band they started relatively understated, their debut single “Shine on Me” launched the group to national stardom, with the follow-ups “Indigo Girl” and “Letters” making them certified rockstars. Over the years, the pop-rock band have managed to keep up that momentum with plenty of chart-topping hits and, because of this, they’ve continued to tour beyond their home soil of SA.

At the peak of their careers, the band was blind-sided by Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown of 2020. “The pandemic affected our touring schedule with shows having to be cancelled and international tours postponed,” explains Craig.

While many bands weren’t able to survive the lockdown, Watershed regrouped and adapted. Craig and the band used their time at home to reflect on themselves as well as their music with Craig being able to spend this time writing more songs. The result? Elephant in the Room, an authentic, stripped-down album that mirrors the time we live in and daily frustrations felt, which was released last year. “We have had two great singles off the album, ‘Undone’ and ‘Empty Space’, with both doing really well and ‘Undone’ getting to number 1 on the charts,” notes Craig. “Both singles and the album are also doing phenomenally in Europe.” This sees the second time that standing Watershed lead guitarist, Gideon Botes produced an album for the band, having also worked behind the scenes on their 2018 studio album Harbour. “His production genius has added volumes to our new albums and our current sound,” adds Craig.

And, as things stand now in 2022, Craig says that the band is cautiously optimistic –finally, after two postponements, they will be touring Germany in June 2022. “All we can do is hold thumbs that things stay on the trajectory they are now and we can get back to some sort of normal.”

Though this is their first international tour since the pandemic, they have been lucky enough to do some live performances in SA and the band has enjoyed watching the crowds increase in size as things open up. “Touring is what we do,” exclaims Craig. “It’s fun and allows us to visit Incredible parts of our country and the world. We get to see smiles on people’s faces and gather more material for new songs as we travel and share.”

Reflecting on the state of music now, Craig admits that it’s tough. Streaming has had a heavy impact on artists with little to no money being earned through these channels. This leaves touring and live shows as the most important part of music for any band. “There is lots of music out there and some marvelous songs going around but it’s become more about sustainability. Are bands able to maintain a career?” he says. “The consumption of music is rapid. New songs are getting a few weeks in the sun but as quickly as they go up the charts they vanish at the same rate.” But, he says, it’s still very much about trying to build a loyal fan base that will support you to the ends of the earth.

And, Watershed can boast a loyal fan base that has been with them for over two decades. It’s this fandom that will most appreciate their next project which will see them re-recording their classic hits like “Indigo Girl” and “Letters”, while also allowing for a whole new generation to connect with their music. “We won’t change them too much, but it’s just really about recapturing them with more current sounds and a fresh vocal,” admits Craig. “I think my voice has changed over the years and I look forward to seeing the potential of these hits topping the charts again… who knows?”

For those who are going to their first Watershed live performance, you can expect a big show filled and amazing energy. They’ll be touring flat out in SA until May and then they’ll head for Germany for a big 13 show tour. Tickets are selling fast as people are clearly hyped to see the band in the element on stage. “At the same time, we will be working on new tracks.” teases Craig. “We will probably start tracking a new album later this year for a release early to mid-2023!”

The Elephant in the Room tour

South African tour dates

1 Aprilcafé Roux, Noordhoek
2 & 3 AprilWarwick Wine Estate, Stellenbosch
9 AprilKaapzicht Wine Estate, Stellenbosch
6 MayThe Barnyard Theatre Suncoast, Durban Beach
7 MayThe Groves Venue, KwaZulu-Natal Midlands
13 MayThe Barnyard Theatre Silverstar, Krugersdorp
14 MayThe Barnyard Theatre Menlyn, Menlyn

German tour dates

12 JuneFernsehgarten Show, Mainz
13 JuneFeierwerk, München
15 JuneMeisenfrei, Bremen
16 JunePiano, Dortmund
17 Junedas Rind, Rüsselsheim am Main
18 JuneHallenbad, Wolfsburg
20 JuneKnust, Hamburg
21 JuneKeller Z87, Würzburg
22 JuneZauberberg, Passau
23 JuneReigen, AT-Wien
25 JuneOpen Air, Ludwigsfelde

Their album Elephant in the Room is available on all digital platforms as well as CD and vinyl. Head to the Watershed website ( to purchase tickets to their upcoming shows and follow them on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for news.

Ex-Falling Mirror Drummer Pat Humphreys passes away

Patrick Humphreys | Image: Facebook

It is with great sadness that we share the sad news that Pat Humphreys has passed away.

Pat was the drummer for the legendary Cape Town band, Falling Mirror, alongside Allan Faull and Nielen Mirror, after beginning his association with them as a member of the pre-Falling Mirror band Wakeford Hart in 1970.

Pat then left that band for a few years, until, after a few different line-ups and band names, Allan and Nielen finally settled on the name Falling Mirror in 1978. Pat then re-joined the classic Falling Mirror line up in 1978 alongside Allan (guitar), Nielen (vocals), Pat (drums) and Tully McCully (bass) for their run of classic SA rock albums including ‘Zen Boulders’, ‘The Storming Of The Loft’ and ‘Fantasy Kid’.

On behalf of the South African Rock fraternity we pass on our condolences to the Humphreys family and all Pat’s friends and fellow musicians.

Falling Mirror, 2013: Harvey Cohen, Sharon Clifton, Nielen Marais, Patrick Humphreys, Allan Faull

It Was 24 Years Ago Today… That I Saw Rodriguez Play! | Brian Currin

Rodriguez and Brian Currin on the 7th March 1998... with just autographed, rolled-up set list clutched in his hand!
Rodriguez and Brian Currin on the 7th March 1998… with just autographed, rolled-up set list clutched in his hand!

The Set List

  1. I Wonder
  2. Only Good For Conversation
  3. Can’t Get Away
  4. Crucify Your Mind
  5. Jane S. Piddy
  6. To Whom It May Concern
  7. Like Janis
  8. Inner City Blues
  9. Street Boy
  10. A Most Disgusting Song
  11. I’ll Slip Away
  12. Halfway Up The Stairs
  13. I Think Of You
  14. Rich Folks Hoax
  15. Climb Up On My Music


  16. Sugar Man
  17. Establishment Blues
  18. Forget It

Scan of the sound engineer’s set list, dated and autographed.

Set List 7 March 1998

From Sweet Songs To Street Songs

Review by Brian Currin

From the simplistic, yet instantly recognisable bass guitar intro of I Wonder, to the last fading echoes of Thanks For Your Time, this was a show that enthralled everyone from the die-hard old fans with their balding heads and beer paunches to the new virgin devotees.

From sweet songs to street songs,
from bitter to beautiful,
from minor keys to metal mayhem,
from tear-jerker to tear-it-up,
from disgusting songs to rock anthems…this was truly a magic show of vast proportions.

Rodriguez has not released new material in over 25 years, he has no chart-topping singles, yet he opens to a standing ovation – and everybody sings along to all the songs.

Colin Taylor from KFM radio opened the show by shouting with great enthusiasm:
“Cape Town, put your hands together and welcome a true legend on stage – Rodriguez!”

Reuben Samuels started a slow drum beat and when Graeme Currie introduced that classic bass line (de-de de-de de-dum) the crowd went wild in instant recognition and when The Man slipped quietly onto the stage, the Velodrome stood up in adoration for this long-lost legend. I Wonder was wonderful and after the song, Rodriguez just stood and stared at the audience in awe.

Only Good For Conversation was done hard and heavy with great guitar from Willem Möller.
“’re so proper and so cute” sang Rodriguez with a smile in his voice.

Can’t Get Away was superb and when he started to sing the second verse again by mistake, the band supported him and the audience forgave him.

All the favourites followed with the arrangements staying very close to the originals and the crowd hanging on every word. Tonia Selley from The Pressure Cookies and Big Sky provided superb backing vocals throughout.

A highlight was the solo rendition of “A Most Digusting Song” sung with great humour. “There’s someone here who’s almost a virgin I’m told” was met with much laughter.
And when he sang “…your government will provide the shrugs” a responsive chord was hit, even though this song was written in 1970!

Rodriguez doesn’t say much, he lets his music and words speak to us, but he did give us one message:

I want to wish you the best of luck
in everything you do,
you’re gonna do it,
you’re gonna solve it,
you’re gonna heal ’em,
you’re gonna do it

– perceptive and profound words from this poet and prophet.

And then into an absolutely incredible blues-rock version of Climb Up On My Music. Willem Möller burnt up his fretboard with a classic rock guitar solo and Russel Taylor played a jazzy-blues keyboard solo which left us breathless.

Rodriguez slipped away as the band ended the song, but soon returned to perform a 3-song encore starting with Sugar Man, then Establishment Blues and ending with the perfect show-closer Forget It with those poignant words “Thanks for your time“.

Thank you, Cape Town” sang Rodriguez.

No, thank YOU, Rodriguez – the mystery and myth may be gone, but the music and memories will live forever and the magic of that night will stay with us always.

Originally posted on

All Night Radio at The Concert In The Park, 37 Years Ago Today!

Concert held at Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg on the 12th January 1985 in aid of Operation Hunger.

When we got to Ellis Park that afternoon the stadium was heaving with 110 000 South African music fans packed in across the turf, throughout the stadium and up on the roof!

Juluka and Johnny Clegg held that crowd in the palm of their hands, and then the whole place erupted in joy when Lucky Dube came on. He channelled  the love running through everyone that night.

”I love this man”, I heard someone scream, as the place rocked to the deep pulse of rhythm and sound, bonding 110 000 people as one.

Steve Louw, December 2021
All Night Radio (left-to-right): Steve Louw, Rob Nagel, Richard “Dish” Devey, Nico Burger
All Night Radio (left-to-right): Steve Louw, Rob Nagel, Richard “Dish” Devey, Nico Burger

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