Category : muse ik
So, yesterday we celebrated our industrial theatre project’s wrap party at Kirstenbosch, watching The Soil. It was utterly fabulous, and the best way to hang out and enjoy the place, the music, each other and a whole new crowd of Capetonians. (Ntombi you were deeply missed, by the way).
I love The Soil. They are super talented, charming, sexy, hip, honest, funky, sassy and humble, and their music is pure genius.
But the true eye opener for me was how for many in the crowd this was their first time ever at Kirstenbosch. In my own group of 5 I was the only one who had ever been before. 4 gorgeous, professional, young people living in Cape Town who had never been to Kirstenbosch before. I know for sure that there were many others in the huge, predominantly black audience who were celebrating there for the first time ever.
This notion is bittersweet. Yay and kudos to The Soil for bringing this crowd there. It felt like a teeny floodgate had been opened. And, because I am going to be called on it I am going to over explain. I am not suggesting that black people don’t go to Kirstenbosch. I am reminded about how many black people have never been. And of course, this confirms again how the city is divided, both along racial and class lines.
This particular story has a happy ending, thanks to the new fans Kirstenbosch made, because of The Soil. (And only now do I laugh out loud! Kirstenbosch. The Soil. Bwahahahahaha!)
There are many ways I could tell you about why I went to see Bruce Springsteen 3 times in one week. The minute I heard he was coming to SA I knew I would have to see him. He is my guy. He is the one I would never miss. I have been waiting for him since I saw him in Harare in 1988.
I waited in line on line and only managed to get the shittest seats for what was then the first concert in Cape Town. I knew that wasn’t going to be good enough so I made my friend in Joburg buy me a golden circle standing ticket there too. And then he added an extra concert in here in Cape Town. More and more the notion of him starting his world tour right here, where I live, took hold and I found myself buying the most expensive ticket I could for the very first, added concert too. So last week I saw Bruce Springsteen 3 times; twice in Cape Town and once in Jozi. There were hard-core fans who saw all four, and did roll call to be in the pit, and had their requests played. But I went 3 times and my life will never be the same.
There were a couple of really joyous highlights for each concert that made them special and unique. On the first I met a woman who had been there in Harare in 1988. I sat next to a couple from Madagascar who had come to Cape Town especially to see him. On the second I went with Big Friendly, who witnessed and shared my love. On the third concert in Jozi we were blessed by a special 3 song matinee for those of us early enough to be there and I wept and shook with special happiness.
Of course there were things that frustrated me and made me sad. The almost 100% white, middle aged audience had come to see what they thought was Bruce Springsteen. Dancing in the Dark and Born in the USA. They didn’t understand why he didn’t play more of his hits (from that album I guess).Â There were those who were irritated that he started late in Cape Town and left during his hour long encore. There were fist fights by drunks right next to me in the Jozi crowd. The support act in Jozi made me skaam.
But. But. But. The reason I will never be the same is because of the outpouring of love and respect from that most awesome man. He loved us. He thanked us. He saluted us. He played (for hours, and in the rain) for us. I have never seen or experienced a more generous, magnificent, loving man to his band, and to his audiences, all three that I was part of. I walk away with the best lesson. How to love my audience and my fellow players. Thank you Bruce Springsteen. I love you.
It was a week of much and diverse live performance last week. I emceed TheatreSports on Monday, played on Tuesday, went to The Rocky Horror Picture Show (amazeballs) on Wednesday, did a double feature of Vigil and The Year of the Bicycle on Saturday and last night I went toÂ clarinetist David Krakauer playing with SA klezmer band Play With Fire.
So, there was a lot to digest. But last night blew me away. A full house in the Baxter’s main theatre for klezmer music? Yes! And it was a totally transcendent, magical, crazy experience. I don’t see enough live music anymore but this has given me inspiration. It was extraordinary and I am so glad I went.
In a moment of proper synchronicity Jaci and I discovered that one of our mutual demi-heroes would be performing one night in NYC while we were here. It was last night. Dan Bern at The Beekman Beer Garden, on the South Side Sea Port, on the water, with a brilliant view of the Brooklyn Bridge.
We got there really early; in time to see Dan and family having a pre show meal at one of the tables and benches under the little white marquee. The concert was a fundraiser for the Big Apple Greeters, a group of volunteers who show out of towners around. Delicious. As Dan himself said, “What’s not to support?”
As the sun went down and the lights of the city (the still to be completed No 1 World Trade building in stripes of red, white and blue) got turned on, Dan and his band came onto stage and played to us. It was such a brilliant, laid back concert, with a group of the most diverse, arbitrary, strange and gorgeous Dan Bern fans. Jaci described it as real bliss.
Afterwards we told Dan, as he signed our new CD covers with his daughter in his other arm, that we were from South Africa, and he mentioned his song Cape Town on his new album Drifter.
Picture this. It is 1983. I have jumped down the stairs into the cavern basement smoke of The Mix. I am in first year at ‘varsity and my Cape Town is a triangle between main campus, Drama school in Gardens, and Shortmarket Street, where The Mix is. It is a Friday or Saturday night and Ella Mental are playing live. I can barely contain myself. The band starts up and a new wave/spidergirl/chameleon/warpainted/cousin of Adam Ant/jerky dancing magician arrives on stage. And then there is the voice. That voice.
Ella Mental sang out my youth, my South Africa, my creative passions. Ella Mental was the band version of what I wanted to do on stage. Heather Mac was exactly who I wanted to be.Â
Today I have just come back from a rehearsal with Heather Mac and her new band as they put final touches to the show that launches her new album, Within, tomorrow night at The Baxter. And, I was standing in a doorway, listening to them, and I got that feeling again. I can only describe it as sheer inspiration connection. Â Obviously, the songs are much more grown up, the mood has shifted, some stuff is mellower, more layered, more loaded. But, there was a moment, with even her back to me, I was transported. I went straight to that magic, Heather Mac of my youngness, and I fell in love all over again.
Join me when I celebrate tomorrow night at The Baxter!
It goes with working in the industry; I have amazing and talented friends. Trevor du Buisson happens to be one of them. He is a superb musician who I have had the privilege of working and playing with for over 15 years. He is a brilliant composer, fabulous performer, amazing accompanist, backing track maker, in fact, he can do most things musical.Â Most recently he made a brilliant and hilarious backing track for my latest industrial theatre show.
He has also entered a submission into a competition on indaba music where he remixed a track. I have listened to it and voted, because I think he has done a great job. And now, here is my experiment. I want meganshead readers to check it out and vote for him. It isn’t complicated. Go to the link.Â Â Vote for Trev. Make me happy.