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Current page: Concert Diary 2007

Current page: Concert Diary 2007

Concert Diary 2007

The Armchair Theatre, Cape Town - 15th September 2007

Chris Simpson writes - I had been there before, back in 1975, but there is still that thrill looking out of the plane window and seeing again that endless spread of two oceans that meet off Cape Agulhas and you know that you are looking at the end of Africa.

Climate shock though.

Cape Town is some 1,000 mils from a Jo'burg that we left at 36 degrees, and Cape Town was but 16 degrees. I was in shorts and a sleeveless top. Ouch.

We were met by new friends, relatives of our family in Jo'burg, who promptly took us to the Rustenberg vineyard in Stellenbosch where the owner Simon Barlowe took us around. Afterwards we had a wine tasting. I can imagine that puts a smile on your respective faces. Magna Carta in a vineyard!

Rustenberg vineyard

We went on back with our hosts, Peter and Barbara to their lovely house. You cannot help but notice that all the 'nice' houses are surrounded by razor wire and many have signs that read 'armed response'. But - who feels safe now on any street in Britain when even the kids have taken to murdering each other?

Saturday. We check out False Bay where once Eddie Odden and I sailed a flimsy catamaran across the 17 miles where now they take you down in cages to watch great white sharks. Hmmm. There are Right Whales blowing just off the shore. Incredible.

To downtown Cape Town and we find the venue on a colourful street; rock music blasting from several doorways; flashing neon and shady souls hugging the shadows. Matt Barnhoorn was driving. Folks, he did not kill anyone, he drove on the left (the only side) and parked splendidly. I felt a certain smug sense of revenge after all the years I have backed and re-traced through the right hand drive roads of Europe.

The venue was puzzling. It had a rock venue aura and I got the impression that nobody cared that much. A huge screen paraded England's crushing rugby defeat to no-one apart from a disinterested blonde eating a Big Mac. I asked for the dressing room and met bewilderment and then found it up a flight of iron stairs. Oh, I have seen so many of these places where rock artists have sojourned awhile. Stains on everything; booze rings on the tables; bits of PA gear and amps in various stages of distress lying about. Mirrors in the loo held together with gaffatape and a toilet seat lying off-center like a fallen frisbee.

We were offered drinks tho' and soundchecked with Angelo - still fighting the giant screen until I told them to turn it off. He turned out to be caring and excellent.

We all felt a sort of cloud over our heads. Theatre? It boasted two sofas and that was it.

Next door to join our new friends in a Mexican joint. The feeling did not go. 'Hell,' I thought, the last time we were in this town we were in the 3-Arts Theatre.

Back to the Armchair. I was wrong again.

It was packed, and you could feel the warmth and yes, dare I say it, love, coming at us as we went in. The people made the concert, packed as they were like sardines on the floor.

Two old friends (!) Jill and Gavin where there from way back. Arlyn opened up with a fine acoustic set. They honoured him by listening and he was good; even joined by the Borculo kid on one number, 'The Trees they do grow High'.

We played two sets. I felt the waves of feeling coming up like an ocean. The last a lot of them saw of us back in '75, the middle man was Glen. They had never seen Linda and she killed them in one number. After all, she is superb, and who can argue? One of life's great artists.

Afterwards we found out that we had sold out of CD's again. In spite of repeated calls for our classic, 'Lord of the Ages',what we have had on every concert is, - we were blown away by ' Paradise Row'. We just sell dreams live, as I mentioned last time. We did it again. What knocked me out was the young barman (19 years old) expecting a folk act (which we are not) was just blown away, but the last and best line came from a young lady who worked there and sadly whose name I cannot recall.

'You were just fantastic. I could hear all the words'.

I really liked that.

Our audience

P.S. from Linda I forgot my recorders for this concert and decided to try asking the audience if anyone could help me out. Same thing again - a very nice gentleman in the front row said he could pop back for one - just 5 minutes away. The sad thing is I didn't get the chance to say thank you at the end of the concert!! So whoever you are ...... thank you it was so nice of you to do that and much appreciated.

Left Arrow Johannesburg, South Africa White Mountain Festival, South Africa Right Arrow