Simon & the Bande À Part at Alma Cafe


I had booked to go watch a band that is fast becoming one of my favorite bands, that is Simon & the Bande  À Part on Friday 23 August 2013.  Alma Café is one of the quaintest venues in Cape Town, known for their tasty home cooked meals, as well as desert that makes one’s mouth water.  Considering it is very much a family affair, my personal experience of Alma is a place that is homely and has a warm, personal touch.  It is such a pleasure to enjoy chatting, and breaking bread with friends, and at the same time knowing that after dinner the venue would become quiet, literally turning into a theater environment.  Alma Cafe is known for instilling this, and their respect for the artist/s is evident.  One could barely hear a pin drop as the band took to the stage.

SIMON - gorm helfjord_fugard low-res

When we arrived we were ushered to our table and made to feel welcome.  People were gathered all around chatting spontaneously, and waiting with bated breath for Simon van Gend and his band to take the stage.  Simon and his band members were mingling with the guests and he came over to meet us.  I was touched at his warmth and humble personality.   From previously watching Simon in action, I just felt the need to see this remarkable band play again, because Simon has a rare gift in lyric writing.  He is like a poet who unravels mysteries and there is such deepness in his lyrics.  Some are vibrant, and conjure up images in one’s mind creating visions of moments and places in time.  Simon has a way of grabbing one’s attention and he captivated the audience with his storytelling.  We held onto each and every word.

What gets me personally, is the way he captures the hearts of people, not a sound was heard, other than Simon and his band.


Watch this incredible video which reflects just a little bit of the magical evening that was had!

I noticed one very eager fan who had obviously been attending gigs for as long as Simon and his band have been together.  The lady in particular knew most of the songs, singing along, and even requested one from yesteryear, to which Simon humbly complied.  Simon did not rush the evening to completion, but gave patiently and consistently of himself to his audience, and there seemed to be no question of time.  The evening flowed beautifully and we didn’t want it to come to an end.  It was a night that is still fresh in my memory.  If you haven’t yet had the opportunity of watching them in action, check out their websites to find a venue near you.  You are in for a real treat.


Here are some of their websites and links:

Images by: Gorm Helfjord and  Jonx Pillemer


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