I felt like a kid with a big present – you see I was heading out to pay the 5 Jazz Rooms a visit. The venue features musicians on a weekly basis. Not only was I excited about this particular place, but my excitement was double-fold as I had heard that Mean Black Mamba was heading there for the evening. I had been fortunate enough to witness them ‘live’ on other occasions and I knew that this evening would be a night when hearts would be touched.
Upon arriving at the Alphen Hotel, I could see why so many people had told me I would love it. From the garden to the entrance and the spectacular décor, we immediately felt welcome. As we walked in, a waiter rushed up to us and ushered us to our table – which was right in front – a mere arm’s throw from the band! I think my face mirrored my inner smile – knowing I would experience this ‘close up and personal’ brought untold joy. This was something that just added to the already ‘high’ I was experiencing.
If you have not yet had the privilege to experience this venue, let me give you a glimpse of what to expect – a warm fire place fills the room and beautiful rich works of art grace the walls, as do beautifully framed vintage mirrors.
Crystal chandeliers hang from the old high ceilings and just complete the room. Antique furniture can be seen all around and it brings an ‘old world charm’. Our food was beautifully presented and finer cuisine you cannot find.
The Alphen Hotel is to be found in the Constantia valley which boasts many well known vineyards and top quality restaurants. When driving through Constantia you cannot help but be swept away by the sheer beauty that surrounds you. From the tall leafy trees to the valley spread out for miles around you, you cannot help but catch your breath when gazing upon the loveliness thereof. To find out about events, or to enjoy a good meal, click on the link: https://www.facebook.com/5RoomsJazz
Now while we were sitting back enjoying the good food and company of friends, the reason for the evening was about to begin.
The first time I saw Guy perform I was at the Baxter Theatre watching the Folk Festival. There were many artists that took to the stage that night and halfway through the evening Guy walked onto the stage with his banjo and from the moment he started playing I felt connected to his music. What came across very strongly for me on this particular night at the Alphen, was even though Guy has the ability to play a guitar with perfection and brilliance, it goes much deeper for him then just an outer display. Guy plays his guitar with every fiber of his being – it is not just an external display, but an inner one which shines forth and moves the heart.
When I sit and listen to the ‘blues’ singers of old, visions of Guy flash before my eyes, even though I didn’t exist back then, in my mind’s eye, the picture is like a clear painting and what I believe, is that this is what it must have felt like back then – Guy has blues living in his soul and he displays it every time.
Mean Black Mamba’s tunes are pure blues and rock ‘n roll, which must explain why you feel like moving to the groove and a lot of foot tapping takes place. What they experience and feel as they bring the music – we felt.
James van Minnen is a drummer that plays with great spirit and if you watch closely you can find yourself almost in a trance like state, because he plays the drums with an intuitive sense – it comes so naturally to him.
Schalk van der Merwe accompanied Guy to perfection and the connection between them was a visible display of what they were experiencing and it reached out and gripped us. If ever I felt like I had been hypnotized it would be on this night. Music doesn’t get any better.
To find out more about Mean Black Mamba, check out their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/meanblackmamba/timeline
Watch them on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdVv40vGhJE