A friend invited me to join her for one of Laurie Levine’s shows at Slow Life – it was to be a first for me visiting Slow Life Café. I drove through to Muizenberg on Sunday evening and felt excited to not only experience Laurie Levine’s magical charm, but also the venue I had heard so much about. Upon arrival, I spotted Lionel Bastos, whom Laurie had invited along as a guest artist. Lionel was to accompany Laurie on vocals. Lionel is one of the most talented singer/songwriters in SA and to say I was excited would be an understatement.
Slow Life Café is situated opposite the Muizenberg Train Station and there is ample parking on the next corner. The restaurant is based on the concept of combining creativity with conscientious living. Upon entering the venue, I felt like I had stepped into a time machine spanning many years of music history.
The walls are filled with memorabilia ranging from Jazz, Funk, Folk, Electronica, Art, Photography to Film Nouveau, 70s, 80s, 90s classic cult.
Despite Slow Life Café being small in size, the venue can comfortably fit 30 odd people at a sitting. The restaurant serves vegetarian, vegan, pescaterian, organic coffee, vegan cakes, gluten and sugar free products.
I ordered the quinoa salad which was tasty and beautifully presented. My friend had the line fish of the day, which was served with wedges. Slow Life Café features ‘live music’ on a regular basis. I could see that the people were not just there for the entertainment, but for the choice of something different.
To find out more follow, them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/slowlifesouthafrica/timeline
After our tasty dinner, a hush fell over the place as Laurie took to the stage. Laurie has the ability to woo her audience so to speak, with her warm gentle way. Her voice soothes the soul and calms the spirit. Laurie has a natural gift when it comes to singing. Her personality and her beauty shine forth and listening to her, you realize that she is so comfortable in her own space. Nothing seems to faze Laurie.
Just like a beautiful river that gently ripples downstream and touches the earth in its wake, so her words ripple through your being finding their path into your soul.
Laurie has toured the UK and regularly tours around the country at various venues, to which her fans flock in their numbers. I have yet to see a venue not packed to capacity when Laurie visits Cape Town. Laurie has recorded 4 albums as well as the lovely compilation ‘Side By Side’ with Josie Field. Her work is exceptional and she is a highly gifted lyricist. ‘Six Winters’ is a work of pure brilliance and received rave reviews.
Laurie’s sound is varied –country, soul and blues. When I listen to her voice I find a distinctive blue’s sound – ‘emotional expression’ is tangible and her voice creates a nostalgic feeling of yesteryear – of grace, beauty and elegance. It reminds me of a time in history, when music was played and appreciated with feeling.
To find out about current events and news, follow Laurie on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/laurielevinemusic
Or visit her website: http://www.laurielevine.co.za/
One of her videos on You Tube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=MdqkRotB2xA
A lovely touch to the evening was having Lionel Bastos accompany Laurie on a couple of her songs. Lionel has such a soulful approach to music – his face tells the story – he is very expressive and his face is like a storybook that unfolds before your very eyes. Lionel’s lyrics are some of the best I have ever heard or read– songs that have the ability, to not only soften the heart, but they have the ability to evoke deep emotions within.
A little about Lionel: He is one of the most recorded (pop, rock, folk rock, world, jazz, blues, R&B, kwaito, country rock ) songwriters in South Africa. Many of his songs have been radio singles. In Luxemburg he had 3 successive number 1’s with songs he wrote and produced for Jimmy Wagner, 1 of which was later on a BMG worldwide released compilation ” We Two Are One” on which he worked with ALAIN NAU,(who used to drum for CHAKA KAHN) KAI HORSTHEMKE (www.bassplayers.co.za/kaihorsthemkebio.html) and SIPHO MABOYA (ex-JOHNNY CLEGG and REBECCA MOLOPE). (www.jimmy-wagner.com)
Upon doing more research, I discovered that Lionel has released 5 albums, 3 of which were nominated for South African Music Awards (“SAMAs”). His second album, Simple, won Best Adult Contemporary Album in 1999. Lionel was also nominated for albums which he produced for other artists as well as a song on the new PJ Powers CD and 2 on the last Auriol Hays album.
The Producer of the movie ‘Konfetti’ approached Lionel to be involved with the music. In Lionel’s own words: ‘To cut a long story short, the director had known my music as I’d played for his wife’s 40th and he had my album. When he had finished filming, I played at his 40th. He said he wanted some songs for the film and felt that my song “All this cash” was the kind of song he wanted on the titles at the end, but in Afrikaans. So I went to see the rough edit and I laughed and cried and he asked me to write the whole score and that was it really! Best experience of my life’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v026LxxDR1s
Here is Lionel’s web page: http://www.lionelbastos.co.za/Content/Main.aspx
I sat there like a sponge soaking it all in – it truly was an evening where souls had been touched in the warmest way.