Saturday Gangs of Ballet were scheduled to play at Cafe Roux and it was a rather bleak day with the South Easter pumping and dark clouds forming, however, I knew without a shadow of a doubt, that no matter how gloomy the weather, the music would warm the hearts of those gathered around. I had booked two tickets a couple of months back and a couple of days before the show, I noticed that Cafe Roux were running a competition, so I took a chance and entered. I received a tweet from them to say that I am the lucky winner of a double set of tickets! What a lovely surprise, as it gave me the opportunity to invite not just my friend, but my son along with a mate of his.
At 11am, I headed out to book my spot under the trees – the early bird catches the worm they say. Let me clarify the show was only to kick off at 3pm, but nothing was going to get in the way of me getting the best spot possible. As I arrived, I saw people unloading sound equipment and proceeding to set up for the event. The reality dawned on me, that this was not just a little show that was about to unfold before my eyes, but a very professional one at that.
I knew the crowds would arrive early, so I made sure we left home around 1.30. As we drove along Chapman’s Peak Drive, I noticed a number of cars already parked along the road outside Cafe Roux. Just as well I decided to also park outside, as the parking lot was chock and block when we walked in. The lunch crowd had arrived and joyous laughter rippled through the air.
As usual, Café Roux’s staff welcomed us with a warm smile. The staff is always on top form and if I could give a restaurant in the valley the award for the best staff, they would win hands down.
The owner’s philosophy – “We wanted to create a special place where we could sit outside in the sun with our family and friends, eating great food, drinking our favourite wine, listening to music. Simply enjoying life…”
Lindi, Paul & Bern
After watching the opening act for Gangs of Ballet I wanted to scream out a big thank you to Cafe Roux. Not only do they have some of the best burgers I have ever tasted and we won’t mention all the sweet temptations on display, but they expose the community to a diverse cultural experience of artists. Each and every time, I come away richer for the experience.
Shortly before 3pm, I could see the lawn was jam packed with people enjoying an afternoon of friendship, family bonding and glorious food.
As I am a regular at Cafe Roux, the manager came over to say that if I would like to take photos I am welcome to come sit at a little table right in front of the stage! My friend and I were ecstatic at the news and quickly ran to take our seats.
The time had arrived and a young man by the name Bongeziwe Mabandla took to the stage. No surprise that Bongeziwe is a two time SAMA nominee! I was bowled over by his voice! The saying goes, ‘first impressions count’ well this was certainly true for Bongeziwe.
Sitting there, I felt as if his music had opened a door to my soul – his voice has a tone that sent shivers down my spine – unforgettable and beautiful, are two words to describe maybe a touch of what we heard, as his voice washed over us.
Simple words cannot do his music justice. Bongeziwe claims his influences are afro, dub, rock, funk and roots music, but there is an undeniable folk sound to his music.
Taking it all in, my thoughts were ‘how can this young man possibly have such soul – he is too young to have a heart of a great soul singer! The crowds lapped him up and clapped when he finished his set.
To find out more about this incredible singer/songwriter, check out all the links below. Bongeziwe not only travels around our own beautiful country, but has been making wave’s worldwide!
To keep up to date with all his news and to find him in your area, follow him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BongeziweMabandlaOfficial
Here are the links:
You Tube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XTfD3bsse0
The band to take to the stage next needed no introduction, as everyone present had booked a spot, either on the lawn or a table, for this moment in time.
Gangs of Ballet from Durban were up!
Allow me to rewind for a moment – one day, while driving my kids to school, a song came on the radio that instantly sent shivers down my spine, it was‘Hello Sweet World’. Once home, I immediately ‘googled’ the song and much to my surprise and instant delight, I discovered that it was a song by a local S.A. band ‘Gangs of Ballet’. Little did I realize at the time, that in about 6 months I would see them perform for real at the Summer Concerts held at Kirstenbosch Gardens. I was fortunate enough to share this experience with a close friend. It was a night that both of us will remember and cherish forever. It was no small surprise that Gangs of Ballet won the MK Award for ‘Best Newcomer’ with ‘Hello Sweet World’. The song was featured on the airwaves of VH1 USA and was also chosen for the opening theme for VH1’s reality TV series, Dr Drew’s Rehab. The video has to date hit the 171 000 mark on You Tube. Listening to songs, one often loses interest over time and boredom sets in, but Gangs of Ballet’s haunting music grips you in a sincere and profound way – the sound and melodic quality of their songs are truly unforgettable.
From beginning to end, an electrifying experience was seen and felt. Not only are they accomplished musicians, but firm friends and family – Brad and Josh are brothers. The connection between the guys was visible and this spills over to their music. Their music appeals very much to the young crowd, but looking around I could see old and young enjoying the beauty of their sound. One lady in particular was a dedicated fan who couldn’t get enough and asked for some special requests to which they gladly responded with smiles and then swept us away yet again. Hard work and dedication has brought them their eminent success and their fame grows, as they continue to show the world what they are made of.
Watch them on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlZPaUaiXA8
As we walked away at the end of the day, we were once again aware of the gloominess of the day, which as of that moment had gone unnoticed – this is the wonder of music –you are swept away and escape into another world – your own reality or world is forgotten for a while – it captures you if you allow it.