Monday, November 7, 2011


... to write a bullshit heading, thereby grabbing your attention under false pretenses and suckering you into reading my worthless ramblings against your will. It's like watching people slow down and rubber neck as they drive past a road accident.

How has your week started? I trust all is well and that you're all hale and hearty after a wonderful weekend. No? Perhaps just enjoying the fact that you're alive and in this glorious sunshine? (My humblest apologies to the legions of my readers not in Cape Town.) Or maybe just grateful to be alive...

So I tried retail therapy on Saturday morning. I was waltzing around Access Park (because I'm cheap like that) looking for all manner of goodies, when my eyes fell on a sign that read "Musica". Not thinking too much other than "Oh, that's new..." I continued with my quest for new trainers. Until... I peeked from the corner of my eye a sign that could only have been presented with angelic chorus, had I been paying attention. "CDs under R20" it bellowed across the tarmac!

Now having been in the employ of a specialist CD store for so many years and since having to try and find ANYTHING resembling competent assistance in ANY Musica store - I have developed an acute aversion for this particular franchise of turgid pooh merchants parading as the foremost supplier of music to our masses (the fact that this is in fact true does not say much for the masses, now does it). But a "bargain's a bargain" I kept trying to convince my cheap ass as I found myself going meticulously through this mega-bargain-bin. The cds in this store are the ones people didn't buy out of the bargain bin in their local Musica PoohStores. You can imagine the amount of sifting required in order to find something worthwhile. To the untrained eye, that is! I walked out of there having had to curb my enthusiasm after finding 9 awesome discs worth buying. I actually put a few back, as my purchases were digging into my trainer budget. Happy days!

Needless to say I wasn't able to locate any trainers, but a successful day out nonetheless. The only TRAGIC thing about all this is the amount of local content on the R20 shelves. Well, not really, considering this means that Musica has already paid for these and is footing the bill, whilst the artist is plotting his pick up lines for the next festival...

Shannon Hope. How do I begin to describe the sheer magnitude of the occasion? The Fugard Theatre is at once a beautiful and awe-inspiring venue and at the same time poncey and overpriced. Having gone to the show alone, I found myself nursing the single most expensive beer in living history as I awaited the big moment. The staff were wonderfully friendly though, continually asking if I was happy/in need of more refreshment/lost. I hope I didn't look that out of place. I was wearing a button shirt and everything.

The moment finally arrived and the inside of the theatre in which the performance took place was as breathtaking a backdrop for Shannon's hauntingly beautiful music as is possible. It was a combination of old and new, a steel lighting rig against bare masonry and tall, arched church windows. A solitary baby grand piano sat highly polished on its own centre stage. The lights dimmed and the anticipation was palpable. Without any fanfare Shannon sat down and launched into her stellar set. I have mentioned before - on many an occasion - that I consider her to be a cut (or several) above the rest - and in this spectacular setting she was even more glorious. As humble and self effacing as she was all evening, reminding the appreciative audience that this was a dream come true for her, the music soared and her distinctively divine vocal captivated everyone in that auditorium and transported them far away. I found myself both moved beyond myself, and moved to my own inner self, so poised and poignant and powerful was her performance. She treated us to a wide repertoire off both of her albums, ending with the single 'Believe' off the cd 'Fight A New Day', for which this was the launch. A rapturous, standing ovation was rewarded with an encore song and after an hour and a half performance, that was that.

But that wasn't that, I realised. Even as I left to go home, this particular performance - punctuated as it was with entertaining anecdotes and moments of incredible sadness and strength - was replaying itself over and over in my head. I remembered, and re-felt, things I had felt at particular moments in the show, shivers down my spine for a particular crashing crescendo or finding myself sitting there grinning like an idiot at a quirky comment or sly turn of phrase.

All in all a magical night and congratulations Shannon - not only was it everything you dreamed it would be - it was everything I did too. Bravo!

And then yesterday I braaied. A lot. I am taking bachelorhood seriously and decided to braai enough meat in one go to make sure I'm fed all week. All week except for tonight when Rose Thorn, post "stupid fuckwank", cooks for me as we pretend to have band practice. And also on Thursday when it is once again my turn to Martha-nise the gathered masses for Dinner Club. Whoohoo!

Anyway, I'll leave you to ponder on your loss. Your grief. Your eternal longing at having missed out on one of the most memorable shows I have had the privilege of attending.

Fear not - she'll be here for another month, go and check out listed gigs if you get a chance.

NGDG: "I didn't put the nipple picture in his presentation, but he didn't take it out."

Spread The Love. Because It's Worth Spreading.

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