Friday, May 9, 2014

REBEL WITH A CAUSE

Photograph by Anneli Wiese

So I was invited to attend the FASt Forward Fund Charity Event hosted by Gerald Clark in aid of sufferers of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. (They use horses as interactive therapy and have published some unbelievable results.) The evening was a mouth watering affair featuring the creme-de-la-creme of our local musicians, who all kindly gave of their time and talent to collaborate with Gerald and create a truly magical night.

Held at the impressive Barnyard Theatre in Willowbridge, the event played host to the intrepid duo of adventurers, Tarty Farty Tequila Party and myself, along with a large crowd of generous punters. Quite naturally, upon arrival we made a beeline for the bar and were greeted by Gerald and his amazing PR lady, the inimitable Ice Carstens. Once shown around (and introduced to Heinz Wankler), we settled in around the roaring fires outside for some chatting and the like. Tarty tweeted. I didn't. I think tweeting is kak. Tarty also developed what she referred to as 'disposable thumbs', giving new meaning to the application of the word 'Voortrekker'...
Pretty much everything that comes from that Tarty's overactive brain - via a pretty much unchecked mouth - is pure gold. Blogfodder from the gods! That Tarty...

Anyway, on with the show...
Starting out with his core band (Schalk van der Merwe on bass, Tim Rankin on drums and Simon Orange on keys) Gerald was joined by, first Guy Collins, and then Luna Paige to treat the crowd to some stellar songs, grooving out and getting our fix of good old fashioned blues. At the risk of coming across as a bit of a nonobjective fan, it was magnificent! You know what the cool thing about music is? It's art. Art is meant to be digested subjectively. And true beauty being in the eye of the beholder, Gerald and Co are on another level, touching hearts with their brand of distinct sonic allure.
But wait, there's more...
Exit band, enter Valiant Swart - all by his lonesome with a humble acoustic guitar and a harmonica. Stripped, stark and without any pretence, his simple, vulnerable eloquence and haunting emotion mesmerised the entire audience. His delicate rendition of 'Sonvanger' re-instilled my belief in the beauty and majesty of music. You could hear a pin drop as he finished, before we were shaken from our reverie and rapturous applause engulfed us all. Sung with the humility of a true star.
After that it was time for the second course of bluesy brilliance as Gerald was joined by the insanely talented Natasha Meister, and together they almost brought the house DOWN! Almost... There was just enough left for Fokofpolisiekar to DESTROY! Even on a Sunday night, playing to an audience which included no small number of proper tannies, the boys gave it some serious stick! Gerald joined on backing vocals for a couple of numbers, including the brilliant 'Ek Skyn (Heilig)', before they wrapped up the evening with a rousing, rollicking, no-holds-barred 'Fokofpolisiekar'!

All in all, it was an exceptional experience, and Gerald and Ice are to be congratulated for putting on such a great event in support of such a wonderful cause. May there be many more!

NGDG: We can still party with the youngsters. We can't however avoid the pains the come from sitting cross-legged on the floor.

Spread The Love. Support A Charity Near You! 

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