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Partying to the Twelth Language

2007-07-04 21:34
Watch videos from Friday 29th June's performance

- Koos Kombuis and Robin Auld do "Sestien Jaar"
- Selaelo Selota burns it up with Karen Zoid Selaelo Selota, Karin Zoid, Robin Auld, Koos Kombuis, Concord Nkabinde and DJ Bob shared one stage on the first weekend of the National Arts Fest. Die Taphuis - one of the warmer, more established festival music venues - is where discerning music fans run to play until the early hours.

Gig review

And the hours get real early sometimes. The Taphuis is a total jol, with magical and unexpected moments, like Koos Kombuis jamming with Robin Auld, and contributing an Afrikaans verse on the Auld classic "All of Woman." The Encounters taking place there (sponsored by Old Mutual) are part of an ongoing project that aims to bring performers from different disciplines and inspirations together. Sure, the aim is to sell insurance. But the project itself is a reassuring one that tries to help audiences from different (but equally wealthy) worlds within South Africa find common ground, and gain a sense of belonging by encountering other cultures. And the performers come to the party, and not just in the corporate sense.

On Tuesday, Slikour taught the white folk what hip hop is all about, with a series of gentle digs about language and lokshun. Koos Kombuis kindly used the English word "Jack" on one of his songs to further toenadering.

And there were plenty of takers for the lessons, mid-twenties to 50s mainly-white people huddled on the benches sipping wine, soup and other liquids and trying to figure out which the smoking laws applied.

But there's more to it than that. The party is for real, and there's a genuine sense of "the jam" about the gig. What you experience on stage is exciting. Exciting because it sometimes lacks polish, and because when it IS pretty shiny, the magic is still real. Collaborations vary from fumbling - Selaelo's performance with Karen seemed to indicate he hadn't done his homework. But some were astounding. Concord Nkabinde's heartbeat bass playing seemed to make Tamara Dey shine in a whole new way during their later set together.

Impromptu jams are the order of the day. Concord Nkabinde wound up onstage with DJ Bob late one night, Karen rocked up from backstage in pink earmuffs, and a whole bunch of other guys pulled in for a set so charged that everybody in there seemed to forget that it was winter, that didn't they think they could dance, and that they had a 10am show booked for the next day, and really shouldn't be ordering "just one more drink".

- Jean Barker

Just so you know: the venue is hosted by comedians, some of whom you'll catch at Old Mutual's Comedy Encounters - happening soon.
They may have completely run out of Jagermeister, but the music supply never dips. Old Mutual Encounters at the NAF is a specially hot music ticket. Check out some live video clips to see for yourself.
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