George Benson brings the heat to the Mother City

2016-06-13 12:17

Cape Town – Grammy award winning musician George Benson is on tour in South Africa. He played at The GrandWest Arena on Saturday, 11 June and Channel24 was lucky enough to be front and center to see his brilliance up close. 

Before we tell you about the show, here’s more about the press conference which was held on Friday, 10 June at The Table Bay Hotel. 

Behind the scenes at the George Benson press conference: 

Upon arriving at the swanky Table Bay Hotel we were greeted by the HeartFM PR team, who told us the order of the event. First George would come in and have a sit down with them behind closed doors then the rest of the journos- including us- would file in and ask questions. 

After a little bit of a wait, George arrived. Dressed impeccably, he walked briskly into the venue with little fanfare. The photographers rushed to catch shots of his strut while the rest of press hurriedly took out our phone to send a tweet or post an Instagram shot. You could sense the excitement in the air as we waited for the doors – which closed quickly behind George- to open again. 

Eventually they did and at first all professional decorum was lost and a shoving contest ensued. Then when there was a bottleneck in-between the heavy oak doors everyone slowly squeezed in and slid into their seats. 

Urma G- a HeartFM presenter- was running the show and told journos how there were to be no selfies, no photo opportunities after question time, and a set number of questions. 

After this the press conference seemed to be in fast forward. George was so effortless in his answering of questions about playing with guests on stage (there will be none) and why there hasn’t been a new album for a while (in short : he’ll make one when he wants) that before we knew it there were only a few turns to ask questions left. 

After another journalist asked a question we were planning on asking, we knew it was now or never. So we asked: 

Channel24 : George, you’ve been to Cape Town so many times, what keeps you coming back? 

George Benson: When I come in and see The Table Top Mountain, I call it the Table Top Mountain, I remember the time some friends and I took a walk on the slopes with a few bottles of Dom Perignon and realised we didn’t have any glasses. So I walked up to one of those houses on the mountain, and there was this white lady, this was still during the previous regime. I knocked on her door and asked her for some glasses and she gave us some and told us to keep them. I’ll always remember that. Then we sat by the river and drank, it was like heaven. I’ll always remember that when I see Table Top Mountain (sic). 

Yay, George Benson answered our question with a gem of an answer. 

What happened at the show:

The cold weather didn’t stop Cape Town’s George Benson fanatics, of which there are many, from turning out in droves to watch the talented muso play. 

We were sat three rows from the front of a stage decked out in purple lights with backdrops bearing George’s initials. The band came on stage first and consisted of a percussionist- who doubled as backing singer- ; a bass guitarist ; a keyboard player who acted as music director; a drummer and a guitarist. 

When George hit the stage the crowd went crazy and the rollercoaster of up tempo smash hits and slow jams, that got the crowd singing every word, began. Every now and then people from the mezzanine levels would cascade down into the seated area and run towards the stage to dance closer to George.

With each song the crowd fell more in love with each other and back in love with the incomparable Mr Benson. It was a night to remember.

We're at the George Benson concert and the crowd knows every word to George's set list. #goodtimes

A photo posted by Channel24 (@channel24_sa) on

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