What I Learned About People at a Huge Harvest Party

Last year, I couldn’t attend the ATKV Solms-Delta Oesfees because I was in Platbos planting trees. I was miffed that I was going to miss it, but the tree-planting left me with major warm fuzzies, and since human cloning had not yet taken off (still hasn’t), I made my peace with it. But firmly resolved to go to the next one.

So, the resolve was adhered to, and I went two weekends ago on 25 March. In short, I really wish that everyone could attend this festival! It was that amazing! Easily one of the best experiences I’ve had in a long time and think the person who started it and ran with it needs to get a medal. Or hugs from everyone who attended. Continue reading

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When The Heartbreak Road Makes Y’all Smile

The best way to attend a gig is to be prepared. But sometimes, as you may well have experienced yourself, no matter what you do you are not entirely prepared. And that can be a good thing.

The few times that I had heard The Betsie Beers play live a few times last year, I really enjoyed what I saw and heard. So, I quietly hoped they would continue doing what they were doing regardless, and not fade away as so often happens when artists are faced with a fickle market.

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My Ears Have Been Tuned

While I enjoy listening to most kinds of music (as long as it’s good), one genre I almost actively avoid is Afrikaans music, when possible. Don’t ask me why, but perhaps it has to do with the vast amounts of crap out there in my other mother tongue. It’s almost like I just can’t bear taking the chance of stumbling upon any of it on say, YouTube, while trying to listen to the good stuff. I simply can’t expose my ears to it.

However, I suspect this is not unique to South Africa and Afrikaans.

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Frost’s Harvest Moon

Late on Valentine’s afternoon, I got together with two of my friends to see and hear Albert Frost perform solo at Jordan Wine Estate, to eat a delicious gourmet burger and drink some award-winning wine on their picnic lawn. It turned out to be an excellent idea. Not that I was expecting any of it to be rubbish, mind you! It had rained earlier in the day, but thankfully the clouds had abated enough to allow us to spread our picnic blankets on the grass. It was a bit of a balancing act as the lawn slopes down towards the dam from the makeshift stage, but I decided to see it as free core muscle exercise. With a glass of wine in hand that I suppose I could utilise as a dumpy (builders …) level. Wine, such a wonderful beverage!

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Blackbyrd Flying High

Last night I went to watch Blackbyrd (as per their Facebook page, “Adult contempry” genre – thus needing an editor – but leaning towards modern country vibes) perform at the Oude Libertas Amphitheatre with my music-loving friend, on the cheaper picnic ticket. It wasn’t really planned, just an afterthought, as it has been a long year and I just can’t wait to go on holiday, sit around and do as little as possible. But those who know me are laughing and laughing and laughing right about now. Yeah, right! Like that’s going to happen…!

Be that as it may, I am glad I went. The show was good, even though they used backing tracks for some of the songs and sang more covers than original songs, had a lot of positive energy and was really entertaining. The crowd visibly had a lot of fun – there were people dancing in front of the stage and in the aisles. Even the volunteer for the medley (Yes, a medley!) took his role to heart, played along to the lyrics and moves, and substantially added to the festivities. Not a bad way to end a Sunday at all.

They have excellent voices, these ladies. I was astounded at the depth of the lead singer’s voice, her vocal range and just how it seemed as if her voice came from everywhere inside her. The extent of it is something I never quite picked up on recordings. She even attempted a few covers that few people would dare, e.g. “Hello” by Adele (I reckon she probably did a better job!) with flying colours. Unique voices and showmanship, comfortable on stage, down to earth – there is nothing dark about their performance at all!

Go an see these byrds if you can, I doubt you’ll be disappointed.