The old adage that rings “Music is the soundtrack to our lives” held much truth in the Cape last week. I sat in the Grand Arena at Grand West Casino on Friday night watching 5000 people relive their past. Mostly grey-haired, the audience sang along to songs that took them back to when times were different: 25 years ago their children were younger, they were healthier and lifestyles were different. There were no cell phones with their nagging rings. No emails to answers after hours and on weekends. Kids played in front yards with no fences. You had to get off your bum and walk to a record store to buy your favourite LP or cassette instead of downloading it from home.
I always enjoy the sound of large crowds singing along to songs – there is something comforting and significant in strangers joining in unison to belt out a familiar chorus. They all know the same words to the same song…but it holds different meaning and memories to each. I was at the Music Alla Kaap concert featuring Percy Sledge, PJ Powers, Zane Adam, The Boyz and The Rockets. Talk about a rich heritage! This powerful line-up had the crowd singing along from the beginning – Zane Adam looked dapper in his black suit – he was first on the bill and had us all singing along to his Pacific Express hit, ‘Give a Little Love’.
Thereafter the Boyz were super – they looked the part, danced the part, sang the part. After a short interval the show resumed with PJ Powers. She’s a SA music legend and Tourism Ambassador and wowed the audience. Her set list included ‘Jabulani’ and ‘World in Union’ and I daresay PJ Powers stole the show. Not many women her age can still kick their legs in the air like that! After PJ, soul legend Percy Sledge was next. He looked the part – black tuxedo, red hanky in the pocket, big hair.
The crowd knew every word of every song and Percy delighted all when he ended with ‘When A Man Loves A Woman’. However The Rockets could have been better.
They spent more time talking to the crowd than singing hits and were sadly an anti-climax after the exciting performances of Percy and PJ. My advice: next time rather end the show with your big stars instead. I’ve subsequently contacted PJ Powers and she’s agreed to an interview in this column.
Watch this space!