Clegg adds one more show date

For fans who couldn’t af­ford the pricier con­certs

Saturday Star - - NEWS - KEVIN RITCHIE

JOHNNY Clegg’s Fi­nal Jour­ney is to get another show in Joburg – on Novem­ber 11 at the Tick­etPro Dome – due to un­prece­dented pub­lic de­mand.

The iconic singer has been over­whelmed by the pub­lic re­ac­tion to his de­ci­sion to bid his fans farewell while he is in re­mis­sion from pan­cre­atic can­cer.

This is the third time he’s added another tour date in Joburg.

This time the show has been specif­i­cally pitched to ac­com­mo­date those who couldn’t af­ford the far pricier Mon­te­casino leg of the tour.

“Fans were com­ing up to me, and say­ing ‘ eish, bhuti, we want to see you sing but jho those ticket prices!’” Clegg ex­plains. It was a cer­tain part of Joburg that was com­ing through to Monte. We had to put on the same show, with the same qual­ity and in­ten­sity but at a lower price.”

The Dome con­cert will be the big­gest con­cert yet.

Billed as Johnny Clegg and Friends; Prime Cir­cle, the Par­lotones, Karen Zoid and DJ Kent are just some of the mu­si­cians who have signed up to join him on stage and per­form with him.

He hopes to take the Fi­nal Jour­ney to the Jab­u­lani am­phithe­atre in Soweto too and then fi­nally to Wits Univer­sity – where he had his first ever con­cert with Sipho Mchunu as a Grade 11 pupil 40 years ago.

“I’m a Joburg boy; this has been my home town since the age of seven,” he said this week, “these are my peo­ple and this has been the course of my life.”

Clegg set up the Fi­nal Jour­ney ear­lier this year in a se­ries of legs, lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional, with far less in­ten­sity than his nor­mal pun­ish­ing tour­ing cy­cle.

Thus far, he has done Cape Town, Joburg, Dur­ban, the UAE and the UK.

Next week he’s off to Dubai and then in Oc­to­ber, the US and Canada, with gigs pro­vi­sion­ally planned for Aus­tralia and New Zealand next year, with France, Ger­many and pos­si­bly Scan­di­navia later on.

When he comes back from the US he will take the Fi­nal Jour­ney first to the Dome and then to Kirsten­bosch in Cape Town with two gigs set up for Port El­iz­a­beth at the end of Jan­uary.

“I’ve been liv­ing in a par­al­lel uni­verse,” he says, “the doc­tors have kind of given me un­til Jan­uary in terms of the chemo­ther­apy, af­ter which we are in no-man’s land med­i­cally, with ra­di­a­tion next if nec­es­sary. I’m fit at the mo­ment but the on­col­o­gist says you have to en­ter­tain the fact that might be an il­lu­sion. When I’m on stage I feel like I could do this for­ever. It’s weird,” he says, “it’s very dis­heart­en­ing.”

It is also in­cred­i­bly emo­tional each time he goes on stage as he knows the fans are there to say good­bye.

He choked up when he opened the Fi­nal Jour­ney in Cape Town and 4 000 fans stood up as one to give him a stand­ing ova­tion as he came onto the stage. “I couldn’t sing,” he says. His bat­tle with can­cer has taught him not to take any­thing for granted. Every sin­gle con­cert is spe­cial. This thing has en­abled me to ap­pre­ci­ate what I have had over the last 40 years. Be­cause I have this sen­tence on me, I re­alise how lucky I am, my two sons, my wife… gifts of hid­den things that you never ac­knowl­edge.”

The new show will be longer, he says with an imp­ish smile, a boon for fans who have al­ready be­come spoilt by his marathon Fi­nal Jour­ney ef­forts thus far, more than dou­ble the length of a tra­di­tional con­cert. And, there’s a new al­bum; King of Time, be­ing mas­tered in US at the mo­ment and sched­uled to go into pro­duc­tion next Fri­day with brand new work, in­clud­ing col­lab­o­ra­tions with his son Jesse and Black Cof­fee, which will prob­a­bly be re­leased by mid-Oc­to­ber.

Ticket sales for the Dome will be pitched be­tween R250 and R775 and go on sale on Mon­day.

South African and in­ter­na­tional star Johnny Clegg has added another date to his Joburg run of

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