The Mercury

Act’s been jacked up

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LASTWednes­day I attended my first concert at the ICC Arena since the hullabaloo last year concerning internatio­nal acts cancelling their Durban dates or simply not including Durban in the itinerary. A recurring theme from readers was that one of the reasons Durbanites did not support these events was dissatisfa­ction with the level of service at the Arena.

I also thought, at the time, that there was room for improvemen­t. Judging by my night out at the Africa Day concert, I would have to say the improvemen­t has been achieved. Getting parked and into the venue was smooth and easy. Getting a lamb roll and a fewdrinks was also pretty simple and did not involve long queues.

Gearhouse handled the technical side of the event and hats off to the organisers for spending the money required to put in the right equipment for the venue.

The only thing the organisers got wrong was the programmin­g of the bands. I am not going to be too critical of Liquideep – being a studio project, they are always going to battle to reproduce on a live stage.

Mango Groove were up next and they absolutely owned the stage and audience. Their sound engineer got it 100 percent right. They also had an AV show and pyrotechni­cs incorporat­ed into their set, with lighting cues and the whole bang shoot thrown in.

Then came headliner Ringo Madlingozi. Without a doubt Ringo is at the top of the musical pile in South Africa, and before the event I gave him a call to find out how things were going. I specifical­ly asked him how things were for an artist like him, in the recession.

His reply was that they survive from festival to festival, but that such events can become a bit repetitive and that he was looking to line up more intimate shows where he could get closer to the audience. At this event, I distinctly felt that he was just going through the motions. No thought was given to lighting and I thought his sound engineer did the group rather a disservice. All in all, quite a let-down after the rocking performanc­e by Mango Groove.

Habit To performs at the Red Door, 5 Quarry Road in Pietermari­tzburg. Entrance R10 before 9pm.

Madala Kunene is the featured artist at the Durban Playhouse’s Sundowners session in the Foyer from 5.30pm. Free entrance.

Multifacet­ed arts event at the Corner Café, Brand Road, Durban, from 6pm as a fundraiser for the soon-to-beproduced documentar­y To Skin A Cat, which will put the spotlight on the plight of the leopard. Guy Buttery and The Hinds Brothers are donating their musical brilliance to a worthwhile cause. Minimum R50 donation requested and further info on the event and film is from Greg Lomas at 084 909 1808.

One Night at Durban’s BAT Centre features the superb vocal talents of Nonhlanhla Wanda and Xolisa Dlamini. 6pm, R50, 031 332 0451 for info.

Ubercool Events present internatio­nal drum ’n bass DJ Nympho from Amsterdam at Durban’s Origin. Also features Veranda Panda and We’ve Been Hacked. Doors open 9pm. Entrance R60.

Hip Hop Going Purple happens at Durban’s Stable Theatre from midday. Abdus, Tabzarrati, Judas/3rd Brick, Bon Husla, Mexican, Flowsick and Niche Fam on the bill. R30 entrance.

The Meditators, Woodpecker and Coastal Routes will be keeping it irie at Cool Runnings, Durban, from 9pm. R30 entrance and 072 144 2893 for further info.

Fuzigish launch their latest album, Setlist, at Unit 11, Stamfordhi­ll, Durban. Support acts are Low Profile and Fruits and Veggies. Entrance is R40 and doors open at 8pm.

Watershed at Durban Botanic Gardens, with opening act Rowan Stuart starting at 2.30pm. Early bird tickets at R80 can be booked through www.ticketbrea­k.co.za otherwise it is R100 at the gate. Call 031 309 1170.

World Muzoz, featuring vocalist Sindi Sithole, are the featured act at the Sunday Sessions, Rainbow Restaurant, Pinetown, from 2pm. R10, Call 083 463 8044 for more informatio­n. Trumpeter Marcus Wyatt is touring his latest album, ZAR, around southern Africa with Afrika Mkhize on piano, Prince Bulo on bass and Justin Badenhorst on drums. Catch them at the Centre for Jazz, UKZN, Durban, on Wednesday from 5.30pm, R30, 031 260 3385; or at the Rainbow Restaurant, Pinetown on Thursday from 8pm, R30 pre-sale/R40 at the door.

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