South Africa has long been starved of international music acts of really good quality, but over recent years they’ve been trickling in.
However, there are far too many acts coming in-between that cater for the indiscriminate masses; the likes of Rihanna, Chris Brown, Lady Gaga, Kanye West and Justin Bieber. I wouldn’t waste good money on these. No, it’s better spent on good wine and Bourbon, while listening to real class on the jukebox.
This weekend I got to see Simple Minds at Carnival City which is a fair trek from where I live; fortunately I had the company of two lovely ladies. Now I’ll admit to being no big fan of Simple Minds, but they are a class act. The Scottish rock band led by Jim Kerr, formed in Glasgow in 1977 and released around 16 albums by 2009. Yeah they’re old, but they still have what it takes.
Their first set at Carnival City contained mostly songs that I didn’t recognize, although there were many in the all-seater crowd that stood up, danced and chimed along. After the break they belted out some of the hits I was more accustomed to, which included Don’t You Forget About Me and Love Song.
The stage and lighting were minimalist, which I liked. No video walls and fancy pyrotechnics which most of the big bands use these days. I think the band felt that their music needed to do all the work, which it did. I did find some of the bright stage lights placed behind the band on stage a bit disconcerting as it made it difficult to see the musicians clearly. Maybe that was supposed to be the effect they wanted, but it did make taking photographs almost impossible. (The one above is about the only decent shot I got)
Kerr saved the best songs for the encore and closed with the classic hit Alive and Kicking. But that was not it; he did one or two songs thereafter which I don’t really remember that clearly. Oh damn the wine and beers..