Richard vs Richards

For the first Monday in a while, I feel great. No hangover, and I went through a whole day at work without itching to wrap my hands around any of my Planning colleagues’ neck.

So it’s back to writing about what I love more than a whole lot of other things. Here’s two icons of the music world who are still alive and kicking, one through mostly clean living (surprisingly rock stars do that?) and one surprisingly through raising hell.

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Vocalist Harry Rodger Webb, otherwise known as Cliff Richard (that’s Sir, to you) is 75 years old. After selling 250 million records and a career spanning 50 years, he’s still rocking. But he’s also still single and living a clean life hanging out between homes in Barbados and Portugal.

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Guitarist Keith Richards on the other hand who survived¬† 5 drug-related charges in the 60’s and 70’s, falling out of a coconut tree in 2006 (on his head), is now 71. And no doubt he’s still leading the rock star life, hanging out between Weston, Connecticut and a private island in Turks & Caicos.

Being about a quarter century away from reaching this age group, there’s a few things I can aspire to. From Cliff, I’ll take being single and healthy… and looking Posh. From Keith I’ll take the hard living… and an island of my own.

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Mind you, they kept it Simple

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.

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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..