Ten thoughts upon attending a Chris de Burgh concert

A jumble of thoughts, in no particular order (hence my use of the word “jumble”), after watching the Chris de Burgh concert yesterday evening at Grand West in Cape Town (see also: yesterday’s post).

1. Aren’t there a lot of old people in Cape Town?

2. Three hours (with a 20 minute interval) is a fairly impressive performance. Older performers can do this because a) they have more songs to play and b) they are consummate professionals. Elton John did this too, but CdB was less flamboyant (what? really?!?) and more approachable, more humble. A perfect example of this was his performance of The Lady In Red – wandering around the arena, hugging, kissing or shaking hands with random members of the audience. It was cheese deluxe, but exactly what the audience expected and wanted.

3. Telling us in song after song that we are ruining the world with war is all very well, but you haven’t actually giving us any alternative, except “don’t do war”. Chris, sometimes a stern open letter is simply not enough.

4. Telling us in song after song that we are ruining the world with pollution is all very well, but your career is basically flying around the planet on jumbo jets and selling millions of plastic discs. Glass houses, ne?

DSC_0010

5. AWKWARD MOMENT ALERT when he sang this bit of Light A Fire:

Let us march the road up the rocky hill tonight,
Under cover of the darkness,
We will slip behind the lines,
And we will take the men who have stolen our land,
For the years of domination,
Hit them right between the eyes,
And light a fire!

*tumbleweed*

6. And while we’re on about lyrics, Don’t Pay The Ferryman. WTF?

Don’t pay the ferryman
Don’t even fix a price
Don’t pay the ferryman
Until he gets you to the other side

What sort of advice is that? It’s a rubbish sort of advice, that’s what it is.
That’s no basis for doing business. Can you imagine if I tried to board BA58 at CTIA this evening suggesting that I would give British Airways an unspecified amount of money only upon our arrival at Heathrow?
I have to be honest, I don’t think I’d make it onboard.
Can you imagine Chris trying to take a taxi in Cape Town? Can you imagine him lying in Wynberg Main Road with a badly swollen eye? I think we can all imagine it.
So is this really how Chris operates? And he gets away with it?
What happened to trust? What happened to contracts?
No, Chris man. You’re out of touch and you’re going to cause unnecessary conflict, disruption and delay with this sort of foolishness.

7. Everyone there was really old.

8. This is the first gig I’ve ever been to where there was an interruption after four songs for a member of the audience to give the performer a red rose and a box of Titleist golf balls.

9. He did Nkandla jokes (the audience roared).
He did a willy joke (the audience tittered).
He repeatedly did rugby jokes (the audience laughed) (the first time).

10. The lady behind us said she had claustrophobia, “but was ok if she sat between people she knows”.
I’m pretty sure that claustrophobia doesn’t work that way, but I was prevented from pointing this out to her by Mrs 6000.

Look, all in all, it was a good night. I knew three songs of his (plus the cover of Toto’s Africa) and people watching filled any downtime. I said yesterday that there’s always a place for live music, and to see a live performance of a famous song by the guy that wrote it, sung it and made it famous is never a problem.
(And, because I’ll likely come looking at some point in the future, the guitarist was called Neil Taylor.)

Leave a comment | Tagged , , | Posted in music, positive thoughts, this is south africa

De Burgh-er off

I’m being dragged along going to a Chris de Burgh concert tonight.
This whole thing was Mrs 6000’s idea. Pre-Christmas, she got a bee in her bonnet about this Chris de Beagle coming to town for one night only and decided that she wanted to go. I bought the tickets as a loving “I recognise that we have different tastes in music and I know that you recognise that too, so while I am buying these tickets for you as a gesture of love, and to indicate my support of your decision in wanting to go and see Mr de Burgh, I also know that you will understand that it’s really not my thing and you’ll go to said concert with one of your friends.”

Long story ever so slightly shorter; such is the drawing power of Christophe van der Berg that none of her friends wanted to go.

So. I’m being dragged along going to a Chris de Burgh concert tonight.

There is precedent here though, and it’s on my side. We had the same issue with James Blunt, and he was actually very good. We had the same issue with Elton John. He wasn’t quite so good, but he did have a mad drummer who was very good. And, at the end of the day (and ironically that’s when the concert is), live music is live music, so we make the best of our bad life choices and we go and have a good time.

If you haven’t head of Mr Van Der Bergh, please allow me to educate you, as I educated myself. He comes from an infamous family line.
Many of his colonial ancestors were intrepid explorers and mountain “discoverers”, you will have seen his family stamp all over South Africa: the Helderberg, the Drakensberg and the Magliesburg all bearing the family name. His great-great grandfather, William, was the original hipster, emigrated to the USA and gave his name to Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York. Achingly trendy.

Chris is the great-grandson of brandy magnate Olof Bergh.MIN_295721_CSA

His auntie, Isabella Christine Edwina Berg was implicated in the sinking of a famous ocean liner in 1912. Dead ahead.

His great-uncle started a pig farm on the banks of the Elbe River in northern Germany, a settlement which has now become Germany’s largest commercial port.

Many are divided over Chris’ biggest moment. Most point to the longevity of his 1986 hit Lady in Red , but others are convinced that the emotional interview he gave when his son, Cameron van der Burgh, won gold in the pool at the London Olympics was his high point. I’d argue that getting to perform for me tonight would have to be up there as well.

We’ll have a good evening, whatever. There’s likely to be beer on sale and I will have some wonderful company.

And some earplugs.

5 Comments | Tagged , , , | Posted in music, that's a bit mad, this is south africa

Mantis

We had a large visitor to our backyard this lunchtime:

This one was ever so edgy, so was quite difficult to photograph. His skittishness is probably how he’s managed to get so big.

Despite using a really decent camera, to be honest, I don’t think that this compares with some of my other photos of mantises (mantii?) such as this one on a football, this one on a wall and – infamously – this one devouring a gecko:

Ah, happy days (though obviously not for the gecko).

Leave a comment | Tagged , | Posted in flickr, learning curve, this is south africa

New Brighton Light

After Liverpool’s dramatic win last night, something scouse seemed appropriate. This is almost scouse.
The New Brighton Lighthouse in Merseyside doesn’t work anymore – it hasn’t worked for over 40 years – but that doesn’t stop it being photographed an awful lot. That’s probably because of its proximity to semi-human habitation, being right at the mouth of the River Mersey.

nblh

Alternatively, you can grab a quick shot from the other side if you’re passing.

Either way, when you’re a bit short of time and you need a quota photo of a lighthouse, New Brighton features at the top of the quantity and, fairly often, the top of the quality scale as well.

Note the Liverpool Giraffe Sanctuary in the background.

Leave a comment | Tagged , , | Posted in flickr, quota photo, uk

Going critical

Nothing good comes from things going critical. Nuclear power plants are probably highest up the list of things which are bad when they go critical, with toddler tantrums pretty close behind.
Critical isn’t good situation to be in. Critical is… well… critical.

Unless something rather remarkable occurs very shortly, when their capacities are measured again on Monday, Cape Town’s dams will have fallen below the “critical” level of 30%.

Fullscreen capture 2016-04-14 100229 AM.bmp

It’s obviously an arbitrary level that they’ve chosen to call “critical”, and quite what happens when we cross that threshold is unclear, although we have been told that we shouldn’t panic. But then, that begs the question, why bother having a “critical” level in the first place if nothing changes once you find yourself below it?

After all, very little happened when we crossed the legendary “careful now” 70% margin, nor the distinctly worrying “er… guys…?” 50% line.

I do hope that the city council have got this all in hand…

Barry Wood, the city’s manager of bulk water supply, told the council’s portfolio committee “We don’t have to be too concerned, provided that it starts to rain.”

Ah. That’s all ok then.
Colour me completely reassured.

Leave a comment | Tagged , , , | Posted in in the news, learning curve, that's a bit mad, this is south africa
myScoop