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?
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!
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.)