a-ha in Cape Town – some thoughts

Last night was really very special. Right up there with the Bergen concert.

A balmy evening, a really well-organised experience, some decent support acts, an appreciative crowd, and – of course – Morten, Magne and Pål doing their stuff up on stage. Really fantastic.

As a celebration of the 35th (weep!) anniversary of their first album, they played all ten tracks in full and in order before moving on to some of their more well-known songs. As a fan and a purist, this was so perfect: the opportunity to hear them play some stuff which I hadn’t heard live since (literally) 1986. Just a remarkable experience.

The Blue Sky was gorgeous, the demo version of I Dream Myself Alive was unique and such a rush for the true fans. Here I Stand And Face The Rain  was powerful, energetic and evocative.

And then done with the old stuff, and straight into the bassy, rocky Sycamore Leaves. Wow.

Shall we play something you all know, now?

asked Magne, and the crowd roared as they launched into I’ve Been Losing You. But I just wanted them to keep playing – whatever.

Foot Of The Mountain, Analogue and The Swing Of Things sounded better than I have ever heard them, Stay On These Roads was beautiful and so well-received and respected, and although we didn’t get Crying In The Rain or the new Digital River, that was just fine. It was almost as if they had tailor-made the setlist for me.

Thanks, boys.

The short, but sweet encore of Scoundrel Days (a personal favourite) with a scary echoey reverb, and a rousing The Living Daylights rounded the evening off perfectly.

Not that I couldn’t have done with another hour and a half.  A really wonderful experience, and one I was so chuffed to have shared with the kids.

Was this my last a-ha concert? Who knows? (After all, I have been to my last a-ha concert several times already…!) I hope not, obviously, because I just love their music and hearing it live is so special for me.

But… but, if it was, then this was a fitting send off. What a truly exceptional evening.

 

All my photos from the concert (15)

Concert Friday

a-ha* in Cape Town. When you say it, it sounds pretty amazing. Maybe the music isn’t for you (because ok, each to their own), but then there’s the destination. Maybe the destination isn’t for you (weirdo), but it’s always pretty cool to go a concert, right?

If someone had offered me a ticket to a concert in Cape Town before I lived in Cape Town, I’d be pretty wowed. Now it’s just a concert up the road.

But that doesn’t mean that I’m not really looking forward to it.

And I’m looking forward to taking the kids along as well. The boy, with his shared middle name, and the girl, who knows all the words to all the songs. (And my long-suffering wife, of course, who tolerates and even supports my fandom.)

This will be my boy’s first “proper” concert. And that seems fitting, since a-ha was my first ever proper concert way back in the mid-80s. Something of a rite of passage then. This will be the seventh time I’ve seen them – living right down here in the bottom corner of Africa really limits your options as far as regularly attending gigs goes.

And in a weird twist, with Mrs 6000 away and no football on (I now, right?) after picking up the kids from Scouts, I ended up watching anything on the TV last night. The film I saw the end of even had an a-ha song in it just before the protagonist was ripped back through time to live another day.
Do you know? Can you guess?

Look out on IG and twitter for concert updates (links in sidebar), but please understand that I’m there for the experience, not to point and shoot.

 

* got to write it right. 

Respiratory illness

Your daily reminder that as it stands, Influenza is far more likely to infect and kill you than 2019-nCoV: the all-singing, all-dancing new virus coming straight out of Wuhan.

Fortunately, there’s something you can do about influenza – vaccinate yourself and your kids. If you do it in SA, you’ll pay about R50 and if you have medical insurance, you’ll pay nothing and they’ll give you a million points for doing it.

I lived with, cared for and slept next to a very sick wife with influenza for 10 days last year and remained wholly unscarthed (by the virus, at least). Guess who’d had the vaccine and who hadn’t?
We’re both going to get it this year, and so should you. And your family.

And if anyone tells you not to – they’re no friend of yours. Why on earth would you wish a serious and wholly preventable disease upon anyone, let alone a friend?

So yes, avoid these sort of people and this sort of shit:

Full story here. Sample paragraph here:

One recent post came from the mother of a 4-year-old Colorado boy who died from the flu this week. In it, she consulted group members while noting that she had declined to fill a prescription written by a doctor.
The mother also wrote that the “natural cures” she was treating all four of her children with — including peppermint oil, Vitamin C and lavender — were not working and asked the group for more advice. The advice that came in the comments included breastmilk, thyme and elderberry, none of which are medically recommended treatments for the flu.

We’re all (rightly) concerned about the influence of social media and fake news in elections around the world, but there are other (literally life and death) situations where less effort seems to be being made to halt the tide of disinformation reaching (clearly) vulnerable parents.

This needs to be addressed, and quickly.

UPDATE: We have a problem.

Mending

Hi all. I had plans for a big post this evening, but then parenting got in the way and even though the little darlings are now in bed, I suddenly find myself with even more work to do just so that I can assist with their homework over the next few days. Yes, we’ve reached the limit of my knowledge when it comes to certain subjects. And that also means that I’m way out of my comfort zone. And my dislike of History as an academic subject hasn’t changed since the second year at comprehensive school with Mrs Finch. To be fair, I don’t even like it as a concept.

Add to all that the fact that The Guru is doing some maintenance on the blog behind the scenes (without which it would have stopped working in a few weeks time) (the blog, not The Guru) and I think that it’s just better if I take a hint, step away and do other stuff where I can’t break anything (else).

Let’s chat again tomorrow, when (hopefully) I can furnish you with some proper verbiage.

Thanks for your understanding.

That didn’t work very well

The plan, as you may already know, was to take some time this morning to write a proper blog post. Things started so well: the kids went back to school and were even mildly enthusiastic about doing so, the beagle was fed and settled in for its post-breakfast nap. Perfect.

And then it all started to go astray. Suddenly there were phone calls to make, a wine farm to find, a table to measure (don’t even ask), a shop or two to get to and a last minute dot com photography assignment.
Things fall apart. And they did, a bit.

And so, I’m putting a small one up here now (careful now) and the plan is to put a bigger one up later. Some fun photos of penguins, seals and dolphins (the Holy Trinity of Table Bay sealife) from yesterday. But right now, I’m carefully stepping over the dozing dog and heading off Stellies toe.