SA Artists in London
COCKTAILS - SHAKEN AND STIRRED JUST A LITTLE
Anton Goosen at the L.A. Cocktail Bar, Saturday 22 February 2003
The LA Cocktail Bar was once the Lorne Arms, so it was to familiar surroundings that Anton Goosen returned, having played here last summer. Although he did not have a full band with him this time, he had sufficient to make for a right jol. Mike Rennie on violin, Lise Swart on backing vocals and Schalk Joubert were bathed in the same glow from the halogen lamp as Anton on the small stage.
The band were relaxed and oozed confidence as they strode through Anton's hits. The fun the band was having was quickly transmitted to the audience who responded well. The hardcore fans shouting and singing along to favourites while some of the more relaxed punters danced merrily in the bar area at the back. 'Kruidjie-roer-my-nie', 'Boy van die Suburbs' and 'Blommetjie gedenk aan My' tumbled forth from the stage and were greeted with a great singalong, at times the audience even adlibbing a few 'shoo-be-'doo's'. Although it seemed to be it was the old TV theme tune 'Trompie en die Boksombender' that got the loudest reaction.
Not one to shy away from controversy, Anton made a few attempts to launch into 'Wit Kaffirs van Afrika', but judging from the 'Ag Sies' that went up from someone nearby, the audience weren't ready for this. The song works on the original meaning of Kaffir as being a non-believer in the Muslim faith, but the negative connotations were too strong for the audience, so Anton soon abandoned this, but full marks for at least trying.
As the concert drew to an end, the band quickly improvised on the repetitive clapping of the crowd, turning it first into 'We Will Rock You' which melted into the superb bass line from 'Another One Bites the Dust' with a few bars of 'Under Pressure' thrown in for good measure.
The Lorne Arms used to have the old South African flag flying, but it was pleasing to note that the change of name brought about an updating of the flag, but when the flag flies at midnight it's time for Die Stem and tonight was no exception, so I guess those few of us Wit Kaffirs in the audience still have to wait awhile before our theme tune will be acceptable.
Anton Goosen at the Lorne Arms Wathamstowe 15 June 2002
It's evening and Anton Goosen is on stage at the Lorne Arms. But why is he wearing a cap? Well if Mick Jagger can have a Night-hoed, why can't Anton? After all, the contribution Mr Goosen has made to the SA Rock scene entitles him to whatever headgear he chooses.
Right, now that we've got the pomp and ceremony over with, let's get down to some fine tuned rock. It seemed to me that there were two audiences in tonight. One came to see Anton Goosen, the rock legend, and one to see Anton Goosen, the guy who sang all those lekker songs like 'Blommetjie' and 'Boy van Die Suburbs'. This showed as he kicked off with some of his new material off ''n Vis in Die Bos' which was well received by a small knot at the front, but people nearer the back seemed bored. Sound problems didn't help as the lyrics were difficult to hear.
However as the evening wore on, and the old favourites were brought out, the crowd was brought to the boil, singing along at the top of their voices and bouncing around with wilful abandon. A perfect tonic for any bouts of homesickness.
From a musical perspective, I thought his new stuff was better than the old, but the old certainly scored higher on the vibe-ometer. But old or new, all songs were made larger than life by the high profile Bushrock Band that accompanied Goosen. Schalk 'Amajuba' Joubert on bass and Anton 'No relation of Louis' L'Amour on guitar where nothing short of breathtaking, while Johnny Clegg's drummer Barry van Zyl pounded with purpose. Lisa 'Nie die een met die Klavier' Swart brightened the set with her backing vocals and sunny smile. Unfortunately violinist Mike Rennie (from the Sons of Trout), was the worst victim of the sound problems, as often the volume was too low on his mike, but the bits we got to hear where impressive.
During the encore, each band member got a chance in the spotlight, and they all took with great aplomb and style that left one just drooling for more and wondering if the whole band should be knighted. (Well MayBE).
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