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David Kramer at the Tricycle Theatre 29 June 2002

One is so used to the images of David Kramer pushing or riding a bicycle, that it took a bit of adjusting to see him at the Tricycle. However, the man with the red shoes (in fact his band also wore red shoes) had no trouble adapting to this new mode of transport. He was in fine form and had the audience enraptured for over 2 hours.

With his well krafted lyrics and reminiscences about his own life, he has the unique ability to make one feel nostalgic about someone else's childhood. With songs like 'Frikkie', 'Hekke van Paradise' and 'Budgie and the Jets', he paints wonderful images of life growing up in the Boland in the 60's. One thing he doesn't mention in his songs is that he must have spent time watching the chickens and ostriches on the farms near where he grew up, as I'm sure that's where he leant a number of his wobble knee-d dance steps, these being greatly appreciated by the audience.

Kramer lyrics often contain subtle socio-political messages and this came through particularly in 'I had a Dream' where he sings of the fear of being re-classfied "non white" and probably his most overtly politcial tunes 'Prisoners of War' and 'Out of the Blue', the latter 2 seemed to sit somewhat uncomfortably with the audience while the former and its likes were taken at face value and seen as just funny songs. But the duality of these songs is, I suppose, what gives him such broard appeal.

Of course he had to play 'Hak hom Blokkies' (a stripped down acoustic version), 'Die Royal Hotel' (a full on sing-a-long blast) and 'Stoksielalleen' (again a sing-a-long version if you're not laughing too much). All of which satisfied the audience immensely.

The band (virtually the only "non whites" in the theatre) played along magnificently, with Howard Links adding deft touches on the acoustic bass, Danny Peterson (the engine room) on drums, percussion and occassional sax, but it was Gammie Lakay who almost stole the show with some awesome electric guitar work, including playing it with his teeth, (he has now been re-named Gammie Hendricks).

This was a night I had been greatly looking forward to, and it lived up to all my expectations and more. My only regret was that they weren't selling David Kramer Rooi Velskoene at the door, oh well, at least I could buy a copy of 'Klassic Kramer'.

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