SA Artists in London
THE KARMA CHAMELEON CONCERT
Once again the Walkabout was the scene of some top class South African music. Starting with an acoustic set by Henry Ate (Calmer-Anne Swanepoel?), there were some initial worries with the sound level barely rising above the noise of the crowd, but these were quickly sorted and soon the crowd were screaming appreciation as each new song was recognised. Accompanied by Julian Sun (I think), the lady with the voice that you could eat your dinner off held the audience enraptured in her coy, girl next door manner, yet with her smoldering songs she blended this juxtaposition to create a perfect sound and atmosphere.
We were treated to a number of the favourites, the chorus of "Just" even managed an encore in itself. Towards the end of her set she asked us all to Boo her as she wanted to know how it felt (the next act being used to this sort of treatment). She didn't like it, but still smiled.
Boo! were in top form again. Die Lipstick Boer pouting and mincing as usual, much to the bemusement of the English security staff who did look a bit worried when the crowd started booing, but someone must have explained the joke as they returned to their stony faced selves quite soon. The set remains the same, but the man who knows how to roll is r's had us all bouncing around in another lekker night out in London's jol calendar.
CALMER KARMA IS NOISIER
Shepherd's Bush Walkabout, 19 September 2001
The last time I saw Henry Ate it was just (no pun intended) a rather pissed off Karma-Ann and Julian Sun playing an essentially acoustic set at the Half Moon. Quite why she was annoyed I'll never know. However tonight she was in a better mood, better voice and this time there was a rhythm section.
This additional backing made for a fuller, more raunchy sound and also freed her up somewhat to occasionally sneak out from behind her guitar and do a bit of lead vocalist strutting at the front of the stage. The audience was receptive, sang along to favourites and seemed unperturbed by a 5 minute break that occured when Julian had to replace his g-string (on his guitar in case you were wondering).
In between songs Karma still reminds me of the girl next door not quite sure how to handle all these people staring at her, but once she lets rip with THAT voice, all that melts and she's full on rock chick. One small criticism though, as much as you love your sister Karma, please don't let her sing, her voice is at best lower case, certainly not upper case.
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