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The Aeroplanes asked the question "Hey! Where's the Jol?" The answer quite simply is "It's at the Walkabout in Shepherd's Bush, London". A stones throw away from the Shepherd's Bush Empire where not so long ago us ex-pats were treated to a huge helping of SA rock in the form of the Amabala concert. Tonight (23 January) was another treat and all I can say to whoever is organising these events... more of the same please.

Dwarfed by a huge painting of an All Black Rugby Player at the side of the stage, sat Koos Kombuis on a stoel with his kitar, a book of songs and a few bottles (of Tassies?). Dwarfed in size maybe, but not in stature for all eyes were on him, all ears tuned to his simplistic yet compelling mix folk rock. The might of the Bokke would not scare that All Black as much as noise this crowd made for Koos.

The audience was an interesting mix of Engelsmense and Afrikaans people, people in suits, people in denims, people with long hair, people with no hair, tall people, short people, female people, male people, affluent and effluent or just under the influence. Yet all were there for one thing, and that was to have a jol with Koos, a reflection of the wide appeal of his music.

The man himself looked relaxed, paging through his book of songs and deciding what to sing next. He seemed to be really enjoying himself. Sometimes he gave in to the chants from the audience and played 'AWB Tiete' following the chant of "AWB! AWB!" from the audience. Favourite songs were met with rapturous applause and songs like 'Lisa se Klavier' were sang with so much feeling and vigour that Koos needed hardly to sing himself. This in contrast with the music played during the interval where songs like 'Bohemian Rhapsody' by Queen and Bon Jovi's 'Living on a Prayer' hardly raised a murmur from the crowd.

The interval was longer than expected, but the crowd waited patiently, occasionally breaking out into a chorus of "Koos! Koos!". The man eventually re-appeared and other than a change of headgear from a bandana to a vel hat, it was business as usual.

And as we made our way to the tube to go home, I couldn't help feeling that this was one concert about which I will one day be able to stand up and say with pride "Ek was daar" (I was there).

Koos Kombuis at the Walkabout 26 June, 2001

Summer has finally made it to London. And when it gets hot in London it gets HOT! The old saying goes, if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. Well I guess there were a lot of South Africans in London tonight who were up for the heat, because they flocked to see the Kombuis.

The anticipation of the crowd was almost tangible, but they waited patiently through the support act and even gave the 2 ou's whose names I unfortunately did not catch, a fair bit of support, but it was obvious from the roof raising cheer that went up as he walked on stage that the crowd had some to see President Bandana.

But they had more than come to see him, they came to sing along. They knew the choons, they shouted for their favourites and they raised the roof again and again with their heartfelt backing vocals. I do think that the irony of singing "en die hele węreld word stil, en luister in die donker uur" at the top of one's voice was lost on most of those showing early symptoms of inebriation, but hey it was Koos and 'Lisa se Klavier' is almost his theme tune (not to mention a damn fine song). This gem closed off the first set.

Returning as President Hendrik Velhoed, we were treated to the desserts from the kitchen. His ode to Stellenbosch done to the tune of Scaffold's 'Lily the Pink', the hilarious, yet poignant 'AWB Tiete' and to round things off he bowed to the pressure of the crowd and played 'Johnny' (although he had promised it to us earlier).

He certainly seemed more relaxed this time than his previous show and was more than amused by the London Mass Karaoke Choir that had invaded the Walkabout.

Jona Lewie had a hit in the early eighties called 'You will always find me in the Kitchen at Parties' after tonight I guess we can safely change that to 'You will always find where there's a kitchen there's a party.'

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