Tuesday, 9 June 2015

TheCITY and Tholakele

My original review on Quicket.co.za.

I like cool things as much as the next person . . . okay maybe a little more than the next person and last week Thursday I got to go see a pretty cool thing. I was at The Waiting Room on Long Street to see two bands that I’d never heard of before but sounded interesting so I gathered my entourage (I have them just lying around) and with the promise of beer and good music we headed for The Waiting Room to see TheCITY and Tholakele. I’m glad to report back that my promise of beer and good music was fulfilled because both bands blew me away and I had a rocking good time. You should check both bands out some time.

The Waiting Room is the sort of grungy and intimate place that draws in cool and artsy people and the crowd consisted of these kinds of individuals. The setting was cosy with comfy chairs placed facing the small stage and there was some space for people to dance it up should the music move them. This was the sort of gig where people get to chatting with each other and the bands, making friends and just having a good time jamming to some cool sounds.

Tholakele were first to grace the stage with their African Jazzy sound. Bronwen Clacherty is the leading lady and vocalist of the band and her voice is just amazingly rich and with the band performing songs like Ngqo Ngqo Ngqo, Nozimama and Nyemamusasa they really are an act that is representative of South Africa’s linguistic and cultural diversity. Bronwen also showcased some remarkable usage of traditional instruments like bows and something that I’m 93.4% sure is a mbira in adding an African flavour to their music. Bronwen studied at The South African College of Music, University of Cape Town and explored musical areas such as Jazz Vibraphone, Classical Percussion, Cuban Percussion and African Instruments focusing on South African bows. You can catch some of the songs Tholakele performed on the night on her Facebook page. You can also catch her hanging out in the Twitter streets: @Bronwenclack.

TheCITY closed off the night on a very high note with their heart pumping Future Afro style. The band is made up of Bonj Mpanza on vocals and her voice is powerful and downright haunting. Clement Carr works magic on the keys, Ryan McArthur rocks out on bass and Ruby Crowie drives the truck on drums. I was looking forward to this performance after I had their song, Long for You stuck in my head from listening to it the previous evening on PopsicleTV.com. These guys are the epitome of cool and every single song they played had me singing along, tapping my feet and bobbing my head along to the music. My favourite three were Long for You, Nguwe and Something Sweet. You can download their EP on iTunes and it’s pretty damn amazing! 

TheCITY and Tholakele are two rocking bands and my entourage and I had a great time at their gig. As I’d said before, if you have time and they are in the area it’s well worth your while to pop in and listen to some good music.

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