Where was I? Aaah yes, I was at the Big Daddy reunion gig. That was two weeks ago. So why am I writing about it only now?
Well, truth to tell, the dog ate my computer (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it). Couldn’t do much until I got back home.
I’m home now (after a long, slow journey back) and I’m happy to tell you that that Big Daddy gig was quite something else — and also have a quick think about “reunions” and where they fit in the greater scheme of things.
The Holy Cross Hall in Walmer Estate was packed to the rafters on that Friday night (two weeks ago) and everyone present loved that feel-good sensation as Bernie Lawrence, Noel Kistima, Wayne Smith and Clive Fester played the soundtrack of their early adulthood. Lawrence Paul Chetty filled in for an absent Trevor Parker and Daryl Andrews joined them for a guest spot.
They breezed through songs like Jimi Hendricks’s I’m A Man, Cream’s Sunshine of Your Love and Crossroads, Santana’s Black Magic Woman and Evil Ways, Stephen Stills and Al Kooper’s Season of the Witch . . . get my drift. Throw in a good audio visual thingo with “psychedelic” lights bouncing off the wall a la Tubby Welby-Solomons in his heyday and it was like being in a time warp. It was good. Real good.
The gig was the culmination of an ambitious project that had to tie in with drummer Noel Kistima’s visit from Australia and the availability of fill-in pianist Lawrence-Paul Chetty who works overseas mainly.
The old Big Daddy guys also roped in a few guests in the form of singers Linda de Bruyn, Megan Herbert, and Lawrence Paul’s wife, Lara. For those who couldn’t cope (any longer) with driving rhythms of the Sixties and Seventies, the guest artists provided a nice alternative.
So where do we go from here with “reunion gigs”?
Pacific Express looked like making the nostalgia thing a regular occurrence when they got together for their first comeback gig back in December. Then they lost Zane Adams but still managed to follow it up with the Tietiesbaai event and the big gig at the Cape Town Jazz festival.
But it has gone all quiet in that neck of the woods. Could it be that we’ve seen the last of Express on stage?
Noel Kistima says there is a chance that Little Wing could have a “reunion” next year but they have to sound out a few guys – like Jimmy Engelbrecht!!
But what Noel would like to see is a reunion of Respect – Issy Ariefdien, Mel da Silva (bass) Ivor Wagner (organ) and Issy Mohammed (vocals). All but Issy Mohammed is easily contactable. No-one knows where he is.
Respect reunion? Back in ’68 they rocked the joint. Now that would be something!!!
Whilst we all love a little walk down memory lane to relive our youth and make those memories as real as possible . . . getting bands together for old times’ sake is a tough ask. Invariably the “re-united” band has a shelf life that amounts to a one-off gig.
In short, it’s nice if it happens . . . but don’t expect the second coming to be a long-term thing.
See ya at the next reunion gig!!!