Loukmaan Adams

Alistair and Loukmaan and ghoema in Sydney. What’s next?


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Sydney rocked to ghoema music as Alistair Izobell and Loukmaan Adams – ably assisted by their musical director, pianist Trevino Isaacs – brought a touch of the Cape Flats to the Harbour City last Saturday night.

Performing at the Hurlstone Park Club, filled practically wall-to-wall with expat Capetonians, the two singers thrilled the more than 350 people with a set that went from funk and blues to “opskud” and ghoema.

They belted out perennial Cape Town dance floor hits like All Night Long, Shining Star, Give Me Hope Johanna, Hot Hot Hot, toned it down with a Malay Choir Song and a moody Misty, before cranking it up with the “traditional” stuff – Daa’ Kom Die Alabama, Januarie Februarie, and Dina Na Kannakia.

It was all hi-energy, dynamic and vibrant. One wouldn’t have expected anything less from these two seasoned performers. As they are wont to say on the Cape Flats: Die jol ruk!!

The occasion, a swish Black & White Ball, was a “fly-in-fly-out” one-off gig put on by Beryl Crosher-Segers as part of her project to raise funds for scholarships for needy pupils in Cape Town. It was sold out months before the event.

Beryl Crosher-Segers . . . bringing a bit of "local is lekker" for expats in Australia.

Beryl Crosher-Segers . . . bringing a bit of “local is lekker” for expats in Australia.

Beryl, who lives in Sydney, has had much success over the years with this type of show. She’s brought over Leslie Kleinsmith, Terry Fortune, The Rockets, Alistair, and the late Tony Schilder and Zane Adams. The Jonathan Butler show was the only concert-type performance she arranged.

Her dinner-dance shows certainly strike a chord in the South African ex-pat community in Sydney (with its distinctly Cape Flats flavour mind you) and one is left in no doubt that at midnight they’ve had a great time. The dance floor was always full.

As nice as it is though, it serves only to satisfy a particular need, and that is to provide the crowd with that nostalgia fix, a catch-up with old friends, and that warm inner glow of their times at, say, The Galaxy.

But isn’t there more to what our performers have to offer? Wouldn’t it be great if we had a bit of change of speed . . . like maybe a concert that displays the full range of skills? Local is lekker . . . but shouldn’t we be wanting more of them?

And does the ex-pat community have to restrict itself to just music performances? Is there scope for theatre?

What if someone kicked along the idea of bringing My Word! Redesigning Buckingham Palace, the late Richard Rive play about District 6? Or A Class of One: Cold Case – Revisiting Dulcie September, a play about the late Athlone ANC activist assassinated in Paris in 1988. The first stars actor/director Basil Appollis, the later acclaimed actor Denise Newman.

Both theatrical works are part of the political narrative integral to the community’s history. It is part of the nascent process of documenting the stories before they become folklore.

I’m no expert in the costings involved (I have not seen either show) but . . .

One option that could be looked at is crowd funding. In fact, the Dulcie September production was put on the boards earlier this year in Cape Town via crowd funding over the Internet.

These observations aren’t directed at or intended to put pressure on Beryl. She has done her fair share. They are, I hope, the start of an on-going discussion to kick this idea along.

Discuss away. All comments welcome. There is a box for a comment/reply below. Please use it.

Trevino Isaacs, one of the new breed of Cape Town musicians who give hope for growth in musical development on the local scene.

Trevino Isaacs, one of the new breed of Cape Town musicians who give hope for growth in musical development on the local scene.

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