Throngs turned up to see the South African band, Freshlyground, who are winners of the 2006 MTV Europe Music Awards for the Best African Act. They played to a sold-out Maitisong on Friday.
The band opened their set playing Nomvula, the title track of their album to the loud appreciative applause of the audience. They ran through crowd pleasers from their album and three songs that will appear in their upcoming album, the release date of which is scheduled for September.
Freshlyground are a pleasure to watch; their performance and interaction with each other on stage does not give the impression of being too loose or ‘over-practised.’ When they halt after the second song to announce that the bass drum had broken, lead vocalist, Zolani Mahola, falls into an easy banter. Julio Sigauque (guitarist) and John Hawks (bassist) quickly join her two songs.
They appear to be having fun when performing, John comically traipsing around the stage with Zolani, and breaking into old school pantsula dancing now and then. The choreography Kyla Rose Smith (violin and vocals) does alongside Zolani gets the rest of the band also joining in, with what is known locally as a ‘step.’
After inviting the audience to dance along to their most popular single, Doo be Doo, and another danceable track, Things have changed, Freshlyground performed an angst-ridden track about paedophilia.
They performed an encore of two more popular tracks, I’d like and Mowbray Kaap, to the dancing frenzy of the audience.
Freshlyground’s concert also marked Maru-A-Pula School’s reintroduction as the facilitator of Maitisong’s partnership with the larger community, through pamphlets that were placed on seats.
Kevin Duke was one of the supporting acts with a line up of rock music that had punk, ska and blues influences. Though his band was as loose as a band that does not perform together much, they delivered a decent repertoire.
Socca Moruakgomo, who was the second supporting act, was disadvantaged by a faulty sound, after the grappling with low volume on some of the microphones and speakers. Whoever was operating the sound decided to put everything on high volume. Making for a disappointing set.
Freshlyground was also scheduled to play the following day (Saturday) at BotswanaCraft.