Feelings of familiarity and nostalgia permeated the hall at the Gaborone International Convention Centre this past Sunday, October 12. Earl Klugh and Lister Boleseng reproduced some of the best melodies that have played soundtrack to many a life here in Botswana. The duo performed courtesy of the FNB’s All That’s Jazz.
“It feels like some kind of a reunion for these people,” remarked Mmegi’s Mpho Tlale. Her observation could not have been more accurate. For the middle aged crowd that constituted the majority of the sold out concert on Sunday, these kinds of shows are few and far between. The excitement was almost tangible.
Although the show started an hour later than scheduled, any disappointments were soon supplanted by the soft melodies of Boleseng’s sax. He got everyone tapping their feet. His first song, Dumela, gave the audience a peek into his upcoming album.
He then took the audience down memory lane with tracks from his previous albums including ‘A journey Called Life’ from his debut album ‘Life’s Journey’. To his credit he introduced each and every song that followed. This made it easier for those not too familiar with his music to perhaps make a follow up on their favorites; it makes the job of music retailers and radio presenters a lot harder when you have to hum the song because you do not know the title. Boleseng and his band truly (not that they had to) justified sharing a stage with the likes of Klugh, an international legend.
Greeting the sea of faces in the sparsely lit GICC hall that aroused a feeling of intimacy that befitted the occasion, Klugh treated the audience to a set that featured some of his best works from back in the day. Some of the songs which have over the years become synonymous with Radio Botswana (RB1) like Across the Sand resonated with the audience.It was simply mesmerizing watching Klugh run his fingers gently across the strings of his acoustic guitar flanked by his incredible band. And packed as the hall was, there was not a single moment of interruption. The audience knew exactly why they were there and behaved accordingly. No private conversations. Everyone was lost in the music.
And when the curtain went down after an inevitable encore, people were lining up outside for autographs. Without taking anything away from the incredible night, there is perhaps one lesson to be learned by the organizers of the show. It would be wiser to allow the media more access next time instead of restricting them to the back and treating them like unwanted guests. It makes the job less easy when you have to witness an event from a mile away.
On a more positive note, all’s well that ends well. The show ended around midnight and the hundreds of jazz lovers drove back to their respective homes to prepare for the tyranny of the work place on Monday. But more importantly, there was a brand new chapter of sweet memories to reminisce about. And for parliamentary candidates: Botsalo Ntuane, Odirile Motlhale, and Dorcus Makgatho Malesu, the event presented a perfect escape from their busy campaign schedules. After another successful FNB’s All That’s Jazz, one cannot help but look forward to the third instalment.