I have been very fortunate to be in the audience for 4 of the recent musical performances at Evita se Perron. In addition to Pieter-Dirk Uys and Evita Bezuidenhout, the Perron has hosted many talented visiting artists. The Perron’s event calendar for the next year suggests that variety is the spice of life.
Very diverse talents, different styles, different song choices. The first 3 included a number of the artist’s own compositions. I overheard an audience member remarking that he thought they should concentrate on better known songs rather than their own songs. That is certainly a viewpoint. The other side of the coin is that songwriters need an audience to hone their songs and to perfect their performance. Where would Cat Stevens be if the London coffee bars didn’t welcome him in the 1960s singing “Where do the children play” and other gems; where would Ralph McTell be if he hadn’t busked in the underpass at Charing Cross station as we hurried to get our trains home at the end of the work day. McTell’s very famous song ‘The Streets of London’ might have been inspired by the time he spent in the busy underpass practicing his trade.
I thoroughly enjoyed all the performances at Evita’s, all for different reasons.
Jenny and the James on St. Patrick’s Day – Jenny’s voice is uniquely clear and beautiful and it conjures up memories of Joan Baez and Judy Collins. In spite of the variety I picked up a comment from an audience member that the group didn’t “sing enough Irish songs”. Well I heard plenty of Irish songs without them flogging the overcooked Irish pub belters to death. Their rendition of “I’ll be a wild rover” was a more musical and more reflective performance than the customary belligerent challenge that the words portray. Their music was enough to conjure up past moments in smokey pubs in Dublin singing our hearts out, lingering over rebel songs, sharing the moment.
AdamTas and Dewald Wasserfall were both outstanding; they had their audiences in the palm of their hands in their first songs. Their musical choice was broad and very well received. They also included some of their own compositions. Thank you to them both for doing that.
Dewald Wasserfall’s ‘Jy is Die Storm’ started his show and finished the show as an encore for a very confident young lad in the audience (our next door neighbour’s grandson).
And then there was Cat Simoni. A brilliant evening. Cat Simoni concentrated on the Divas of song and covered every angle.
Simoni started with “Days of Win and Roses” in honour of our water shortage ? Then moved seamlessly through Marianne Faithfull’s “Ballad of Lucy Jordan”, on to Amy Winehouse and “Rehab”, through Cole Porter, Edith Piaf, Melina Mercouri, Dusty Springfield, Billy Joel even Freddie Mercury (not actually a Diva, well maybe). For less than the cost of a beer and a burger we enjoyed almost 2 hours of live brilliance – beautiful voice, playing piano and guitar (not at the same time) and smiling charm. There is much to love about living in Darling and much to love about Evita se Perron.
Simoni’s talent deserved a larger audience but those of us who were at her show joined in the fun and the banter. She did something so rare nowadays, she left the stage with her trusty wireless mike and moved between tables engaging individuals. We were entranced. She treated us to a number of encores, including my request for “Imagine” which completed my evening. Thank you Cat Simoni, please come again.