Review: Folk And Acoustic Music Festival


For people who love pure unadulterated guitar, the Folk and Acoustic Music Festival is a regular treat. Now in its fourth incarnation, this time in the Baxter Concert Hall, the atmosphere was set to a comfortable note by the audience who seemed familiar with the performers as well as the performers who seemed familiar with each other.

The stage itself played along with the homely tone of the evening with its carpeted floor, dim lighting and gorgeous sunflower backdrop. And adorning the stage was a bicycle and wooden boxes of old brown sherry. Although there were never more than three performers on the stage at one time, it felt calm and laidback rather than empty, and their melodic sounds filled the entire auditorium, interrupted only by the occasional whoop from the crowd.

MC, Gavin Minter, had a warm presence on stage and his close relationship with each individual performer was evident in their appreciation for him and his efforts to organize such a wonderful concert.

With the evening made up of short duo performances I was afraid it might merge into one blurry guitar strummed evening, but in fact I can clearly remember each performer’s distinct sound and the differing energies which they brought forward.

The first duo to take to the stage was Facing South – UCT Head of Jazz Singing and singer Amanda Tiffin and veteran guitarist Dave Ledbetter – who started the night off with a wonderful dreamy African ballad and an endearing scat solo by Ledbetter.

Sannie Foss and Tim Parr performed a sombre tune, ‘Peace is not the Absence of War’ which showcased Foss’s vocal range amazingly, her strong vocals contrasting only with her petite frame and never with Parr’s gentle piano playing. It was obvious that her song ‘Charlie’ held a lot of meaning for her – an emotion which seeped out into the audience.

An unexpected Country duo, Emma du Preez and Andy Lund, performed their first tune ever written together, ‘Devil in theDeepBlueSea’, with such charisma and charm that even the most skeptical of people could enjoy its folkishness. Du Preez’s girlish country allure andLund’s cowboy look gave their performance a whimsical element which made it stand out as a crowd favourite.

A surprise performance was that of MC Gavin Minter who performed with James Stewart. Gavin gave a heartfelt performance about his recent accident in a song called ‘Surrender’, although he didn’t go into much detail about his ordeal, his onstage presence was moving  and genuine.

The evening came to a close with a group performance which allowed each performer to sing one line. This final send-off perfectly encapsulated an evening of good music and great performers with an amazingly spirited atmosphere. The audience left the theatre buzzing with either a newfound love for acoustic music or a matured appreciation for it. The Cape Town Folk ‘n’ Acoustic Music Festival is definitely a regular event to look forward to.

Aisha-Bibi van der Ross

The Folk and Acoustic Music Festival took place at The Baxter Theatre.




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