Review: Ismaël Lô at Kirstenbosch


Ismael LoWinter is finally over and Cape Town has her summer frock on. The opening of the Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concert 2017/2018 series, a much loved Cape Town institution, verified this. Senegalese music maestro, Ismaël Lô, treated the audience to a magical set that got people dancing and clapping.

It’s hard to beat Kirstenbosch as a concert setting. The garden is looking gorgeous, the Cape Flats spread out in the distance and the mountains to the left watching over the proceedings as the sun dropped down behind them. The weather gods were obviously also in attendance, bringing with them a perfectly still and balmy dusk, with the bonus of promised rain the next day.

Ismaël Lô is brilliant, with a voice that could change your blood group. He and his band – his wife and daughter are his back-up singers – kept the audience enthralled, and baying for more when they left the stage. They came back on and sang the iconic ‘Dibi Dibi Rek’ to huge applause. Cape Town crowds are notoriously difficult but Lô performed his magic and had them up and dancing. Not surprising with his velvet voice, French lyrics – French is just so lyrical – and perfectly French-tinted English conversations with the audience all to the beat of drums. Sublime.

With the start of the Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts, you can wave the Sunday Blues away. Pack your picnic blanket, a bottle of wine and some canapes and you’re A for Away. The line-up as always looks great, with Zakes Bantwini, Mango Groove and Freshlyground featuring amongst a host of other fabulous acts.

Gates generally open at 4pm and the music starts at 5.30pm, so you’ve got plenty of time to enjoy your snacks in these spectacular surroundings before you head on down to the front of the stage to get your groove on.

Briony Chisholm
Instagram: brionyetc | Twitter: @shinybriony

Ismaël Lô performed at Kirstenbosch Gardens as part of their Summer Concert Series on 19 November 2017. 


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