As soon as Tony Cox started the evening’s performance, I knew that this was surely one of the most perfect venues for this type of concert. The Cape Farmhouse – an old farmhouse, as the name suggests – is a lovely restaurant and venue situated apparently in the middle of nowhere, between Scarborough and the Cape Point Nature Reserve.
The restaurant was open before the show, providing a dinner-and-concert possibility in which I was all to happy to indulge. Sitting down in one of the beautiful atmospheric farmhouse dining rooms and watching the sun’s last rays shine through its windows laid the foundation for a relaxed and cosy Cape evening.
Primarily known as an exceptional guitarist, Tony Cox writes many of the songs he performs himself, and the experience of listening to him is like a personal encounter. Last night, we had the privilege of hearing some of his own songs. Named Songs of Sixty, this his latest show consists of bluesy yet rhythmic songs about life: about joy and sorrow, love and loss, politics and parenting, nostalgia and dreams. It is a glance into his inner, private world. The rustic atmosphere of the old attic of the Farmhouse serves to enhance the feeling of authenticity, and the only setting that could provide an even more apt background for this kind of music would be a campfire.
Explaining that opening your eyes to the things happening around you is a sufficient requirement for writing a song, Cox believes that life provides more than enough raw material for observant artists. But in addition to sharing some of his personal experiences through his songs, Cox also has the gift of interacting with his audience in a loving and gentle manner, giving the experience an even more intimate note. On top of this, Cox emanates a sense of genuine appreciation for the presence and attention of every member of the audience.
One of the definite highlights of the show and obviously a favourite among the audience was Cox’s instrumental version of Johnny Clegg’s ‘Impi’. It is fascinating to wonder what he feels when playing the guitar, as the instrument and its player almost seem to be melting together in a loving embrace.
Tony Cox performs Songs of Sixty on 5, 12 and 19 December 2014.