There has been quite a variety of international artists gracing Cape Town’s shores of late. Due to the disparity of the genres, one wouldn’t have thought all too many people managed their monthly band budget around Rammstein and Imogen Heap, but as Helen and Vera attended (and loved) both, I figure there are probably many more music-lovers out there who get their kicks from any spectacular live performance. (Though I don’t foresee either of them attending U2 or Roxette. Ahem.)
Watching Imogen Heap live was a once-in-a-lifetime experience: a kick in the gut, a tickle of the ear, a whisper of breath on the neck. She is the most inspiring musician. Well... at least I endeavour to be inspired by her when not cowering in the face of her talent and ability.
While prancing about on a stage amidst the trees on Paul Cluver wine estate, Imogen collected samples of her superb cello and percussionist on her wrist microphones, as well as her own vocals, keyboard, all sorts of wind-up toys and bells, and the plucking of her thumb piano from Zimbabwe. These layers she used, bit by bit, to create whole worlds of sound that crashed down around us as the songs ended, leaving us simultaneously devastated and elated.
One moment she was silly and endearing with her personal anecdotes, and the next she was leaving us shell-shocked with her sheer power – and mad keytar skillz! Her vocals veered from wild and intense to breathy and sweet, all with such consummate skill that we were blown away.
And her graciousness meant that she was very kind (perhaps more than she should have been!) in agreeing to have all sorts of people up on stage with her, as well as involving the audience in the harmonies for one of my favourite of her songs, “Just for now.”
Because of her, we all went home with a little moonlight on our shoulders and a song in our hearts.
Let’s hold thumbs that musicians of this calibre continue to wow us and keep the local scene on its toes.