A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

music
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

GYPSY KINGS (article first published : 2006-05-4)

The original Gypsy Kings, founded by Chico Bouchici of Marseilles in France, brought to life a musical fusion of contemporary Flamenco and Pop. In South Africa, we got to enjoy their music when they appeared at Sun City in the early 90’s before the group broke up. Gypsy Kings’ music is legendary and Cape Town performer, producer and promoter Jayson Jay King has put together a lively tribute to them which has just opened at the Suncoast Casino.

It must be said that the venue in which they are performing is not suitable for the genre of live music. While it has elegant and comfortable raked seating, it is still a cinema venue and the production was severely hampered by a lack of sufficient lighting and an efficient sound system.

The programme itself could have been better structured. The three solid sets before interval would work to the performers’ favour if they were split up into six separate sets of two each. I also had a problem with singers performing to backing tracks while a collection of instruments stood unused behind them. These would have been better hidden by some of the sequined screens until the second half when they were needed.

However, the audience in general didn’t seem too bothered by these technicalities and responded favourably, singing and clapping along to the music.

Best known from his Great Pretenders concerts held throughout South Africa during the past decade, Jason Jay King celebrates his 44th year in showbiz and will turn 61 before the end of the Durban run. An amiable and genial singer, he gave the audience some nifty dance steps much to their delight and later proved his percussion skills when he performed in the Gypsy Kings tribute.

Jason was followed by his own protégés, The Three Young Tenors from Cape Town, comprising Mpendulo Yawa, Anthony Kuse and Loyiso Flente who have been friends since primary school in the township of Gugulethu on the Cape Flats. Jayson discovered them during a school workshop in 1997 and has continued to mentor them. They have good voices and I ached for them having to sing against a less than complimentary backing track and erratic sound control.

Closing the first half of the show was singer Carol-Leigh whose performance, for me, was the highlight of the evening, particularly her Think Twice and I will survive. I would have much preferred her to be dressed in something other than black, however. With the underplayed lighting, she tends to disappear into the dark curtain behind her.

Latino-flamenco nostalgia came to the fore with the performers everyone had been waiting for, Cape Town’s Los Latinos, who played and sang all the well-known Gypsy Kings hits such as Volare; My Way; Djobi Djoba; Quero Saber; Bamboleo and Marina Marina. Frontman and founder Issy Begg came over well as a gypsy vocalist, leading a strong combo through the rhythms, sultry moods and infectious energy of the music.

Gypsy Kings runs at the Suncoast Casino from May 3 to 14 nightly at 19h30 (no show Monday). Tickets R80 (R72 concessions) booked through Computicket and Suncoast. - Caroline Smart




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart