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Old favourites’ new sounds in the Gardens

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Theresa Smith

Slide guitarist Andrew James of Andrew James and the Steady Tiger performed. Photo: Theresa Smith

This past weekend saw the Cape Town Folk and Acoustic Festival held at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, and they may just have found a home.

The weather played along and the audience was spoilt for choice with a line-up of guitarists skillfully drawing on everything from the slide guitar to the mouth organ.

Festival organiser Gavin Minter said he is already lining up the winter festival for July 26 at the Baxter Theatre and is hoping the positive response to this past concert will see Old Mutual invite them back for next year’s summer season.

The engineers were on top of proceedings – the changeover between artists was stunningly quick and no one experienced any technical difficulties. Except Tombstone Pete and his untuned guitar, though that was another matter entirely.

Formerly known as Diesel Vanilla, Digby and the Lullaby again impressed when they started proceedings. This is the indie singer/songwriting duo’s second outing at the festival and Rouchelle Hubsch’s ethereal voice carried just as well in the big space as it does in small, intimate venues.

Minter introduced them by saying he thinks Digby and the Lullaby are about to break inter- nationally because they have just finished recording their debut album with Kieran Kelly (the producer of the Australian sibling indie duo, Angus and Julia Stone).

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Digby and the Lullaby, formerly DieselVanilla, are Rouchelle Busch and Darren Digby Peens. Photo: Theresa Smith

Theresa Smith

Minter sat down on the cajon to provide percussion for Wendy Oldfield and Robin Auld. Oldfield is about to release a new album (produced by Auld) and apparently we should expect an experimental mix of styles.

Steve Newman showed everyone who was the master, effortlessly enthralling the crowd with his own cuccaracha and a stripped down take on an old Tananas classic with the help of bassist Jimmy Curve.

Andrew James and the Steady Tiger created a as layered and nuanced sound because of James von Minnen’s drumming, as Farrell Purkis did with his looping.

Guy Buttery and Nibs van der Spuy were perfectly suited to the venue. It’s not that they create background music, it’s that their music is very evocative of outside sounds, with their penchant for trying to recreate what it feels like to stand outside and listen to the world turn.

Ard Matthews finished off the concert with several songs, getting the notoriously fickle Kirstenbosch crowd to their feet to sing Sugarman – and he really does do a better version than the original – ironic since

Rodridguez was playing the same night in Cape Town.

• Next at Kirstenbosch’s Summer Sunset Concerts is Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse on Sunday; The Cape Philharmonic on February 24; Goldfish on March 3; Jeremy Loops and Holiday Murray on March 10; Ringo Madlingozi on March 17; Shadowclub and Gangs of Ballet on March 24 ; Micasa and Natasha Meister on March 31 and Johnny Clegg on April 7.


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