IT COULD just turn out to be the gig of the year.
On Friday night The Black Cat Bones and Freshlyground’s Zolani Mahola will collaborate for a one-off concert at Bassline in Newtown.
This historical gig will start the Across the Bridge Sessions which is a series of concerts curated by producer Dan Roberts. They are inspired by the Mandela Bridge and aim to encourage people not only to cross the bridge into the Newtown Cultural Precinct, but also bridge the gaps between the musical genres.
And this seems the perfect combination to begin with. Mahola and the Bones have wanted to collaborate since the Freshlyground vocalist first jumped onstage with them at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees.
Mahola recalled that moment, which was also the first time she had seen the band play: “I had performed the night before at Al Capone’s with Karen Zoid and the following night we went back to the venue. These boys came on stage and I just had to stay. They were 100 percent invested in rocking out and that is what I have been wanting to do for a while now. I went backstage and watched them from the side. Then the lead singer, Kobus de Kock, called Karen and I onstage to do some backing vocals. We did and it was such fun.”
One of the songs they performed was the blues classic, I Put a Spell On You.
“There was a synergy between us,” said Mahola. “I ended up singing another song with them. There is a good working energy between us.”
Black Cat Bones guitarist, Andre Kriel, agreed that there was a great energy between themselves and Mahola: “It fell into place really well. There was this energy, particularly between Kobus and Zolani. I am very amped to see how this is going to play out on Friday night,” he said about the performance.
“We will be doing some of our originals and some of hers and we also want to tell the story of where the blues came from and where it is going. We will have a killer set of soft blues to some good old rock ’n’ roll.”
This concert and future ones will be structured around a theme. This will be accompanied by food reflecting the theme as well as the theatrical staging.
Explained Kriel: “Dan (Roberts) wants to showcase how the blues started from the African beats. He also wants to bring in the spiritual elements like voodoo. There will be a brass section with dancers and marimbas. We want to have a Louisiana swamp-type theme onstage and change over to a New Orleans-type vibe.”
The Runaway Train Cult will open the show. They describe their music as gypsy folk jazz.