Durban - Sophie Thompson chatted to six celebs to ask their musical preferences for, and memories of music when travelling.
Is a violinist who has collaborated with many leading composers and has made many concerto appearances all over the world.
Morgan is a professor of violin and chamber music at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. He is in SA as a featured performer at the Exploding Stars Concert in the Unyazi Electronic New Music Festival and directed the recent Baroque 2000.
What three songs features in your most played songs list on your iPod?
Albums actually – Michael Nyman String Quartet No 2, Sigur Ros and Lunasa.
Which song takes you instantly to a place that you have travelled to, where is that spot and what were you doing there?
I have a CD called We are Together produced by young people living in the Valley of 1000 Hills, affected by HIV, and when I’m driving around North London listening to this it really evokes my memories and senses of Africa.
When you travel, do you try to listen to the local music where you are going?
Definitely, if it’s a late jazz set in New York or Beijing Opera I try to catch it.
Have you ever done a road trip to catch a concert? When was this, where was it to and who was performing?
Yes, in 1993 as a London music student I travelled by bus to Paris to see Pink Floyd.
Memories from travelling when you were young, did you ever sing in the car, if so what was your hit tune?
From a young age I was brought to Irish folk music sessions, which take place in pubs, and I would often fall asleep in the car on the way home from these to the recollection of jigs and reels.
What CD is currently in your car at the moment?
Grieg String Quartets
Multi award winning local actor, who will be performing in the adult panto, Wizard of Oz, at the Suncoast Sunzone towards the festive season.
What three songs feature in your most played songs list on your iPod?
Anything by Radiohead, particularly Paranoid Android. I also enjoy listening to Wagner’s operas, my current favourite is The Flying Dutchman.
If I hear Four Non Blondes’ What’s Going On it makes me think of the Seychelles. I went on holiday there in 1994. We went to the only nightclub on the Isle of Mahe called The Love Nut. We were the only ones dancing – everyone else was standing around looking cool. What’s Going On started playing, and my friends and I completely embarrassed ourselves by singing along and dancing most vigorously. Good times.
Well, I haven’t travelled much, but when I was in Pretoria recently with Othello, all the shops were tuned into some or other Afrikaans station so we couldn’t help but listen to it. Does that count?
When I was a youngster, a friend and myself caught a train to Joburg to catch the Michael Jackson concert. We got all the way there and then he cancelled the show. So after spending all that money, we ended up just spending a few days with my friend’s family in Boksburg – which was most unpleasant…
I come from a very musical family, so we would often sing in the car. We lived on the Bluff but would spend most weekends at my gran’s house in Durban North. I remember my mom singing I Believe in Angels by ABBA to us on one of the drives. I also remember my Mother listening to Hazel O’Connor’s Who Needs it. The song opens with the lines, “Sitting in the middle of a mushroom tower”. I always thought that the said mushroom tower was actually the large radio and water tower on the Bluff. The fact that the tower would give off a lot of interference when you drove passed it, causing our car radio to crackle, always made me think there was some sort of ominous man sitting on top of the tower.
I have been listening to The Best of Queen at the moment. I saw a documentary a couple of weeks ago about Freddie Mercury and that reminded me what an amazing performer he was. I sing along with all the tracks and even do the obligatory Waynes World, Bohemian Rhapsody head banging. Fun times.
Member of the Royal Natal Yacht Club Lipton Challenge Cup team that won the most prestigious yachting race in South Africa, he plays the role of the downwind trimmer and will be sailing in the summer season, starting soon.
Muse: Sing for Absolution; Snow Patrol: Set the Fire to the Third Bar; Luciano Pavarotti: Caruso
Any time I hear Bob Marley I think of Buzios [Brazil]: I was sailing down to Rio with two friends, after having done the South Atlantic Race [it was from Cape Town to Salvador that year], and we stopped in Buzios for a few days. One evening we were walking back towards the yacht club and we wandered into a small outdoor bar, had a few beers and listened to a local one-man-band playing a bunch of Bob Marley’s finest for a couple of hours. He was pretty good I think, but it was also a combination of time/place/situation.
I don’t make a particular effort to search it out.
Have you ever done a road trip to catch a concert? When was this? where was it to and who was performing?
Nothing very hectic: A few of us drove down from London to Brighton to catch 30 Seconds to Mars one day after work. We had missed out on getting tickets to any of the London shows so just decided to wing it, organised tickets about two days before and then just jumped in the car and headed down to Brighton. We got caught for hours in a huge traffic jam on the M23 and thought we were going to miss the whole thing. Eventually we got in with a few minutes to spare [during Enter Shikari’s final song].
I remember my dad playing The Travelling Wilburys in the car while driving us to regattas when I was small. I don’t sing, but hearing the Wilburys always makes me want to go road tripping
Evanescence: Not For Your Ears but I have a CD with a ton of Muse mp3s on it which sees a lot of action – some of my mates’ joke that when they get in the car with me it is “Muse time”.
Basketball enthusiast and marketing manager for PeacePlayers International, Douwie, along with 5 million people across the world, will be participating in the YMCA Hoop Springs Eternal Basketball World Challenge. taking place on October 13 at the UKZN Howard Campus sports centre and Albert Park in city centre.
I love R’nB music. I have Rihanna on all of my playlists.
Which song takes you instantly to a place that you have travelled to, where is that spot and what were you doing there ?
Jay Z and Alicia Keys: Empire State of Mind. It takes me right back to when I was cruising in Times Square in New York City, looking at the lights and thinking how it inspired me. The song captures that environment so perfectly, everything comes to life.
Absolutely. I keep it culturally sound. When I lived in Northern Ireland, I fell in love with Celtic rock, with my favourite artist being Christy Moore. The struggles of the people were personified through their music and that was so moving and inspirational.
I took a bus from New York to Baltimore to watch a concert during the Artscape Summer Festival. They had a range of artists from hip hop to rock, and RnB. My favourite artists there was Common.
Not really. However I do remember Dr Alban’s It’s My Life pumping through the sub woofers of Durban taxis with its mad base. It drove us completely mental and we loved listening and singing along on the ride to the city, with the sound at full blast.
We’ve upgraded to iPods and iPhones now, lol. I love the Jay Z and Kanye West album Watch the Throne. I’m crushing that right now.
A member of fun folk group, The Hairy Legged Lentil Eaters, who perform regularly in Durban and around the country.
I don’t own an iPod – sinful.
This is weird: Without Me… by Eminem. It always brings back memories of a great family holiday to the UK in 2002. Isn’t it crazy how sometimes the really bad songs stick in your head?
I even bought a Bouzouki in Greece.
Many – the most epic being a bus ride to Harare in 1987 to see Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel and Tracy Chapman at the “Human Rights Now” concert.
Strangely, no memories of singing in the car, when I was young – we did not even have a radio in the car.
Quintessential: Syd Kitchen; Rural: John Ellis; Car Wheels on a Gravel Road: Lucinda Williams; The McGarrigle Hour: Kate and Anna McGarrigle
Nicky Du Plessis
Award winning arts administrator, independent arts consultant
Tamally Ma’ak by the Egyptian prince of pop – Amr Diab; Our Day Will Come from Amy Winehouse’s Lioness – Hidden Treasures album; Salaam Namaste from Bollywood Film Hits 2005
Ismaël Lô and the wistful Tajabone. I was living and working on Goree Island in 2008 and went to the outdoor Ismaël Lô concert at the French Cultural Centre in Dakar. It was a warm evening with a full moon through palm trees, and because there were no late ferries back to the island, I had to stay overnight in a very cheap, quite ghastly, downtown hotel. It was the music that carried me safely back through the dimly lit streets that night.
When I travel in African countries outside of South Africa, I always ask the taxi drivers what they are listening to and ask to hear their favourites. They often have the best local music – a copy of a cassette perhaps and the quality of sound is not always the best – but to have someone, who gets to listen to a lot of music in his day to day business, talk enthusiastically about what they like and why is always a brilliant intro to the place you are in. And it opens up the conversation and allows me to learn a little about their life stories. One of my best was a Malawian in Zimbabwe called Rhodes, who only listened to reggae.
In 1985, I drove with a bunch of people, in a car borrowed from someone’s brother’s cousin, from London to Newcastle to see Bruce Springsteen. It was the days before GPS could take you right to the stadium car park and it took hours in a very small bashed up Fiat.
The road trip was cold and wet and horrible. However, once “The Boss” hit the stage and didn’t stop for two hours, all was right in the world. Afterwards we had the hottest curry of my life. Glory Days.
I have tried to remember, but would have to say the answer must be, “not really”, as nothing comes to mind.
Amr Diab, Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn, Flamenco and Beethoven. - Sunday Tribune