LOCKDOWN, SIPHO ‘HOTSTIX” MABUSE AT BAXTER the Review

LOCKDOWN, SIPHO ‘HOTSTIX” MABUSE AT BAXTER
by Robyn Cohen Jun 8, 2020

In October 2018, Sipho ‘Hotstix” Mabuse performed on the Baxter stage, accompanied by Tony Cedras, Roeshdien Jaz, Siphokazi Jonas, Mmino, the South African Youth Choir and other artists.

It was the second time that Mabuse played at the Baxter, during his half a century on the musical boards. We were away – one could be “away” in those days – and missed that sold out concert.

It was on for one night only.

Luckily, for us, we were fortunate to have been present at Spier, in March, 2017, when Mabuse performed with Freshlyground. This was a celebration of Mabuse’s 50th year in the music business. It was magical. Watching Mabuse performing Weeping with Zolani Mahola, Peter Cohen and Freshlyground – well – I have no words.

Still I was gutted that we missed out on the Baxter 2018 concert and was thrilled to find out that the concert had been filmed.

The recording was archived by one if the concert’s producers’ Music Exchange (MEX) and during lockdown, it was edited for live streaming on the Ticketpro Covid-19 platform.

By popular demand, the live stream has been extended until Friday – June 12, 2020.

Don’t miss it. Tickets are R20.

To find out how the stream operates, see article on this site. You cannot navigate away from the link, for example. If you do, you need another ticket Read the preview article for info.

Here is the link: https://thecaperobyn.co.za/live-stream-tickets-sipho-hotstix-mabuse-baxter-2018/

We loved watching the streamed 2018 Baxter concert. I will tell you why.

In addition to being a privilege to be able to see the extraordinary Mabuse and colleagues jamming on stage, the recording is a keepsake of a time when it was possible to gather at the theatre; dance together and rejoice in ‘being there’; being part of a live happening.

I like the fact that the film recording provides views of the audience; the joy of being present.

As with all his concerts, Mabuse’s charisma and warmth is palpable. He chats between sets and constantly gather others into his ambit.

In tandem with Mabuse, in the Baxter concert, we hear Martin Myers [manager and friend of Mabuse, Music Exchange CEO, producer] paying tribute to musical talent of South Africa, He talks about composer Trevor Jones [he has composed the music for blockbuster films like Notting Hill]. Myers talks about Tony Cedras who has played with luminaries like Paul Simon [Cedras was on the Graceland tour].

For me it come across poignantly as Myers urges us to honour our performing artists – in every way – artistically and financially. He is saying – look everyone, Trevor Jones is more appreciated -out of his home country – listen up.

The Baxter concert was staged in 2018 and now as we watch during lockdown in the Covid pandemic, those words resonate, deeply.

Artists have had their income streams decimated by the pandemic and the global lockdowns, quarantines, shelter in place – whatever name one uses – it has been catastrophic – for artists who rely on live gigs to generate income.

In the lockdown interview with Mabuse – read it on TheCapeRobyn – Mabuse notes that he doesn’t have high speed internet at his home in Soweto. Here is this extraordinary man – internationally recognised and in the lockdown, he is not wired to watch his own concert which is being streamed.

There are wonderful moments in this concert. There is that song. Sipho ‘Hotstix” Mabuse’s classic, Burn Out[1984]. “I’ve been watching you; Everyday of my life, mhhh … You gonna burn out all my love…Tonight, I’m gonna hold you till you cry…Hold you till you cry for more.” We watch in lockdown, holding on to – everything.

Roeshdien Jaz takes my breath away when he does his Waterfront song as I call it. Down by the Waterfront [2018] is his tribute to the V&A Waterfront – the vital hub that draws people from our country and from abroad. It is a synthesis of city and sea and embodies the energy of the port city of Cape Town.

The Waterfront was one of the last places that we went to, prior to lockdown. We had an errand to do there. It wasn’t a fun outing. Almost all the restaurants were closed. People were scurrying around, getting ready for lockdown. Many of those are venues which host live music. There was fear, anxiety and confusion. Who knew what was to come? Already, it looked like a ghost town – an abandoned landscape. And there on the Baxter concert stream is Jaz singing his Waterfront song and talking about this wondrous site which brings so many people together. I watch and gasp. I want to be transported back to The Waterfront, with its amphitheatre, crammed with people crushed next to each other, enjoying the beautiful city. I want to be present at a gig in one of the restaurants or watching comedy at The Cape Town Comedy Club.

I wonder which establishments will survive the lockdown. Who knows if artists will be able to perform live at The Waterfront – by the time summer 2020 arrives. I hope so

Watching the live stream of the Mabuse 2018 concert is not only about the opportunity to see an acclaimed concert via a live stream but it is also an opportunity to reflect and celebrate the creative talents of Sipho ‘Hotstix” Mabuse, Tony Cedras and others.

Buy a ticket at R20.
When theatres are open, go and watch them live. The motto of my website: Go while you can.That was put into place, way before the pandemic. You never know when you will not be able to go, is what I always said. And continue to say. In the pre pandemic says, people would tell me that they had every intention of going to an event but something came up. Or they were tired. Or they got diverted by something else. Or they forgot. Or whatever.

Now, we cannot go. We cannot commune in a theatre; at a live music event. On the other hand, we can experience the magic of the 2018 concert through a superbly filmed film recording. It is as if one is there. We ARE now here in lockdown. That is a moment to mark as well- in its pain and isolation and ache of being disconnected from others. Hopefully we will be back in theatres, watching Sipho ‘Hotstix” Mabuse and friends and we will say: “Just think, a year ago we watched the live stream at home and now we are back and the music is on the burn and everything is okay. That is all in the past.”

Don’t say after lockdown –“oh no I missed the livestream of the concert. I meant to watch it but I didn’t.” Could have. Should have. Didn’t. Go while you can. Stream it while you can.

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