House Concert No.19
14 June 2014
When Jonni and I went to see Afrovival and The Oil Can Project at The Bella
Union in October last year,
I didn't get to 'see' much because of the flashing lights which cause me so many problems. Unfortunately, I had to
keep my eyes covered most of the night. However, what I heard was such captivating and infectious music which we agreed
would be just right for The Duckpond. So, we persuaded them to come and play a house concert, minus a few
band members (there were 9 in the band that night). And, there are no flashing lights at The Duckpond!
House concerts are always preceded by dinner for the artists, family members
and any house guests.
Jonni goes to great lengths in an endeavour to match the food to the music, so on this occasion he settled
for one of his specialities, 'gumbo'. Little did he realise that in Mpaphi Nfandizo's first language, 'gumbo' means 'foot',
which made Mpaphi a little nervous at the thought of settling down to a plate of chicken feet! Pumpkin soup
and home made rolls were also on offer, and Jonni remembered to protect his clothes with his apron
specially printed by our friends Jill and Alistair - saved for special occasions.
Times like this we're pleased we built a decent size table which could seat such a crowd.
Even little Archie tucked in with great gusto to fortify himself for a busy evening.
When photographer family members or friends attend our house concerts, we would never
ask them to spoil their enjoyment by asking them to take photos, but when they do it voluntarily,
as our sister in law Julie Wilson did on Saturday night, we are thrilled to have them.
You can see from all her photos beneath this point why.
Mpaphi and Susie brought their two sons, Kingston and Hendrix, with them,
to join my three grandchildren, Ella, Abbey and Archie.
There's nothing like good music to accompany children as they begin life's journey.
Mpaphi Nfandizo (centre) on guitar and vocals was joined by
Richard Armstrong (left) on guitar, James Brown on bass and......
Jessy Turner (left) on percussion, vocals and dance, and Mpaphi's wife,
Susie, also on percussion, vocals and dance, as well as kalimba.
Mpaphi was born in Botswana and Afrovival's music reflects the influence of the musical traditions
of Southern African. Some songs were traditional tunes that Mpaphi learned as a boy, and others,
composed by Mpaphi and Suzie, have that same 'feel'. As is usual at The Duckpond,
there was plenty of audience participation.
To see more of Afrovival, visit their Facebook page www.facebook.com/Afrovival
Susie and Jessy managed to persuade the younger generation to join them in a couple of dance routines;
you'd think they'd done this dance before. I'm sure Jonni was itching to join them, but he didn't quite fit the profile,
including age, sex or dancing ability.
Mpaphi's Afri'can' is an unusual guitar made out of an oil can and has a distinctive sound.
As he told us, it is the 'heart and soul of Botswana' and was an inspiration to him as a young man.
By the end of the night nearly everyone was up on their feet, unable to resist the allure of the rythms of Afrovival.
Here's a video of highlights from this lively concert.