Friday, January 25, 2013

Some musical mellowness in Sandton. Just a taste.

If you're based in Sandton, Johannesburg, the commercial centre of the African continent, Bohemian self-expression is seldom on the menu.

For artsy escapism and self-expression, you might try karaoke night at the Colony Arms, or some random stand-up at a place like Metro. But since the demise of the Blues Room, a proper live performance venues have been like hen's teeth in Sandton Central.

So to discover that a neglected back room of your local pub has been turned into a performance venue is a lot like finding a forgotten Christmas present behind the bookcase in March.

This crew of sound specialists has launched an events arm called Swamp Events, and The Library at The Brazen Head is their flagship venue.

This was a welcome surprise, not least because yours truly is a veteran of the capricious Joburg open-mic scene. We've "graced" stages from the old Bassline to Cool Runnings to House of Nsako and Pata-Pata just now, but this is a nice one close to home.

With their sound and video expertise, Swamp deliver a rare standard of sonic excellence, and every performance is filmed, and available for purchase. And lo and behold, The Library at The Brazen Head delivers a cosy ambience previously unfathomable in the capitalist heartland.

That vid up the top is a clip of this week's performances. Look out for Inspector Ras on voice and guitar in the beginning there...

They will be hosting proper shows by the likes of Josie Field too, some comedy nights, and posting info on their Facebook page over here. And of course, if the artsiness clashes with your Sandton sensibilities, you can always pop next door to the main pub and catch the end of the cricket. We only played kak that night, though, hey. Yussis.

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