As we waited for the curtain to go up we scanned the program (big type, lots of pictures, filling space) and wonder how Ladysmith Black Mambazo keep going. They arrived in Truro this afternoon from Bristol, will be back on their coach right after the show, play in Fareham tomorrow and then head off to appear in Cheltenham on Sunday, Hay-on-Wye on Monday and Reading on Tuesday. And that’s merely a sampling of a two month tour of one-night stands.
Yet what we get is a rollicking, lively, energy-filled show full of joie-de-vivre, happiness and laughter.
Little wonder that this group is a legend in their own, substantial, lifetime. It’s full of zest happiness and vitality. No nonsense, no gimmicks – simply good, straightforward a-capella singing from people to whom music is the mainstay of their life. And they enhance their songs with plenty of high-energy choreography that many a ballet troupe would be hard put to match.
Setting the night off to a great start was one-man band Munto Valdo, the biggest new name on the world music scene. His mouth worked the harmonica, his hands the acoustic guitar and his feet the synthesiser. And between breaths his voice soared in beautiful harmonies.
A joyous night with music and performers a million miles from X-Factor clones and all the better for it.