bottomless coffee band

It’s Monday morning and I’m sitting in the half-light because of an unscheduled lights out courtesy of our trashed power supply company. Mind you every cloud has a silver lining and Eskom has given me uninterrupted time, uninterrupted by internet and telephone calls, in fact uninterrupted by anything that requires electricity. While I’m chatting to you, I came across a wonderful smart phone app for checking the load shed schedule called “Eskoms se push”, haven’t we all wanted to scream that at the top if our voices ?

On Friday evening we went to Evita se Perron to listen to the ‘Bottomless Coffee Band’. Before I go any further; congratulations and respect to Evita se Perron’s Ilsa Swanepoel for engaging this exceptionally talented duo to perform along with all the other fine performers she engages.

Source of image at the top of the page: Bottomless Coffee Band website.

(We are very fortunate that all those years ago Pieter-Dirk Uys got lost on his way to McGregor and found Darling. By the end of his lunch he had found an estate agent and before he left to return to Cape Town he had found and bought a house. Then he moved in, bought the Old Station and created Evita se Perron.)

BCB refer to themselves on their website as “Husband & Wife Multi-Instrumentalist Folk Rock Duo, Lourens and Esté Rabé making songs about life, love, blues and breakfast”.

They performed much of their own music along with other favourites, a little Johnny cash, a brilliant blues number (dexterity playing the guitar behind his head) and even a touch of Reggae. Their version of the favourite Laurika Rauch song “Stille Waters” was beautiful. The way they blended on this song and interacted on stage transformed a beautiful song into pure theatre.

I overheard the comment a couple of times, “but they play too much of their own music which I’ve never heard before, I prefer the old standards”. Well each to their own. It’s just as well that the young people of Liverpool didn’t react the same way to the Beatles when they appeared at the Cavern playing their own compositions.

I will concede that a balance between the oldie favourites and the Band’s new music would have probably worked better on the night, given the audience age and language demographics. For me they got it absolutely right and I enjoyed every minute.

He plays a foot drum which involves great dexterity and coordination between toe and heel using both feet. I imagine he might have been a very fine footballer, South Africa’s Lionel Messi perhaps,  had he not chosen a career in music.

They brought along their own sound engineer. He stood to one side about half way back in the theatre with a wireless control box about the size of a tablet which gave him full control of all the instruments on stage wirelessly, the wonders of technology.

For this simple soul it was the perfect evening. Starting with a plate of the Perrons’ shoe-string chips (to which I am addicted) and a well chilled ‘Frostie’. Then the stars of the evening, he looking in love and she looking radiant. They are a very appealing couple, both very attractive and both very talented. I suspect we are going to lose them to the overseas market sooner rather than later.

During the show Lourens told a story about the days when they were starting out and the band had 4 members, he, two others and Esté. When they were playing the audience would chat but as soon Esté sang there was silence.

Their encore was a very cleverly constructed ‘mashup’ with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Pieu Jesu and rock and roll, a marriage made in heaven.

pictures courtesy Stefan Hurter.

P.S. They met at Stellenbosch while singing in the choir. During a cup of coffee and then another cup of coffee they discovered their mutual love of making music. Now they are married. Their chemistry on stage is inspiring. Their movement around the stage to get together and to move apart to suit the moment and the technical requirements, very compelling.

If they are appearing near you don’t miss them.

Peter Hall
lives in Darling, Cape West Coast. Born in Belfast (N.Ireland not Free State). Supports The Stormers and Sheffield Wednesday (who?). Part-time wine sampler, part-time blogger, enjoys short stories, reluctant gout sufferer and occasional curmudgeon.