Thursday, November 01, 2007
Chris Chameleon's Flight of an Extraordinary Alien
Chris Chameleon who has always been one of Peak’s favourite artists, appeared at Mercury lounge on Thursday the 11th of last month, and the Peak’ers went off to enjoy some of his SAMA winning tracks with about 120 other eager fans. That’s because we couldn’t make the show that was recorded for the DVD, that was filmed on the 2nd of March this year in Stellenbosch. There were over 1000 fans there for the recording, and apart from a really top-notch production, I can see that it was a highlight in Chris’ performing career. He was enjoying himself!
His show, in English, but also in his language of choice, Afrikaans, was frikken awesome, real cross-over stuff, with him even bringing out some of that old alien material that made Boo! such a big name with the reworked track OOAA! I thoroughly enjoyed it!
From the moment he steps on the dimly lit stage; I knew I was in the personal space of the man, Chris Chameleon. Yes, his band was in full swing too, with Warren Leicher on Bass with Kevin (not brothers) Leicher on lead and Duncan Shelwell on drums, but it is the changing colours of the man that holds us mesmerized.
He was at the centre of my stage, to take me on a journey through his songs, and his world.
He sashay’s and minces; he mimics all the expressions he feels inside; bare-chested and almost exposing his inner self, to us, out there in the darkness.
the trick is in the hips
in the licking of the lips
tricks that twist the wrists
wrists of my will to resist
surrender is bliss
(Paragraph four from the track Loving Fool, off the album Shine)
My girls tell me he’s sexy… honestly, their words. And, well, I suppose I have to admit that he is. Or to put it more professionally, he knows how work his audience well!
Even the eldest member of the audience at the Mercury Lounge, 85-year old (Ouma) Mrs Joyce Wait, who after the show walked all the way back up two flights of stairs to go and get a drukkie (that’s a hug to my foreign friends) and meet Chris Chameleon – thoroughly enjoyed the show! Her granddaughter, Monica, told us that it was her first ever Rock concert, and that she didn’t want to wash the stamp off her arm till she had shown her daughter!
The press release for the new DVD, “Flight of an Extraordinary Alien”, says, ”Chris performed tracks from his first solo English album “Shine”, tracks from his Ingrid Jonker album “Ek herhaal jou” and a special version of popular Boo! song OOAA. Fans of “Ek herhaal jou”, will be pleasantly surprised by the new rock versions of songs “Korreltjie Sand, Pop val Stukkend” and “Opdrag Dwaling.”
“Shine”, an album loaded with power and passion, produced various singles on national commercial radio stations and was nominated for a SAMA 2007 for ‘Best Alternative Album’.” - and live, I can only say its all good!
Chris is currently overseas to perform 25 shows in 6 weeks in the Benelux countries, as well as 3 shows in London. And they are lapping up his music; Mirjam Adriaans for the Folkforum Festival in the Netherlands said that Chris was the surprise of the festival when he appeared there in August – just him and his guitar on stage – I can imagine they were blown away.
Strangely, after his show, I don’t miss Boo! so much any more. The sound is still alive is his show, it’s just become more mature.
But I would say, go and get the DVD “Flight of an Extraordinary Alien” – this is a hot example of what South Africa can do, never mind the fact that it’s another Chris Chameleon classic!
17h10 UPDATE: I forgot... apologies - I have the press release for all the Chris Chameleon shows in November, including the three in London - so I think its best that I put it out as is - just so I dont get anything wrong!
Chris Chameleon will be touring the Benelux with popular Dutch band SPINVIS from 19 October to 28 November. Chris has been to the Netherlands often in the past few years to perform at selected venues and festivals. His phenomenal solo performances have gained him many fans in Europe and at a recent festival in Folkwoods, Eindhoven, a Dutch publication wrote that “Chris Chameleon was the surprise of the festival.”
There are also three shows scheduled in London from 19 to 21 November: Chris will perform two solo shows and one show with a band.
In August 2007 Chris signed a contract with Excelsior Recordings in the Netherlands for the distribution and marketing of his new Afrikaans album “EK VIR JOU”. The fact that Chris will have a physical presence on stages in the Benelux during the next 6 weeks, together with the infrastructure in place with regards to marketing and distribution, makes it certain that this upcoming tour has everything in place to maximise the potential for Chris`s success in Europe.
Executive Director Ferry Roseboom says that Excelsior Recordings is very happy with having signed Chris Chameleon. “ We recognize the immense talent of this man and we are proud to be able to bring his work to the audiences in the Lowlands.”
With Excelsior Recordings on his side, rave reviews and a growing fanbase in the Netherlands, Chris Chameleon is set to be a pioneering force for South African music in the Benelux countries.
01.11.2007 Het Varken – Edegem (Antwerpen) B Solo show
02.11.2007 Theater De Maaspoort - Venlo NL (Support Spinvis)
03.11.2007 Theater aan de Parade - Den Bosch NL (Support Spinvis)
04.11.2007 De Kleine Komedie – Amsterdam NL (Support Spinvis)
05.11.2007 De Kleine Komedie – Amsterdam NL (Support Spinvis)
07.11.2007 – Utrecht NL Solo show
08.11.2007 De Meenthe – Steenwijk NL (Support Spinvis)
09.11.2007 Schouwburg De Kring – Roosendaal NL (Support Spinvis)
11.11.2007 Frowijn – Nijmegen NL Solo show
14.11.2007 Theater Junushoff – Wageningen NL (Support Spinvis)
15.11.2007 Stadsgehoorzaal Vlaardingen – Vlaardingen NL (Support Spinvis)
17.11.2007 Philharmonie – Haarlem NL (Support Spinvis)
18.11.2007 De Kobbe – Mortsel B (10.30 uur) Solo show
18.11.2007 Effenaar – Eindhoven NL Solo show
19.11.2007 Aardvark – London, UK Solo show
20.11.2007 Aardvark – London, UK Solo show
21.11.2007 Halfmoon – Putney, London, UK BAND show (only one in Europe!!!)
23.11.2007 Agora – Lelystad NL (Support Spinvis)
24.11.2007 Theater in de Muze – Noordwijk NL (Support Spinvis)
25.11.2007 Musicon – Den Haag NL Solo show
27.11.2007 Theater de Mythe – Goes NL (Support Spinvis)
28.11.2007 Schouwburg Amstelveen – Amstelveen NL (Support Spinvis)
Rugby, renovations and the sound of music
There has been such an energy pulsating on the streets of Cape Town, and you can feel the proud glow of everyone around you. I took my boys to Newlands on Monday to see the team, along with some 40 000 other people, and it was a real ‘frog-in-the-throat’ emotional high! Its good for this country.
The Peak girls have been very patient with me while I’ve been renovating the bathroom, as the Nice Toilet that was parked in our driveway for 6 weeks, has been collected. Being a male its quite fun to stand in a shady spot in the garden, closely inspecting the resident insect population going about their day-to-day business while ‘watering’ their tree; but I just couldn’t get the girls enthused to my level of bunny-hugging status…
We closed up our home for three weeks and camped in the garden, because when you start a little DIY in the home, more and more projects jump up to bite you, so our kitchen got a face-lift and the rest of the house new flooring; while we were at it.
It was fun. It was messy. It was very educational. But that’s it for me. The finger-nails have been manicure, the grout and plaster-paint has been washed out from under my cuticles, and the music has rid me of that incessant drill-induced ringing in my ears (right - more about Chris Chameleon's concert coming!). I’m also finding welcome relief in the costumes of our entertainers, as opposed to Mr. B’s builder’s crack that smiled at me daily during the whole project!
So here’s to summer, to music and laughter, and getting back to some real hard work again!