Thursday was a night of music across Johannesburg with Riky Rick’s festive Cotton Fest in Braamfontein and Langa Mavuso, Nelisiwe Sibiya and Yonela’s live session at the Hard Rock Café in Sandton.
Riky’s listening session went down at the packed Kalashnikovv Gallery on Juta Street. But ventilation let the event down a bit, with stale armpits the prevailing theme of the hot summer night.
Riky was on the mic to stimulate buzz for his sold-out music-meets-fashion gig Cotton Fest.
Of course he arrived late but must be praised for his focus on the game. Holding sessions like this – as well as the festival – is forward thinking.
As more people arrived we were forced to spill out of the small studio space and into the street. An exotic black car pulled up, causing a stir as it parked in its reserved spot. A white man emerged, to the crowd’s dismay. But shortly afterwards, the man of the hour strolled around the corner.
Riky dished out friendly handshakes and hugs as the crowd swirled behind him into the tiny space. Even Riky bypassed the sweat box in search of some fresh air. After Riky shared some of his memories of the hip-hop game, people in the crowd were given the chance to spin some of their own music for the rap star.
Riky gave the chance to up and coming talent to play him some music.
On the more lavish side of town, on Nelson Mandela Square, Hard Rock Café hosted an evening of live music and there was quite a vibe going on.
Free drinks were on offer for a limited time which saw the crafty bar staff move incredibly slowly during this period. One of the aims of this live series is to address the lack of a live performance culture in South Africa which was quite clearly demonstrated in the room as a few of the more discerning fans shook their heads in disbelief when people raised their voices during songs.
Opening for Mavuso was the ever smooth Afro Soul who had the room moving about gently. Lovers began to nestle in each other’s arms on the love seats in the venue by the time Mavuso took to the stage. The sound, like the bar service, could’ve been better but the singer wore his best gold jacket and provided a solid set.