22 March 2009
aKing themselves termed Kirstenbosch the “best venue on Earth”, and they are right- packed to capacity with fellow supporters of great local music, with views of the gardens and Table Mountain that make me point- and laugh at Gautengers. Ag siestog! And after the last gig of theirs I saw, which was uncharacteristically second-rate, I had to see them again, see them at their usual best, and regain my admiration of aKing as a live act.
aKing did an outstanding job of filling the large stage and even larger venue, their powerful sound great enough to wash over- and fill every single person present. Their energy is always subtle, but the music more than makes up for it, formidable rock that commands attention with profound lyrics sung by that unforgettable bristly voice of frontman Laudo Liebenberg. I honestly did not think the presence of the United Khayelitsha Mambaso added much to the performance, despite being made up of undeniably well-endowed vocal strengths. I expected a more impactful filling of the African interjection in Love Your Neighbour , perhaps even a live substitution of Inge Beckman’s backing vocals in Safe As Houses. The mandatory encore of his solo rendition of Shine Your Light had become tedious after a number of repetitions, but this time around it concluded the set in the most ideal manner imaginable. The music was solid and powerful, while Laudo proved his capability as frontman of one of the country’s best-known bands: vocals controlled to perfection, quiet and husky but surging with strength, it had me awestruck along with the rest of the crowd. I am relieved that I went to this gig. It has cancelled out the last, and highlighted all the rest, which never managed to let me down. Long live aKing!