with Mr Cat & The Jackal and Sparkyboy
11 March 2009
Perhaps the most tragic day in South African music was the day Lark’s Inge Beckman announced the band’s breaking up. A year later, the band has reunited for a national tour, and I, among many others, was lucky enough to see them twice in the space of just two weeks. A gig more than 600 people strong, this was one to write down in our musical memory book...
Opening act Mr Cat and the Jackal was observed by most sitting down, but eventually the urge took over and the hippies made their way forward to dance a hippy dance. Their pirate-esque music is raw and unique, and always fun to experience live. A couple of unusual sights like pirate costumes and inventive- and curious instruments make this band worth watching, and having performed at RAMfest and alongside Lark a couple of times, they seem to be on the up and up.
Sparkyboy is certainly not everbody’s cup of tea, but I quite enjoy it myself. Ok, so you may not play it for hours on end, but the 8-bit vibes are sure to get you into party mode in no time. Local lad Neil de la Rouviere becomes wholly engrossed in what he is doing on stage and I think it quite brave and commendable for him to take on that entire stage- and crowd by himself. He is doing what few others are, and while some musicians call it bullshit, I call it fun.
Pretty Blue Guns frontman André Leo counted at least seventeen girls who told him that, were Inge Beckman a lesbian, they would be too. I was one of them. Inge Beckman’s stage presence is hypnotic, with a strong stance and even more powerful voice. She is like a Greek goddess, a mystical chime reverberating deep through the listener’s soul for what seems an eternity. She has been accused of being egotistical but I mean, come on, wouldn’t you be too? Lark is made up of four vastly talented musicians who produce music that is enchantingly eerie, inducing in spectators a dreamlike state of awe. I will never forget this breathtaking live act, and we pray Lark will return for good in the foreseeable future.