Ever since the announcement that Tom Misch was doing a three-show tour to South Africa was dropped, I’ve been counting down the hours.
I’d played out every possible scenario in my head where I would get to meet and chat to him — the would-be interview of my life, but there was no way I could’ve imagined what would actually go down.
We arrived at Paarden Eiland Park around 5 ‘clock, and even though there weren’t all that many people there at the time, the atmosphere was teeming with anticipation.
Akio’s set was peaking, beers were a-flowing, and you couldn’t walk ten paces before a familiar face stopped you for an excited, “Can’t believe we’re seeing Tom Misch!”
Kid Fonque was next up on the decks, the soundtrack to my Flying Fish cocktail indulgence at their VIP bar. By this point, the crowd had doubled, along with the gees, and were all getting down to a smooth selection of hip hop, soul, house, and nu jazz. Fonque knows what’s up.
Sio seemed to glide onto stage, top to toe in all white, with her signature face paint and regal swag. The poet/singer/story-teller performed her debut album, “sbtxts”, a compilation of honest love stories, accompanied by Daev Martian, an exceptional DJ and keyboardist who added an Erykah Badu-like sound. The pair were perfect together.
DWSON took to the stage just as the sun had set, silhouetting Table Mountain just to left of the stage. There was an element of trance and techno to his deep house set, something I thought necessary to take things up a couple of notches… which is what you’ve got to do when you follow a performance by Sio.
Muzi’s been all over our TATC radar, especially during 2019, and his expertly curated set of genre-fluid modern African electro-house was a most-welcome reminder of our more-than-mild obsession with him. Getting out from behind the decks every song or two to drop a couple of bars, dance a jig, or sing a couple of tunes, Muzi’s crowd control was perfection. He was feeling it just as much as every one of us, humbly appreciating every bit of love the audience was sending his way in copious amounts.
It’s a good thing that Paarden Eiland Park is in the middle of industrial nowhere, because the eruption from the crowd when Tom Misch walked up to the mic with a cool, “What’s up Cape Town, how you doin?” was thunderous! Not a man of many words, he wasted no time diving right into his opening song, “It Runs Through Me”, from his album, Geography. His voice was low and sexy and smooth, his guitar was dripping with jazz and funk, and his band from bassist to keyboardist, saxophonist to drummer, percussionist to guitarist were burning.
We were all not-so-secretly hoping that FKJ would walk onto stage as a surprise guest to perform “Losing My Way”, but when Tom dropped into the song’s signature guitar riff, we all literally lost our shit. And no one cared about FKJ’s absence.
He played every song he needed to play, a personal favourite being “I Wish”, and returned for an encore with two songs that really just sent everyone into a groove-induced reverie.
While I would’ve enjoyed an extra live band or two, as opposed to a full line-up of DJs, every artist brought their A-game, contributing to what I can confidently call one of 2019’s hottest shows!
Photography by Nick Andrews.