SPAR Eastern Cape managing director, Conrad Isaac, said he was delighted at the success of the debut festival and promised that it would return to the Port Elizabeth township in 2015.
“Nobody worries about bringing this kind of event to the townships. From a SPAR and TOPS point of view, we were the first into these areas, the first to recognise their potential, while others simply tried to follow suit,” said Isaac.
With 86 outlets across the province, the TOPS brand is now the biggest retail liquor group in the Eastern Cape.
“Today is about giving back to the community by bringing some quality wines and whiskeys and giving them the chance to enjoy some top local and national jazz.”
And enjoy the music they did, with Port Elizabeth bands Take Note and Ricochet getting the crowd on their feet with original compositions and reggae and RB-influenced cover versions respectively.
But the highlight of the evening was when Umhlobo Wenene’s master of ceremonies, DJ Pastor, introduced Johannesburg-based act The Muffinz. The metro gig was the group’s first stop back on South African soil, after performing at the Apollo Theatre in New York and a two-week whistle-stop tour of Norway.
Lead electric guitarist and vocalist Simphiwe ‘Simz’ Kulla said his five-piece group had literally come straight off the plane, after arriving at OR Tambo earlier that day.
East London-born Kulla said it was great to be back in the Eastern Cape: “It’s always lovely to come home. I’m Xhosa, so PE is close enough to my hometown, and I loved the fact that the venue was so full.”
Audiences were given a taste of the title track from their latest album, #DoWhatYouLove, which is due for release shortly, as well as familiar tracks such as Soundcheck and Umsebenzi Wendoda.
“I’m personally very passionate about little festivals like this that really focus on the arts,” he said. “As a working nation, we need to be as diverse as possible and not pander to the mainstream. We’ve got many cultures and we need to preserve that. Seeing SPAR invest in this is lovely because it promotes culture on a bigger level.”
Kulla said making a great wine or whiskey was an art form in itself and, much like music, was all about finding the right notes and harmony.
Article source: http://www.mediaupdate.co.za/?IDStory=71639