We three, M, S and I, as friends of many years, have several traditions.
We have been known to run whole-day Tarantino fests that go down in a blaze of popcorn, tortillas, red wine and screen-violence – we end off sedate dinners with hours of dancing at clubs that play what we want to hear, at least twice a year we try out an outrageously trendy new restaurant, and every year we attend the Table Bay Blues Summit.
This year there were five of us and it was B-R-I-L-L-I-A-N-T.
The Blues Summit is for musicians. It’s a niche genre – kinda like jazz – and you can’t go anywhere in the crowd without tripping over someone in the business. The opening acts are, as always, new bands, and it’s a great opportunity for them to get exposure to the people who matter.
For anyone who knows The Blues Broers and the Boulevard Blues Band, Albert Frost is no stranger – we first saw him play as a teenager, and hearing him all these years later shadowing a harmonica with the sweetest touch on his guitar was lovely, lovely, lovely.
And then Dan Patlansky began to play – what this young musician does with a guitar is beyond my explaining. Put Frost and Patlansky together in a jam-session as the final set, and who wants this to end?
I haven’t mentioned artists like Gerald Clark: a tight-spun rhythmic blues locomotive speeding down the track straight at you – and you don’t want to get out of the way.
There are moments in music – a perfectly-placed tom-cat yowl drawn out of a Fender, the melancholy slide-guitar, slickly-timed slapping bass slapping, that just makes me laugh out loud.
The blues make you want to dance right in the face of sadness.