The Waterfront Amphitheatre never seems to empty out fully, especially when you have Lionel Bastos and Stefan Ludik performing. As the tourist couple with the map and first-day tanline leaves, a family of four ice-cream-heavy shoppers from the Cape Flats sits in their place. A yellow-clad stilts performer, a fresh ocean breeze and thousands of people scatter the V&A Waterfront Amphitheatre for the Vodacom Sounds of Summer daily live music concerts.
Namibian-born Afrikaner Stefan Ludik opened the evening’s entertainment as the sun was setting, and quickly garnered the approval of the front-row girls with a catchy 45-minute pop-rock set. Covering Queen‘s I Want To Break Free and George Michael‘s Faith, the tanned Egoli star demonstrated a familiarity with the stage, and an honest, unpretentious approach towards kitch pop. Hey, it’s the common denominator, and it’s what the clap-along crowd wanted right then and there.
|Stefan Ludik vs Lionel Bastos: Afrikaans vs English…?!
“My big inspirations are Queen and Elvis,” says Ludik. “I’m in the Afrikaans market, and the people love kuierliedjies, so I just have a party on stage. And I just love dancing. I’ll do a backflip here and there cos I watch too many ninja movies.”
Explaining a brief bit about himself (and the tannies that still walk up to him and slap him for being a stout seun on the soap opera) Big Brother’s Ludik is a natural performer and songwriter who spends more time on his toes and in the crowd than in front of the mike. Kom ons dans!
Next up was a refreshingly down-to-earth three-piece acoustic guitar and congas group, led by Lionel Bastos. The thirty-something award-winning musician was unfazed by the need to tune up – for the sake of the music to follow, you see – and when things got rolling, it was subtle mellow, chillout music that was perfectly suited to the twilight atmosphere.
Soon, the three-piece was a five-piece as the bass and rhythm section leapt onto the semi-circular stage to catch the last few minutes of the set in the dying light. Rocking out with a number of busy, hand-crafted acoustic rock numbers, Lionel’s songwriting stood out from the previous of the day’s acts. People clasped their hands in appreciation.