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Serendipity At The Harfield Village Street Carnival

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

When you’re in your 60s, are there any more serendipitous moments left? There sure are, but the years dull the senses somewhat, so each new one has to be that little bit more special to qualify. Y’ all will be glad to know my moment came recently when the wife and I decided to scan the suburbs for a ‘retirement’ pad, and stumbled on the 4th annual Harfield Village Street Festival. Not that we actually want to retire now, folks…

Harfield Village Street Carnival on Overtone

“So this is how they live here in the village,” I thought. They walk everywhere.”

The light came on. It was Saturday morning. I’d seen the posters. It was the Harfield Village Street Carnival. What to do? Continue looking, or resign from the crowds? I saw blue skies above; the Cape Doctor hadn’t woken yet and everywhere I looked, summer splendour dominated. Is there anything to beat the vibe on such a day in the Cape? We took a raincheck on our future and followed humanity to the epicenter, corner 2nd Avenue and Surrey roads..

Sidewalks threw tables onto the streets, chairs and umbrellas followed in close attendance and humanity decided it wanted to be amongst humanity. It was crowded, man! There were those who were watching and those being watched, creatives advertising their creations, performers, agents selling what the village had to offer, and vendors hoping you would buy their wares, to eat or to feast your eyes on later. Green Springbok jerseys covered torsos of various size and ages, and amongst the throb there appeared a kaleidoscope of characters, including Julius Caesar in all his finery with matching friends and Roman countrymen. All this subtlety was pervaded by the smell of the South African masterpiece: the boerewors roll, and its famed handlanger the lamb chop. Just drifting through the proceedings to remind us all that WE, the boerewors and lambchop brigade, had won the World Cup.

Then, THE sound. THE music. Memories stirred. A time and place where parties were plentiful, fun was furious and broads were beyond this world. Elvis, Cliff, Chuck Berry, Stones, Buddy Holly, Beatles. The song titles in themselves said a story: Roll over Beethoven, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, (But) That’s All Alright Mama, (Let’s) Move It, (I’ve Got) Needles and Pins, O Boy!, (We’re Gonna) Rave On!

The Fifties/Sixties were alive again! Right here and now! A platform stage in the street would have been hard to pass by without grabbing the wife and doing my own version of exercising at the gym. Never mind the chinos and shirt that have replaced the stovepipes, string ties and hair drowned in Brylcreem. THE music was there and that’s all that matters, my china. The songs don’t really need those words. The music is telling us all we need to know, and what we know is that it’s party time! Time to jive! The birds are here, your mates are ready to boogie, so forget about breaking into a cold sweat, just go grab her hand and jive! And when you get tired, there are always the slow love songs. I got you, babe…

Will music ever be so again?

  • Alphaset are appearing at Brad’s Grill, Harfield Village, 31 December. Contact: Pat Brotherton 021-9306291

  • CT Rides The Rollercoaster
  • Afrika Burns: Backwater Art Back In Fashion
  • Obzfest 2007: Jolling In Art Town
  • Guest post by Clive Bartmann. Special thanks to Alphaset and Pat, Mike, Lola, Dieter and Fred.

    Think we’re cool? Wanna cover gigs for Overtone? Join the growing editorial team and live music industry. Email the ed for more: john@overtone.co.za

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