reviewed by Jenny Nguyen.
📍: Panama Tent at Royal Croquet Club.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 / 5
The Johannesburg based choir group had us all in high spirits with the matinee performance. Walking into the Royal Croquet Club’s Panama tent, the room was pitch dark with only the stage and a basic light, making the mood of the venue “ultra mysterious”. There was also a ‘no phones, no photography’ policy which the audience strictly adhered to. We think the minimalist set up was foreshadowing the show that was to come; the Soweto Gospel Choir used only their voices and body to convey the messages of the music.
The opening number was sung in their traditional language and followed on with a showcase of songs in Zulu, Swahili and English all of which were underpinned by the theme of the band’s namesake, gospel choir. One of the most eye-capturing components of the show was the colours on stage; with members dressed in bright outfits to bring the stage to life. Individual vocalists took to the front to sing their solos and perform parts of songs in harmonies.
Minimal instruments, a drum and a keyboard, were used to accompany the vocals on stage. The closing number was the Jeff Buckley version of international classic, Hallelujah. The band came back for one big encore and some audience participation to get up dance along and the show wrapped up with an extended round of applause. Lucky fans were able to purchase CDs from the performers outside the Panama tent after the event.