Thursday 04 July 2013, some people refer to this date as “Independence Day”…others live it.
Driving into Khayelitsha, ironically a name that means “new Home” [or new House if I could adapt it somewhat] in Xhosa, I felt a kind of excitement I had not felt for some time. A different kind of excitement to the usual kind I feel when there’s a quality gig in the city centre. This was the kinda unknown…a feeling you get when you know you’re about to experience something brand new, but you’re also not sure what to expect.
To further this excitement, we decide to take a few turns, three stops to ask for directions and finally some assistance from friend Lester & Google maps, before we arrive at Solly’s Place.
Immediately the hospitality was felt…and shown. Smiling faces, drinks served…tonight we were getting down. Proper!
Two tracks into my arrival, I’m grooving…as I do, a bit early, but what can one do when the DJ is laying it down so deep and so well. The kind of seamless mixing of proper percussive sounds, that leave one truly impressed and unable to do anything but dance. After his set, we had a chat and I became acquainted with the selecta Sindisa Limekhaya who goes by the [Facebook] name of Mabooty Di Jay. He laid down heat.
The gent after him was just as good…continuing where Sindisa left off, he continued to toy with us, the crowd…rumbling basslines, more percussive sounds…and then dropping such an absolute gem in “Bring On The Night” before it was time for Dino Michael.
Dino, easily recognisable in his The Godfather’s House t-shirt, kept the groove exceptionally tight…a number of the tracks played were unrecognisable, but the sounds oh so familiar. The crowd was now fully involved, drinks in hand, moving to the sounds…anticipating Rocco’s arrival on the decks.
I quickly moved to the back of the club to capture this moment. A full dancefloor…many with one hand in the air, index finger extended, in appreciation of this sound we know as house music. Solly smiling behind the decks alongside Rocco and Dino…we were having us some fun.
Just before Rocco came on, I go to the smoking area, hang out with some chicks from Eerste River and Gugulethu who were having a rather late supper…some nicely braai’d pork…they offer me some, I oblige, of course! J
It was that kind of home away from home feeling, which, to be honest, I very seldom feel in the city centre. No issues around who we were, where we were from or what we were wearing…people were here to dance and to make new friends. It is something inexplicably good!
I return to the dance floor. Rocco cues his first tune…and go! I gaze over in the direction of my mate Kader…who just gives me a small nod in acknowledgement of this gem of a track and we continue to dance…and dance.
Towards the end of the night, I take a moment to take in this moment. J
Similarly to the time we got down to Luciano and co in Langa, this experience too goes down as one of those unforgettable ones. Real people, real music, real unity.
It’s fantastic to see, in a place where informal settlements are predominant, that HOUSE still has a home.
**A piece I wrote for Pulse Radio.