It was a sold out show for Freshlyground as music fans thronged Botswana Craft in droves for the Mascom Live Sessions to catch a rare local performance from the band this past weekend . Freshlyground has become internation- ally celebrated thanks to their eclectic and infectious mix of afro-jazz and pop with their unique Rainbow nation appeal and philosophy. The crowd on the night was definitely the kind you would expect at their concert. A racially diverse mix of young and old thoroughly enjoyed the rare opportunity which is the second installment for the sessions this year.
In an interview with Time Out earlier during the day, saxophonist Simon Attwell said the group had a massively successful tour to the United States of America where they got to play the famous Apollo theatre, prior to the Botswana Craft show. On the escalating rumours in South Africa that the lead singer of the group, Zolani, would take a break from the group in order to prepare for a solo career in the near future, Attwell refuted this; “Zolani is not going solo. Currently she is pregnant and we will be taking a break soon then reconvene toward the end of the year.” He said all members of the band are individually involved with different projects but for the most part they still enjoy being together and making music. He revealed that Zolani was however considering going back to her acting career.
The show was kicked off by jazz muso Kearoma Rantao. Her extravagance in dress and stage domination defined the performance. She seemed to readily connect with the massive crowd, which has taken well to her flamboyant performances. Kearoma’s epertoire grows with every performance and she has built a loyal following for her music and cemented herself as an internationally quality act….
Freshlyground finally took to the stage just after 10 p.m. They performed a mix of material from their previous four albums with a few from their fifth, Take me to dance. The last jam was the famous FIFA 2010 World Cup tune, Waka Waka which ended with shouts of, ‘We want more’, from the crowd and the band obliged with one more song. The verdict on the show was not unanimous as the audience seemed to have appreciated the show differently. “It was a great show, they are one of my favourite bands and I was impressed,” said a patron who clearly had a great evening while another said; “They looked out of touch for me, performing my favourite songs but still not as a good as I last saw them.”