Local musos thrill at album launch

André Geldenhuys, with the band members Jack Mantis and Domenico Benigno in the background.

The Jack Mantis Band has returned from an epic four-month European tour, to launch their new album Circumstance of Events, on local soil.

The Cape Farmhouse provided a backdrop for the “local is lekker” gathering, with Jack (in typical style) sharing his stage with a line up of exceptional homegrown talent, against deep African blue skies with accents of green-gold foilage. The scenery certainly played its part.

The musical tone was set by husband and wife team Zoe and Vusa Mazula. The dreadlocked duo live in the area, write and perform their original work under the name Mazula and do events where they sing covers under the name Horizon’s Tale.

Next up were the duo Justin Versveldt and Bam Bam Brown whose performance was a crowd favourite with cheers, foot stomps and whistles for more.

Jack was ecstatic to have two men whom he called his childhood heroes, Tim Parr and Steve Fataar, on stage; individually and then together with him.

Both Tim Parr and Steve Fataar gave polished, accomplished performances, honed by many years of experience.

In the spirit of experimental fun, the entire audience and musicians participated in the new challenge craze, the Mannequin, where participants are required to remain perfectly still for two minutes.

The sole person moving ran through the still, silent crowd, filming it all.

And then it was back to the music and the heart of the gathering.

Jack Mantis and the fresh-faced Amy May did a soulful rendition of Sarah McLachlin’s song In the arms of an Angel, in honour of a friend, Brandon Voight, who lost his fight with cancer while they were on tour.

And then the much anticipated Jack Mantis Band took to the stage for the official launch of the band’s first album in many years.

The album bears the breadth of their experience, and the tour has sublimely streamlined their skills, so a live version feels as deeply resonant and smooth as the recorded version.

Jack’s fans need no coercion, but if you haven’t experienced this band’s full-hearted, lyrical-rich sound, do yourselves a favour. Europe isn’t wild about them without good reason.