Today I had a beautiful day. Went to work, managed to get a lot done
without the stress levels getting too high and left work 30 minutes early so that I could race to Langa for the CTEMF Goldie lecture. I love going to the townships. Let’s be honest, as middle class people, we don’t find ourselves in the townships and there are MANY white people who live in Africa all their lives without ever going there. What a pity.
That’s why I love initiatives like the CTEMF (Cape Town Electronic Music Festival), that host events in the townships and give those of us ,who are afraid of the witch, the opportunity to enter the gingerbread house. And ironically, it was Claremont that was a traffic nightmare today and the N2 that was perfectly clear and calm.
We made our way to Guga S’thebe, a cultural center in Langa. (Do you realise how close Langa is the the burbs? It’s silly that’s it not more integrated with our lives!) The last time I visited was for the CTEMF with Skrillex lecture, but today we moved inside a center made from containers, with lots of different chairs, sofas and fun decor. It was cool!
The reason for our visit was to see the great and legendary drum n bass “godfather”: Goldie. A man known for establishing the quintessential sound of drum n bass and jungle. But only did he establishing it, but he really solidified it as an electronic genre – with longevity. While many of us may have danced away to Sigma’s “Somebody to Love” last summer or a good Pendulum track thrown in here and there, it was Goldie who even cemented the concept of drum n bass LONG before it could turn into pop radio fodder.
Goldie is also an actor and has been seen in Snatch, James Bond and East Enders (when I’ve seen him). He was recently given an MBE by her royal highness, the Queen, and continues to run his music label, Metalheadz, while making celebrity appearances on UK television shows.
Today he told us all about his life, his music, his processes, his thoughts, visions and instincts. It was awesome to see the man in the flesh, to hear his stories; even though he went on lots of tangents (he’s a better actor than I initially thought) he sprinkled his stories with voice overs and jokes, it was awesome.
Goldie is also like the Hulk; cool, calm and happy but when he starts talking about his music he is suddenly struck by intense passion that transforms him into a slightly threatening mad man. Strange but true!
While he made some classic quotes, he also told us about his young adult son who is in jail for life for committing double homicide. I wonder about a person who comes from the care system, makes it, earns an MBE, yet loses his son to the wickedness of crime? I didn’t dare ask him as I didn’t want to be disrespectful, but that’s a lot of hard work and heartbreak. I really felt for him.
When we watched Goldie perform at Fabric, Mr John had an ‘ah-ha’ moment – the fact that he’s been working as a dnb DJ for all his life and it was high DJing that got him to London. In turn he asked Goldie about his “ah-ha” moments. Goldie later played a jazz version of his famous song, Inner City Life, which Mr John and I had picked out for our 1st dance! We wouldn’t believe Goldie even know about it! We just thought it was some random version, meanwhile, he had a whole backstory about it! THAT was an awesome surprise!
I’d like to thank CTEMF for giving us this opportunity. It was 100% free! While there was support, I’ll never understand why these opportunities aren’t busting at the seems with HUNDREDS of people trying to participate. I know if my Dad and his friends had the opportunity to sit in the room with Mick Jagger and hear his stories, his music and ask him questions, there wouldn’t be a single viewer left for Super Sport. None the less, I’m thankful for the opportunity. Please keep up the great work CTEMF!