I think many people would be surprised to hear that in the past month, the Market Theatre in conjunction with the Department of Arts and Culture was hosting "South African Music Festival". It was a fantastic decision - right next to the Newtown Fan Fest, it is a great place to showcase South African music. But it was poorly advertised and the details were rather sketchy.
The whole festival seems to have been hosted around "The House of the Holy Afro", which started just after the 8:30pm match finished while one or more artists played before them starting around 8pm. There seems to have been some great artists across a number of different genres on show.
I last saw Karen Zoid live about 18 months ago in the Blues Room. Since then (or around then), she disbanded her band in Jo'burg, moved to Stellenbosch, reformed her band - and also seems to have written a few new songs :) She was also very chatty - talking about her dislike for the more conservative Afrikaners from Pretoria (Moreleta Park in particular) to some astute observations about South Africa. Amongst her new songs, I particularly liked "big mouth", where she has also changed her style to rapping parts of the lyrics.
It is difficult to describe what "The House of the Holy Afro" actually is. I think the best way to describe it is, that it is a performance piece featuring dance and music - but that is rather tame. The music - largely derived from various traditional songs in South African cultures has been modernised in terms of musical instruments and probably even tempo and rhythm. The dance and the general performance is high energy, high tempo - non stop action for 90 odd minutes. Fantastic costumes rounded up a very polished performances - and it is no wonder that the show has got such amazing reviews. It is a South African show about South African music, but until June 2010, the show had not been performed in South Africa; but toured the world for a number of years. Can someone please bring it back to SA - and publicise it more!