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Cape Town City Bytes : City Bytes / Events

Ella Buckley

Surreal at the Waiting Room

EllaBuckley's gigs always have a surreal atmosphere to them and last Tuesday was no different. She managed to make me feel like I was watching David Attenborough on acid. Grainy black and white film clips from nature shows play in slow motion on a screen behind her while she sits perched high on a stool with her instruments scattered around her like cats, her cowboy booted feet and their gypsy bells don't reach the floor.

Like an unhurried cripple she balances on her perch while various guitars are passed to her, including an old acoustic from the 60's that she picked up in New York. The idea of the guitar passing from the hands of hippies in Greenwich Village to the hands of this modern day folk singer feeds into the magic she spins.

Her songs are hugely evocative and her voice has an emotional pull that is almost uncanny. The multi-talented Ella moves with ease from guitar to piano to zither. The latter being an ancient Venetian harp that she found in an antique store in Kalk bay and restrung using guitar strings and her own tuning.

She was accompanied by Righard Kapp on guitar creating his unique sound with a bow and pickup mics, and her sister Alice with her rabbit hole gong. Ella has a wonderful ability to transport you from everyday life to one where everything moves with the same weightless slow motion as the creatures behind her. A spell is being cast when she sings. She has a timeless appeal and inimitable style. Not many can pull off a spandex cat-suit under an exotic evening dress.

Opening for Ella was the duo Lo Rez consisting of Doug Armstrong, of Mood Phase 5 fame, and Gustavo Fasani. The quirky tango influenced beats and melodies using a trumpet, piano and bandoneon together with an offbeat sense humour perfectly complemented the weird and wonderful Ella Buckley that was to follow.  



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