Fri Oct 21 20:35:48 CAT 2016

Music and dance fest to remember

By Don Makatile | Sep 28, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

FOR a moment it seemed as if there was a new way to praise the Lord on Saturday night when a trio of talented brothers added their voices to those of an award-winning choir.

The Bala Brothers joined the Soweto Gospel Choir in the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City for a one-night only music and dance extravaganza.

But judging by the crowd's reaction it won't be a bad idea to bring the blessed combination back together again.

Back from their world travels, the SGC mesmerised the captive audience with the traditional gospel sounds they have spiced up well enough to win them two Grammys so far.

Here and there they added non-vernacular ditties like Oh Happy Day, which roused the audience in the same way the popular traditional African hymns like Seteng Sediba did.

Their uniform, a pleasing riot of colour and their bodies swivelling in unison, the choir held sway with no less than 10 renditions before they were joined on stage by the Balas, who added a further hue to the rainbow in their matching black pants and silver jackets.

Led by eldest sibling Zwai, who produced the choir's latest album Grace, the Uitenhage-born threesome nearly brought the house down with their silky voices.

Against the backdrop of the humming choir Zwai, Phelo and Loyiso sang a myriad compositions from Caiphus Semenya's Ziphi'nkomo, Josh Groban's You Raised Me Up and Miriam Makeba's Pata Pata to their own isiXhosa ballads.

But the stuff of goose bumps came when they switched to opera, singing Freddie Mercury's Barcelona as if they were trying to rouse the dead.

The appreciative crowd, which included Mrs Zwai Bala - Melanie Son - and boxing legend Dingaan Thobela, couldn't help but ask for an encore.


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