Edinburgh Festival Fringe music review: Township Voices, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Jim Gilchrist.
Some 30 singers take the stage, brightly clad young men and women singing softly and wordlessly.
That mellifluous murmur builds into an overwhelming swell of voices as the 30-strong Dloko High School Choir becomes an all-singing, all-dancing human wave and they sing their hearts out – pretty well non-stop – over the ensuing hour.
Hailing from Umlazi township, outside Durban, South Africa, the choir is at the Fringe through a charity established in conjunction with Edinburgh’s James Gillespie’s School. The singers may come from a place where poverty prevails but their performance, led by led by choirmaster Musa Khuzwayo, is uninhibitedly joyful.
There were episodes of what sounded like praise singing, also a couple of droll courtship episodes, with sassy girls and roundly rejected suitors, and some fine solo singing against background harmonies or clicks and bird whistles.
All but one of the songs were in Zulu, and either a few introductory explanations, or a printed programme, would have given us a little more insight into this otherwise inspirational performance. Some things transcend language, however, as we ran an exuberant gauntlet of still gyrating singers and out into the street, it was impossible to leave without a big smile on your face.
The Assembly Rooms (Venue 20) until 30 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 28 August 2015
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