18.11.05. Maputo, Mozambique.
The Mozambique version of "Pop Idol"* is called "Fama Show". The theme, ah, tune, goes "Farmer Show! Farmer Show!", which is good because one or two of the contestants have something of the barnyard about them. A human barrel with a Groucho moustache, and a habit of falling to her knees during the shouty bits and being unable to get up again, is first for the elbow.
On comes a girl with a face like a good-sized boat, and eyes that, were they to belong to a pig, would result in self-esteem issues so ingrained by taunting from its trough-mates that it would never leave the sty. Then there's a quite good bloke; then a magnificently untalented loon with history's stupidest hair, suggestive of Timmy Mallett trying to revive his career by auditioning for Luxembourg's Eurovision selectors.
Why are these people allowed on TV? The streets of Maputo are swollen with girls so slinky and lush that I want to run at them, trousers down, and fall to my knees coughing, burping and sobbing, mucus bubbling from every hole in my face, in an attempt to communicate my feelings. (Remember I can't speak Portuguese).
*or "American Idol", if you must
21/11/05. Maputo, Mozambique.
I'm starting to think I might be a natural city boy. Roughing it in the countryside is all well and good for short periods, and the beach is great as long as you've got something to read, but looking back, the best times I've had on this trip have been in capital cities.
Maputo is stuffed with amenities. For the last three nights I've been in the Africa Bar watching live jazz and it's been a hoot. The first night's entertainment was "Nanando"; the most technically accomplished guitarist I've ever seen or heard. How do they do that, as Des Lynam would say if he wasn't sulking. Made me want to go back to the hotel and throw my guitar out of the window.
Some forgettable stuff from some guys I've forgotten on the second night, and then last night the loose, Afro-Cuban-All-Stars-during-a-lost-weekend stylings of Luis Fernandes. A mix of Portuguese, African, American Maudlin and The Beatles. The only genuinely moving version of "Yesterday" I've ever heard (including the original). One of the three or four singers is The Mozambique Tom Waits. He's fantastic and very intoxicated. The band play the intro to "No Woman No Cry" and he starts singing "My Way". An obvious error. Superb.
Swaziland tomorrow. Can it be a real place? Or is it going to be full of confused looking, sweaty white men trying to sell me cuckoo clocks?
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- NEW! UK - Haggs Bank: Sept. 19-21
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- Aus Queensland: Oct 3-6
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- Aus VIC: Oct 24-26
- NEW! South Africa: Nov 14-16
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