Back in May my dad turned the big 60 (and became a pensioner shortly after – just to sweeten the deal you know), and to celebrate the big event even more, a couple of weeks ago he invited 30 of his close friends and family to join him and mom for dinner and a show at the always entertaining Theatre on the Bay in Camps Bay, Cape Town.
Supper was to be had in the charming onsite SideDish restaurant, which is run by the Dish Food & Social catering group.
Having already pre-selected our meal choices the previous week, we were treated before the show to some delicious food in an equally exquisite (and intimate) venue – with my three course meal consisting of Prego chicken arancini, rocket, peri-peri aioli for starters, followed by a main course comprised of aged rump, sauteed greens, lazy potatoes, and bearnaise. Finally, dessert came in the form of sticky toffee pudding, with a side of amarula ice cream.
Anyway, a quick cup of coffee to round off the meal, finished literally just in time as the bell below started to ring – heralding the imminent start of the evening’s show downstairs. What show you might be wondering? Well in this case, a surprising performance by one of the more entertaining South African bands from Dad’s era – The Bats!
The band was originally formed way back in 1964, when Eddie Eckstein, Paul Ditchfield, the late Jimmy Dunning and the late Barry Jarman, burst onto the local scene and became, to many ardent followers, South Africa’s answer to the Beatles. They toured extensively, both locally and internationally, generating more than a hit or two along the way!
Part of their charm was of course the mix of comedy and music that made up their performances, and 50 years later you can still very much see just what an entertaining bunch the lot must have been in their heyday.
The current lineup features Eddit Eckstein (Telly Fun Quiz anyone?), Paul Ditchfield, Pete Clifford and Derek Gordon, and despite the fact that pretty much all these guys are in their 70’s now, they had us completely entertained from start to finish.
Their musical abilities are fantastic, the songs impossible not to like, the chemistry and energy on stage is beyond surprising, and throw in a lot of laughter (and yes, that includes a couple of cringeworthy and sometimes not quite PC jokes) and you’re pretty much guaranteed in walking away from a brilliant evening out with the added bonus of having a massive smile on your face.
What a fun experience.
Neither Chantelle nor I would ever have dreamed that we would have enjoyed seeing someone like the Bats perform – but my goodness, am I glad that we did! :)
(Oh, and the girls were pretty chuffed in having Rob and Tarryn as babysitters for a change – just in case you were wondering where the two of them were for the night…)