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Busi Mhlongo's Right Foot

Busi Mhlongo’s Left Foot

by Nathan Zeno / 21.07.2009

Busi Mhlongo played the BAT center this last weekend. I went with the intentions of writing a serious critical breakdown of the woman’s awesomeness. I failed. Busi simply destroyed my ability to think critically. I even failed to take photographs, other than this one of her foot. Go figure.

The pull of Busi is so strong that there were even some who couldn’t afford the R150 ticket price but went down to the BAT to stand outside just to hear her. Inside, the auditorium was beyond packed. Packed to the point of it becoming a single undulating organism. Being the white boy I am, I do not have the words to describe Busi’s music. You hear phrases like Urban Zulu Queen being tossed around, but even that comes nowhere near the command she has over a crowd. Why she doesn’t perform more is a mystery to me, because her love for audience is infectious and clearly a great joy to her.

Dancing is so much a part of Busi’s music that as the gig reached its climax, audience members were climbing on stage to dance with her. And one by one she helped them up, foot stomping with them, as the drummer leaned forward to see, to get the timing right to boom his drums as their foot came down. Everyone was welcome and everyone was involved. I couldn’t understand a word of what was being sung but I understood the music. No, sorry Busi’s music understood me.

Clearly failing in this task has led us to ask Neil Comfort to write a short piece on Busi’s return to the stage. This will appear on Friday.

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  1. nicjames says:

    it looks like her left foot?

    but great photo nevertheless, and a very nice looking foot.

    great site, enjoy getting your feeds in my google reader, something very different to what’s out there.

    cape town

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  2. djf says:

    “Being the white boy I am, I do not have the words to describe Busi’s music” = pointless review??

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  3. dePravin says:

    Busi Mhlongo’s other right foot

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  4. Nathan Zeno says:

    I wish Oldtimer would come back, I miss him. He would never have stooped to using those questions marks.

    Mostly it was a pointless review because she was so awesome, I stopped noticing details, I think I said something like that. But if you know anything about Busi Mhlongo, or South African music in general, you’ll know that the fact that she is performing again is a big deal. So less a review and more news, then. sorry, next time I’ll say that……

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  5. BB says:

    Ja, what happened to the Oldtimer? He was a regular on these here forums….

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  6. Julia says:

    I think a review like this of a musical experience is far more honest and valuable than some wordy article trying to show off what you know about a genre or artist… Reading this, I felt like I was there listening to her and when i realised I wasn’t a felt a bit sick.

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  7. Tara says:

    Erm..your photo?

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  8. Beat says:

    Busi has just read the reveiw/news item and thinks it is Kif

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  9. Tara says:

    “There’s a funny little woman walking down the street every-body wants to know her, everybody wants to touch her”

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  10. Mary says:

    Awesome review dude, you got all the important stuff. The most important thing about any gig is how you react to it. How it made you feel, deep inside, man!

    It’s making me wish I could have seen her foot.

    A lot of artists (the lucky ones) gig less and practise more. Which may go some way to explaining why that gig was so frikkin awesome and everyone onstage so in tune with each other…

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