Flaura, fauna and scantily clad pre-teens would seem an unlikely combination, but Goldfish is playing and the hippie-hipsters and “bohemians” have turned out in droves. There are a few pensioners settled on their blankets, pointing excitedly as the band’s equipment is set up, and the rest of the crowd is a mixture of reluctant mothers, and middle-aged couples hoping to “try something new”. The duo (David Poole and Dominic Peters) finally appear on stage, followed by a wave of screeches and “Woohoo’s”. All the pre-teens go gaga, and everyone else straightens up, anticipating the saxophone’s hum.

The unusual combination of bass and brass awakens even the most the discerning listeners, and not more than two minutes into the first song-“Get Busy Living”-heads are bobbing, feet are tapping and GOLD FISH fever has spread all the way to the picnic blankets. That is GOLD FISH‘s winning quality-there is a lot of something for everyone. It is that combination of musical mastery and DJ persona that has everyone up on their feet. Yes, the stage looks busy, with flashing lights and big screens in the background, but it is the performance that makes the crowd come alive.

By the time the symphony rolls into “This is how it goes” the mood has mellowed, and the duo responds by stripping down the song to its bare essentials, returning to their jazzy roots. It is something different for the front-of –the-crowd tweens, but that doesn’t kill their enthusiasm and the pace picks up again as Poole delivers a sensational solo on the saxophone. The instrument itself is probably not the most riveting for the younger crowd but the passion with which Poole plays makes one forget their ‘old-foggy’ perceptions and let loose.

It is not so much that the duo re-invent Jazz but that they can take it back to when Jazz was rock n’roll-THRILLING. There is something dazzling about the way Peters glides over the keyboard like a sixty-something year-old sage playing in a blues bar, or a concert pianist on the world stage. It is not surprising that the two have played everywhere from the pumping night clubs of Miami to the elegant Sydney Opera House.

After what felt like indefinite Euphoria, the set was over, but as always the duo came back “Cruising” when the audience chanted ‘encore’. They are cool, casual and down-to-earth. There is no sense that Poole and Peters are international superstars with better things to do.

The duo savour every moment just as the audience do, and make their music move for the audience, letting their fans set the pace. When a passion for music and a passion for people meet the results are bound to be mind-blowing. There is no doubt that the band has more success on the horizon!

The duo will be playing   again at Auckland Park Gardens, Johannesburg the 13th of May

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