Goldfish at Kirstenbosch
Image: Goldfish on Facebook

The insanely popular band Goldfish has just made its 13th return to the verdant lawns of the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens to entertain thousands of locals and tourist with music that has become a mainstay of the South African music scene. Goldfish is the musical mastermind of the eclectically talented duo Dominic Peters and David Poole, who play a plethora of instruments ranging from saxophone and flute to piano and double bass. With these, they produce utterly infectious music that is known to cause symptoms ranging from uncontrollable foot tapping and head-nodding to whole body jiggling and euphoria.

Goldfish at Kirstenbosch

Not since Kenny G…

A blend of house, jazz, pop, and African-inspired music, Goldfish is a guaranteed good time, whether you prefer to lounge about on the lawn chatting with friends or standing in the shadow of the stage jamming hard to the beat. It’s a beat that throbs in your chest, vocals that speak to you, piano you wish you were talented enough to play, and bass you feel throughout your body.

Not since Kenny G has saxophone been this sexy.

Goldfish hails from Cape Town and with twelve previous appearances under their belt, they are no stranger to the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens and its vastly popular summer sunset concert series. But it’s the venue that takes an extraordinary music performance and transcends it to something spiritual.

Goldfish at Kirstenbosch

Spectacular natural surroundings

Surrounding the stage is a vista that few live music venues in the Cape, and possibly the world, can rival: the eastern face of Table Mountain stands impossibly and dramatically tall over the venue, its fertile foothills carpeted in fynbos and pine forests, which lead into the lush and colourful landscapes of the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. Trees, flowerbeds, and winding paths embrace the cascading lawns in front of the stage and overhead, there’s nothing but blue sky, which gently darkens to indigo as the sun goes down.

The Kirstenbosch Gardens are staggeringly beautiful and a wonderful destination for walks, picnics, and outings. Now, throw a little “proudly South African” music into the mix and you’ve got yourself a real jol and a quintessential Cape Town experience! Just make sure you get there early enough to secure a decent spot in front of the stage and bring a picnic basket with food and drinks.

Goldfish at Kirstenbosch

Bringing people together

For a minute, as we sat there on the lawns enjoying Goldfish, I soaked up the scene: a couple in their forties, who looked like they might have met at an International Physics Conference disappear into the music, pale limbs thrashing the air; a toddler discovering the motility of her limbs and the pleasure of moving them jiggles her diaper-clad buttocks; an old woman shuffles from side-to-side using her teenage grandson’s arm for support, a massive smile dividing her face in half. Closer to the stage, a tightly-packed crowd of thousands of people from one end of the age spectrum to the other and from all over South Africa and the world jump, dance, and jive to Goldfish’s incredibly catchy and irresistibly foot-tapping music, accompanied by firework fountains and billowing jets of vapour.

Music, on its own, is a powerfully unifying force. To then enjoy it embraced by lush, green nature under a canopy of azure blue leading to night is a near-spiritual experience and one of countless reasons why Kirstenbosch’s summer sunset concert series has become the iconic Cape Town activity it is. And if there were a house to “bring down” or a “roof to raise,” Goldfish would have done so. What a jol!

Get in on the action – upcoming concerts:

Time: Gates open at 16h00, concert starts at 17h30 to 19h00.

Venue: Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, Rhodes Drive, Newlands, Cape Town
Info: 021 799 8783
Book online: www.webtickets.co.za

13 January: The Parlotones

The Parlotones have just released a new single Can You Feel It. If you want to hear this single performed live and many more other songs from the band, get your tickets for the Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts.

Cost: From R170 for youth (6 – 12 with ID), R220 for adults, children under 6 enter for FREE. 

20 January: Freshlyground

Formed in Cape Town, the multi-award winning band Freshlyground are back to set the Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts stage alight with their infectious kwela style and musical traditions from Zimbabwe and Mozambique with elements of pop, jazz, blues, and indie rock.

Cost: From R150 for youth (6 – 12 with ID), R190 for adults, children under 6 enter for FREE. 

27 January: Mafikizolo

Ndihamba Nawe, Mas’thokoze, Emlanjeni, Love Potion, do we need to say more? Book your tickets to see Mafikizolo perform live at the Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts.

Cost: From R150 for youth (6 – 12 with ID), R190 for adults, children under 6 enter for FREE.