Review: Women’s Day 2020 with Coda Africa- live stream concert – available as video-on-demand

Available to watch as video-on-demand: Until 6pm on Sunday August 16, 2020 on quicket

Direct booking link:  

Access: The show went out as a live stream at 7pm, Sunday August 9, 2020. The recording is available for ticket holders via a link. Tickets may be purchased up to next Sunday – August 16. Viewing will end around 7pm.

Coda Africa: Renate Riedemann (electric violin), Zami Mdingi (vocals), Judy Brown (sax) and Carol Thorns (electric cello).

Oh my! Let us rave. Coda Africa delivered a knockout concert on Women’s Day 2020.

I have watched many lockdown concerts, recorded in studios and I have to say that the lighting and sound design in The Coda Africa Women’s Day 2020- is on another level – conjuring up a sense of being in a light filled cityscape at night. Check out the screenshot on this review and you will get a sense of the lighting plot used in this show. Together with a fabulous playlist – Coda Africa originals -and standards like Feeling Good and Pata Pata, this concert is captivating. Yeah, Women’s Day 2020 with Coda Africa deserves a rave; applause and a standing ovation. It is a concert which has been impeccably conceptualised. The effort and care is evident – visually and aurally.

In creating the concert, Thorns tells me that Coda Africa teamed up with Solid Group – “Alex van Dyk and his team of sound and show specialists.” We talk of lighting and sound design in a live performance venue and this is what has been brought to the digital stage.

During lockdown, we are hearing the refrains “please support the artists”, “no work for five months” etc. That is all correct. The events industry has been shut down and the digital stage is where it is happening now. Yes, creatives need support. But, we must not dilute the artistry that is involved in staging shows on the digital stage. The Coda Africa Women’s Day 2020 concert is magic in it own right, on the digital stage.

Forget for a moment, the notion of “support the artists during lockdown” and hear what I am saying: This is a knockout concert. For me, it felt like I was sitting or jiving in an arena type venue. I could imagine watching this show on a rooftop, with Cape Town’ skyline – city lights on full throttle. Yes, I knew I was watching a show filmed in a studio but there is a sense of being immersed in the experience. My one complaint: I wanted more than 35 minutes. I hope that Coda Africa does an encore show.

The group is a force to watch – live- and that sassiness, style and musicality has been brilliantly tempered in this lockdown session. They are all accomplished artists and riff off each other. DJ  Luvchild (aka Allen Kawerawera) is ultra cool and brings his own vooma to the outfit. Vocalist Zami Mdingi is mesmerising. Her Pata Pata is the perfect song for Women’s Day.  Mdingi’s rendition of Feeling Good gave me goosebumps- electrifying.  The song was song written for a 1964 Musial but made famous by Nina Simone as her so-called Liberation Song. Here we see Coda Africa, affirming women on Women’s Day and rallying us to feel good, be strong and hopeful.

I cannot wait to see Coda Africa doing a live gig but for now, this is as good as it gets. Never mind “support the artists”, this is a concert of excellence. Stream it while you can. Next year, you can look back and remember, watching Coda Africa rocking the city in lockdown Cape Town on Women’s Day 2020.

Image credit: Supplied.