Review: Ladysmith Black Mambazo, The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, Friday, May 18

Ladysmith Black Mambazo provided one of the opening performances at this year's Bury Festival. Photo

Ladysmith Black Mambazo provided one of the opening performances at this year's Bury Festival. Photo: Bury Festival - Credit: Archant

Dynamic, energetic, euphoric and musically astounding.

That was what was on offer from South Africa’s cultural ambassadors.

The nine singers gave a masterclass with their voices along with high kicks, slick moves and super swerving hips.

They gave a wonderful 90 minutes of a cappella music with their trademark rhythmic swing and songs.

Their gorgeous harmonies filled the auditorium to a sold out audience on the first night of the Bury St Edmunds Festival.

It was the final date of the Durban-based group’s Europe and American tour which also included two of the founder members …. both in their 70s and 60s.

“Long Walk To Freedom”, dedicated to Nelson Mandella and celebrating 24 years of democracy in their country, was a great favourite along with “Women Are Beautiful”.

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For over 50 years, Ladysmith Black Mambazo have sung powerful, uplifting songs that emote the struggles and passion of South Africa.

And there was also much humour on offer on stage and they returned for a rapturous encore to sing “Amazing Grace”.

Russell Cook

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