Music can bring back memories of a time and a place, so easily. So now that you have arrived in Cape Town be very careful what will become your song of Cape Town. Its possibly best that you head straight upstairs to our bar at Ashanti Gardens where the music is always good and the Savannahs are cold so that you don’t get anything too dodgy in your head for your Cape Town memories
Murder on the Dance Floor by Sophie Ellis Bextor will always be for me the song of Bangkok, having taken myself off there to mend a broken heart. Every time I slid into a cold air conditioned taxi it was playing. I can’t listen to U2 for too long now. Mainly because it was the only music played for a week, during a heat wave, on a crowded mini bus tour through Kruger. Giraffes and Sunday Bloody Sunday forever linked.
Cape Town is a city with many songs. The gardens at Kirstenbosch always have a slow Jazz number loping through my head when I weave my way around the paths. Driving around the Mountain and Signal hill I have classical music thundering as I turn the bend. The waterfront for some bizarre reasons is the 60s hit Trains, Boats and Planes possibly because of the working harbour that has the big boats still coming in. The drive to Stellenbosch has to be done with loud dance tunes .. otherwise what’s the point of a road trip? Kynsa on the garden route well that’s always going to have to be Robert Miles’ cd “Children” played on repeat. When my dad use to get homesick after a few drinks he would start to sing about taking a boat to Africa with old jazz classic Skokiaan. So guess what song is playing in my head when I come through Johannesburg International Airport? And then there is the unfortunate Christmas in Hanoi with the hotel that insisted on playing the one cd of Michael Buble’s Christmas songs continuously for days, even after NYEs. I so did not deserve that.
It’s the golden rule of travel that buying music on your travels is going to be a problem. That funky music that meant so much to you that night in the back restaurant in Rome is never ever going to sound that good once you have it playing on your home stereo in fact you might just give it to Aunty Mary for Christmas as a back up present. This is why I own many dodgy cds of music, horror tracks include:-
1/ Some random CD of Italian singing that sounded amazing when I did the sightseeing bus in Naples but now when it randomly comes up on my iPod because I have accidentally synced my iPod without un-selecting these tracks I want to scream;
2/ Some crazy pipe music I bought in a street in Berlin from some South American buskers – they sounded way better than the CD! A few years later I might confess it was their brown eyes that motivated the purchase more!
3/ Tibetan monks chanting (what was I thinking!)
4/ Icelandic Christmas carols .. I swear that it was a gift for a friend!
Saying this I am deeply bitter I didn’t take the offered copy of the CD from the Freddy’s bar in Zanzibar. I have never been able to find that music again and it was the ultimate chill out with a beer music ever.
Contributor, Allison Finley-Bissett