Agency: Hi Akin. Could you cover a gig this evening at the RFH? Her name is Maria Bethânia and she’s….
Me (cutting in): Tonight? Hold up, pilgrim. It’s ‘Toots & the Maytals’ at the Barbican’ tonight. I don’t even know who this Ms. Maria Bat..Bettey… I’m sorry; what’s her surname again?
By the end of the night, I was very enamoured by the surname ‘Bethânia’. Ms Maria is known by Brazilians as ‘The Soul of Brazil’ and with a rare appearance at a sold out RFH, you could tell why. Nearly every fan had a brought a camera to the show, only for the whole auditorium to let out a collective sigh after being told by the announcer, ‘No photography allowed’. As if! Even security knew this and I overheard one telling a fan with an SLR to at least make sure to switch off the flash, and that kind of warning rarely ever happens at the Royal Festival Hall.
I had no idea of what she was singing, of course. But as we all know, you don’t have to understand the words to appreciate good music.
Any gig that decks the stage with red petals, a full band and has a sultry, sexy singer (yes, she is 64, and yes, beauty has various guises!) has my vote!