Bob Marley once said “One good thing about music is when it hits you you feel no pain”. That is what I believe happened to everyone who was at the Foreign Exchange gig at Zula Sound Bar last Saturday night. Some DJ sets kept the crowd warmed up before the main act showed us flames.
The show attendance was mediocre and the atmosphere was very intimate. The band had the crowd singing along to almost every song at the top of their voices. A Go Pro camera was attached to the bass drum and the band’s front-man, Phonte kept alerting the fans to that, as he sang his heart out to the soulful sound of the band. What I generally enjoy about The Foreign Exchange is Phonte’s ability to effortlessly switch between rapping and singing. He’s able to talk about love, life, and all things righteous and ratchet easily, and the music complements that beautifully.
Love was indeed flying in colours from the first track to the last, with people singing along to almost every song. Phonte’s humour kept the crowd engaged throughout the band’s set. “I did not come to preach, Cape Town,” he said ironically in a southern preacher-esque manner at some point. He assured the crowd that music makes even the most turbulent times bearable. “You have to come out a better person after attending a Foreign Exchange show,” he said to cheers of the crowd.
The band went as far back as performing tacks such as “Take Off The Blues” which sounded amazing with the live instrumentation. The evening was filled with great music. It solidified my respect for The Foreign Exchange as musicians and Phonte as a performer of note. The band and back-up singers’ performance was also on point, and made the evening one any FE fan would cherish forever. The sound was crystal clear which was also a great plus and allowed the audience to properly enjoy the show. I hope the music gods bless the Foreign Exchange duo with another decade of making and funky music. The night was time well spent. Seeing the band live and being part of an audience that witnessed the first ever Foreign Exchange live show in South Africa was great.
Images by Aunty Lu @Makheswa