Eighteen months ago I was recommended to go and see Hans and his band in concert. Its a mixture of blues, soul and bit of rock and refreshingly memorable. I have been to a few of his concerts since then and have really enjoyed his music whilst sharing it with others.
I regularly play the first album, ‘Music For The Soul’; it’s warm, soulful and has a real feel-good factor. It is music from Mauritius but it is not Mauritian music, it is music created and played by super talented musicians.
The concert was easy to get to at l’Espace Culturel Malcom de Chazal, a new venue in Moka with a large and free car park (almost unheard of in Europe). Copies of the new CD, recorded and mixed on the island by Richard Hein, were on sale outside.
This was Hans on ‘top’ form with his seven piece band excellently supporting him and they looked like they were having real fun playing their new music to the audience. The music is not too different from the first album just a bit tighter and maybe highlighting his fabulous voice.
Time Flies, the signature track and first on the album, starts in reflective mood on the past, gentle piano and mournful strings gradually building pace and becoming more upbeat as the lyrics are repeated and the drums and pace lift the song into an easily repeated chorus which the audience soon joined in with.
Masquerade is all about being yourself, no faking, who you want to be and goes from deeply thoughtful to an uplifting song which has you dancing away and to uncontrollably sing the African style chant along with. “..it’s a show”, he sang. No, it’s a concert!! A great song to wake up to with sleepy eyes.
He has given us Music for the Soul and now a Lullaby for Saul. Hans became a father earlier in the year and life has changed for ever for him based on the lyrics of this song as Mummy and Daddy are now stealing the moon and the clouds for their baby. What good parent would not?
Water was my favourite on the night. An un-keep-still-able song paying homage to a brown eyed woman with a blue dress, red lips dancing away, with soul catching moves. A fabulously tight song, great bass, wind and drums, which had everyone in the room smiling and lifted. This one did not slip through my hands.
I had heard one song before, Plastic World, as this was on his last tour, and the lyrics probably explained why the CD was packaged in an innovative cardboard folder that presented the disc to you on opening.
The lyrics of his songs always come across as very meaningful and serious, telling a story amongst best friends or lovers.
A surprise was in store with an interruption from Myckee, a popular local rap artist. Hans was enraptured performing with him on ‘What we need’, well what Myckee needs is spelling lessons perhaps?
Oh No! The concert is over! That went quickly. Time flies. Time to go home. Wait, they are back on stage.
All the songs were in English except for ‘Mo Lam’ from the first album, which was a very, very popular encore.
It was terrific. Hans gave it everything as usual, his voice is special and he belts out the lyrics at times holding nothing back.
Thanks to Hans, his band and all the support team who put on a truly memorable concert. Let’s hope time flies before the next album.