In the days of early apartheid rule half a century ago, on 26 June 1955, over 3 000 representatives of resistance organisations made their way through police cordons to gather on a dusty square in Kliptown, Soweto, 40km south of Johannesburg.
This was the Congress of the People, who met to draw up the Freedom Charter, an alternative vision to the repressive policies of the apartheid state.
At the time, Nelson Mandela had to stay concealed to avoid the police. On the second day, the authorities broke up the gathering, but not before the charter was adopted as a guide document. It remains the cornerstone of African National Congress (ANC) policy to this day, and is seen by many as the foundation of South Africa’s 1996 Constitution.
That dusty field has now been declared a national heritage site, and on 26 June 2005 President Thabo Mbeki lit a flame of freedom in Kliptown to mark the opening of the Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication – and 50 years of the Freedom Charter.
The Flyover Show 31st March 2012:
Hip-Hop artist and award winning alto-saxophonist, Soweto Kinch, will host a groundbreaking show featuring a diverse and brilliant line-up in the historic Freedom Square on 31st March 2012. Among the artists that have confirmed their appearance at the Flyover Show are Tumi from Tumi and the Volume, Soweto Kinch and band, Feya Faku, ESKA, Jonzi D, Bokani Dyer, DJ Raiko and the Kliptown Youth Program Gumboot Dancers. Continue reading
Birmingham music legend Simon Fowler is set to launch his new solo project with an intimate show at Birmingham’s Glee Club on Tuesday 17 April.
Best know as lead vocalist and guitarist with Britpoppers Ocean Colour Scene, Fowler has also provided backing vocals for ‘Modfather’ Paul Weller and folk artist Kate Rusby.
Glee Club music promoter Markus Sargeant said: “We have very fond memories of when Simon previously played The Glee with Oscar and we were thrilled to be offered the hometown launch show of his new solo project.”
“Simon is the latest in a long line of remarkably talented artists to play our intimate Studio room, and this is a rare opportunity for fans to witness a multi-million selling artist at close quarters.”
Ocean Colour Scene are one of the most successful bands to have come out of the Britpop explosion of the mid-nineties, famously knocking Oasis’ Be Here Now off the UK Album Chart top spot with 1997 record Marchin’ Already. Popular hits include ‘The Day We Caught The Train’ and TFI Friday intro track ‘The Riverboat Song’.
Show: Simon Fowler Date: Tuesday 17 April 2012 Doors: 7.30pm Venue: The Glee Club (Studio), The Arcadian, Birmingham, B5 4TD Box Office: 0871 472 0400 www.glee.co.uk/birmingham Admission: £15.00 advance
“Pop music (or what ever sub-genre title you feel comfortable using) should never be subsidised by the state. The Arts Council or similar bodies must never be allowed to get near it. If any particular form of pop music can not survive in the cut and thrust of the market place it should be allowed to whither and die. The same goes for all the rooms above pubs and dodgy clubs. If people don’t want to pay the price for the ticket and would rather spend the night down the local Weatherspoons drinking cheap lager, so be it. Culture has to be on the move, in a state of continual flux or it is nothing, fit only for the museum and the text book.”