This Town – Jeremy Loops ft Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Something weird happens when Swiss blood is mixed with South African blood. Tennis player Roger Federer has a Swiss father and South African mother. Trevor Noah has a Swiss Father and South African mother and to that list we can now add Jeremy Loops who has a Swiss mother and South African father. There must also be something in the water in Kommetjie in the Cape because the town that gave us Robin Auld has produced another great aficionado of great laid back pop. And, before heading off to ‘This Town’ a mention should be made of the role inherited genes play as S’Bong Shabalala, son of the late Joseph Shabalala, who leads Ladysmith Black Mambazo in this song, is the spitting image of his father, both visually (watch the video) and aurally (listen to the song).
The song starts with the ghost of Joseph Shabalala’s voice speaking through his son S’Bong singing, ‘Impilo yami umculo wami mina’ (‘My life is my music’) and then he is joined in by the familiar and beautiful hummed harmonies of the rest of Ladysmith Black Mambaza. Jeremy then starts to loop (sorry) his guitar around this magical sound before the beat drops and you are swept up in a wave of joy, colour and positivity. Apparently written as we began to emerge from the dark days of the covid pandemic, it is stuffed full of energy and is so upbeat you will dance your pants off to it. While the vaccine may have dealt with the physical effects of covid, ‘This Town’ is the cure for the mental effects of the virus. This is ‘Graceland’ with a smile.
With all the negativity in the world (and that’s not just around covid), Jeremy and the Mambazo’s have served a Federer style ace with this track. It will invoke a smile the size of those found at a Trevor Noah performance. With its coming together of different styles of music generally viewed as being for disparate races, it is a powerful statement of what can be done if we as human beings learn to work together. The video is as energetic and colourful as the song. The musicians in it are having a glorious time, and why shouldn’t they?
I’m heading off to start a petition that all world leaders should be required to have one South African and one Swiss parent, there is something to be said for that chemistry. And the second petition I am starting is that a representative from Ladysmith Black Mambazo needs to be in every world leader’s cabinet. It may not solve all the world’s problems, but we would certainly be able to tackle the problems in a far more upbeat and joyous manner than we are currently managing.