As with ‘Spinal Tap’, Mango Groove once got genuinely lost in the bowels of a theatre while trying to get to the stage.

The first Mango Groove national tour in 1990 featured amongst other things, six consecutive sold-out shows at Standard Bank Arena. A show had to be added because it was discovered that a lot of tickets had been pirated.

At the “SOS Racism” concert in Paris in 1992, Mango performed to over 200 000 people, most of them carrying umbrellas. During ‘Dance Some More’, the entire sea of umbrellas bobbed in time to the music.

A paid of underpants once landed on Claire’s face in the middle of her singing ‘Special Star’ at a concert in Port Elizabeth.

Mango once appeared on a Japanese music shows called ‘Funky Tomato’.

Mango Groove performed in Hong Kong on a stage designed to look like an ocean liner. The MC was the captain of the 1970’s hit TV show ‘The Love Boat’.

Mango performed a fruity double bill with Bananarama at the Phillipines National Day concert in Kowloon Park in Hong Kong.

Mango received three encores and made the MC cry at – of all things, the 1992 French Communist Party fete in Paris.

As a little girl, Claire used to like dressing up as an old lady and scaring people.

During a tour of Australia, Mango covered several time zones and performend 15 shows in as many nights. This culminated is a tired and confused John Leyden telling a Melbourne crowd he was happy to be in Sydney.

 

At their show at the National Stadium in the Seychelles, Mango once did a 20-minute (and less than sober) version of ‘Nice to See You’.

Believe it or not, four generations of Nokwe woman have ‘performed’ with Mango Groove throughout the years. Marilyn Nokwe (a long-running member of the group), Marilyn’s sister Tu, Marilyn and Tu’s mother Patty, and Ayanda, who is Marilyn’s daughter. The fourth generation? Well, at a recent show in Cape Town, Ayanda sang on stage with Mango while pregnant with her beautiful daughter.

While in Mozambique to shoot the ‘Island Boy’ video, Mango performed at the Pollana Hotel in Maputo. It was so hot that the entire audience stood in the pool and Peter drummed wearing nothing but a Speedo.

While staying in George for a soon to be rained out show at the local cricket stadium , Duzi swore that his hotel room was ‘haunted’, and changed rooms at two in the morning.

John has a Master’s Degree in Philosophy from Wits University in Johannesburg. The title of his thesis? ‘Irrational Beliefs’.

 

1 & 2 Aug 2014
London Goes South Africa
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