The weather here at the moment? It's rubbish. If the rainy season is like this all the time them I'm glad the boys aren't coming. The day starts warm and gets warmer and more humid until the perspiration is pouring, then the day somehow solidifies, then the rain starts. A few heavy spots then a complete downpour with thunder and lightning for an hour and a half yesterday. When I left the hotel I was shocked. The drains can't handle the water so what was in the drains floats out and down the roads so after an hour and a half even the centre of the main streets were full of plastic bottle and other flotsam as well as sand and soil and grit. Not nice. And as most people are in flip-flops or barefoot the water is flicked up the backs of the legs or trousers so they really look dirty.
I did have a very good Saturday night. I went to see a concert by Ricky a local celebrity musician. I met Ricky on Friday when he was setting up in Salle Rado which is a very large room where I teach my 'basic' classes. He had heard me speaking to Miary in English so came over for a chat. I asked him what the staging was for and he said "My band." so I felt a bit of an idiot but asked him where I could buy a ticket and he told so I went there on Saturday afternoon and paid 10,000Ar about £3.40p.
I would happily pay £40 to see them. There were 12 people on stage: keyboards, drums, electric guitar, very large bongos, percussion and slightly smaller bongos, a saxophonist who played 3 different saxophones and flute, a trumpeter who also played violin, 4 females backing singers and Ricky, lead vocals and playing an assortment of hand drums. Ricky voice has amazing range supported by a huge belly. He sang from basso-profundo to falsetto with passion and tremendous skill. They played for an hour and a half then took a ten minute brak and then returned and played what were obviously their greatest hits because the audience took over singing half of each song.They were all really good musicians except the violinist who played, essentially, Irish fiddle so you got a bit of a jig in the middle of 2 or 3 songs which went down with the audience but I didn't really like it.
Other than that the music was obviously based in Malagasy traditional music but there were underlying blues rhythms and both gospel and jazz sounding backing vocals. The audience loved it, I loved it but didn't understand a single word. When he left the stage Ricky was surrounded by fans but he called me over by name and thanked me for coming which was pretty special. Nice guy. Brilliant musician. VERY big and fat. Great night.