Wat sê die Media van Herman van den Berg?
A Night Out With ‘Die Volk’
deur Derek Davey (Randburg Sun), 2 December 2000

After a gracious reception and the warm hospitality offered, I was nevertheless apprehensive about the act I had come to review, one Herman van den Berg, a name hitherto unknown to me. Luckily, my partner was Afrikaans (definitely my second language) and was able to translate Herman’s “programme” for the evening to me, entitled Die Beiteltjie (the chisel) from an NP van Wyk Louw poem. My skepticism was hardly alleviated, however, when she told me that Herman’s achievements included the fact that he was a Crescendo finalist – what kind of supernaff show was I about to witness? Song titles such as Twee aparte Harte wat Snags Saam Klop convinced me further that what I was about to see would be kitsch in the extreme.

What a pleasant surprise to discover that Herman’s show was great – the musicians were accomplished, his stage manner was relaxed and (according to my partner) the lyrics were profound and moving. The music was accessible and pleasant to the ear, moving from slow and heartfelt dirges to up tempo swinging ditties. Herman has a refreshing and original approach to music and his compositions are surprisingly mature and well-rounded.

As Herman has not been on the music scene for long, there were some obvious areas for improvement in his performance, such as microphone technique, which he needs to work on. However, he made up for lack of experience with a delivery of raw emotional strength and refreshing candour. His final number, Die Beiteltjie was the highlight of the evening for both me and my partner.

Herman is obviously bound for greater things – the only problem I can see is that, as he sings in Afrikaans, that his audience may be somewhat limited. It is always encouraging to see new talent and a technically adequate platform which does it justice.

sel: 083 232 1377
epos: info@hermanvdb.co.za
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