Originally hailing from Bloemfontein, now Cape Town resident, Phil de Lange, is a Smile 90.4FM radio presenter and comedian living in the Mother City – armed with a ukulele. We caught up with Phil to see just how he’s enjoying the city, and the when’s and why’s regarding his favourite ukulele.
1. What is your favourite spot in Cape Town?
Tough one. I really love Kalk Bay any time of year. It’s quite a tranquil place with all the colours, shops, restaurants, and quaint streets between the mountain and sea. In sunshine or stormy weather it’s always fun and seems to bring a different kind of charm at night. I do have another favourite spot but it’s on top of a library and I don’t know if one is actually allowed up there so I’d rather not mention.
2. Which theatre is your favourite to perform at in Cape Town?
Baxter Concert Hall. On stage looking up and seeing the aisles lights reach to the top of the theatre is pretty incredible. Otherwise I’ve had some of my most fun in The Academia Theatre at Islamia College. Oh and of course the Armchair Theatre (Don’t you dare tell it that it’s just a “bar”. It’s an institution).
3. What made you want to incorporate the ukulele into your performances?
At the time I didn’t think much of it other than that I didn’t see anyone else on the comedy scene doing it. I think at the moment it’s just myself and the guys from Derek Watts and The Sunday Blues who play the uke on the comedy scene (I’m extremely jealous of their talent btw). So I thought it was pretty unique and it’s turned out to be quite a great way to get a crowd’s attention early on in your set and it offers something fresh to a show.
4. How do you enjoy Cape Town compared to your hometown Bloemfontein?
Both have their pros and cons, but Cape Town does have mountain and the sea I guess (although Bloem has a koppie and a inner city lake). Cape Town’s art scene is a bit more diverse and accessible, especially with comedy and music. Oh and I really enjoy eating my gourmet burgers off a plank. Thank you, Cape Town.
5. What is the best part of being a radio presenter?
It’s a powerful medium and if you think about how many people you talk to when you’re on air, it’s quite intimidating. But I think that’s the exciting part about it. I’ve always loved it because it’s remained relevant over the years – many people said conventional radio would die when t.v. came along, or when Internet radio popped up, but it’s still the most easily accessible medium of public media. It’s also just fun, man. The chance to have an opinion on that platform, talk to a big audience, and play music for people is quite a thing.
6. How does the Cape Town lifestyle influence your work?
At the moment my life revolves around the early morning hustle of Cape Town trying to get to work and the fun late nights that this city keeps alive throughout the year. I balance two careers and there’s always an event to be talking about – everything from rain to a craft toasted cheese sandwich festival gives you something to talk about or poke fun at. I also think that because it’s a melting pot of different people and that gives you the chance to learn from different perspectives (it must be said that a lot of us choose not to).
7. What makes you laugh?
Sarcasm, rants, one liners, screaming goats, and people with with different laughs.