We often get asked at gigs (mostly by white people) where Roberto comes from. The answers are wide and varied.
Rob, Berto, brother, bass ou, bruin ou… whatever you want to call him, seems to have mystifying power over our audiences.
But besides his ability as a musician, he is also – and this may surprise you – a wonderful human being. Yes. Seriously. So herewith, five reasons I tend to invite him round for dinner as much as possible.
Reason #1: A good excuse for curry
In the Calder household, we don’t really need an excuse for a curry dinner, but it’s always nice when you’ve got guests arriving who you know will be down with a bit of flavour. That said, we usually end up doing chicken (butter or roast) and if it’s ever just Berto and I, we go for french fries on rolls. Okay I’m joking. Just rolls.
Reason #2: There’ll be leftovers
Given the size of his physical frame, there’s usually a bit of extra food. Even when he’s “starving”, his two helpings still don’t deplete the main tray. So there’s always leftovers, which means inviting Berto around for dinner is economical!
This is never the case when Jon “hollow legs” keyboardist comes for dinner.
Reason #3: No-one re-enacts a funny story like a bruin ou
Beneath that mostly quiet exterior is a very perceptive and observant student of human behaviour. On one occasion, I had instructed each of the band mates to get the audience clapping along. After the show, Berto reinacted how one of our fellow bandmates did it. I have never laughed so hard. He exaggerated it EXACTLY. I know few people who can openly make fun of you and make you laugh at yourself. And lets face it, we all need to laugh at ourselves a bit more. Especially Rudi.
Reason #4: Cori
I asked Tam why we would invite Berto to dinner, and her answer was simple: “Cori”. If ever there was a demystifying power to our bassist, it’s his wife. One of the most delightful and fun couples you will ever meet, she keeps his feet on the ground while his head is in the clouds. (Hahahahaha!)
But equally so, Berto married someone who is as adventurous about this life as he is. Ayoba.
Reason #5: You’ll feel better about the world
It has been this way since I’ve known him. Hanging out with Berto and the rest of the band, listening to their ideals, their dreams, their own realities… it all makes me feel a bit better about the world and that someone besides Jesus has a clue about this life. You’ll benefit from hanging around this guy too.