Wednesday, 21 May 2008

NigerianComedyShow 20-05-08

Great Show yesterday in London. Took place aboard HMS President (boat built in 1918- talk about a floating Molue!), on the Embarkment.

Head-line act was Basket Mouth from Nigeria. Others include my humble self - Babawilly who openned the show, Babatunde, Tunde Ednut, Wale Gates etc.

Was a very entertaining night out.

Basket Mouth gave a good account of himself and had use all in stitches.

There was also a short talk by Beverley De-Gale of the Afro-Carribean Leukaemia Trust about the importance of having Black Bone Marrow donors

Show was put together by Mr G. David Balogun of E&C Entertainment. London

Next gig 28-6-08/ Porchester Hall, Bayswater. 5pm-10.30pm. Head line Act- Okey Bakassi.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

TV interview on Princess of Arize

Great day it was today. Had interview with Princess 'Deun Adedoyin-Solari on the Princess of arize talk show (Ben TV - Sky 194). Gracious hosts and generous live callers. Thoroughly enjoyed myself. Show cased my 'Tiger Woods' dance to Olu Maintain's yahoozee. All fun. Took pictures with Austin Eguavoen (Ex 'Super Eagles supremo' as they say) who was being interviewed for the Sports show imediately after Princess of arize.
Wish I had tickets for the FA cup final over across at Wembley. Kanu did the biz again. Scored the winner.
Up Super Eagles!! Up Naija!!

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Asa Sings 2

By 21:55 hours it was Peace… Yepa! For the ones not yet born. Next came Jailer. The band excelled here. The grove had that kind of infectious bass line that would not have been out of place on a Dr Dre jam. It felt like a big fat juicy beat was walking slowly downstairs with attitude. You just had to stand up and dance (did I just say stand up? This was a no sitting venue, thank God for strong legs!). Jailer when down very well.
The crowd gave mad love. Sang every line..I’m in chains. You’er in chains too…
Beautiful was sang with the skills of a lyrical cardiologist. Straight to our hearts, by- passing ears and brains. The emotive subject of mothers ( on the day following Mothering Sunday) really struck a chord. Asa sings just like an Assassin.
We sang..ntori omo….ti ya ni ile oko. It was so moving.
Next song was announced as the last. No one knows tomorrow. An injection of hope. My take on this was that no matter how bad today is, it can get better tomorrow, so why get depressed about it. (This show had the pharmacological properties of Prozac).
She took a bow and left the stage. Awon boys and girls no belleful o! Few made for the door but I hung around.
The she returned and gave use ‘Jara’. First Eye Adaba, then a song by Nina Simone, before doing Natural Mystic by Bob Marley.
Then we were treated to a freestyle medley of Fire on the mountain, Jailer and ..and… ..Mo ti gba gbe sha! (I cannot remember!) Babawilly was rocking too much to remember anything after that.
Big up to the band.
Janet –Vocals, Rodi on Bass/ Jeff on drums/ Nicola (a White man who i saw him singing a Yoruba chorus!) on guitar/ Didier on key boards.
We were all on a high after the show. Will most definitely go for ‘second round’, ‘third round’ and even ‘fourth round’ when new concert dates are announced.
Did I tell you I won tickets for the show by entering a competition on Gospel tonight with Muyiwa on Premier Radio? Sky TV 968
Well , I have told you now.
Finally big up to Cobham Asuquo who is credited some of the production work on this album. Na you bico!

Asa Sings 1

Asa Sings

Just like an assassin, Asa goes for the heart.

And so, here I am waiting for the show to start. Ben Onono starts off the concert with his song Badagry Beach. The packed room at the Carling Islington Academy went through the motions. They clapped at the end of each song Ben offered, never losing sight of why we were all gathered here in north London on Monday the 12th of May. Well, we came to see Asa and see her we did.
About five minutes past nine she came on. We heard her voice singing the opening lines of 360 Degrees for a few seconds before the spectacled singer walked on stage.
Then the great wrestling match began. Sections of the audience knew every line, every single lyric, every oohh and every aahh of each song. It was reminiscent of the great wrestling match in Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart, between Amalinze the Cat and Okonkwo. The fight that was described as the ‘fiercest since the founder of their town engaged a spirit of the wild for seven days and seven nights’.
The audience, which had under gone a metamorphosis into Amalinze, (with me as his eye brow) tried in vain to out sing the singer, but it was all futile. Like a slippery fish, she proved too hard to pin down. We all enjoyed our defeat as it soon became obvious that with Asa, Things Fall Together. She took control and with the aid of her well rehearsed band had us all eating from her hands (on her terms).
360 had that catchy hook, ‘I’ill be waiting’ initially used by Youssou N’Dour and Neneh Cherry in their 1994 smash hit- 7 Seconds, a song which sat at No 1 for 16 consecutive weeks in the French charts at the time. The whole audience would let rip every time Asa led us down that road, ‘I’ill be waiting!’
This became a pattern all night long; all of the songs had a part which everyone joined in.
Asa oozed star quality, and it was nothing to do with make up or clever lighting. She exhibited that rare quality of someone whose spirit was big enough to reach out and touch others. Soon the whole show blurred into one unique and pleasurable experience. Her next song, Subway had all singing, ‘My mama say baby be careful, if anybody tells you I love you ohh oh..’. I just cannot get that tune out of my head. And I wasn’t the only one. After the show as we trooped down to the London underground, those who had just left the show were easily identified. They hummed or sang with a spring in their step. It was like taking drugs (not that I know anything about that).
Fire on the Mountain (My favourite) was dropped next. I thought of when I stood on Kilimanjaro in all its 5,895m of glory. I became a child again, running and singing in primary school- ‘there is fire on the Mountain, run, run ,run!’ It was so liberating. I began to get that feeling of being in a group therapy session. No seats, little lights, everyone standing cosily close, too close if you ask me, as I found my hands accidentally striking the softer parts of the female anatomy as the dancing got hectic. In the end I had to lift my two hands up and jump. I digress. The song was done well.
I felt Bob Marley, Fela and Nina Simone come to life all in one go; in the vocal chords of Asa. I thought of the similar grooves on Gabrielle’s –When a Woman. It was Things Falling Together with Asa. Her songs, to borrow the words of Chief Zebrudaya, ‘penetration deep down to ludricate whiter’. Almost like the washing of the soul with that sweet detergent of music, the cleansing of debris off the brain’s memory cells with the pure flowing waters emanating from a truly gifted conduit; the ultimate brain-washing.
Then came a song about the virtues of telling the truth. E ro o da…..the song went. This song was not on the album.

Two ladies went on stage to sing with her. Prior to that, she had teased her audience rotten by asking for volunteers to join her on stage.
I got flash backs to primary school, when we all struggled with outstretched hands to tell the teacher the answer. ‘Me teacher. Me!’. We all had hands up in the air. ‘Me Asa, me!’.
I found her comic timing impeccable. She was funny with talent, with none of that verbose slap stick ‘gra gra’ that passes as comedy nowadays. She communicated well with the crowd. It was a joy to see. Her use of language and facial expressions was excellent. She didn’t just fill the stage, but filled the whole venue.
Next was Awe. The wrestling started again. As she built up to start the song (with the story of a boy and his lover), the audience could wait no longer and started having fits of premature singing (for want of a better word). ‘Awe!’