>AFRIKA EXPRESS 2: The experience


I was invited by my friends from Radioclit to perform an “all new stars” version of Secousse (soon to be released) live at Afrika Express (part of BBC proms) last Wednesday at KOKO (Camden).

There was a pre event at a pub next to KOKO in the afternoon, the organiser told everyone to come from 4pm to meet other artists and “jam” between them.
We got there at about 6:30pm just in time for dinner I met a few familiar faces like the ver lovely Jack Penate and had chats and and food before the start of the night, there they were! Kano, Damon Albarn, Flea (from Red Hot Chili Pepers) and bunch of Afrikan musicians that I probably heard their music but never knew how they looked like!

The whole evening was pretty good apart from some “collaborations” between lads from indie bands like Hard Fi who played 3 songs “jammin” with afrikan musicians that they left behind and took the stage thinking with their electric guitars as if it was their solo concert…really appalling appearances by “the aliens” don’t know where they come from but certainly retarded and nothing to do with what the whole event was about.
Another out of place performance was the one by the Magi Numbers who again played 3 of their songs pretty much like they sound normally and with none or not much collaboration with the afrikan artists.

Obviously there were great stuff on the evening too like the performance by Amadou and Mariam who gave the audience goosebumps!
You can read a much better review than mine by Ruth Barnes on the BBC6 website

The whole idea of collaborations between musicians is great but the fact that there wasn’t really a schedule for the performances and everything was so “free” created a bit of disorganization, we had to wait until 2:30 am to finally decided that we should go on stage in a “guerilla” appearance! if we didnt do that we weren’t going to perform! (that’s what happened to BURAKA SOM SISTEMA) they hang around all night and didnt get to perform. So yeah we (mimitah, mo laudi, marina, jose hendrix and I) went on stage and did two songs! to amusement of the stage crew! here are some photos!

Anyways it was an honour to be part of this event and seeing all these amazing personalities going onstage together and playing live was great, after this night I just like to research more about what they do and their music.

The night for us ended after we performed, with some random people congratulating our effort! all tired went home thinking that one day we’ll be the ones headlining an event like that.