It was 1800 hours. The chosen site was club hypnotic off Woodvale grove. This is Westlands, redlight district with several notable clubs. The club itself was situated four floors up the Krishna Centre, easy to miss if you haven’t heard of it before. Everything but the stage is thinly lit up by blue light. I’d venture a shade but honestly I can’t tell the difference between periwinkle and navy blue to save my own life.
The concert was supposed to start at 4 pm but if there is one thing, you learn in this country, Kenyan time is very reliable at being unreliable. The music does not start until an hour later. All the while sound checks were on going. Kenyan rock band manages to site a few familiar acts. Claymore project are on stage checking their equipment. The few riffs they hammer out bare a lot of promise of what the night holds. Victor Chweya from PLG has a camera in hand nursing a white cup as we all wait for the concert.
Saidimu Kiereni will be the captain of this boat for the night. A vote of thanks is given and Saidimu introduces the night’s first act. A Kenyan Gospel rock band opens the show. And they are as good as it gets. Rock of ages have to be one of the country’s oldest rock acts. One of those responsible for turning on to Kenyan rock so long ago. They play their own rendition of Barlow Girl’s Never Alone. A bit of Creed and Daughtry follow in quick succession. People are officially paying attention and more is what they want.
Sugar, spice and Saki is made from rice
Saidimu’s own band takes the stage after Rock of ages. Dove Slimme needs no introduction. This popular Kenyan rock band was out to entertain, and entertain they did. Jilian, lead vocalist and resident diva knows how to work her crowd. With a mix of Swahili humor, Japanese pop culture references and wit, she kept everyone laughing all the while giving a great vocal showing.
|jilian from dove slimme|
True to their 90s kid roots, they kick off their performance with a rendition of the power puffs girl’s theme song. Nostalgic cheering and bashful attempts to sing along fill the club. They have us all under a cackling, half-drunk spell. Next, they play their rendition of Faint by LP and spin my head right round.
Saving the best for last, they end their time on stage with three of their hit singles; Yelele, Party at the ban and Leo ni Leo. They also did Why you got to be that guy. They did not forget to play their version of the national anthem either. Underneath all that cool, deep inside there’s a bit of a patriot in all slimmeheads. At least that is what we are told am told.
Time has gone well past two hours and it is safe to say the concert had reached and passed its climax. Nothing but bravery was going to get the remaining acts through the rest of the night. Enter parkinglot grass. Led by their vocalist Duncan, PLG churn out a series of their compositions, from naweza, rainman, shimo mfukoni to kilio cha haki. Good music but crowds sometimes…
|plg lead vocalist Duncan|
Lastly, Kenya’s own boy band, the claymore project takes the stage. Their preppy, clean cut look definitely makes them stand out. They ended the show with a mix of original songs as well as covers of famous pieces. The crowd sings along to harlequin girl, paper plane and wanderer. And that is as good as it gets.
The concert closes at 11.07 pm.
This deserved to be mentioned separately: Dove Slimme launched a video for ‘Leo ni Leo’ at the concert. If you missed this one, no worries. Sondeka fest is coming on 18th of October.