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Thursday, 9 October 2014

As goOD aS IT gEtS



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. 
claymore project

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.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

As good as it gets

You'll be getting puctures from last weeks performance at club hypnotic

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

WheRe KenYan tAlents are boRn part 1, Fatuma's Voice



Kenyan rock band set out on a quest to find where Kenyan talent comes from. While you can always argue that it is inborn in all of us, there are those place that nurture it. So KRB has been up and about, magnifying glass in hand, wearing reliable boots and those khaki shorts. You know the ones game hunters used to wear?
First stop was the Kenyan Poets Lounge. The place is so inconspicuous you would not think it mattered much.  A tiny sign post points to what looks like an average office building. Nestled in Nairobi’s Milimani suburbs off statehouse road, Pawa 254 is a place awash with Kenyan artistic talent.
A story is told of how the idea came to life. Fatuma is a 50-year-old woman who has been dumb all her life. Dumb meaning she cannot speak. Because of this, she cannot easily communicate and express herself. Luckily, people have come to her rescue. Her friends help Fatuma express herself by voicing what she cannot and they do this without expecting anything in return.
This story explains what Pawa 254 and its parent organization, Fatuma’s voice, are about. Organizers intended it to be a platform for young people to express themselves; talk about what is affecting society and possible solutions to these problems. This is art with a conscience. This art is conscious. Pawa 254 gives poets, musicians and spoken word artists a platform to share their work with each other and the world. Each week has a different theme which artists follow in coming up with their various works. The sessions start with a lively debate on the topic at hand.
the pawa 254 audience discussing importance of literacy


If you are worried about the calibre of performers you will find their, don’t. This is no kindergarten recital. The poets especially were very impressive and so were musicians. One, Acouslyk impressed thoroughly at the beginning of September with his fingerstyle guitar.


Of course, some artists struggle. Pawa has been the debut event for several new Kenyan artists and the crowd is forgiving of the occasional blunder. These performers are often just beginning to find their way in the industry. It provides a way of networking and experimenting with sounds and ideas. Hart the Band is one act this place has helped to develop and they intend to help more.


Pawa goes down every Saturday from 5.30 pm. Damage is 100 bob. Check it out sometime.

Friday, 22 August 2014

New KeNyan rOck MuSic



Murfys flaw released a new track a while back titled ‘dare me. The track features Mukasa from Simply Tomas. The band terms the track as an introspective, atmospheric song that raises the bar once again for Kenyan music. Kenyan Rock Band for one liked it a lot but you can judge it for yourself on sound cloud. 
PLG also released the official lyric video to their track, Naweza. This song is the second single off their upcoming album. Stay tuned for details of when it drops. The video primarily features the use of kinetic typography. The bands track, ‘rainman’ is also continues to dominate the airwaves.
Kenyan Rock Band also managed to catch a new track by Simply Tomas, ‘mpenzi’. It really tests the boundaries of rock and afro-pop but you can still check it out and classify it yourself. It is a good track either way. According to the bands website, Simply Tomas released the track in December 2013. The same applies for the songs video. Simply Tomas is also working on releasing a new album in 2014 with Herbal records.