27 February – Osibisa @ Purcell Rooms, Queen Elizabeth Hall

March 3rd, 2010

“Translated from Ghanaian,  Osibisa means ‘criss-cross rhythms that explode with happiness’ “. 


Smile will bring a sunshine day
Your smile will bring a sunshine day

Gotta be the event to blow the winter blues into next year.  Strangely, Osibisa were double booked for the Purcell Rooms because they were chucked out  to play the foyer of Queen Elizabeth’s Hall – someone musta flipped a coin –  and ya know what, they made it work.   For fuck sake, who got to play Purcell – Goddess herself?  Anyway it was hardly a challenge to this 40+-year old band – hell, they all carry their own equipment – SCANDALOUS!  Osibisa blasted us with sunshine – we were all dancin together on a beach far as I could make out – and we’d taken over the asylum.  Rumours are afoot that The Council will be shutting down QEH in the v near future, so I’d like to think we were warming up for a friendly takeover / reclaiming public property for local sovereignty / squatting etc.  The revolution will be Brit & civilised.

Is The Council quite ready?  I’d wager that we are.  Check out the chick next to me with curly-Q auburn hair who jumped up beside Nii Tagoe and jammed on the bongos with the master drummer, dancer, ladies romancer, himself – yes, she certainly did deliver.  Witness the knockout lady in the colour purple jump up on that stage & throw some W African shapes.  I’d swear they’d initiated a new member.  All roads lead back to Africa as the line b/w performers & audience blurred – and Osibisa encouraged it.  Rehearsing us for the call/response chorii of Wango, Wango & Kelele & Welcome Home  –  of course we really didn’t need it for Sunshine Day – b4 happily melting into the songs’ performance.  We didn’t just see, hear, dance and sing to Osibisa, we WERE Osibisa.  We had an invitation from the Witch Dr him / herself.   Africa We Go Go, indeed. 

There was a witch doctor in the house, on the night, who weaved in and out of the audience – he tried to show me how to dance the Wanga Wanga.  At one point he stepped up to magnificent Emmanuel Rentzos on keyboards and pointed his finger at his forehead (just like ET!).  I’d swear Rentzos entered another dimension – as if the music wasn’t already transcendental – the witch doctor threw his head back and laughed b4 moving on to the next patient.  That witch doctor tours with them.  That witch doctor is the mighty Lord Eric Sugumugu – apparently between bands at the mo


Wanga Wanga

Wanga Wanga

Greg Kofi Brown:  “In every village is a tree.  The vibes of the village come from that tree”

More info from FRock here

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