THE GODOWN ARTS CENTRE
This last weekend, I was supposed to cover a few events in the city. I live in Nairobi where I work as a Journalist at Africa24 Media. My social life has been a bit drab lately so when Eddy Kavai (our resident entertainment and events expert) asked me to cover for him; I jumped at the chance.
I love music and I must admit I am not the biggest fan of Kenyan music. Going into this was almost like a visit to your local fundi (tailor). You are hopeful that just maybe they will see your outfit goals through, without much back and forth, but you’re still skeptical that your vision will not be fully executed. Anyway I got my jaded butt in the office and set off with the crew.
Our first stop was the Godown arts center located in Nairobi’s industrial area. Once inside the Godown compound it was almost as if everything including the ground was in motion. The air charged with excitement was filled with music and voices from almost every race. I know some Kenyan artists have a healthy fan base. But the cosmopolitan nature of the event must have had something to do with the fact that it was a reggae concert. You know one love and all that.
I looked around long enough to scope out the fashion. Some outfits were on fleek. ……Others best left buried in the deepest darkest corners of closets. Not even goodwill would have any use for the stuff. Up until this point I had done a grand job at tempering my expectations. We set up our equipment and joined the party.
A band I had never heard of was on stage doing covers of reggae hits. I immediately thought “hhhmmm good thing I was psychologically prepared for disappointment”. Fast forward to the next band Royalty by Blood, they stepped to the stage in camo. Well except the female lead vocalist who was in green African print. I have to say that lack of harmony didn’t sit well with my OCD tendencies. Anyway I decided to turn a blind eye and focus on the performances. All these bands were curtain raising for the main act The Graviti Band.
Royalty by Blood simply slayed and although Graviti was the main act they had some big shoes to fill. When they finally got on stage an hour later than promised, they shut the place down. The only wrinkle in the otherwise flawless complexion of their performance was the fact that they performed very few of their compositions. Most of their set consisted of Morgan Heritage’s hits covers. A couple of interviews after the last act, we were ready to hit Westgate for another concert……………To be continued.