Osibisa strikes… Jake Hits The Floor

At the mention of Osibisa, what readily comes to mind is thrilling concerts that leaves one asking for more. So there was no way I was going to miss Citi FM’s Music of Ghanaian Origin (MUGO) concert especially with Osibisa on the bill.

And man didn’t I have a good time. Remember the ‘Final Home Coming’ concert in 1999? It was a real party time as they did a rendition of their collection. They worked the audience up and got them dancing till they left the stage.The excitement was such that the Minister for Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey shot out of his seat to
boogie down.

I doubt if anyone left the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) disappointed last Friday. The show was rollicking as it was expected to be.

Wow! what stagecraft, power and finesse? Who said Osibisa has lost its touch? However, one cannot deny the fact that age is telling on them.

The vibrant Teddy Osei had to be helped on stage due to a limp from a mild stroke. Obviously tired as the concert went on, he sat down down.

Yes Teddy Osei took a seat and cupped his face in his palms when the group played Woyaya which begins like this we are going, heaven knows where we are going, we know we will, we will get there, heaven knows how we will get there, we know we will…..’.

There is no doubt that they’ve still got what it is that made them the most-sought-after group in the 70s even though they have lost three key members—Lofty Amao, Darko Potato and Kiki Gyan to death.

Also absent at the MUGO concert were Kofi Ayivor, Dekoto Mandege and Wendel Richardson. Yet it was fun and more fun.

The euphoria was so obvious and when the group was announced and Teddy Osei, Mac Tontoh, Sol Armarfio, Ralph Bannerman and Greg Brown appeared, right from the time they mounted the stage through the time they ended, it was all excitement.

For close to two hours, these grandpas noted for their unique hybrid of music which they call criss-cross rhythms, treated patrons to a good time.

The esctacy was absolute. It happened on Fire Will Burn You, Super Fly Man, Music For Gong-gong, Welcome Home, Woyaya, People Say, Patapata, Hosa-hosa-ho, Sunshine Day, Kokrokooo, among others.

And each time, the audience participation was just uncontrollable as they sang and danced in a frenzy. Then all too soon, the Osibisa session of the concert came to an end without them doing the Coffee Song.

I just couldn’t believe they would do this to us. After about five minutes of chants of “ We want Cofee Song” from patrons, Osibisa took their place once more on stage and that was something else.

It was just too much. Osibisa’s gig was preceded by interesting performances from Ramblers International Band led by Jerry Hanson.

The veteran musician did one song to the admiration of patrons. The best moment was when the band played Eddie Floyd’s Knock on wood which was just amazing.

C. K. Mann supported by the Sappers Band, treated patrons to what he knows how to do best. He got the people sing to clap and dance as he dished out Adwoa Yankey, Ma To Aboa, Araba Lucy and others. The over 70 year old man still flows and he was good.

Then it was the turn of the new school. Slim Busterr was as usual at his dancing best as he twirled, twisted, jumped and swayed to a collection of his music.

Castro Destroyer did well to disabuse the minds of those who think hiplifers have a phobia for live band. He played Toffee and Bone Shaker live with support from Sappers Band. Mzbel and her dancers added pizzaz to the night.

One artiste from the new school who endeared himself to me was Kwabena Kwabena. He was just too cool when he sang Me ye and Fa me ko both slow music backed by an accoustic guitar. Then he set the auditorium on fire when he did the popular Aso.

The curtain on MUGO came down with a performance from Lord Kenya. He certainly did not mince words when he said he was not a spent force. He always succeeds in carrying his patrons into the roof whether he is coming to them through his album or live.

As a performer, few artistes rival Lord Kenya and one can see the ‘rap heavyweight champ’ undergo tremendous personality change as his body, soul and spirit and energy all came together to produce that powerful output which always leave patrons astounded.

What a show? I mean the whole gig. It was such a good show that one cannot forget it for a long time to come. The maiden edition of MUGO was great and this is a challenge to Citi FM since subsequent ones are expected to be equally great or better.