In recent times, some Nigerians concerned about the dwindling fortunes of the arts and entertainment industry in Nigeria, and Lagos in particular, have gone beyond mere rhetorics and complaining about lack of government support and dearth of infrastructure, to throw their hats into the ring in their bid to bring back the glory days of the appreciation of the arts and entertainment. My reckoning is that they have largely succeeded and though much work remains to be done, consolidation is now the name of the game. The effort of one of the Bantu brothers with his AFROPOLITAN VIBES Live Shows that used to hold at FREEDOM PARK on the Island (Lagos), was quite commendable before it moved to another location, while AFROCENTRIC RHYTHMS held forth. Lemme mention to you an exciting couple, whose activities on the Lagos' Art and Entertainment scene is quite commendable. I was first exposed to them at a Book Reading, which I wrote about, two months ago. Between then and now, Ed Keazor and Muni King have hosted and/or partaken in (to the best of my knowledge) the ALKEBULAN FESTIVAL at Freedom Park, the special feature of which was a photography exhibition by Muni King, (where I was particularly taken by and with the photo titled "THE NAKED BISHOP" by a photographer whose name I couldn't pick because of the distance between the picture and the barrier where spectators could view it from, at Kongi Gallery within Freedom Park in Lagos Island), several Musical Shows, Lagos Jazz Series, and Festivals, including the second part of the Falomo Festival, tagged "Eko For Show" Sessions which I attended last night. Last night's show started rather late but once it got on, it made up for the time lost. Headliners included Èda Òtò, an extraordinary performer, who also dabbles into advocacy as an activist for the oppressed and displaced of Lagos, including the poor of Makoko, Otodo Gbame, amongst others, at a time when it is increasingly becoming a sin and crime to be poor in Lagos. I was privileged to watch him during practice sessions before the show proper, and when he eventually performed, I like the rest of the audience, was not disappointed. His blend of Jazz and Afrobeat reminded me of what Fela Anikulapo Kuti used to sound and play like in the Koola Lobitos days. The fact that he would be airborne for Belgium on his European Tour few hours after the show, did not stop him from exerting himself just for the pleasure of his audience. The Gbadun Squad were also formidably remarkable with their offering, with a band that included a violinist, a rarity if you reckon that the violinist could conjure some afrobeat into his art. The group was a beauty to watch and listen to, and the audience shouting "Saabada" at the end of each rendition of theirs to signify their desire to have more from the group, spoke to the acceptance of their art by an audience, many of which was seeing and listening to the group for the first time.The overflow of talent, from the voice of the lead singer to the ease with which other members of the group handled their instruments in the open space of the Falomo Underbridge remains a testament to the mastery of their vocation regardless of the condition under which they have to perform. K-Peace, I had watched at Afrocentric Rhythms, Freedom Park last month, give an impressive performance to wild applause, and was one of the reasons why I was at Falomo last night. Fortunately, I watched his practice session before the show, where he as usual blended Fuji with contemporary soul and R&B music, in what has become his trademark and signature offering, which for now a segment of Lagos' and by extension Nigeria's listening audience have yet to get over. Other acts, such as poets, lyricists spoken word artistes did not also disappoint when it was their turn to perform. In these days of young Nigerian singers and artistes making waves and winning awards the world over, mostly on the back of autotune, without playing even one instrument, it is very refreshing to see what was on display last night, as had been at many shows of the sort in Lagos, that I've attended, heard about or read reviews about, despite the myriad of impediments that should ordinarily make such ventures and adventure unprofitable and below par. I had entertained fears as to how Ed Keazor would overcome the noise from the vehicular traffic around the Falomo Bridge and the noise from the Power Generating set right behind the stage, under the Bridge with pictures of the then "missing Chibok Girls" painted on its pillars, but the superior sound system put to the task managed to drown the unwanted noise in the main, and equally improved as the night wore on and traffic with car horns especially, dissipated. In all, it was a night well spent, though I'm sure it would've been much more fun for a few people in the audience who hadn't come with a heavy purse, had the cost of liquor been a bit more pocket friendly. 'kovich ECLECTIC LAGOS AT FALOMO FESTIVAL

Published by m'khail madukovich