By Julia Loiperspberger
The city has obviously started to get into the WomAdelaide spirit, with a pleasingly large crowd showing up for the opening night of Spirit of Africa at the Nexus Cabaret. And the audience was clearly ready to party, notwithstanding a lengthy delay before the performance started.
Spirit of Africa opened with the melodic tones of the Blessed Brothers, who hail from Liberia and performed beautifully in an a capella gospel style. Their disappointingly short set was succeeded by the main event – Ziggi and the Heart of Africa, who opened to raucous applause.
This is a difficult show to review. The somewhat motley assortment of instruments in the band – a trumpet, a bass guitar, an electric guitar, a drum kit, bongo drums and a kora , later augmented by an acoustic guitar and a flute – added to the general thrown together vibe of the show. Ultimately, Spirit of Africa did not seem to be a polished performance but a group of friends who have decided to jam together. This wasn’t helped by the fact that the audio levels constantly needed adjusting, and frequent onstage discussion between the band members, giving at best an impression of a rushed dress rehearsal . These are all reasons why Spirit of Africa should not have been as much fun as it was.
And yet – as will be unsurprising to anybody who is a fan of traditional African music – the upbeat rhythms and the inescapable enthusiasm of all the performers was absolutely infectious and totally thrilling. By the end of the show most of the room was on their feet, dancing frenziedly to the high energy act and clearly having the time of their lives.
Unfortunately, the show was much too short (notwithstanding the delay in entering the venue, the show finished right on 8pm) and despite many appeals no encore was given.
But it was still great fun, and impossible not to enjoy. Just be warned – if you do go to this show, be prepared to check your inhibitions at the door and go wild.
Kryztoff Rating 3K
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