A Cool Goodbye to Alliance Francaise

We have all known the Alliance Francaise and Goethe-Zentrum stage to host names such as Susan Kerunen, Joel Sebunjo, Myko Ouma, Maurice Kirya and Tshilla, among others. It is usually a crop of ethno musicians. When they stretch a bit, they bring in musicians like Jamal and rappers such as Keko.

But as Alliance Franccedilaise de Kampala (AfK) and Goethe-Zentrum KampalaUgandan German Cultural Society (GZKUGCS) said goodbye to Mackinnon road in Nakasero where they have been housed for the last eight years, they gave us a shocker when they lined-up Bebe Cool as one of the performers.

It was his first time on this stage, but Bebe Cool proved that Bazungu also love something different. From the time he got onstage, a few minutes past 11pm, Bebe Cool, who was the last performer, got everyone on their feet. One by one, guests who had watched the entire show in their seats got up and pushed forward.

And the party started. Bebe Cool had a minimalistic band, with just a keyboard player, drummer, bassist and three backup vocalists. With a lot of energy, the singer brought the end to a wonderful night performing songs such as Big Size, Fire Burn, Nkwagala and his current hit Love You Everyday. His bassist had everyone feeding from his palm with the way he played the bass with so much passion, swinging it up and down, right and left -as he pulled off those rare dance strokes.

The show started a few minutes to 9pm after a heavy downpour slowed up business in the city. People had to bear the biting cold and heavy traffic jam to the concert. Maurice Kirya opened up the night with a purely acoustic session, strumming his guitar and crooning Malaika and Angels Carried Me. This is before he hit things up with Misubbaawa and Boda Boda.

He was followed up with another acoustic experience from Irene Ntale. With just her acoustic guitar and a percussionist, Ntale proved that music can sound rich even when the stage isn’t crowded with so many instruments. Guitarist Myko Ouma really turned the heat up with his version of Davido’s Ayee. He also switched from guitar to the tube fiddle, doing the magic with the African violin, playing his original composition Home Made.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night was Jamal, who has been keeping a low profile. It turns out he has been busy recording. If one is to go by the three songs he sampled, the brother is back. There was a lot of dancing and stomping as the crowd enjoyed the vibes when he stepped on the stage and reggae fans should look forward to his album.

The show ended around midnight and many locals were seen queuing at the chapatti stall to get a rolex before hitting the road. Now, it is official that the French and German cultural societies have moved to Bukoto street.

Source : The Observer

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