#TheKokoConcert Review: #TeamGbolahan

The much-hyped Koko Concert, staged at the still-under-construction site that is Eko Atlantic, promised much. The erstwhile headliner of the Afro-pop scene, D’Banj had a lot to prove. His abrupt parting of ways with his Mo-Hits crew had his audience curious to see what he could deliver.

 The Nigerian acts the preceded the foreign acts did the bare minimum, they performed songs the audience was familiar with but judging from the crowd’s reaction, they were content to dance. The live stream got over the technical glitch the rendered Burna Boy’s performance silent, the (V)VIP stand gave way under the pressure, the sub-compere, Basketmouth (Idris Elba was billed as he main host of the show) did a good job of keeping the crowd distracted.

 The main part of the show commenced with UK-born Nigerian artist, Tinnie Tempah, whose performance set the bar for the whole night. He performed his songs on clear high quality instrumental tracks, which was a welcomed break from the previous artists who simply lip-synched over their hits. He engaged with the crowd, reminded them that he was one of them and at one point had the boys in the audience waving their t-shirts over their heads helicopter style, he danced, he ran and thanked the crowd.
 Next up was D’Banj’s label mate, Pusha-T, an artist with barely any name recognition in Nigeria, he performed his guest spots on several singles, the crowd, as one tweet put it ‘looked at the guy like an election poster’. The Nigerian concert audience can be unforgiving on a performer, unless an artist is willing to expend huge amounts of energy to get them on side a la Tinnnie Tempah or perform hits that they are already familiar with. Pusha exited the stage to polite applause.

 Idris Elba, the Hollywood heart throb, whose presence at the show prompted Lagos chics to buy fresh weaves and wear high heels to a beach concert in the hope that he’d make eye contact with them, made another appearance to introduce the ironically named Big Sean, also a GOOD music label mate. Sean, told the crowd he brought his family to experience the ‘motherland’ and even though he lost his luggage, he was keen to put on a good show. In his ill-advised leather combo, he proceeded to perform his features on songs the audience was clearly unfamiliar with, he re-rapped ‘Mercy Me’, brought out Pusha T again and the crowd was made to ‘swerve’ at least three times! Despite his repeated efforts to amp them up, the crowd was not entirely responsive. Perhaps it was fatigue, it was already 2am by the time Sean, who had since shucked his leather shirt, launched into his hit with Chris Brown, the aptly named, ‘My Last’.

 Big Sean exited the stage, Heartthrob Idris came back on, he asked the crowd to give it up for the biggest artist in the world, one could almost feel the tired crowd perk up, ‘Is it Kanye West, is it Jay Z’?! Then there was some more commotion on the already over crowded stage. Someone pulled out a Yoruba film style ‘Kabiyesi-Crown’ and placed it on a figure cloaked in a deep red damask, the robe came off, as did the crown, it was D’Banj. Sigh.
 If there was a roar when he revealed himself, resplendent in his shirtless glory, it was hard to hear. He launched into ‘Oyato’ his semi-hit pronouncing himself as a standout on the scene. What was however hard to understand was, the CD track was playing, as was a live band that sounded strangely amateurish. He then gave a long speech, asking the already tired crowd to show him some love before turning to VVIP section and apologizing for what one can only assume was the disorganized natured of the show. Unsatisfied, he turned to main body of the crowd, those who paid five & twenty thousand Naira respectively and asked them to ‘beg the (V)VIPs’! After this revealing episode, Naeto C came on, for a review of his performance, please see the second paragraph.
 He then launched into a couple of his GOOD Music era songs, at it was that point that Gbolahan came into view.
 #Gbolahan was a member of the crowd, whose body language seemed to reveal what the majority of the audience felt. He kept hands in his pockets as D’Banj performed his GOOD Music songs, shifting from one foot to the other. The hands came out as Davido was introduced and launched into his non-descript hits, he was familiar with these songs, he did a little jig from side to side. He cocked his head to the side in utter bemusement as D’Banj took Davido to the right of the stage because “the people wey pay money dey dat side” and with sweet irony, he announced, “ah won ti lo le” (Ah, they’ve gone home). We knew what Gbolahan, in his No. 14 Arsenal jersey was thinking, ‘My 5k is money too’.
 We lost Gbolahan when D’banj decided that at 3am, he would launch one of his yankee acts, who would engage in vocal gymnastics and sing a song no one was familiar with. The crowd thinned out at this stage.
 To close the show, D’Banj launched in to his single stellar hit on the year, the Don Jazzy produced ‘Oliver Twist’. At this point, Gbolahan reappeared, as D’banj sang, he stood almost still, the hands were back in his pocket. He had stayed till the end, perhaps in the vain hope that D’Banj, the dapper happy-go-lucky star of the Naija music scene would come good. As the song drew to a close, he shook his head and did a slow shuffle to the exit as the ‘Koko Master’ finally thanked the 5 & 20k crowd for coming.
 In the end, it was Tinnie Tempah’s show, he performed like someone who knew people had paid to see him, the clarity of the backing tracks he rapped on and his determination to keep the audience engaged made sure, even in the middle of the mediocrity that was the Koko Concert, there was a highlight for the audience to take away.

The New & Old

I can’t even bring myself to open with the usual, ‘it’s been a minute’! It has been a long time and then some. I’ve thought about blogging, I think about it a lot. Finding the time had proven to be really rather difficult these days but I’m motivated right now, I’ve got a strong need to write so, here it goes.

Those who are familiar with the blog know some things about me. i.e likes, dislikes, passions etcetera… So, where do I start? I’m still a banker of sorts, since the last time I wrote, I started a project with my boy Mac, we’re pretty serious about this one. Fingers crossed, I can say more about it soon. I don’t wanna jinx it. Yeah, it’s a silly fear but I’m holding on to it. . I bought an iPad, that’s a big leap from me. I’ve gone from being irritated by the ubiquity of Apple products to being a user, though I’m not quite a fanboy like Mac but I coming round. I also bought a camera, and in my personal time honoured tradition, dude is called ‘G. Parks’.

I took a trip to Naija in November, it helped me square my circle. By this I mean, I realised that I’m too open, too welcoming and a lotta folks will take advantage of that! So, what does yours truly do? Well, far be it for me to change, I’m tryna apply some wisdom to the situation, I truly believe in forgiving all the ungrateful muhfuckas, I just don’t have to let them back in my cipher, right? Anyway, the highlight of my trip, I got to hang out with a friend that has quickly become my favourite. Err, let’s call her Yellow, very cool level headed chic, I dig her a lot, Lagos was a let down this time around, but for her and a couple of folk, the trip would have been a total dud, so I’m, pretty grateful.

I’m planning another trip to Lagos and Abuja soon, if anyone knows any cool joints, please hit me up. I should do some more ‘high brow’ things when I’m home. All I get into is drinking and clubbing, I can do that anywhere! The signs are good though, I’ve got G.Parks, I’ll be well armed next time and I promise to document my trip.

So, I was talking a friend of mine the other day, this is a casual friend at work, an older dude, one who has this rather ethereal way about him, I tend to give a lotta weight to what dude says. He gives off this air of having seen and done a lot, yeah, I dunno if I mentioned that Tv and I are giving our little situation another whirl! I may blog on that at another time. Dude did some mad psychoanalysis on me, I’m buzzing right now. Not in a good or bad way, it’s sorta like being made aware of the some exposed nerve(s). I don’t know if that makes any sense.

My tastes in music remain the same, I still dig my Saffa house music. As I typed this joint out, I had this song in my head ‘Those who wait’ by Daley, dude is a British cat who’s real heavy into his soul thing. He put out a free mixtape not long ago, quality stuff, I’d recommend a download. Oh, back to the Saffa House music, I’ve been playing the hell outta this joint, I’m guessing it’s old, but it’s new to me,  , ‘Lento’ by Professor, this is my song!

This felt good, almost like I did take the unduly long break.


Anonymously, censor me,

So, I called Verastic's show last week. The topic was ‘anonymous bloggers’ The pros and cons of it (or something like that)

I thought about the implications of me not being anonymous, though I blog under a pseudonym, most people that know me, will know that that is me.

Also, I send people to my blog, like, if they ask me these ‘getting you know you’ kinda questions, I always say, here’s my blog, go read it.

Also, I loathe the idea of keeping a secret blog, where only a select few will know I write or know the url. I made the conscious decision to keep an online diary; I fully understood what that meant. And, I like to read what people have to say, differing opinions are always welcomed.

In the past year, I have had to amend three posts. The first two were because I thought about what I had written and I felt so exposed, like my emotions were out there for all to see, actually the feeling was akin to being naked! And, I was not comfortable with that if I am not comfortable, I take it down. The third one, well, I think I might have been a little ‘unready’ to put it up when I did, but I've saved it. I think it’s something I’d want to read about in year, to know what I was thinking and feeling and where my head was at. That is why I blog after all.

Once, my boy’s ex read my blog and something that I had written innocently, a throwaway comment almost, caused her pain. Caused her to think things that were not there because of how she chose to understand me, and her history with my boy. I felt bad, but I was not sorry. I did not write anything about her, nor did I comment on their relationship. I tried to help her see were I was coming from but that did not go down too well. So in the end, I have to decide what is important.

I know that the downside of being so open is that people may read the blog and use the information in a way that I am not cool with but the opportunity to write what I want about my own life, emotions et al, far outweigh that fear.

I won’t resort to blogging anonymously but I will take other people’s privacy into consideration. Ultimately, this is my space, my own arena, somewhere I possess a modicum of freedom. I won’t give that up.

I have two songs of the moment, one’s an oldie, and the other is a remix . Firstly, we have ‘Fu-Gee-La’ by the Fugess. There’s something about the way Luaryn sings the chorus that has been getting to me these days, that ‘Ooh la la la lalala sweeet thing’ I love it!

The second is ‘Trust Issues (remix)’ by The Weekend. This songs bangs, the original is by Drake and as usual, dude is on his love/like kinda tip. This remix is more about bravado, from the protagonist and his object of lust, that is so in my zone right now. So, yeah, check it out!

That's me for this this entry, stay blessed all. x. Peace.

Me Being, Distracted. (1. The Gadget Edition)

Me Being, Distracted. (1. The Gadget Edition)

So, I love gadgets. I might have mentioned that before but I really love gadgets. So, in the spirit of my love, here is a breakdown.

I am mainly an audiophile; I am on an incessant quest for a device that can deliver damn near perfect audio. I have speakers, headphones, earphones because of this singular mission. Currently, I’ve got beautiful cherry wood speakers with great drivers (really, the sound that these bad boys out put is just great and to think they are about 6 years old), I have a blue tooth speaker, the sound from that is not so impressive but the technology is in the incipient stages, so I cannot complain, plus it’s mad convenient. Lastly, I’ve got a baby wireless speaker, the sound is great, the price was even better, I’d recommend it.

Now, to my passion, my babies, my joys… (Yes, I am slightly nutty but I think you all know that by now) My headphones! I’ve got 5 headphones at the moment; they are all black, all pretty. These are my two favourites, Marshall Majors, bought for me by one of my favourite women  and these Bowers & Wilkins P5s, (That I call Marshall& Kora, yes, I name my gadgets! I may introduce you to the rest of my headphones by name, should the mood take me, I’m sure you’re excited!) bought by yours truly. They both sound great but different. I prefer the Marshalls because they are not as ostentatious as the P5s but I had to have the P5s, I’m a music head and game recognise game.

I knew I wanted to wanted to buy a phone, I had grown quite tired of the Blackberry Bold and its wack OS, its small ass screen and general shittiness. So, I did mad research for a phone that I could use as a personal media player (pmp) as well as having the functionalities that I was looking for from a phone. I decided on the Samsung Galaxy S II. Goodness, the phone is the business, as a pmp, it functions beautifully, the picture quality is great, the Android OS is much better than the shitty ass BB OS, the only reason I still hold the BB is to speak to Naija people. Anyway, I dig my phone, and I didn’t want an Iphone, its ubiquity and Apple’s general paranoia about content put me right off. I wanna do as I please with content that I have purchased or placed on my phone, Apple does not want to allow that, so it can bugger right off when it comes to phones. I’d recommend the SG SII any day. Really, it’s a great piece of kit. I call her Sadé.

Finally, I caught the bug! My boy has been on about the wonders of this thing for years and I’ve just basically aired him. But I succumbed; my senses were overwhelmed with the beauty of the thing. So, when it came time for me to upgrade my laptop, I thought long and hard, did mad research and decided to get a……. *sigh* MAC! I have no opinions on it yet as I’ve just bought it, I’ll give it about a week to see if we’re compatible. I wanted a strong masculine name for him, so I asked around, E.Q. suggested Nkém, and that’s what he’s called.

These are the things that give me comfort right now, I'd put up a photo of E.Q. but she's not a gadget... She's been good to me.

I have two songs of the moment, I like both for different reasons. This one, 'Stimela' by Hugh Masekela speaks to my soul, so I choose to share it with you. My boy Mac put me on to this particular song, dude has the best taste in music, really. I wait for him to discover something and then share, I almost always dig whatever he recommends. So here, this is a masterpiece and I'm sure it is well known to most folks but I'm a Johnny-come-lately. :-)

I bid you peace.

Final Quarter. (Static)

So, I've been wanting to write for a minute now. Been constructing paragraphs in my head for about a week now. But, as I've doing since I started this blogging thing, I'll write from my head or heart, wherever the words choose to emanate.

The point has been made. :-)

My song of the moment: 'Can't Do Better' by Jojo. She went hard on that track!

The VIIth

So, it was yours truly’s birthday on the 7th! I’m a year older, I’m not so sure if I’ve gotten any wiser though.I was going to write a long reflective post but I think that is unnecessary considering I've kept a diary of sorts on this blog.

The first thing most people asked me was ‘how does it feel to be a year older’ Dumb ass question. Like a new feeling will suddenly descend as soon as the clock hits 12. I feel the same now as I did before my birthday, the one difference, I will say though, is the thought that I need to own something. I.e. a house, car, business (okay, I have this but it’s not very exciting) or some land. The latter is the most attractive proposition of all. So, overtime and weekends at work is me for a while.

Now, I’d be the first to tell anyone willing to listen that I am super boring. I talk a good game but ultimately, I am not the party starting or life of the party (once it’s started) kinda chic…. No! Left to me, I’d spend most birthdays in my underwear, eating plantain crisps and watching war films. But, luckily, I have friends, people around me who are determined to save me from my own tedium.  . So, on Sunday, the boys took me to see Asa! She was great, she sounds just like she does on wax. She engaged with the audience, in her French accented English and she laughed a lot. I had a good time.

My birthday was on Tuesday. Not a very sexy day for birthdays but still, heaven be praised, I’m another year in. A friend of mine took me out! It was way more than I expected. I got some flowers, a book and a fancy Italian lunch, it was great. Then we went to see ‘Pirates of The Caribbean’ (Johnny Depp is a weak spot for me, I admire dude’s dexterity and the fact that he does not take himself too seriously, to top it off, he is rather easy on the eye) So, that was my birthday, in sum!

Oh, one gripe I have. My siblings are the worst!!! They remind me, very often, that being the eldest comes with certain responsibilities but between all four of them, not one card did I receive. To top it off, my sister calls me on Wednesday like, ‘Sis, there’s no food at home can you buy us some takeaway’…. Of course, I’m a sucker, so... Then she calls me today (Friday) like, ‘my friend has booked some tables for her birthday, she can’t afford the deposit, can you give me thirty pounds?’ See the thing about my sisters is that they all know I find it almost impossible to say ‘no’ to them and I am baffled as to why that is the case. Anyways, I gave her the dough but I am going to have a talk to her about being responsible and considerate. They are all grown now and I’m thinking I need to teach them some lessons. It’ll be hard but I have to make myself, otherwise, they’d never learn.

I bought myself some presents… Yay! A pair of Converses (because I prefer them to trainers), a Samsung Galaxy S II phone (I intend to blog on this later, I am so in love right now I can’t think straight. It’s a great purchase and it came at the right time) and ten driving lessons. No, I can’t drive; it’s rather embarrassing at this point. I’ll admit, though, that I do not intend to get a car, I just need to acquire the skill. So, I had my first lesson on Wednesday, it was so boring, really. I hope I don’t have to suffer that for ten weeks, or else my plan to learn will be swiftly aborted.
I’m meeting up with the Co-D (or is that the ex Co-D) on Saturday. I’d be excited if I wasn’t so nervous. I wrote about our break up and the one and only time we’d met up since here. The deep freeze between us has been thawing and I miss her wit. She’s the one person in my life who can tell me about myself, in ways that jolts me into action. Johnny is much too nice, E-Mac is very tentative about these things, and the only other person who could maybe do it (but would never) is P but my relationship with her is very different to that I have with my other friends. So, yeah, back to E.Q. I’m seeing her and we’re gonna hang out at some fancy spot that she has chosen.

I’m typing this at my desk. I have met my objectives for the day, I must say that I am not particularly keen on this office, it is cold and most of my colleagues are close in age to my pops.

I’m off now, I gotta go to my girl Tinu’s goodbye party. I am going to miss her so much. She is off to Naija. The upside is that when I’m in Gidi, there is somewhere for me to stay and someone cool for to hang with!

Below is my song of the moment. It’s ‘Let Me Know’ by Collie Buddz. (One white boy that could get it and then some!)

An hour

I'm slightly high right now, off nicotine. That happens to me sometimes. I smoke, not heavily though. Sometimes when I inhale, I get light-headed and my eyes narrow, it's akin to a cannabis induced expression, or I've heard. :-)

The new job is, erm, well, interesting. I'm flying all the way solo. My manager is working in another city, so, it's me and the team. I'm slightly scared training new people, they sorta expect you to know everything. I'm pretty confident with what I know, vis-a-vis work, it's the expectations that jar me a little bit but hey, I wanted the challenge, so here it goes.

I went to watch rugby with my boy, Johnny. It was a very odd experience. Dude is into all sorts of sports, I was distracted, the men wear teeny tiny underwear like shorts but that was not the cause of my distraction. It was far too cold for me to enjoy this outdoor sport, I wanted to be at home! But, dude comes to my things, so I guess, I felt like I had to do it. Still, getting to hang with him is always good, keeps my brain fresh.

So, as a little treat to myself, I was working on this little piece. It's called an hour. If you read it tell me what you think.
An hour.

Tonight, my door bell rang. I was in the middle of watching 'The Good Wife' or fantasising, I cannot quite remember which. Anyway, I was pulled outta my reverie, walked to the door bare footed. I opened the door in a hurry, blinking, rapidly. Err, I wasn't expecting you. Hands in your coat pockets, a half smile on your face. I was tempted to ask you, in the manner in which I felt it 'What do you want'. Instead, I steadied my gaze, ready for the words I knew were coming. 'I'm sorry' you said, 'forgive me'. I stepped aside to let you in. You were too late, yesterday, I cared.

See, I had woken up, picked a shirt I thought you'd like, we're doing lunch, going to a quiet little side cafe, we were gonna talk, or maybe I would have shown you the little Chinese guy who makes little sculptures from grass blades, I dunno. There's a canal close to my office, we would have walked past it, there are trees too, tall thick trees that conceal all kinds of things, hmmn, this is the point where I'd get hastily rewarded for my patience.

For an afternoon, maybe an hour, we'd forget that it's been a long month. I hate walking in heels but I 'd slow down, the time has to last longer than this. In my head I expected too much, way too much. But I'll fill you in. Back to my little apartment, where you tell me again that you're sorry. Now it's my turn for the half smile, 'I know, I know you are' but an hour would have made all the difference.

I wake up, to the sound of my door buzzer going off, I'm pretty sure it's about to be dejavu.

I'm off to bed, it has been a long day. Stay blessed.