Felabration 2018 - Glenfiddich Experimental Night
On a windy night, yet beautiful night of October 19, 2018, at Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, a leg of Felabration held.
Felabration has grown to become a yearly colossal event to celebrate the greatest Nigerian musical act, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.
This yet promised to be a different set as Fela would have been 80.
The event tagged, Maverick Experimental Night had a line-up — tagged ‘Challengers’ — of Femi Kuti, Segun Kuti, Simi, Adekunle Gold and The Composers from the UK in what definitely looked like a, ‘family affair.’
The event was themed ‘Baba @ 80, Overtaking Overtake’ and it was sponsored by Glenfiddich.
At first glance, the niche millennial music lovers were definitely out to party in full force.
The scenery thoroughly oozed a modern class the late great Abami Eda might as well smile.
The element of class was evident in the venue, calibre of music lovers present, the magical colors and decor rich in imagination.
First off, media OG, Olisa Adibua, anchoring the event welcomed the audience and ushered in Adekunle Gold, the first to perform on the line-up.
He performed Ariwo ko, Call On Me, Pablo Alakori, Money, Mr Foolish, Pick Up, Work, and My Life.
He then decked with a cross-section of Big Shaq’s ‘Mans Not Hot’, ‘Feeling Good ‘by James Brown, and ‘Issa Goal ‘by Naira Marley to a raucous African percussion before closing with Iréto much adulation.
Guest DJ, the legendary Jimmy Jatt, set out with a set that had the latest big pop tunes in the country.
Next up came the mercurial singer, Simi, who delivered great performances across songs like Foreign, Owanbe, Open and Close, Aimasiko, an Afrobeat version of Joromi, and a masterclass of the ballad, Smile For me.
The Composers came on stage and played instrumentals to songs like Terror Squad’s Lean Back, Sisquo’s Thong Song, then threw it back to This is How We Do It by Montell Jordan.
Multiple Grammy nominee, The legendary Femi Kuti, launched his act by treating the audience to a musical masterclass of instrumentation for about 20 minutes.
He controlled and canvassed his audience with his trademark footwork before engaging his saxophone on one note for about 10 minutes much to my delight — it showed musical ability and lung durability.
He then switched to a brilliant rendition of Na Their Way Be That, the 1995 hit, Wonder Wonder, before the madness of Se Were stirred the crowd into delirium.
The legend then digressed to how Emmanuel Macron was inspired when he first came to Fela’s Shrine in 2002, listened to Fela’s music before telling introducing his new band member, his son.
He continued with 2018 single, One people, One World and then, pick of the night; a performance permanently etched in my memory, Evil People.
Femi passed the baton to his son and treated us to over 20 minutes of melodious multi-noted saxophone madness of incredible tune maneuver and mouth strumming alongside his son.
The unexplainable connection to what was going on could be felt from the audience, the energy was brimming as Femi and his son went at it.
We were all left in bits when his son took the stage and ran us mental, determined to show us he was a man of himself. He showed the Kuti in him. I was here.
Seun started off with a dig at bloggers over their ramblings of sibling rivalry. He then went off with Pansa Pansa, You Can Run, off his 2011 album, From Africa with Fury.
Seun brought the energy and originality of Afrobeat, as a genre that marked an entire era in Nigeria. His act signaled a perfect end to a night of music.
He was neither shouting nor concerned about the decreasing crowd. He just sang his heart out and introduced his little girl to us.