Enthusiastic Soul music lovers gathered at the K.I.C.C on Sunday evening to experience a once in a lifetime evening as they jammed with the Legendary ‘Kool and the Gang’. The two-time Grammy Award winner Kool & the Gang band left jazz, funk and soul music enthusiasts craving for more when they performed and had people on their feet dancing for hours despite it being a Sunday night and it would unfortunately be Monday morning soon *sigh*
Organized by Blankets and Wine in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and The Stanley Hotel, they managed to hold down one of the biggest events ever seen in Nairobi, one that would be a benchmark end of the tour for the Gang. They had embarked on an African tour covering Mozambique and Uganda with Nairobi being their last city and they brought the house down!
Here are some highlights from the event:
- The turn out
Kenyans have always been known to be great music lovers. Whenever concerts and events are held, no matter where they are, you can always be assured of a beautiful turn out of people; this is one of the aspects of the country that makes artists to always perform in Kenya and this was no different.
With tickets going for Kshs 20,000 for VIP, 10,000 for the lounge and Sh5,000 for the terrace, Good Times Africa promised a great show, saying fans would get it as original as it could go and the numbers in the arena could not lie. The fans turned up and they had a hell of a good time!
- DJ D-Lite
When it comes to the option of looking for a musical genius who knows how to hold it down on the decks, please call DJ D-Lite (David Mureithi). Please. Thank you.
Considering the fact that ‘Kool was the main headliner and their music originated in the 70s, it was only right for the music playlist that evening to be filled with big tunes from the era when music was music. Music that you’re grandma listened to, music that was still being played when you’re parents and music that’s funky and relevant till today. That’s exactly the kind of music that D-lite delivered.
From the onset of the evening, he played all sorts of classics, from ‘Kungfu fighting’, ‘Computer love’, some American soul from Freddie Jackson and blues from Alexander O’Neil to renowned tracks from Prince, The whispers, Inner city and Whitney Houston’s ‘I wanna dance with somebody’
- The Beathogs
The 8-piece local funk group Beathogs, lit the dancefloor with some great oldies like ‘Hey Sister soul sister’, ‘Ain’t nobody love me better’ and the classic ‘I feel good’ by James Brown.
The Beathogs have performed in a number of venues including The Alchemist, Que Pasa and Kengele’s and in events such as the Sawa sawa festival and the Rift Valley Festival.
The band’s playlist, which mostly consisted of ‘jazzed-up’ tunes from the70s and 80s provided just the right amount of energy and funk to light up the crowd for the main act.
There was also an appearance by Kenyan musician Eric Wainaina and soulful blues singer Denise Gordon who gave a stellar performance that had everyone turn up their party mood.
- Kool and the Gang!!
Let’s just first take a minute and first get excited over the fact that the all-boy band was in town! The band that is most famed for their all-time hit ‘Celebration’ graced us with their sultry voices that literally sent chills down my spine, powerful delivery from the trumpets, trombones, guitars and drums and an overall amazing choreography from all their songs. Lead vocalist James ‘JT’ Taylor together with the team entertained with hit songs such as Celebration, Cherish, Fresh, Jungle Boogie, Summer Madness, Get Down on It and Ladies’ Night.
For an almost 2 hours and 22 minutes, the Gang had everyone on their feet and the ladies went crazy especially when they sang ‘Joanna’ and their new funky single ‘Sexy (Where’d You Get Yours)’ led by their new and youngest hit vocalists Curtis Williams and Michael Ray.
In what was inevitably the most grown up, chilled out and most fun event I have ever been to, I can’t help but stand amazed by Sunday night’s performance and I also hope that the ‘We Want More’ chants from the crowd that lasted almost half an hour after the band left the stage were loud and impressive enough for the remarkable Kool and the Gang to come back and make us fall in love with them all over again!