What a concert yesterday night for Angelique Kidjo at the Barbican! She was just a-ma-zing!
The power, the energy, the aura she exudes... We were on our feet dancing away. She sang many tunes from her latest album Djin Djin, which I am bound to buy after such a performance!
She runs around, she dances madly, she sings like no one else, she makes us laugh in between songs, her musicians are awesome, and her music is so uplifting! This is one of the best concert I've ever been to!
This was also partly due to a very good supporting act, the beautiful Mayra Andrade. Her music is close to that of Cesaria Evora (Mayra is from Cape Verde too) but I also found a hint of fado and bossa nova in it. Her voice reminds me of Astrud Gilberto and Amy Winehouse. Her stage presence equals Mariza's: she is very magnetic, and chats happily with the audience. She also sings in French sometimes, like Susheela Raman. As you have guessed by now, I think she is great and she joins my group of Queens of World Music! Gotta buy her album too!
Also, Angelique invited members of the audience to join her on stage for her last two songs! I jumped on this occasion and was first on stage! hehe We all danced around and I shaked my booty with her at one point. Brilliant! It was totally a "Love the people, Love the world" moment though, quite cliche really: all those people young and old of different races dancing together on some African tunes. I felt like I was in a Michael Jackson video or a Benetton advert. hehe
Here is a review from a professional reviewer from the Guardian, who obviously wouldn't have been there by himself otherwise, and who certainly is not a fan of African music: "She has a fine voice, but her songs were often brash and furious" That's the whole point! You gotta scream with her and get it out of your system, your joy, your pain, everything you have in you, out it goes!
Below Angelique Kidjo's version of the Rolling Stones' Gimme Shelter. Angelique Kidjo is angry that Africa is always portrayed in a bad light in our media, but when things are that bad, she supports the cause, here the plight of the Darfur refugees. This song makes me dance around though, but hey: Love, sister, it's just a kiss away!