Wednesday 15 October 2014

Sold Out Felabration Has Rough Start, Ends On A High

For the fourth time Jungle by Night are organizing Felabration, the annual celebration in honour of Fela Kuti. So far they have been able to come up with great bands and this year this is no different. Next to German band Karl Hector & The Malcouns they were able to book Ethiopean jazz master Mulatu Astatke. Plenty of reasons to join the celebrations again.

Felebration at Paradiso Amsterdam, October 11 2014

The celebrations are off to an early start and we can't make it in time for the beginning. Unfortunately this means we miss most of Karl Hector & The Malcouns' performance and walk in during their last song.

Mulatu Astatke
I'm glad though that we're on time to see Mulatu Astatke and his great band. After their wonderful performance at the Into The Great Wide Open festival last month I'm ready for a lot more. Unfortunately the sounds is absolutely awful and Mulatu's vibraphone is almost impossible to hear. The sound engineer must have been sleeping since it doesn't really improve and the sound stays pretty band throughout their performance. Mulatu and some of his band members are sometimes looking desperately in the direction of the monitor engineer, so I'm guessing things are sounding bad for them as well.

It doesn't get them down though and the band are trying their hardest to play a good show. The Ethiopean master is sometimes explaining what composition they were playing, but this is hard to understand. You can tell he has composed sound tracks since some of the songs sound cinematic. In other compositions you hear why he's performing here tonight, when the songs are explosive and percussive. The skill of these musicians and the strength of the compositions make their performance beat the miserable sound.

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Jungle By Night
Things are different when Jungle By Night take the stage. Maybe the settings of the sound table were saved only for their performance, since there don't seem to be any problems during their performance. The young boys are once again in a festive mood and totally turn the night into a celebration. By now they can turn any venue into a party and get any crowd to move. Where their older songs are typical afrobeat songs, the songs of the new album are so much more. What they have in common is that they all sounds exciting and are played with a lot of heart.

The boys are firing up the willing crowd and are totally killing it tonight. And of course they go out with a blow, when all musicians of the night are joining in on the ultimate Fela Kuti song 'Zombie'. Kuti himself would have loved to be on this stage himself.

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