wed 28/10/2020

Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra, Purcell Room | reviews, news & interviews

Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra, Purcell Room

Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra, Purcell Room

Better than the original

OK, let’s start with a bit of icon-bashing. In some circles, to say that a current Afrobeat band might actually be better than what the originator of the style, Fela Kuti, produced in the 1970s, would be as outrageous and absurd as proclaiming that the Ruttles were better than the Beatles. Fela Kuti is untouchable and beyond criticism, just as John Lennon and Bob Marley are. But Fela’s mythological status  is fed by an incongruous mix of the good, the bad and the ugly.

OK, let’s start with a bit of icon-bashing. In some circles, to say that a current Afrobeat band might actually be better than what the originator of the style, Fela Kuti, produced in the 1970s, would be as outrageous and absurd as proclaiming that the Ruttles were better than the Beatles. Fela Kuti is untouchable and beyond criticism, just as John Lennon and Bob Marley are. But Fela’s mythological status  is fed by an incongruous mix of the good, the bad and the ugly.

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Zombie by Fela would definitely be among my all time favourite tracks, ever, in the entire universe. Ok - he also produced some dope filled, meandering tunes, but at his best the guy was a genius and his imitators are a pale shadow of the originator. Mr Male's backtracking at the end almost makes my point for me.

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