On Saturday 19th September 2015, the youngest son of revolutionary Nigerian artist Fela Kuti, Seun Kuti performed a joint show with British rapper Akala, alongside his live band, Egypt 80, at the Brighton Dome.
Opening the show was DJ Prince Fatty who played a stream of reggae songs. This created an easy going vibe and drew seated audience members to the dance floor at the front of the venue. Later in Prince Fatty’s set, a singer by the name of Shanice sung relieving vocals on top of the reggae soundtracks, adding to the appeasing ambience.
Following this set, the main part of the event began, as Egypt 80 entered the stage. Introducing themselves as a band, they prepared the crowd for the headline act who graced the stage shortly after. Assisted by two African dancers and his full band, Kuti provided the audience with a taste of Nigerian culture through immersing it into his show. Carrying an energetic stage presence, Seun frantically danced throughout his set, whilst performing his songs such as IMF, The Higher Consciousness and African Smoke.
As this was a joint show, London-born rapper Akala joined Kuti onstage for a fraction of the set. The mixture of afro beats with Akala’s Hip-Hop sound contrasted and perhaps would have been better if Akala performed in a separate set. However, the conscious lyrics from both Kuti and Akala were paired well.
In any case, the dance floor was full of audience members throughout the gig and all who performed on stage maintained high energy levels. Kuti’s performance is something that fans of traditional African music would enjoy.
By Maxine Harrison