Tuku shortchanges Windhoek music lovers

Tuku shortchanges Windhoek music lovers
Published: 10 August 2015 (2148 Views)
This is what the Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi's acoustic guitar did on Saturday at Zoo Park in Windhoek before a huge crowd that packed the auditorium and spilled over into the edges of the fenced off area.

In fact, before the acoustic guitar, it was the mere mention of his name by various people who competed to work up the audience's emotions and heighten expectations.

Then came his appearance - a calculated waltz that cast him as a lonely figure of a man walking into the mouth of a cavernous stage and the thunderous hoarse screams from youthful fans.

The stage appeared set for a night in Windhoek with Oliver but the first song of the night from his latest album, 'Mukombe Wemvura' (loosely translated to a gourd of water), was supposed to quench his fans' thirst, but instead doused the screams.

It was a new song. A strange opening to what was supposed to be a promising night. The yells died down and the audience settled in. Indeed, this was Oliver Mtukudzi. His vocals still intact. But then that sound. And that dance.

For the mature-eared who understand not only music but Oliver Mtukudzi's music, it was evident there was a missing beat. A broken chord. A whole repertoire missing.

You then realise, gosh, this is a three-man band - Tuku himself and his acoustic guitar, the bassist and the drummer. You also realise there are no congas.

The dancing girls who double up as backing vocalists are absent. And the keyboard too isn't there. Even the sax that makes 'Neria' one of the most brilliantly haunting songs cannot be heard.

You can hear that hollowness in the music that is supposed to be sweet. You reach out for the hole in your pocket. And realise there is a tsotsi here.

Was this a low-budget show or did the promoters sell a show without giving Tuku's Windhoek fans full details? Or was it Tuku himself who opted to cut down costs of travelling by leaving behind components that give his music the flavour that has won him fans across the world?

Maybe in the future, promoters should inform the fans whether an artist is coming with a full band, performing 'unplugged' or even just coming as 'so-and-so with friends'.

Needless to say, those with immature ears for music had a great night.

- namibian

Tags: Tuku,
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