by Yvonne Ndubi
Nigeria’s certified Queen of soft rock blessed us with not just a visit but a kick-ass concert.
Outside the show there were more places to see and visit. Zainab did TV interviews on Y254 with Dj Hueskillz and Phyllin Jean on The Rock Tour. She also communed with Dj Tumz and the crew at Capital FMs The Fuse.
The show went down on 22nd June at Crooked Q it featured Dani (Seeds of Datura’s vocalist), 20 more Days, Crystal Axis, main act Zainab Sule and Dj Tumz on the deck. I was so psyched up for this gig since I missed Zainab’s previous show.
The first act on stage was Dani. The only time we have seen him on stage is when he is performing as Seeds of Datura co-vocalist. This time he teamed up with guitarists Wilson (Seeds of Datura) and Kimaru (Clan Elder) for a folk project.
They did an amazing job. Dani’s vocals are dope but can you imagine him singing Nightwish- the Islander (one of my favourite songs) and Alterbridge’s “Blackbird” and nailing it, yes he did just that and the riffs those guys slapped those guitars so hard. My favorite part of the set was when Lawrence joined him on stage to perform Seeds of Datura’s “Unbound“.
I have always wished for a folk rock/metal project; this was a dream come true, so I hope that was not just a one- time thing.
Then was time for some Swahili hard rock coutesy of Rash band.
Sam, Sam, Sam clearly your voice can raise me on my burial day, human why are your vocals so damn good? Anyway back to the show. Their set was amazing, we all know they have like the best drummer in the scene and he always delivers. Whenever Max slaps that guitar it always sends him to join the crowd and I find that to be really great for a guitarist to pull such. Colbert and Yubu are so talented too. This is one band with very talented humans so guys we need new stuff from you. Colbert and Yubu also go way back in the scene. Yubu for instance was part of a band called Black Fog Angel. Colbert as we know has helmed Void of Belonging and Culture Horizon.
Finally, the time for the lady of the hour queen Zainab Sule’s came, she may be a solo artist but in Kenya she adopted a band, definitely it had to be the tall guys’ band 20 More Days. That performance was amazing; she started off with one of my favourite song on Hypersonic album, I believe in love, she also. got us dancing to I will make you dance. This lady is a perfomer, I liked how she engaged the crowd. With that fire Performance I got to understand why she has lots of shows and tours. The band was so in sync one would have thought they had been practicing for years, but no they all met for the first time few days to the show, practiced twice and they killed it, now those are real rockstars. So Zainab we want to see more of you and your Kenyan band, Zainab Sule live in Kenya😊 should be a yearly thing.
Next up on stage was 20 More days aka Zainab’s Kenyan band, there is something about this band’s perfomance that words cannot even explain: we all know they are good but whenever they perform they keep on getting better and better. I watched them practice a day to the event, what they delivered that day blew me away. Simon has this very powerful voice it actually got someone from the crowd falling in love with him. This was their first perfomance in absence of their lead guitarist Brian, George Gachiri wasn’t such a bad replacement for the evening. Alex the afro-guy is one hell of a drummer too. But my man of the night has to be Steve Anariko, if no one has never mentioned this, I will he is so fucking good at bass damn. Like, man , the scene is so lucky to have you. As for Rodger damn man your rap game ia on another level, the rock scene should just adopt you into a rap metal band or something.
This punk girl (or is the former) was so excited about the last act, Crystal axis, the band with a lot of energy. I feel so bad I missed like half of their performance (behind the scenes problems, sorry guys) I managed to catch Devil Sold His Soul and “Killing In The Name Of” the boys delivered as usual. Ahmed has lots of energy on stage damn, Djae and Douglas are lethal on the guitar and bass respectively. But guys that Nyayo house song is so good and they performed so well I had to stop what I was doing just to watch the rest of the performance, you better release that song soon.
Zainab Sule live was really awesome. Great props to our hostess with the mostest , the MC Phyline Jean for doing such a splendid job. Not to forget DJ Tumz who held the interval well with some engaging rock mixes. The crowd was good as always other bands and djs were present. The event would have been even better if it was in a different venue and the if the physical tickets were available earlier enough. We need more of such good cause events; Thank you Zainab for organizing an event to address depression, the truth is most of us rockers are struggling with depression, with more of such events we will be able to help most of our fellow souls.
Zainab was around for a few more days later and we managed to grab some finger licking shawarma at Al-Yusra Restaurant (Notice the Avengers parallels) with the likes these awesome Crystal Axis lads. Nothing caps off a great visit like a hearty meal. Again, I can’t help but pay tribute to this awesome human Zainab. She has such a warm personality and an undying spirit – a rocker at heart. It was so heartwarming to see her share hugs with literally every fan after the event. It was truly a night to remember.