Writings of the general word's body

Monday, October 10, 2011

Relive Fela at Glastonbury 1984

Joy on YouTube. Over an hour of vintage Fela at Glastonbury in 1984. Lots of hypnotic Afrobeat classics to nod and sing along religiously to as though no greater truth was ever told in the lines of a song. No greater truth, period. 'Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense' 'Confusion'... I have a strong feeling I saw this film on Betamax in the 80s (only it wasn't titled 'Fela at Glastonbury' then), and when Fela and the Egypt 80 started to sing 'Deadi bodi geeti aksident, yeepa!' this time round, I was already anticipating his tight-trousered body wiggle across the Glastonbury stage - eat your heart out, Mick Jagger!

Fela at the peak of his powers, and you can catch a still apprenticed Femi Kuti playing the sax on film too. I remember the Fela, Black President exhibition at the Barbican in London, 2004; there was a piece of video art titled, 'Guidelines in Advanced Nyanshology' - on how to shake it like a Fela dancer - and there's plenty of nyanshology in this video. Excellently filmed.

The man is extravagantly introduced, on behalf of 'The Organisation of African Sovereignty', onto the stage by none other than his bandleader, Baba Ani a.k.a Lekan Animashaun.

It's Felabration time (annual posthumous celebration of the Chief Priest's birthday) and this Glastonbury film will be shown on Thursday (13 October, 7pm) - along with 2 other Fela films including the documentary 'Music is the Weapon' - as part of the weeklong programme, Shakara: Felabration at The Life House (33 Sinari Daranijo, Off Ajose Adeogun, Victoria Island, Lagos).

Featuring a variety of performers and speakers including Fatai Rolling Dollar, Ayetoro, Wana and Salvador Sango, as well as a reading of Carlos Moore's book, 'This Bitch of a Life', Felabration opens at The Life House tomorrow and is on till Sunday 16 October.

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