If you weren’t at Book Cafe last night, you missed a chance to see Mokoomba before they head off…again. They’re in Kenya for the weekend and South Korea next week. One wonders how they keep it up.
Last night’s show was hot on the heels of their Euro tour which saw them light up the stage at 34 gigs in 29 cities across Europe. They also headlined the gala night at the UNWTO conference, playing to delegates from across the world.
In my mind, anyone subjected to such relentless travel and performing should be showing a few chinks in their armour, but the guys were on fire, as always.
That’s Mokoomba though. They give it everything, every time.
A gig they played last year at Jazz 105 in town was even more memorable than their show at the close of HIFA back in April. The bar was nearly empty. The audience of ten or so was slumped in drunkenness that ranged from legless to lifeless. And Mokoomba played on. They sang to the rooftops, to the heavens. Even after a speaker had blown, they continued playing and dancing as if to a stadium. It was a most admirable display of professionalism, dedication and decorum.
And for the loyalists like myself, it was a real treat. Seeing the guys in such intimate surroundings as Jazz 105 or Book Cafe, is not to be taken for granted. Mokoomba are on an upward trajectory and showing little signs of letting it slide.
Running the name Mokoomba through the rigours of Google tells a story. Their name is on the lips of music lovers across the globe. And for good reason. Their music is powerfully emotive. The fusion of so many styles and sounds, the rich percussion and smouldering keyboard, ripping guitar, and of course Mathias Muzaza’s astonishing vocal prowess enable them to make music that is, all at once, gritty, melodic, soulful and exciting.
Book Cafe was quite full, but far from packed. At $5 a ticket, one wonders how so many people could have passed this one up! Until they are jamming venues here, I for one, will be soaking them up from the front.