Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Blankets and Wine: Estelle, Muthoni D.Q, Sage, Jarel

Of heavy, hype weekends and forgotten obligations. Last week three posts were meant to go up but only one made it. Typical.

I figured instead of alluding to what happened this Sunday through a lone vague paragraph why not actually write about it. So, it all starts on Thursday evening and a local t.v show, Victoria's lounge. No lie, I am actually really into it. If I happen to be home on a Thursday night,Vicky's lounge is right up my alley. It's just one of those shows... I guess. I digress, basically all I needed to do, post a picture of myself in my best black and white get up with the hashtag #NiveaBandW on Twitter and I stood a chance of winning a ticket to Blankets and Wine. So to all of y'all who thought  that homegirl has got the funds to get herself to Blankets, the secret's out.

But what made this so special, it was A ticket not the usual pair of tickets. I was expected to be my own company for the  day. The temptation to skip out or give the tickets to my sister who runs a music blog over at The Bar and would have every reason to go was rife but in my heart of hearts I knew I would regret it. So there I was, sunnies on, leather jacket and Maasai shuka in tow ready to have a good time on my free ticket if it was the last thing I would do.

My self consciousness levels were sky high since I was absolutely terrified of being seen by someone I know looking like a complete loser in one of Nairobi's most bumpin' events. Make no mistake, it did happen, but this loser thing, it is all a state of mind.

There I am walking the vast expanse of Ngong' Race Course waterfront, vast may be an understatement, looking for just the right spot. Everyone in their social circles and I see another 'loner' or,should I say brave soul , Rehema. Just like that, literally going light on the details, we became each others company. So, humanity isn't as cold as I presumed.

First artiste on the line up, Jarel. I did not hear of him till not too long ago. I would absolutely love to write nothing but the finest of things about his performance, here comes the but...but through Blankets' past it's common knowledge if you are the first act we aren't exactly expecting you to be the showstopper. I mean, not every opening act. I will say though, he got on that stage and had himself one hell-uhv-a-time; twerking, asking the crowd to get just a li'l ratchet and I have got to give him points for his style, not many a soul can pull of that long shirt, wide rimmed hat look.

Let's talk about Sage. She is someone who simply put belongs on the stage. Came out with big hair, bowler hat, kanga in the front denim in the  back and shorts and she just owned her set. Setting the pace with Maskini which is a personal favourite. If she only sang it would be good but honey, she went all out; on the keyboard, bass guitar, vocals and Working.That. Stage. A  lot can (and will) be said about  her own performed compositions, but the covers she did. There are only two ways about covers, thumbs up or thumbs down. No in between. So when Ms. Chemutai started on that Work(Rihanna ft. Drake) tip, I was in awe at the  stellar execution.

Sage did this one song about a girl in the little blue dress, the name escapes me. Live band goes quiet and its just her vocals, a sick red bass guitar and just this aura of still. It is also worth a mention that Olive from Blaze , the drummer,the one who makes you wait 5 seconds longer to get to your Youtube fix was on drums and fam, she got skills, mad skills.

The show stopper herself , the queen. To describe her performance, I feel like I would need the whole post. She brought everything plus the kitchen sink. From the moves, to some bars, her outfit , a bit of new material from her album which is in the works, the old which had the crowd adequately riled up, served up visuals in her backdrop which had mark my words the self portrait of the year, church windows, some sort of silent movie montage, lyrics and that's not all, then came the drum solo.

Here I was thinking Olive was money, don't get me wrong, she is, but her performance was mega upstaged. I am under the impression that Muthoni DQ calculated her performance to a T especially when it came to this solo. It was dark enough to have a spotlight emphasize her already massive presence on stage and she just went at this traditional drums with the ferocity of Uganda's Ndere Dance Troupe but the class of Sheila E. at Black Girls Rock 2015. They don't call her the Drummer Queen for nothing.

All this was coming from a lady who just a few hours was doing the Blankets and Wine rounds in a flower crown and a wishy, woshy shift dress looking like she didn't have a care in the world. Let the records show that concurrently B'n'W Kampala was happening ; she had two international acts on her hands and still slayed. Where I would be a bag of nerves, she's ultimate goals.

Resident DJ for the  afternoon was hitting us up in all the right places. He had a Kendrick Lamar set with just a side of Jay Z, a set for the girls;Yoga(Janelle Monae), Formation(Beyonce) and one for the fellas; We Dem Boyz (Wiz Khalifa), Panda (Desiigner). Short, sweet and worth a mention, no?

She sure came to show the 254 love, Miss Estelle. On the real though, I was not exactly dying to see her so I didn't stay for her whole performance. I do know that we moved her to tears when we sang along to 'Come over'. Mad props should be given to her for performing  covers; Bob Marley-Is this love,Oliver Twist-D'Banj as opposed to a whole bunch of new singles which, well would have the crowd least stimulated. Future international acts,borrow a leaf, unless well, we really love you, you wouldn't have to worry about that.

Sigh, nothing like an afternoon spent on wholesome festival vibes.

This may be the longest post to date, but hey, I don't make the rules, my thoughts and memories do.

Have a good one!

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