Joined: 12/12/2006 11:03:02
Having been to concerts by some of the great names in Congolese music I wondered what kind of people and how many would turn up for Sam Tshintu/J F Ifonge (2 former Quatier Latin singers) . When we arrived at 23.45 there was only a young Congolese couple waiting. As we were waiting for a friend we didn't enter but waited till she arrived. There was a constant flow of Congolese people arriving but they were going to a party in the same building. At 01.00 the Congolese couple and we were still the only ones who had come for the concert, as we were not sure it was going ahead we decided to go to a bar and return later, (it was too cold staying outside waiting) our Zambian friend still hadn't arrived and we assumed she would not come anymore (she arrived later).
As it was Saturday night and only 01.00 we expected to find many bars still open, but they were all closed save one. When we finally found it we were very surprised to hear African music coming from a tv near the entrance and to see several Africans at tables eating and drinking. It turned out to be a bar run by a white guy who (like his father) had been born in Kinshasa. So there we had a quit enjoyable hour drinking, eating fried banana and watching African videoclips. We left at 02.00 and when we arrived at the venue were told that the band would start shortly, on entering the concert hall we saw that about 40 people had turned up, so we grabbed a chair and sat down to wait for the band to start which they did almost immediately.
I was sorry to see that so few people had turned up for the singers, it shows that not many people are that interesed in Congolese music other than the big names, maybe another reason was that they hadn't a new cd out, but it shows how fickle music fans can be. The band accompanying the singers was the same one we had seen a couple of years earlier accompanying Lita Bembo, save the 2 guitar players who both played solo and rhythm, the only one I recognised was Zaiko soloist Tshanda, the band were more than adequate.
Eventhough not many people had come, (I think a couple of hours later there were about 120 or so, among them Malage), Sam and JF Ifonge performed like they were before a huge crowd. Both are good singers and extremely good dancers and at one moment JF Ifonge ran around the hall and then started dancing in front of the stage. The band playing very loud heart warming sebenes all the while. It all was very very entertaining and I was surprised that when I looked at my watch it was 05.30 already, that quickly the time had passed.
The concert ended around 06.15 but before that some other singers whom I didn't know had sung several songs before Zaiko singer Chou Lay was introduced. He sang a couple of songs from his forthcoming solo cd Gross Pierre which will be released in January. Great was my surprise when he suddenly was joined on stage by 5 female dancers, I wondered if they had been waiting all night till 05.45 for their performance. When Yvonne went to the toilet around 05.00 she saw Chou Lay who had trouble entering the venue, they knew who he was but the guys at the door didn't know he was supposed to sing there, after she greeted him he gave here a kiss on the cheek and continued with the heated discussion. When she came from the toilet she was stopped from entering again because the guy at the door thougt she was with Chou Lay until someone came who new better.Later when I spoke with him he was still very agitated.
At the end Sam and J F Ifonge sang the Zaiko song Bolingo Kuiti Kuiti followed by a devastating sebene played by Tshanda. When Sam left the stage to talk to some people he was still dancing, he just couldn't keep still. I wanted to talk with him but the music was too loud so I just shook his hand and gave him the thumbs up. He then thanked me by making a little bow with his head. So it probably was a financial disaster for the organizers it had been one of the most enjoyable concerts I had ever been to.
On our way back to the station we had to laugh, we were passed by several early morning busses all completely empty, save one, which came from the centre of town, it was loaded, with only black people in it.
Sam Tshintu - JF Ifonge - ?
J F Ifonge
Sam and J F Ifonge engaged in a dancing fight
J F Ifonge dancing Kisanola
Female audience member and J F Ifonge moving their behinds fishtail style (Lopele)