While some live because they’re alive, others live for fun and gigs. Now, it was all love and party last Saturday, 1st September, at Nairobi’s The Alchemist Bar as the One More Time event went down. Organised by Vibe Tribe Africa to promote upcoming acts in the city’s busy underground scene, it featured two bands: Cheif & The Marshalls and Ambasa Mandela (formerly of, and on this day backed by, Sarabi band). With their genre-bending sound best described as Afro & Neo Roots Reggae, the outfits kept the revelers on their feet as peace-love chants rented the air.
Cheif & The Marshalls opened the show at about 10 pm. The 4-member band, fronted by lead singer/guitarist Lion Cheif, did some marvelous job to get the eagerly awaiting fans rushing to the dance-floor. Other members of the band, that is, bassist Empress Lusiche Imbogo, drummer Brian Ouma and percussionist Gugo Brian, each did their part to captivate the audience. It somehow felt like a struggle capturing the title of each song they played, well, considering that Chief & The Marshalls was, before this, still an obscure band waiting for the big break. However, their strong delivery was compelling enough to immediately elevate their status.
Soon, it was time for Prince Mandela to take the center stage and he arrived in style, with Lion Chief and his guitar joining up on the podium. A high-octane performer, fearless social champion and a great composer, all these attributes became evident as the well-traveled musician kept the whole venue engaged. You know this was true when, at the end of his one-hour-plus performance, many still had a special request. Such is the kind of fulfilling experiences that places like The Alchemist offer music fans.