Obatala at De Vooruit 28/05
Well, what a tropical day it was Friday… and this was not just caused by those first rays of sunshine we had lately! Not only did I start my day with an exotic miniconcert by the Belgian Afrobeat Association at FNAC Ghent, but, completely out of the blue, I was also given a free ticket for Obatala at Vooruit in Ghent (How I love it when people give their tickets away because they have to attend a wedding!).
Obatala is a combo, established by percussionist Kobe Proesmans, which unites musicians of bands such as El Tattoo del Tigre, the Internationals, Gabriel Rios, Zita Swoon, Wawadadakwa (there we have them again!), and … Belgian Afrobeat Association (isn’t it a small world?). I just KNEW I’d seen contrabass player, Steven Van Gool, and guitarist, Simon Pleysier, some place before in the very recent past!
Every time, the combo invites some guests to fill in the vocal parts, thus setting out on a musical journey through a wealth of genres.
This time the collaboration featured Laïs’ Natalie Delcroix and Yorunn Bauweraerts, Kadril’s Eva de Roovere and the Haitian Marlene Dorcena. Four beautiful voices, that’s for sure.
Their musical journey took us from soul and jazz (you should see Thomas De Prins behind that piano!) to Afro-Cuban music.
It generally was Natalie and Yorunn who provided the soul and jazz solos, and with their retro outfit they really looked the part too! Marlene and Eva mainly took care of the African part. At several times I even got goose bumps, especially during the song in which Eva doesn’t actually sing but more like screams with such an emotion that it almost seized me by the throat.
The atmosphere was intimate and Obatala’s performance was relaxed: anything was possible, nothing, nothing was forbidden. It wasn’t at all polished: the girls were whispering in between or even during the songs (how I wondered what they were saying!) for example, but that didn’t really matter. They all seemed to have fun and the audience did too (although we were glued to our chairs once again), so that’s what’s important. Junior Mtombeni is, as he said so himself, not really a hero when it comes to doing the talking in between the songs, but this was largely compensated by his musical inspiration. The guy plays tons of big and small percussion instruments! And he can also produce the weirdest jungle sounds (Eva isn’t bad at it either!), which brings me to my final reflection: Obatala really should meet Chris Chameleon, the lead singer and master entertainer of Boo! (Cfr. my Boo! reviews) This would surely be a promising blend!
My pics of Obatala
Feel sorry you missed it?
Apparently there will be a broadcast of this concert at canvas on Thursday 3 June at 10:15 p.m. in the programme “Voetzoeker”.
I’d say: grab a cocktail and make it yourself comfortable in that couch of yours!