ghanaweb.com/26 April 2007
Entertainment of Thursday, 26 April 2007
Great Highlife made in Germany
Cross Atlantic relationships between our supposedly third world nations and the West have sometimes created subcultures in the arts, which benefit both sides. It the 80’s, being called ‘burger’ was the coolest thing ever. Apart from being a status symbol, which came with an outrageous dress code, the musicians who sought a new hustle in the then West Germany came back with an updated version of Highlife music tagged with the county that gave them life: Hamburg. So as part of the Ghana@50 celebrations music lovers gathered at the national theatre to enjoy a concert celebrating the music of the many Ghanaian musicians who made their grove in Hamburg and several other German cities. The Highlife-Made-in-Germany concert was a big blast even though it wasn’t a sellout.
If you remember that song, ‘Highlife Agogo’ then obviously you’d remember McGod. The man had the best performance of the night as relative as that may sound. He did only two songs and had the crowd roaring, grey hair and all. He must have been on some sugar potion because his energy levels were way out there. Amandzeba was in the crowd cheering on his boys and when the Lumba Brothers did their all time banger, ‘Obi ate me su buor’ the scanty crowd on the second floor wouldn’t stop screaming and that changed the momentum of the show for the rest of the acts that came on.
George Darko must be the best guitarist we have in this town. His solo was so good and original you’d think it was George Benson or Bob James on the stage. Is Akyeame back or that performance was just for the cameras?
It was nice watching talented musicians bring some great Highlife without pissing off the audience with a bad case of wrong notes. The band was well layered and star-studded too. You can’t go wrong with bad boys like Zapp Mallet on lead guitar syncing with the likes of Aka Blay and Joni Fingers working the keyboards. A well traveled band always works, any day .Charles Amoah’s House Music mix still kicks after all these years and Pat Thomas pulled off quiet an appearance. The smoke machine puffed a thicker haze for his dancers and ‘Sika ye Mogya’ is still an all time favorite.
It was great that the Goethe Institute decided to organize this concert but what happened to the old guard doing their own thing, even if it means once a year. The concert was a good one; not because the artists got help from the Germans but it was the outcome of sheer genius on their part. Burger Highlife can still have a spot amongst all the redundant genres clogging the airwaves. Something needs to cut through all that dross we are forced to put up with on radio and Burger Highlife doesn’t seem like a bad option. At least they all don’t sound the same.