Friday, August 13, 2010
Sierra Leone Refugees All Stars
Popped over to The Coach House on Wednesday night to see this band in response to seeing their concert listed in the Goldstar events newsletter I received on Tuesday. The description of this group of refugees from the west African nation of Sierra Leone who spent years in a refugee camp in Guinea was intriguing enough, but the fact that they play a blend of African, Afro-pop and reggae music incited me to take the leap. They didn't come on stage until almost 10 pm after two (presumably local) warm-up bands, and they were still playing non-stop when we finally left at 11:30 (after all, it was a work night). Their matching print costumes (pajama-like) were as colorful as their stage presence: one young member of the band engaged in some wild gyrations in about a 5 square foot space between his fellow musicians, teetering on disaster from time to time but always regaining his balance. The same man (who also played bongos) came into the audience & grabbed my hand to get me and my fellow concertgoers off our duffs and into some dance gyrations of our own. Most of the band's members (generally middle aged) are far more low-key, simply exercising their virtuosity on keyboard, drums, guitars, bass, and vocals. The musician pictured here took the prize for the best hair--the photo doesn't quite do it justice, as his hair is down to his waist.