Night of thrills as Ssue, Kente woo Osu crowd

And it came to pass that the well-publicised live musical performance at Republic Bar, Osu, Accra, featuring the crop of Ghana’s emerging talented musicians and patrons who came to watch will have memories to cherish for years to come.

Sophie Swaniker, a female guitarist, opened the show with her solo act – just she and her guitar unplugged – to warm up the crowd of live music lovers with her voice and strumming guitar. In all she did about six songs setting the tone for an evening of spectacular performances that will feature all genre of music.

From her original songs and a few cover versions of some popular songs, one could feel the Sade Adu-like sonorous voice, the voice of an emerging but serious musician who can represent herself on any stage in the world!

Then came a duo – Hughes and his guitarist Paa – who go by the name, Soul Crooners. A mid-tempo mixture of country music, a tribute to victims of terrorist attacks in Kenya and elsewhere in the world and one in memory of his late mother were songs which quickly endeared him to the crowd who eventually asked for more.

The group already has a few singles available on iTunes and Amazon while another single whose live version was played on Wednesday will be released today, Friday.

Many may have forgotten Kente, Ghana’s most original reggae group very popular in the 1980s to the 90s made an appearance. Spotting a new line of musicians, the band brought back memories of years gone by. With about six songs from their earlier albums, the band went on to do some classic reggae songs from their heroes – Bob Marley and Steel Pulse -songs that resonated with their hard-core fans who were there to listen to them once more.

In truth, Kente has not lost its edge: it has, like old wine, matured with grace and a track from their forthcoming album – ‘Accra – Lagos – London’ – shows they are still on top of their game. They are sure coming to heavily influence and change the direction of Ghanaian reggae in the days to come.

Currently, the seven-piece band is in the studios recording their comeback album with the new line up which show that the musical scene will hit a new high in the days to come.

Time for Ssue, the star of the evening. Backed by the Ananse Band, she did not disappoint. From her entry onto stage to the end of the concert, she was one bundle of energy taking songs from the old school female singers like Diana Ross etc to her original songs, concert goers had a lot to clap for and cheer about.

From the pop songs to the Afro-tinged songs, her energy and delivery revealed an Angelique Kidjo that will soon burst on the world stage taking everyone by surprise.

And when she did a medley of Bob Marley’s songs – One love, Three little birds etc, she brought everyone up singing along with the world famous songs but orchestrated in her own way.

Finally, she came into the title of night’s show: Osibisa’s Fire and it was something well. Both the band, Ananse, were up to the task as they played out their interpretation of the music setting the stage for a dancing competition among the relatively young audience, many of who were probably not born when Osibisa made this song.

It was a long set interspersed with a rap session where Ghana’s Ian Jazzy proved that rap music is here to stay and a duet she did with Imma Emmanuel also showcased what talented and professionally groomed Ghanaian artistes are capable of doing giving the opportunity.

But if you were not there, Ssue will stage her next concert at Alliance Francaise, Accra on July 28 where more artistes are expected to feature.

The show just revealed an emerging phenomenon: Ghana is churning out musicians, songwriters and performers and pretty soon, the pretenders who cannot perform with a band and cannot bring the crowd to their feet will fade out.

By Kafui Gale-Zoyiku