Back down to earth with a bump! African Dance Party

Wow! I am completely exhausted!

David Woolley's organisation for the African Dance Party in Stoke to celebrate the end of Black History Month was fantastic.
Our performance troupe were thrilled to be invited to share the same stage as the truly magnificent Beat Artistes last Saturday.

Our loyal and trusty friends, family and fans made up enough numbers to put on a large coach from Macclesfield to Stoke which was aptly named the Kontaani Love Bus!

The band arrived at the village hall at 3pm for a last rehearsal and run through only to find that our Janey (one of the 4 original members of Kontaani) had come down with a severe migraine and couldn't make practice. She had gone back to bed in the vein hope she would be well enough to perform later.
Sadly she got worse and with great sadness we set off to Stoke without her.

It was also sad that another original member - our Miriam could not play but for totally wonderful reasons - she is growing a little Kontaani Drummer Girl in her belly and has only a month to go!

Arriving at the venue, our wonderful friends helped to unload our drums and then retired to the nearest pub to wait for the doors to open officially at 9pm.

The dance class was just about to start so we hastily set the drums up on stage and went off to find our changing room, dump our stage gear and find our mates in the pub for a quick pint or two to settle the nerves!

We later changed and made our way to the stage whilst the DJ was pumping out afro-beat rhythms. Upon entering the room we thought it was not busy till we realised the seats and tables at the back of the room were full!
Waiting patiently and self consciously on stage while the MC introduced us was a strange feeling.

We kicked into Zaikou with beautiful Tess leading and loved every minute of it. Tess is an amazing drummer and she led the band perfectly including performing a brilliant solo.

Quick change round and I led straight into Soli Woullen - solo's by Dee and myself were well received by the audience.

Tragedy struck half way through leading Djansa when for some stupid reason I lost concentration and went into Kuku instead! This threw the rest of the band resulting in a couple of us stopped playing.
I was mortified to say the least.
We recovered and finished the piece.
I quickly apologised to the band and explained to the audience that I had gone wrong and would like to do it again.
We kicked into a short version of Djansa again and played it through better and faster. Phew, my life passed in front of me!

Finishing off with Kuku we received rapturous applause and appreciation from the audience.  We were relieved it was over and elated at the same time.

Champagne in the dressing room to celebrate and time for a few beers with our family and friends before being treated to the most amazing drumming by the Beat Artistes.
Now relaxed and a little tipsy I could not help but dance my sox off.
The Beat Artistes were absolutely stunning both audiably and visually - the choreography was fabulous as their high energy routine had them jumping around and banging sticks in the air whilst maintaining the most amazing rhythms.

Rumour has it that their leader went wrong too - so I count myself to be on a higher level now!  I can go wrong with the best of them! Ha ha

Much dancing and prancing took place until it was finally time for the coach to depart for leafy Langley.

During the performances microphones surrounded the stage as a 'live' recording took place in order to produce a CD of the evening.  How amazing is that?  Watch this space - subject to my 'cock-up' being edited out I will be thrilled to hear it!

A massive thank you to David Woolley and the Beat Artistes for giving us the oportunity to play - we all had a wonderful time!





2 comments

  • Debs

    Debs

    Just want to confirm what Marie has said about the wonderful night we all had, and that it doesn't matter one bit that a slight error in the proceedings took place!! The best people make mistakes Marie, we are all only human. Thanks to David for organising the event, and thanks to all our loyal family and friends for supporting us. I am very proud to be part of Kontaani :-)

    Just want to confirm what Marie has said about the wonderful night we all had, and that it doesn't matter one bit that a slight error in the proceedings took place!! The best people make mistakes Marie, we are all only human.

    Thanks to David for organising the event, and thanks to all our loyal family and friends for supporting us. I am very proud to be part of Kontaani :-)

  • Al O' the Glens

    Al O' the Glens

    Totally agree with Debbie and Marie....whit a night! I'm so proud to be a member of Kontaani. The groovy love on that stage on Saturday was amazing.

    Totally agree with Debbie and Marie....whit a night! I'm so proud to be a member of Kontaani. The groovy love on that stage on Saturday was amazing.

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