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Migrations Afrobeat Dance Party



Migrations Afrobeat Dance Party

Osibisa + DJ Queen Bee At Bristol Zoo


Migrations Afrobeat dance party, a collaboration between St Georges and Bristol Zoo, had the good fortune to take place on one of the few dry evenings of this dismal summer and people streamed into the beautifully kept gardens, loaded with picnics and rugs. Bristol Zoo thoughtfully provided chairs if you wanted them, together with a barbecue whose smoky presence lazily wafted across the lawns rather temptingly. Before we chose our spot, we walked around to say hello to sleepy lions and admire the blazing pink flamingos standing sentry on one long leg. DJ Queen Bee played a great set to get us in the mood as the evening shadows rolled in.

Osibisa deserve the epithet “Godfather of world music” having arrived from Ghana in the early sixties bringing with them their unique blend of Afro-rock and West African street music. Teddy Osei formed the band and has taken it through many incarnations over forty years or so and his energy shows no sign of diminishing. This was only the second time we had seen them play, the first being if I remember correctly in 1971 at some long gone venue in the centre of Bristol. They were just as we remembered them, compelling drum rhythms, fantastic jazz sax, hot music for a cool night; expertly drawing in the crowd to share the wonderful experience of their music. A few people at first rather shyly got up to sway and dance, then in no time the whole audience was on its feet.

They finished with their biggest hit, Sunshine Day, which of course everybody knows, and the whole place exploded; the atmosphere was truly electric. They played for two hours without a break which I think is pretty remarkable and afterwards we bought their new CD which is not on general release yet and it’s great. We all had a marvellous evening and the event was really well organised by both the Zoo and St George’s, and very good value at only £12.00 each.

Jacquie Vowles


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