“African Electronic Dance Music” duo, RedRed recently played their first show in London; our very own Hephzie comes through with this concise and exciting recount. Enjoy.
If you know me, or have read previous reviews, you will know that I like the duo; FOKN BOIS, and the music they have created separately. I’m a fan of Wanlov as a solo artist and likewise with M3nsa. So when M3nsa and ELO formed the group RedRed, I was introduced to, and fell in love with a new (for me) genre; Afro-electronic music – at least thats what I’m calling it. I’m saying all this, to communicate my excitement when I found out RedRed was playing their first show in London as part of Film Africa; an annual film festival celebrating contemporary African cinema. I was going as both a fan and a friend and brought my sister along, who hadn’t ever heard of M3nsa or RedRed until the gig – just to get unbiased feedback. So I get to Rich Mix in Shoreditch late (my usual M.O), with my sister, who is always super punctual, waiting for me outside the venue. We walk in, get stamped, I order a cider, she orders a beer, and we wait for the band to come on.
The quartet step onto the stage made up of ELO, Abel, the drummer and András the keyboardist. ELO is in a baseball cap, shirt and jeans; the rest of the band follow the same style choice, but M3nsa, who walks on wearing a velour tracksuit jacket, his staple khaki chinos and some hightop trainers.
The band starts with the soulful but heavy synth vibe of For You – the first single from the band released in mid-2015. It takes until the second song for M3nsa to visibly relax on stage, with How Far – a critique of Ghana’s current political and social state.
I haven’t seen M3nsa this open, relaxed and funny on stage – he even busts out a few impressive moves. Actually the last time I saw him like this, he was performing with Wanlov. It was like the audience could also feel his energy. Some people jumping, picking up the rhythm of the dance, others screaming words of support like ‘vim’ and ‘we want more’. Every now and then I’ll hear my sister say ‘wow’ or ‘oh my gosh they are good!’ – high praise coming from her!
The audience were treated to a new song ‘To be a man’ – the last song on the set list. M3nsa again displaying his soulful chords and lyricism. The fan in me was swooning while the friend in me was whooping, clapping and smiling.
The band were incredible, working together perfectly, communicating with glances and whispers – everyone of them was a star, even M3nsa being the leading vocalist, did not take the shine away from anyone else. He insisted on introducing the band twice, perhaps to stall, but they definitely deserved those applause – perhaps even more.
It’s clear from the above that I enjoyed the performance, however my sister enjoyed it more and is now an avid fan – Mens, I love you, but if I hear Sisimbo again for the 100th time, I may no longer have a sister.
To Be A Man
Words by Yoyotinz member Hephzie