CHANDA MWENYA, Lusaka
IS there any venue that the Amayenge is not capable of performing at? Probably not; it is the reason they are called the Amayenge Sounds of Zambia, or simply ASOZA if you like.
The Web, an up-market exclusive live venue on Kafue Road near Southern Cross Motors in Lusaka, is popular for its house band, Nexus, which though versatile is more inclined to râ€™nâ€™b and pop. It also hosts the best talent Zambia has to offer, as well as internationally acclaimed live acts from all over the world.
In its own words: â€œWhether you come and dine with us or simply have a few drinks, youâ€™ll feel right at home amongst many others, who are equally passionate about live music. You will simply be starstruck by the best lighting and sound equipment Zambia has to offer. But please donâ€™t take my word for it, come take a look for yourself!â€
So yes, The Web hosts all sorts of talent but it has yet to host anything like the Amayenge, or indeed a kalindula outfit on its levels.
The Amayenge turned the tables last Friday, and to good effect.
The untiring outfit took to the stage around 23:00 hours with the guys checking on the drums, bass, rhythm, keyboard which was playing in an afro jazz instrumental.
This was meant to be a show, and it was a show.
When the music pitch heightened, the rest of the band was seen dancing their way to the stage. Soon the stage was engulfed by the energetic ensemble.
By the time the Amayenge was performing Bapondola Bana Mukushana, it was evident that the band was at home with the audience. The audience had been converted.
The Web dance floor that traditionally exhibits funky dance feats was transformed into an arena of infukuntu and chingande stunts by cheerful patrons.
And then the band played, Bachali Efyo Mwankana with Alice Chali doing the lead vocals. The song is one of the tributes to the bandâ€™s fallen founding member Chris Chali. Although the lyrics can easily send someone to tears, the rhythm is very danceable.
With Amayenge, it is not just about singing, the band does a lot of dancing too. The â€œWebbersâ€ were stunned with the bandâ€™s choreography brilliance. The pinnacle was when Kadogo aka Kanono took to the dance floor and climbed the speaker to do his stunts with the band cheering akanono! because of his small body. It is typical Amayenge!
CHANDA MWENYA, Lusaka