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Thread: Fela on 4

  1. #1
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    Default Fela on 4

    Chanced on this very fine programme about Fela Kuti on Radio 4 this lunchtime - really enjoyed it!
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011j8zj
    Last edited by johncorrigan; 31-05-11 at 15:14. Reason: chance can be a fine thing!

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    I seem to recall we had a thread in the other place called 'Radio 4 - the World Music station'.....

    thanks for this too JC.

    And I particularly like the fact that iPayer suggest that.... if you like the Fela Kuti programme, then you might like this
    "A portrait of the life, popular art and remarkable engineering of Carters Steam Fair."

    Of course, they're right.

  3. #3
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    I listened to this programme last night and enjoyed it.

    It is only in very recent years that I have appreciated afrobeat. I think it came with seeing Seun Kuti live actually and one or two postings of yours here, Global. I sort of knew about Fela Kuti for decades but he always seemed a bit mysterious and however much I learn about his life he still seems so.

    I go back to a question I asked some time ago which is the extent to which he received coverage on the BBC in the 1970s. I recall very little indeed but I may have been with the wrong radio and television programmes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralthinking1 View Post
    I listened to this programme last night and enjoyed it.

    It is only in very recent years that I have appreciated afrobeat. I think it came with seeing Seun Kuti live actually and one or two postings of yours here, Global. I sort of knew about Fela Kuti for decades but he always seemed a bit mysterious and however much I learn about his life he still seems so.

    I go back to a question I asked some time ago which is the extent to which he received coverage on the BBC in the 1970s. I recall very little indeed but I may have been with the wrong radio and television programmes.
    It remains one of life's uncomfortable moments for me, my first encounter with the music of Fela Kuti - I was out of work, pretty skint in late '82, early '83. I was looking for a short cut through to Maryhill in Glasgow one afternoon and came across a shop I hadn't noticed before. It seemed to sell just about anything - I've got a feeling that the comics in the window drew me in.

    There were a couple of guys in the shop - an old guy who to this day I assume was West Indian was at the counter - I saw a shelf of records in the corner and started looking through - I remember it being all West Indian and African music, which really surprised me. I think I had been listening to a bit of Sunny Ade but don't know what else I would have known back then. I looked at this cover, it was Fela Kuti, and asked the guy if I could hear it. He seemed totally delighted. For the next 10 minutes it seemed we three danced wildly around this wee shop - it was unbelievable.

    However when the song finished I looked at the price and realised it was not an LP, but a 12" single and the price seemed a bit high for that - I pondered. I remember the look of total disbelief on the shopkeeper's face when I decided not to buy it. The atmosphere changed and I went out totally embarrassed.

    A couple of weeks later I decided I needed to try to go back to get the record - but I never saw the shop open again. I looked elsewhere for a bit of Fela Kuti but never got back to that moment. I often wondered what happened to that shop and that guy - felt like a plot for a cartoon or something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johncorrigan View Post
    ... I often wondered what happened to that shop and that guy - felt like a plot for a cartoon or something.
    'You can't go to shops like that every day...'

    http://www.online-literature.com/wellshg/10/

  6. #6
    Lateralthinking1 Guest

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    John - That is an extraordinary story. It also brings back memories of how record shops used to be and, of course, how special a place like that felt in those days before the internet and greater internationalism.

    King Sunny Ade definitely fits into that category of names for me too. Add Masekela and Osibisa and that was almost Africa. Ashamed to say that until Graceland, I wasn't aware really even of Miriam Makeba but then came the big splash of colour in the late eighties - Bhundus, Four Brothers, Youssou, Salif and so on.

    At times, though, Paul has posted some of the artists who were in London in the seventies and there is a real vibe from them. As you know, I spent a lot of time in the London neighbourhoods at that time. The clips bring back a memory and also reveal more what was going on.

    While I posted a clip of a budgie doing an excellent rendition of a Fela song, what you say supports my feeling about afrobeat. It is almost impossible to "get" alone. Only when there is a group of people or an audience does it make sense - and then that sense is absolutely instantaneous and long-lasting.

    There are possibly very few genres in which the music and the audience interact so that the audience becomes such an integral part of the music and indeed performance. It would be very difficult not to dance to it and that seems in every way absolutely elemental. Tony Allen is to this day the most name checked musician at Womad, at least from my experience - Lat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralthinking1 View Post
    .... I think it came with seeing Seun Kuti live actually and one or two postings of yours here, Global. ....
    to be fair I have to say that it was Paul & Calum who put me onto the whole AfroBeat thing back on the old boards.

    For which I thank them
    Last edited by Globaltruth; 07-06-11 at 16:21. Reason: close bracket disappeared. I blame the government

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    We did ???

    Thanks for saying so !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Sherratt View Post
    We did ???

    Thanks for saying so !
    It was a long time ago when the world was young and dear old Gabrielle used to liven up the place...HO hum.
    Last edited by Globaltruth; 07-06-11 at 23:43.

  10. #10
    Lateralthinking1 Guest

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    One other thing I did notice on the Glastonbury schedule was that they will have the cast of "FELA!". Now if BBC television manages to track that down, it will definitely be worth having the multitudes from production there:

    http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/57...ions/fela.html

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