I am not a big fan of Motown. I am more of a hip hop girl and when it comes to old school sounds, I usually go no further than the R&B hits of the 90s. I must admit that of late, I have been acquiring a taste for music that was popular way before my time (‘all I have to do is dream’ by the Everly Brothers keeps unexpectedly popping into my head) but generally speaking, Motown tracks don’t feature on my playlist.
When I saw that the 2017 edition of Motown in Nairobi had come around, I decided that this was my chance to step outside of my comfort zone and see what all the fuss was about. As I was getting ready for the event, the skies opened up and it began to rain like crazy. I crossed my fingers that the torrent would let up soon enough (which it did) and that the event organizers had thought to put up a tent (which they had).
Arriving at ‘The Hub’ where the concert was being held, there was an air of excitement from the revellers and immediately the performers took to the stage, I understood why. Although I didn’t know all of the songs, the artists did their thing with a lot of enthusiasm and before long, they had the crowd on their feet. Some of the songs they chose to do were pretty big melodies but the zeal that the singers had more than made up for what their voices couldn’t accomplish. June Gachui not only sang beautifully but had us cracking up with her jokes in her role as MC. I have only ever seen Edward Parseen and Chris Bittok play the sax but this time around, they instrument of choice was their voices and they both gave rousing performances.
I also got to sample succulent, falling-off-the-bone chicken tikka from Maruya restaurant, sipped on wine out of a plastic cup and by the time the concert was over, I had thoroughly enjoyed myself.