The evening of the family day at the Notting Hill Carnival brought together fans of Afro hip-hop at Hammersmith Apollo in Shepherd’s Bush to continue with the day’s festivities and fun late into the night with a stellar line up made up of a host of homegrown talent as well as international acts.
While the event was advertised for 6pm prompt, in true fashionably African style, at 7pm, the queue outside the venue was nowhere near reduced as enthusiastic fans lined up to see the headliners of the evening, P Square, Wizkid and Ice Prince.
Unfortunately, due to a mix up over the press lists (apparently doubled up after the press conference on Saturday, then slashed by three quarters hours before the show), yours truly did not step inside the venue till well after the first half of the show missing performances by JJC, Big Boyz All Stars, DL, Don’t Jealous Me and Elenu, making it just in time for the super sexy May7ven and her equally sexilicious dancers walk on to the stage with her smash hit “Take off my Clothes.” Donning a platinum blonde fringed wig and a cut-out white catsuit, May7ven was on top form.
Shortly after, introduced by the stand up comedian extraordinaire Basket Mouth, Ice Prince bounced on to the stage much to the delight of female fans. “Oleku” of course was the order of the day. The next star in the line up, Wizkid, did little to dissuade the audience of the female persuasion from screeching and hollering all the while gyrating, swaying and singing along to his hits. Not too sure what it is – call it charisma, or the X factor, I was once again convince, after only having seen him live once before at the All Black Everything 2009 party in Lagos, whatever it is, Weezy’s got it in heaps.
By the time, Mr. Banky-W-no-Need-to-Trouble-You, the surprise guest of the night was on stage, I seriously began fearing long-term hearing loss. Once Wiz came back on stage and got his shirt off, it was game, set, match to Wiz as ladies all around started swooning – literally, not figuratively, I am serious! Or maybe it was the stifling heat in the standing arena. Let’s just say, the temperature – in every sense – was on the rise. Queue more screeching and hollering!
The final act of the night, the twin powers that are P Square proved their chops as one of Africa’s biggest selling acts. Choreography alone was a vision to watch, the highlight when the duo asked for the lights down and put on a spectacular performance in their glow-in-the-dark outfits. Top showmanship!
While the evening started out rough for us press – the fortunate ones that ‘made the cut’ and the unfortunate who were left out in the cold – the headline acts we had the opportunity to catch more than made up for our distress and we left the venue still singing “Do Me”, “Oleku”, “Holla at Your Boy” – doubtless a little out of tune for lack of hearing. All is well that ends well, I guess.