Fans had to sweat to enter the Robin’s Park Hall in Blantyre on Friday night as Balaka based musician Lucius Banda popularly known as Soldier finally wrote yet another chapter in his music career launching his 18th album titled Thank You.
The security detail failed to control proceedings in the early hours of the show as people tussled to enter the hall and on several occasions the door had to be closed.
People were paying K2,500 on entry plus receiving a free CD but entry turned out to be difficult later on as more and more people came and at one moment teargas had to be thrown as the security detail tried to control the situation.
Some people who had already paid were furious and questioned as to why the security detail failed to control the situation for them to make way into the hall without any struggles.
But as time went by around midnight, the situation improved and people were able to get into the hall without any problems.
The launch on Friday received an impressive audience which saw people from all walks of life come to party with the musician who has travelled a long journey in music until now that he is 45- years old.
The musician jumped on stage soon after a performance by Nepman famed for the hit ‘Nalelo,’ and his entry excited the audience with some cheering him on.
However, his performance was not that up to scratch as it lacked that power and this was also affected by the feedback which brought some unnecessary noise to the sound.
This surely affected the musician’s performance but he braved the situation and went on to perform for longer periods offering both new and old songs before leaving the stage for Chileka based reggae group Black Missionaries.
Dressed in all white attire as if it was a white party plus a black cap, Lucius started off his performance with gospel tracks as part of praising the Lord for the gift of life and he also performed together with gospel singer Thocco Katimba in the song ‘Wandimasula’.
This was a special collaboration for Lucius and Katimba, who before joining Lucius in this song also offered his own performance.
Some of the new songs Lucius performed were all strange to the audience except the three promotional songs he already released. The audience however, had no choice but to sample these new songs before the legendary musician finally turned to his old renditions which kept the audience on their feet and these included ‘Nthawi,’ and ‘Mzimu wa Gadama.’
Gospel artists have always scored marks when it comes to launching albums as they decorate the hall and even go for auction, but there was no decoration for Lucius’ show let alone auction since people were receiving a free CD upon entry.
The only beauty on stage was the smoke and dazzling lights offered by Entertainers Promotions led by Mr Entertainer real name Jai Banda. Random interviews with people showed that they were satisfied with the launch although many bemoaned the struggles they had to enter the hall.
“Of course his performance would have been much better because there was feedback to the sound which was not good. Again we struggled to enter, organisers need to look into this during shows, of course such things happen but they need to prepare. People need not to get hurt otherwise the album looks good and promising,” said Elube Tembo.
Lucius hailed people for the support and he said he was short of words with the attendance.
“I just want to thank Malawians for the support, they have always been there and they showed it tonight. I am filled with happiness. This is a good album; it’s been a long journey and as I said this is half gospel and half secular and all I can ask is for people to go and grab their copy in different locations,” he said, adding that he will continue to perform and that there is no retiring from music for him until he dies.
The 14-track album was recorded at Mathumela Studio in Lilongwe by Lulu, Groove Magic by Joseph Tembo, Audio Clinic by Anko Layi, Active A Records by Amos Mlolowa and Jimmy Phiri and Thato Mampi in South Africa.
Having used different female voices in the past albums, Lucius has this time worked with Ruth Mputeni and Mahlatse Ramaphosa as backing vocalists.
Having released three promotional songs namely ‘Sagona,’ ‘Ndililabe,’ and ‘Nthungululu,’ ahead of the launch, the other songs people are expected to sample in the album include ‘Way Forward,’ ‘Thank You Jahova,’ ‘Muyimbire,’ ‘Walema,’ ‘My Love Will Never Fade,’ ‘Tikuzifuna,’ ‘Rita,’ which is featuring MC Wabwino ‘You and Me,’ and ‘Dyalilamba.’
Other artists who performed on the night include Lambanie Dube, Lulu and Sam Simakweli. The musician was yesterday expected to launch the album at Wakawaka in Lilongwe.
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