Ecstatic and memorable. This is what can best describe a live concert that Soldier Lucius Banda dished out to his Lilongwe fans in the wee hours of Monday.
As many expected, it is a show that residents of Chinsapo Township will live to cherish.
Of course, the two-hour free-flowing show held at the newly-launched Kaya Club cast Lucius in the light of one of Malawi’s greats as the audience was treated to an innovative mix of music and dance.
This, in fact, overshadowed Soldier’s late coming. It’s been Lucius’ tradition, as critics argue, that he appears late during shows “just for people to feel his importance,” something which he denied long time ago.
At about 12: 25 am, as the audience seemed to have resigned to their long tortuous wait, the Mabala hit-maker stepped on stage. A standing ovation broke out in the clear skies as the audience shouted: “Soldier yemweyo [hail the Soldier]!”
Lucius is, in fact, no stranger to standing ovations. All frustration gone, the once-impatient fans cheered on.
Here, the long wait for Lucius, the man who had had Limbani Banda, Sam Simakweli and the youthful sensational Nepman in backing, was over. An electrifying mood took over then.
From a foray of songs, the legend plucked a spiritual song from his past album to set the guitar rolling. Well, on one hand, the song, Pharaoh, reminds listeners that God is a lawyer in everything. On the other hand, it indicates that the musician himself is a Christian; a motif that is universal in his albums.
What followed was non-stop music that kept his fans, comprised mostly of youth, up and alive. Unfortunately, some fans could be seen spilling beer on the stage, much to the anger of the musician-cum-politician. He did not hide his bitterness.
“I don’t like this; I don’t like this. You ought to stop now!”
A moment later, Lucius resumed singing. Songs like Kupupuluma, Kalata’, Usaope Akatchena, just to mention a few, left both the young and the old lost in their own worlds.
However, Soldier was not energetic when it came to his dancing antics. In his heydays, he used to dance with gusto and verve, imitating South African reggae maestro, Lucky Dube.
Now, the father figure could just stomp his feet, shake a bit to the rhythm and, in some instances, chant while standing behind the microphone. Age, it seems, is catching up with him.
That aside, his voice was full of vigour. It was, in words of Village Headman Nsanga of the area, quite “terrific”.
“I never imagined that Lucius would sing with such a good voice; a voice that surpasses his age. No doubt, the fans have enjoyed every moment,” Nsanga said.
One of Malawi’s musical exports. John Kappa, who had travelled all the way from Area 36 in the city, was equally delighted.
“This is my most unforgettable night as I’m privileged to chat and dine with Lucius in music,” Kappa said.
Like sweet things that never last, Lucius signed out at exactly 02:35am, with his 1996 piece ‘Mzimu’.
However, the ending left the fans in suspense, yearning for more performances.
“I wish I could treat you to more acts but I’m rather concerned since it’s a working day, Monday,” Banda said.
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