Did you know that the just concluded 6th Edition of Blankets & Wine Kampala featured, for the first time, an all Ugandan artist line-up with budding RnB sensation Irene Ntale and the legendary Afrigo Band as the main highlights of the show? As with the past editions of Blankets & Wine, this edition which took place on 6th July, 2014 at the Uganda Museum, provided great musical entertainment value and a solid excuse for revelers that attended to be merry, get bladdered and ‘legless’ in the middle of the day.
Being the perfect sunny Sunday afternoon for picnicking, I had arrived at the venue a few minutes to 1pm. Catchy South African House Music blared through the speakers provided by House of Deejays with DJ Bank Robber (Yes, really!) on the decks. On entrance straight ahead were parallel stalls surrounding the venue where guests were supposed to picnic and enjoy the proceedings of the day and just down the slope is where the stage was set up.
Tickets for the show stated that it was scheduled to start at 1pm but at that time, guests were still trickling in, fashionably dressed, clad with their mats/kikoyi blankets, umbrellas, safari chairs and picnic baskets. Most of the guests made a point to turn up with a swanky bottle of wine and for those that ran out, a steady supply was on offer for sale at the on-site stalls. For those that had left their residences without having a bite, there were stalls that provided culinary services and you could grab a sumptuous bite ranging from burgers, beef skewers to pizzas.
As it approached 3pm, the MC ushered in the first performer of the day, Richard Kaweesa, aka ‘Richy’ a fledgeling sultry artist who interestingly won the MTV “My Video” Contest for Uganda, an MTV initiative that was searching for the fresh young talent across Africa. As Richy, performed with his band, it was evident that he is an exceptionally talented soul artist with a vocal capacity seemingly beyond his age.
After Richy’s performance, DJ Bank Robber swooped in again with West African pop music and in between his sets, the MC engaged the crowd with musical chair dance games, later introducing The Novell Band. By this time I’d sighted some West African friends in the crowd and immediately joined them. The Novell Band threw down a few covers and renditions of popular urban jams such as Fine China and Beyonce’s XO. The artistry in the band was well rounded however the crowd would have appreciated some original material from the young outfit.
Irene Ntale hit the stage there after in all black summer dress and made an instant connection with the crowd. She performed most of her popular Luganda tracks starting with ‘Love Letter’, to the crowd favourite; ‘Gyobera’. In between she performed a rendition of Beyonce’s ‘Drunk in Love’ which had the crowd singing along. Irene’s very on-key segment largely set the tone for what was to happen next.
After 7pm when the sun had set and darkness had enveloped the place, Afrigo band hit the stage and immediately confirmed their status with throngs of revelers all on their feet singing or dancing along to their music. Led by Moses Matovu, Afrigo Band evolved from Cranes Band in 1975 and has since entertained and ruled airwaves for decades. They performed their timeless classics like ‘Olimujawa’, plus a rendition of Philly Bongole Lutaaya’s ‘Diana’ and a reggae rendition of Morgan Heritages ‘A man is still a man’, probably for the expats who attended and weren’t so familiar with their all conquering Luganda hits. After which Joanita Kawalya joined them on stage and sang ‘Jim’, ‘Amazzi G’enyama’ ending the show with another classic, ‘Maria’.
Have your say
The 6th edition of the Blankets & Wine was a well spent Sunday afternoon with great entertainment and social value and as for those that missed out, we hear the next edition could be much closer than you think! Share your event pics from this 6th Blankets and Wine Edition and you could be the lucky winner of free tickets to the next edition in September!
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