ALICK Macheso needed a grand stage at Andy Millar Hall in the early hours of Saturday to prove that the departure of three of his key band members has not brought Orchestra Mberikwazvo to its knees.
The sungura kingpin showed thousands of revellers who thronged the giant showbiz facility that he has more up his sleeve than most prophets of doom perceived when the trio of Jonasi Kasamba, Obert Gomba and Noel Nyazanda called it quits.
His performance was exceptional and the new guys in the camp were up to the task, mending the holes that the recent defections punched into the Orchestra Mberikwazvo fabric.
Kasamba, Nyazanda and Gomba left the band two weeks ago citing poor remuneration. Macheso’s first performances after their departure was met with mixed feelings with some concluding that his ship was sinking.
However, like an early bird catching the worm, Macheso caught the attention of his critics in the early hours of Saturday.
He staged song after another in a flawless manner and his “Simudza chaunacho” chant ignited the event, ushering merrymakers into a beautiful music morning.
Macheso came as the last act of the “Sing Along Concert” that also featured Oliver Mtukudzi, Sulumani Chimbetu and Jah Prayzah.
Jah Prayzah was also up to the task when he led his troops in this battle with the country’s giant musicians.
In military style, he commanded his Third Generation band for a victorious night. Mimicking military drills, the band went on stage in style and attracted wild cheers from the crowd. The cheers were enough to propel Jah Prayzah to a spirited performance. Gochi Gochi and Tsviriyo were among the popular songs of the night.
Chimbetu also had a good day in office. His trendy outfit and the dancers’ choreography were outstanding. He also brought the house down when he did a solo dance towards the end of his performance.
Despite playing a hit or two that excited the crowd, Mtukudzi’s act was below his usual standard. Coming on stage after a fast-paced performance by Jah Prayzah, Mtukudzi slowed down the tempo of the gig as he dug into his bag of sober beats for the better part of his performance. His stagework was good, but he could not synchronize his playlist with the merrymaking mood that rippled through the sea of fans when Jah Prayzah was on stage.
Meanwhile, upcoming reggae artist Eddie Madobani has expressed willingness to collaborate with Jah Prayzah in the near future.
Speaking to NewsDay Madobani said he would love to do a duet with the fast-rising crooner.
“My wish is to do a duet with Jah Prayzah one of these days, I love the way he arranges his music and his unique voice. I will engage him on my upcoming album,” Madobani said.
Madobani released his fourth album last week titled Love Tales that consist of four tracks.
The four tracks are Mukombachoto, Rungano, Wadzanai and Sandy.
The album was recorded at Track Records. Mukombachoto is likely to be a hit song which is about a bachelor confessing that he is in love with someone who does not exist.
Wadzanai speaks of a man who reminisces about his loved one whom he cannot be with because of the distance between them.
Madobani said that he will resume live performances this year.
“I will start to hold live shows soon. I last did shows last year because of tight schedule at work. I have been doing the recording at night because during the day I would be busy.”
Madobani has four albums to his name namely Para Para Jive (2005), Huya Tifare (2007), Love Prisoner (2012) and the new release.