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Gang-stars on the prowl

Dagoz Gang was one big hearty music squad at this edition’s Wednesday Showcase at Alliance Francaise. Let’s call it a music gang with a sound laced with influences of RnB, Soul, Benga, Lingala, Blues, Jazz, Rock and Reggae. Performing at intervals as members of the Gang switched up places, it was a more laid back music session. The crowd, was seated and relaxed, something that is very rare with Showcase concerts.

In fact, this time around, the main stage was deserted for a smaller setting right outside the café. You would understand this if you frequent Alliance Francaise. The alternative set up still worked perfectly because the crowd wasn’t milling on this particular night.

Taking turns to entertain the audience, Dagoz Gang swung through their playlist with ease. With a hint of the above music genres, the boys neatly unveiled their mastery of the art as they trailed from one sound to the other. You wouldn’t find me listening to Lingala, but there’s something in the way the Gang laid out their music, with Kombo Chokwe on the lead, that had me swaying from side to side. 

I would occasionally catch myself bobbing my head and drumming my fingers in enjoyment and just smile at how surprised I was to be enjoying it. But also perhaps it has something to do with the live aspect of music. I’m an enthusiast of live music; there’s a way it makes me feel and I can’t find the words to put to it, but it’s a good one. It’s the same thing with reggae; I’m not into reggae, but when it’s a live performance, I totally get sold.

I must, however, say that my favourite part was when Steven took on the lead of his set and softly trailed into the blues motion. And just like that, he slid into my heart. I don’t know what I was expecting when he stepped up on stage. But I was blown away by the tenderness in his voice and delivery of the blues and souled out music.

With a deliberate smoothness to it, the dreadlocked Gang-star went all out in a way that preyed on our hearts. I wasn’t the only one rising to the vibrations. It seemed like everybody else was feeling it too. And the back-up musicians on the instruments were such a delightful accompaniment. Not just for Steven’s set, but Kombo’s set too.

Steven’s serenade came to a halt and Kombo came back on for the last performance. And in came the tunes of Benga. Taking it slow to the end, Dagoz Gang teamed up in harmonic oscillation. The crowd seemed content with this dose of music and didn’t protest when the show finally timed out.

People mingled afterwards and others were captivated by Joan Otieno’s artwork that is currently displayed at the French Institute.

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