Location: United Kingdom

A Naija Guy living (and loving) in the UK.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Bank Holidays & the South Bank

Ah, the end of another Bank Holiday weekend. I'm seriously considering writing to my local MP to ask if he would like to present to the House of Commons a Bill to increase the number of bank Holidays in the UK along the lines of those in other countries in the EU (Workers in the UK enjoy only eight bank holidays a year compared to 12 in Italy, 13 in Austria and up to 14 in Spain and Portugal).

Anyway, three days gives me enough time to recover from a hard week, get out and then recover from going out before the new week starts. Yesterday I choose to experience music at the South Bank.

First it was off to the Royal Festival Hall where the Out of Africa event was holding. I missed most of the music since I only got there about 6pm but I was able to walk around the stalls and sample some J rice (first time I've experienced it being cooked with basmati rice!) cooked Ghanian style. Apparently its an annual event so I will need to remember to check it out next year and get there early.

In the Royal Festival Hall Foyer, there was music from Pianist Gboyega Adelaja (see pic) and I was suitably impressed to see a good scattering of Naija folk (I'm saddened when I attend Nigerian art showcases to see it being predominately attended by white folk. Imagine my amazement when I tried to encourage a couple of Nigerian friends to attend an art exhibition in memory of Fela Kuti only to be told 'I was trying too hard to be Nigerian' WTF?!?!) . The only thing missing was some rice from Iya Basira and some Gulder to wash it down with and I would have felt at home. Some dude even had some T-shirts with yoruba proverbs on them for sale (wish I had taken his details). Salawa Abeni was in concert later but had to give it a miss cause I had an appointment with poetry just across the river at Embankment.

A couple of hours later and a five minute walk across the river at the Motion Bar it was a night of poetry and music from up and coming British and American artistes at the monthly Poetry n Motion events. The only thing that ruined it slightly for me (apart from the fact that the show started over an hour late - Black people lets get out shit tight!) was the loud music which drowned out some of the lyrics from the poets (I just love performance Poetry). We even got a surprise performance from Raheem Devaughn and it was an experience seeing the ladies swoon (lawd God, I hope I'm not being ungrateful but I could have done with a beautiful voice). Anyway the poetry and live music ended at midnight and after waiting a few minutes for the staff to clear the chairs and tables it was time to par-tay to R&B and Hip-Hop for a couple of hours.

What I would give for more Bank Holidays...


Blogger Biodun said...

Wow...seems like u had a nice weekend, y'all get too many bank holidays as it is..n u want more?..Dont mind me o, am just hating..we rarely get those here

9:35 pm, May 30, 2006  
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