Home > Concert, Music > Reggae show at festival

Reggae show at festival

Reggae may be about compelling rhythms and soulful melodies but also about a message and ideology. Last night’s Anbessa band performance at Alliance Ethio-Francise was a proof to the dictum. The band added its Caribbean spice of good vibrations and political commentary to the festival in its final day.
Anbessa, meaning a lion in Amharic, was formed a year ago on June 11 when the Alliance sponsored the band members to perform in Djibouti in connection with the World Music Day for one week, a performance that impressed the audience and organizers. The new group has been getting more enthusiastic audiences at various clubs in Addis and Shashemene where they have concentrated on adding new songs whenever they could. The artistic director of the festival, Francis Falceto made it a point to include the band in this years’ festival.
The lead singers Dennis Anthony Thomas (known by his stage name as King Kong), Teddy Dan, Heartispal Spence and Yidenkachew electrified a number of hit songs that had everyone singing along with messages of brotherhood and fraternal unity, religious meditations.
Dennis dressed in suit with a scarf crooned his “Rumble Jumble,” a piece that made the crowd ran and jump. He was accompanied by two dancers, sisters Ebony and Ester Codouierroots. Ebony also sang in harmony with the lead vocalist with her good, middle-range voice.
Teddy Dan who took the stage next set a colorful tone for the night as he took the stage dressed in bright attire with an Ethiopian flag. He began with shout “Jah Rastafary.”
And went on to sing his hallmark song “United States of Africa”, calling for the unity of Africa which he has been making for the past sixteen years. “The unthinkable has happened in South Africa with the demise apartheid. Why can’t Africa unite?” he asks.
One song was a dedication for the Prince crown Zerayakob Asfaw Wosen.
Lead guitarist Fissaha and base guitarist Yared added a blistering force to the event and stretched out with new beats and textures, slowing down for the gentle haze Bob Marley’s One Love.
Fans looked happy shaking their bouts, reggae style, next to the dreadlocked die-hard fan.
Members of the band followed the dance hall segment holding the crowd’s attention with promoter Ras Keish closing the event. When the group finished, there was a storm of applause.

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