EKO ILE: THE CONCERT REVIEW

Muyiwa is one of the busiest men in the British Gospel industry. Yet this show wasn’t just any show. He pulled out all the stops to make it special.

The Eko Ile headline show is named after Muyiwa & Riversongz latest album. Eko Ile which literally translates to “Lagos My Home”, is a love letter to the two cities and cultures that helped shape Muyiwa’s identity, Lagos and London. After the previous album that took listeners All Around The World, Eko Ile is unashamedly African. It’s no surprise then that this whole motherland theme infused the entire show.

The concert was a very personal one for Muyiwa. It told his story and laid bare his identity for all to see. It didn’t have any long drawn out testimonies, instead spoken word and poetry pieces interspersed throughout the night and gave background. The songs on the Eko Ile album are so personal, there wasn’t much more needed.

On the night, the layout for the venue was strange. The front third was specified as standing stalls but because most people paid to be seated at the rear, there was a chasm as big as the Grand Canyon between the stage and most of the audience. It didn’t kill the vibe but it did force those on the stage to work a bit harder to connect with the crowd. That didn’t spoil our fun though. There was plenty of room to dance and the space didn’t stay empty for too long.

Muyiwa & Riversongz

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They kicked things off with Gbalan Gbalan and Woza but it was Mama Africa that really drew us in. It allowed us to get sucked into the whole experience and almost made us forget that we had to take photos.

By the time we got to the biggest up-tempo songs from the evening, the dancers came out in full force. Only You Be God, Imela and Hey Ya got everyone out to fill the void in front of the stage. Finally, people started to forget they paid extra for seated tickets.

We took a quick stop off in the Caribbean for Raindrops before getting on the home straight with the title track Eko Ile. They played us out with an encore of God Of Miracles to send us home happy.

 

ANDREW BELLO

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Earlier in the night Andrew Bello opened the show straight off the back of his night as a nominee at the Pre-MOBOs. He brought out Victizzle to accompany him on the hit track Never Be The Same. But even after his slot, he was visible throughout the show as a cheerleader on the front row. Andrew Bello is always bursting with energy.

However, the night ultimately belonged to Muyiwa. As an experienced performer, he was comfortable on stage. It’s not a mystery why he’s built such a following over the years. This time, he went back to his roots and was in fine form because of it.

Written by DJ FiremanUK