words & photos & by Jacob Blickenstaff
New Africa Live presented a concert at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC on Saturday (4/11). The show featured a short film by Nikyatu Jusu, a solo acoustic set from Meta Dia and a full set from Thrill Jockey artists Extra Golden (who are on tour).
Unfortunately I missed the film, but the opening set from Senegal to Brooklyn transplant Meta provided a warm introduction to the evening. Normally seen with his full band, the Cornerstones, Meta played solo accompanying himself on a slightly mistuned guitar. He operated in a stripped down musical space easily comparable to Marley's "Redemption Song" : roots reggae delivered with a rich and engaging voice.
Headliners Extra Golden took the stage quickly afterwards, ripping straight in to their highly charged Kenyan/Afrobeat/sometimes rock creations. To break down the sound: 2 guitars (Ian Eagleson house left) in an interweaving dual lead with Alex Minoff who occasionally employed slide, bassist (not listed on the album) clawing bubbly arpeggiate figures, drummer Onyango Wuod Omari attacking the toms and hi-hat with octopus-like dexterity (sometimes taking lead vocal from the drummers chair) and Onyango Jogwari, vocalist, as the energy center of the proceedings.
Speaking of energy, there was initially some disconnect between the band and audience - LPR was set up in goth-cabaret mode with tables, chairs and food runners a-running. Extra Golden was rocking off-the hook and Onyago Jagwari, with a longing to connect, encouraged a mini seating rebellion several times which was finally successful for the last 2 songs.
More pictures below...