Remember when Nairobi was a barren wasteland where a certain type of live music was concerned? You either went to watch the Congolese guys or the Kamarus and Sukuma Bin Ongaros if you wanted to shake a leg. No urban type of the sound or the world music as they call it.
In the last few years the scene has changed dramatically with new live gigs that you want to see. Roots International have been a great job the last few years with their Thursday Nite Live where you can see some of the more well known performers – Sauti Sol, Barbara Guantai, Maia Von Lekow, Eric Wainaina et al – gratis. The event is hosted every Thursday at the Choices club on Baricho Road in industrial area.
A new entry into that space is the Nairobi Live where you can see the same group of live performers at no cost at the Tree House on Museum Hill road. It’s the same performers from the Choices but at a different venue really.
There are other events gratis and paid in town with the Alliance Francaise having a diverse group of acts locally and from around the world every once in a while. There is also the Blankets and Wine festival which was conceived by Muthoni Ndonga a few years ago and has become one of the best know live music events in Kenya.
The festival which happens on the first Sunday of every month at the Carnivore – it moved from its spiritual home of the Mamba Village Leisure gardens in Karen – sees live acts from all over. Tomorrow the whole of Nairobi will converge on the Blankets & Wine venue to listen to South African singer Zahara sing Loliwe her one song we all know. The rest of the time will be spent chilling and drinking and chatting.
The problem with these gigs is that sometimes it becomes quite a chore to keep up. The newspapers and the blogs do their best to keep you abreast of what is happening in live music but there is a very few spaces online dedicated to live music.
Enter Paul Munene and his Quaint photography Facebook fan page. Munene updates the live music scene page quite regularly. Here you will find images from what was going down at the event of the highest quality. Unfortunately there is no text accompanying the images but the visuals are enough to tell you the story.
So if you missed out on going to watch Zahara singing Loliliwe I recommend you go to Quaint photography for the 411.
Update: Just as expected the good folks from Quaint Photography have already posted photos from the Blankets and Wine yesterday. You can see the photos here.