Saturday, February 14, 2009

The band in rehearsal

I’ve been rehearsing for the past month with a talented bunch of musicians for a show called “Don’t Forget The Lyrics”. We’ve been rehearsing at the Bassline in Newtown, Johannesburg and are flying to Lagos, Nigeria to shoot the series.

It’s been a rather demanding rehearsal period for a number of reasons, namely:

  1. The amount of songs we’ve had to learn - Over 300 in the space of a month.
  2. There was no sheet music (as promised) and the CDs with the repertoire kept arriving late. This meant that we often heard the songs for the first time at the rehearsal and had to “workshop” most of the songs.
  3. We were supplied with some rather dodgy equipment & had a lengthy process of negotiating to get it (sort-of) sorted out.

A bit about the musicians:

Four South Africans: Me on guitar, Bheki Khoza on guitar, Melvin Peters on piano (& musical director), Godfrey Mgcina on percussion.

The Nigerians (I’m ashamed to say I only know their first names!): Ike on drums, Emmanuel on keyboards and Noel on bass. We will be joined by two backing vocalists in Lagos I believe. Noel has also been acting as our rehearsal vocalist and personal music encyclopaedia. None of the Nigerians read music, but all have an enormous repertoire of songs memorised. Noel knows by far the most – he is able to play basslines, while singing relevant parts to members of the band! He has sung entire guitar solos to me, brass & string parts to the keyboard players and even knows intricate drum grooves. All from memory (and I’m talking over 300 songs and counting!).

We leave South Africa for Lagos tomorrow (15 February 09) where we will spend two weeks rehearsing and shooting the first half of the series. It will be my first time in Nigeria and I have no idea what to expect. Watch this space for more updates….in the meantime, a few photos from rehearsals:

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  1. Sounds like its been an adventure :)

    ENJOY Nigeria! Apparently its an experience going there!