Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Filled with blunders, The Hindu publishes a preposterous review of Osibisa's concert

If only Divya Kumar had spent a few seconds (if not minutes) to read the news item titled "Osibisa concert today" on page 2 of "The Hindu" this Sunday, she wouldn't have made that horrendous blunder of mentioning in her review published in the "Metroplus" today that Sol Amarfio was the drummer in the concert that night. It is clearly mentioned in that news item on Sunday that Alex Kwatu Boateng is the drummer. All she had to do was a "copy and paste" of that information. My 10 year old son who has been watching Osibisa's videos on YouTube could say the difference. Divya goes on to mention Amarfio as one of the founding members of the band which is true but did the young Alex drumming for Sunday's concert that night look one bit like the old Amarfio. One stop at Osibisa's official site online would have also confirmed who the drummer that night was as Amarfio's picture is there on the site.

Next comes the incredible blunder when she mentions that the opening song for the concert was "The Gong". This alone speaks volumes that she doesn't know a thing about Osibisa's music. She has mistaken the word "Dawn" for "Gong" and has mentioned in her review that the opening number was "The Gong". Little does she know that Osibisa has never made a song called "The Gong" and even if they did it wasn't the one they opened the concert with. Osibisa followed the opener with their instrumental hit "Music for Gong Gong" but that's an entirely different song. What Divya fails to understand is that in the audience are people who have been listening to Osibisa for over two decades. "The Dawn" is their first song from their very first self-titled debut album. Osibisa these days open their concert with this number. It is all over YouTube. And again, my 10 year old can recognize this number. Just a little research could have saved her review.

She then mentions that "Pata Pata" and "Watusi" as newer numbers from their latest album which is not completely right. While "Watusi" is from the recent album, "Pata Pata" is not. And why she thinks that the recent numbers aren't good is something Osibisa fans are going to question her. The recent offering is a classic. Considering an album as this coming out from a band after 40 years of its inception is a phenomenon. She could have at least sampled the audio clips available online before she wrote that line. And mentioning that the newer music wasn't good enough she writes "audience attention started waning...". Little does she know that most of the songs performed that night are literally from a "Best of Osibisa" collection most of them from the 70's and early 80's. Contrary to what she reports the excitement level of the audience only went up and literally peaking towards the end. The trickle of people who left the auditorium either have no taste for Osibisa's world class music or left for other reasons not necessarily the music.

I only wished "The Hindu" had someone edit this review or at least let someone knowledgeable or passionate about Osibisa's music write it.


Anonymous said...

Dear Subash
You are definatly a notable fan of ours. Thank you for pointing out the errors in the write up. It is nice to know there are dedicated fans like yourself out their.
Glad you enjoyed the show.
Mick Tee - Osibisa manager.

Subash S L said...

Hello Mick,

What a joy to be receiving your reply. I thank you for bringing Osibisa to Chennai. If only I had got the autographs of the band members, particularly Teddy's. I have another blog http://www.great-anonymous-albums.com where I intend to review Osibisa's classic early albums. I will be doing this very soon. Once again thanks for stopping by my blog. I have been an ardent fan ever since Osibisa came to Chennai (then Madras) in the early 80's.