I remember it like it was yesterday.My sister was an intern at the Storymoja Festival and since the festival was coming to an end she told me there would be a concert.At some point it was rumoured that K.O he of the ‘Caracara‘ fame would perform.Ladies and gentlemen that did not happen.I decided to go anyway I mean who does not love a concert?I knew since it was Storymoja I would be sorted somehow.So my pal Nyambura and I went to Arboretum at night to go for a concert where I had no idea who was slated to perform.On the flip side she would get photos for her blog.
We got there and on stage was a group of young people performing and they sounded really good,I could hardly wait for them to do their set.After several presentations they finally took the stage and man,weren’t they worth the wait.At the helm of this band was the demure girl with a powerful voice,Vereso.She threw it DOWN!You should have been there.
They did I think 3 songs but the one that has a studio recording is Stuck in the Mud.Interesting thing you would not know that this is a gospel song because all this girl is saying is this ‘Listen,God,I was foolish I messsed up and I need you to get me out of this mess.’That simple.
The song has such a danceable beat and I can’t help but listen to how the instruments complement the voices.Especially the bass player.You are killing it man!You can tell that the arrangement in this song was very carefully done and it is only someone with an ear for music who can blend all those elements together.
At the bridge if you listen keenly you can hear the bass and the trumpet that manages to not overshadow Vereso’s voice.The BGVs blend perfectly with the lead vocalist’s voice.I think this was a song that was really well arranged.
The lyrics are very easy to remember and let me tell you where I turn up,’Heeee…*4’ and guess what I don’t sound off key.We all can’t be singers but we also want something to sing along to once in a while where we are literally not almost bursting a vein,you know that vein the one at your neck that threatens to burst when hitting some Mariah Carey notes.This song won’t land you in hospital but will have you dancing to the church doors.
This song is a collaborative outfit of musicians who now call themselves Mbarathi under the leadership of Vereso as lead vocalist.They describe their sound as Afro Urban with a bluesy feel and what I like about them is that they do not sound like most Afro hyphenate bands popping up all around us,.The messages in their music are positive without being pushy,before you realise what hit you you are up on your feet dancing like there is no one watching.Vereso has such a presence on stage it overwhelms you,in a good way.There is a song called Achilia that had me in tears,I can’t wait for them to record it.
Vereso is a breath of very fresh air and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for us.
A toast to you,my lady.
Here is the song,enjoy.