Review: Muyiwa & Riversongz @ Transformation House, London

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Muyiwa is one of the busiest men in the British gospel industry and does a lot of appearances and performances not just across the UK but around the world. Yet this show wasn’t just any show. He pulled out all the stops to make it special.

The Eko Ile headline show is named after the album Muyiwa and Riversongz released a year ago. After the pervious album that took listeners all over the world, Eko Ile is unashamedly African. It’s no surprise then that this whole motherland theme infused the entire show.

The concert was a very personal one for Muyiwa. It told his story and laid bare his identity for all to see. It didn’t have any long drawn out testimonies though. Spoken word poetry pieces interspersed throughout the night gave background. And because the songs on the Eko Ile album are so personal anyway, there wasn’t much more needed.

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Riversongz

On the night, the layout for the venue was strange. The front third was specified as standing stalls but because most people paid to be seated at the rear, there was a chasm as big as the Grand Canyon between the stage and most of the audience. It didn’t kill the vibe but it did force those on the stage to work a bit harder to connect with the crowd. That didn’t spoil our fun though. There was plenty of room to dance and the space didn’t stay empty for too long.

The tracks that Muyiwa and Riversongz performed were predominantly from the latest album. They kicked things off with Gbalan Gbalan and Woza but it was Mama Africa that really drew us in. It allowed us to get sucked into the whole experience and almost made us forget that we had to take photos.

By the time we got to the biggest uptempo songs from the evening, the dancers came out in full force. Only You Be God, Imela and Hey Ya got everyone out to fill the void in front of the stage. Finally people started to forget they paid extra for seated tickets.

We took a quick stop off in the Caribbean for Raindrops before getting on the home straight with the title track Eko Ile. They played us out with an encore of God Of Miracles to send us home happy.

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Andrew Bello

Earlier in the night Andrew Bello opened the show straight off the back of his night as a nominee at the Pre-MOBOs the night before. He brought out Victizzle to accompany him on the hit track Never Be The Same. But even after his slot, he was visible throughout the show as a cheerleader on the front row. Andrew Bello is always bursting with energy.

But the night belonged to Muyiwa. As an experienced performer, he was comfortable on stage. It’s not a mystery why he’s built such a following over the years. This time, he went back to his roots and was in fine form because of it.

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