Fela Kuti - Cross Examination (+playlist)
Above, is a YouTube clip of Fela Kuti and Africa 70 performing a classic Afro-beat tune titled "Cross Examination." Although the performance took place at the Berlin Jazz Festival in 1978, the sound has not dated and still sounds just as fresh and exciting today as it did at the time.
It actually reminds me of the comprehensive show at the Africa Shrine in Lagos during those days. The live performances at Shrine were usually songs that Fela hadn't released and sometimes hadn't recorded. Fans were treated to music no-one else was aware of unless they came to a live show. This exclusivity brought fans and lovers of the genre.
The song is a political tune, indicting the African Military dictators that monopolised power in a lot of the independent nations of the continent at that time. Accusing the soldiers of seizing power by force in military coups, also pointing out that some of these military rulers were the instruments used by the colonial masters to put down those that were demanding independence for their nations.
In the intro to the song, he mentions people like Kwame Nkrumah, Beko Kuti his brother, his mum and of course, his best friend JK Brimah.
Please enjoy the epilogue to, Afro-beat (Making sense of the Fela bandwagon).
The clip will give you (the reader), an idea of the sight and sounds of a Comprehensive Show at Africa Shrine during the 1970s.