So here we are rocking up last night at 7pm to the O-Shen concert and what do they tell us?? O-Shen will not be playing! What??!! It appears that O-Shen was upset with the support band who were to play with him on the night so he advised CHM that evening that he would not be coming to the concert.
So what happens when there’s no O-Shen at an O-Shen concert?? Well the party rocks on, that’s what! With an energetic line up such as the Sepik/Central ‘Coral Springs’, the Karanas/Gerehu ‘Tasins Band’, The Tolai Rock King ‘Leonard Kania’ and the hottest group right now, ‘Skwatas Band’, all was let loose in a spectacular display of vocal delights, pumping lyrics and forceful sounds all made to get the crowd dancing on the swimming pool dance floor of the POM Country Club.
The night geared up slowly with the 2,000 plus crowd finally filing in en mass around 9.00pm onwards and although the news that O-Shen was not coming was a let down by many, the night was still enjoyed by all. I’ve never seen a dance floor stay packed for a full 6 hours from when the bands were playing through to the smooth transition to the DJ music which took the party goers till late or morning that is.
O-Shen’s reasons may be valid in that he may have wanted to have everything sounding the way he wanted but it was unfortunate considering he hasn’t been back to sing here for about 6 years and on top of that because this was meant to launch his new album. Maybe if he and CHM can come out publicly with an explanation so that people can hear it from him about his grievances than we can all acknowledge it, CHM can deal with it and as they say, we can all ‘get on with the show’.
But back to the other acts, hell what a selection. My personal favourites are still Leonard Kania and of course the currently popular Skwatas Band with ‘Take Me To Paradise’. That track has really blown me away, especially the techno/dance sound of it. I was telling a friend of mine the other day that you could take away the pidgin/English lyrics and it could have been a track coming out of London for all we knew. But then it’s no surprise as the album was produced by Emmanuel of Cyclone Studios who was the same producer that did the sound for the New Age Band of Bougainville. So ol mangi Morata e no isi long tromei lek, and cos the crowd wanted more lead man Mikes Toto had to take them to Paradise again a second time.
Coral Springs and Tasins Band are fairly new, but you could certainly see the energy in the Coral Springs front man’s stage performance and his interaction with the crowd. And the Kavieng squad of Tasins band looked great with the traditional leaves around the neck so kudos to another up and coming Gerehu band.
And yes I finally got my Media Pass courtesy of Shane da Man of Rait FM (CHM’s new radio station). But my camera is in service in Brisbane and my attempts to borrow friends SLR camera’s all failed so I ended up just using a standard Kodak digital camera. So without any proper lenses I had to get as close as possible to the artists to take their pictures. I also ran out of battery power right before the Skwatas Band started, so sorry no pics of them. They’re not the best pics, but next time I’ll make sure my camera is on me so I can take better shots.
But the question still remains, will we see O-Shen live at all while he is still here in PNG???
Some Shots of the Night but you can see more pics on my Flickr account
With Oli Wilson here, who is doing a paper on PNG Music.