Afro Rock Festival (2870 311) (1973)

AfroBy 1973 we’d had folk-rock, space-rock, country-rock and art-rock. And that was just the Byrds. So why couldn’t Afro Rock be the Next Big Thing? Well, if your idea of Afro Rock is a couple transplanted  South Africans playing “Louie, Louie” in as un-funky a way possible with Prog Rockers Jade Warrior, then there are very good reasons why not. Fortunately, Simba only gets two tracks.

Osibisa is the main attraction here and they sound pretty good; but bear in mind, Afro Rock Festival was produced in the UK and designed to appeal to slightly outré domestics, not Africans. So, Assagai’s psychedelic wig-out “Jabula” aside, one isn’t going to confuse Contour’s well-meaning, but tepid safari with a Soundway comp of rare Ghanaian 45s.

And Afro Rock never did become the Next Big Thing.

PS: Note how the sashaying neck beads precisely cover up the nips on both background dancers. Lol.

The only other record I’ve got on Contour (the UK budget label subsidiary of Polydor) is a collaboration between the Swingle Singers and the Modern Jazz Quartet–the nexus of which almost caused a disruption in the Thrifty Vinyl space-time continuum, such was epochal nature of the meeting. Unsurprisingly, the cover is poor compared to the original.

Afro Rock Festival came from the Etchinghill bootfair a couple Saddy’s ago at the cost of 50p.

Published in: on May 3, 2013 at 8:20 am  Leave a Comment  

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