Decibel Report review of Osibisa at The Boisdale, Canary Wharf, London


Globally revered for their criss-cross rhythms that explode with happiness, Osibisa are celebrating their 50th-anniversary as the ultimate champions of African music and culture.

Long, long before the phrase ’World Music’ was coined, Osibisa crusaded their hi-life, funk and Afro-Caribbean musical flavours through their highly successful album releases. The highlights of which were beautifully played at a supple show overflowing with sinuous sounds of sunshine and joy in the classy environs of The Boisdale.

Helmed by guitar legend Wendell ‘Dell’ Richardson, who replaced Paul Kossoff in Free, this much lauded and loved guitarist was joined by original keys-man Robert Bailey, for a masterclass of Afro funk fluid skills.

A definitive set of career highlights took in their deft theme song to Superfly. This follow-up theme song to the Superfly sequel set up a funky night of fun filled music.

This bands abilities to switch and adapt to different styles was personified by the delicately played Anoma, emphasising the light touch this band of true musical brothers possess.

By contrast, the sunburst blast of hot musical interplay on Fire was supremely balanced with their uptempo big hit single Sunshine Day.

However, the Chic like disco funk vibes of closing number Dance The Body Music revealed a band with a broad breadth of compositional abilities.

With superstar supporters such as Carlos Santana, who plays Osibisa numbers in his set, in their corner, this is a living and breathing band of soul survivors with plenty of fire left in their belly.

Blessed by band originator Teddy Osei, Osibisa has a big year ahead with an upcoming career retrospective boxed set and new music in the offing.