Now we're in the festive season, so let me present you some festive music:
AMAYENGE (from Zambia)
Amayenge is a musical group that begun in Choma, Southern Zambia in 1978. They were initially known as the Cross-town Traffic, then The Crossbones before they picked up the name the New Crossbones.
Finally, over the years they came to be known as Amayenge ASOZA (Amayenge Sounds of Zambia). The word "Amayenge‟ is a Lenje name for a coming out dance for female initiation rites which suggest dance and
celebration. Kris Chali was one of the founders of the band and led the band to be the most successful band in Zambian Music history before he died on 2003.May.30. Amayenge is now managed by Frazer Chilembo. The
band continues to play in Zambia, in the region, Africa and beyond.
John Peel seemed to have discovered the band in the late 80's and saw Amayenge do a concert in Oxford with his son. On his show of 1988.Aug.01 Peel described the concert as a wonderful performance:
"Got to see them at the weekend: they were quite wonderful... Saw them playing in the South Park at Oxford, an abbreviated set by all accounts, but I had to leave before the end because our William wasn't feeling terrifically well, and we had a three-hour drive to get home with him in some pain, but he still didn't regret being there for a minute. It was a wonderful performance... Attila The Stockbroker was there, and a great number of other congenial people as well."
Amayenge were one of the few African artists to perform a session twice in one year for Peel's show. Both sessions were recorded while they were on tour in the UK in 1988.
Session #1: rec.1988.Jul.05, bc.1988.Jul.12; rpt.1988.Jul.27 and 1988.Dec.27.
1.Filiukotuleya / 2.Free Nelson Mandela / 3.Chibuyubuyu / 4.Munise Munise
session released on The Peel Sessions (12" EP, 1989, Strange Fruit)
Session #2: rec.1988.Aug.??, bc.1988.Sep.06; rpt.1988.Sep.28
1.Children Of Africa / 2.Madzela Madzela / 3.Mbikulo
More info at:
ZAMBIAN MUSIC LEGENDS - book by Leonard Koloko (2012, Lulu.com, ISBN 1470953358 / 9781470953355, 416 pages)
ch.20: Chris Chali and Amayenge - Leaders in Zambian Authentic Vibes (pgs.301-307)
Note: strangly it's missing at the BBC pages dedicated to John Peel (hint, hint)